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Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

2015 guide to Montréal summer music festivals

It’s beginning to sound a lot like summer in Montréal, as evidenced by the almost paralyzing array of music festival options – Osheaga, the Jazz Fest, Piknic Electronik, MUTEK and Heavy Montréal among them – featuring failsafe mainstays and some righteously exciting newbies. Getting wired and being plugged-in don’t always mean the same thing, but you can certainly do both in style at digital arts festival Elektra. From May 13 to 17, Elektra showcases new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, gaming and more, in combination with the inventive use of next-level digital technologies. Conversely, bringing music fun back to the basics is the annual Pouzza Fest of all things punk rock, May 15-17. Steadily making a bigger and badder name for itself over the last five years, Pouzza returns with over 200 punk bands that span generations of punk fans, including 80s punks the Dwarves, Chicago hardcore unit 88 Fingers Louie, and L.A. pop punks The Muffs. Summer is synonymous with picnics, and summer in Montréal has become synonymous with Piknic Electronik, the wildly popular weekly outdoor electronic music dance party. Typically held in Parc Jean-Drapeau (on Île Ste-Hélène, across from Montréal’s Old Port), this year’s Piknic Electronik… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal summer festival guide

With every major summer festival and event in Montréal comes the impetus for a holiday getaway in our great city. The F1 Grand Prix du Canada, MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, the Jazz Festival and Osheaga, for example, are but drops in a whole bucket of fun awaiting all ages and tastes in the coming weeks and months. Blue Metropolis Montréal International Literary Festival (April 20-26) The theme at Blue Met this year is “The Power of Words,” and this large-scale celebration of reading and writing across cultures once again brings in a raft of heavy hitter authors and literary-minded figures for readings, discussions and other special events. ELEKTRA (May 13-17) ELEKTRA is a yearly digital arts festival showcasing new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, design, gaming and interactive installation in combination with the innovative use of new technologies, and, in particular, those of the digital kind. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 21 to June 4) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this ninth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Chromatic (May… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal April 16 to 22

Who can get enough of this sun?! The pendulum has swung in this beautifully bipolar city, utterly bypassing spring and basically settling on straight-up summer. We’ll take it! The streets are teeming with life, bike paths are back in action, coffee shops are spilling out and Montréal’s famous terrasses are just waiting for you to come tipple between cultural happenings and live music shows. Lounging like lizards Sometimes the best way to spend time is to waste it. Nothing will make you appreciate the simple beauty of life like a day spent strolling around Montréal in your short sleeves. Mount Royal and the city’s other dozens of parks are bursting with green shoots and wild crocuses pushing their brave way through the snow, Montréal’s best terrasses are open again with promises of refreshing cocktails or caffeinated concoctions, and, best of all this year in terms of putting a spring in our step, the Habs are in the playoffs. Life is good! Take in the games at one of these great sporty spots. Taking in art The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has a great roster of spring exhibitions, including Sophie Calle and Simon Starling, the latter of whom examines metamorphosis… / Read More →

Montréal creators connect at inspiring spring festivals

You could say that many hands will be making light work in Montréal in the coming months. It’s fitting that UNESCO has proclaimed 2015 the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies because spring in Montréal is going to be so bright with possibility, you’re gonna wanna wear shades. Montréal is a world leader in creativity and connectivity, and the annual Chromatic festival is the embodiment of that assertion. Touting their 360-degree perspective on art, Chromatic has literally been to the mountaintop, and they’ll be going back again for their sixth instalment, May 22 to 27. The week-long celebration of Montréal imagination will once again take its place at the top of the town, in the classic stone-and-wood chalet at the summit of the city’s iconic Mount Royal. The scenic lookout will host a myriad range of arts – visual, digital, audio, performance, interactive, interdisciplinary and more – with a program that features over 150 artists and events, including concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, parties and activities for all ages. Powered by Montréal’s respected MASSIVart collective, who specialize in event creation, production and design, the goal is once again to connect audiences with the artist. And new this year is a… / Read More →

C2MTL 2014: Creativity Meets Commerce

On the face of it, blockbuster filmmaker James Cameron, wildly successful internet venture capitalist and CEO Tony Hsieh and LCD Soundsystem anti-guitar-hero James Murphy wouldn’t appear to share a whole lot of common ground. But over the course of three days in May, however, they’ll share their insights into the role that creativity and innovation has played in their respective successes, as well as a stage, at C2MTL…

The Best in New Electronic Music & Art at EM15

Cutting-edge electronic music and digital art meet at EM15, combining the forces of the Mutek and Elektra festivals in one big 15th-anniversary celebration. Over six days, May 27 to June 1, EM15 delivers 85 dazzling outdoor and indoor performances, featuring sonic and visual innovators from around the world…