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M for Montreal 2015

M for memory making, for motivating and, oftentimes, for magic. But more than that, M for Montreal stands for M for amazing music. This year the tastemaking music festival and conference, which aims to assist up-and-coming artists not just at a local level, but internationally as well, is pulling out the stops for its 10th anniversary edition. For four days and nights, November 18-21, well over 100 local and international acts will be showcasing in more than 20 venues around Montréal in tandem with numerous conferences and networking opportunities with recognized music industry heavy hitters. Panels and workshops with specially selected delegates from around the world are a key feature of M for Montreal which, like the city it calls home, aims to strike that perfect work/play balance. “It’s really special for us to see many of the international delegates and media experience Montréal for the first time,” says M for Montreal programming director Mikey Rishwain. “And we try to build on that by making magic happen between business and pleasure.” The wizardry this year includes a markedly increased focus on electronic and hip-hop music. This is in addition to, of course, the usual onslaught of leading edge, mostly made-in-Montréal… / Read More →

Your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals

As July approaches, Montréal continues to be flooded with an almost overwhelming array of musical options. So you don’t miss out on any of the excitement this month, here’s your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals! The Montréal International Jazz Festival, from June 26 to July 5, needs little introduction, but heck, we’ll do it anyway: the planet’s greatest, grandest jazz fest turns 36 this year with hundreds of concerts representing numerous genres including some 300 free outdoor shows that inundate downtown Montréal with a flood of music-loving merriment. From moving music to moving to the music, the International Percussion Festival turns 14 down in Old Montréal and the Old Port from July 3-12. A participative event (spectators are encouraged to get in on the playing and dancing action), the festival is also multidisciplinary, uniting music, dance, visual arts, film, food, workshops and conferences in the company of over 500 artists. The summer heat will begin to peak with Montréal’s vibrant and lively Nuits D’Afrique world music festival, July 7-19. Boasting the best of African and African-influenced music from some of the biggest names in the game at numerous indoor and free outdoor shows, Nuits D’Afrique is a guaranteed… / Read More →


The circus is serious business in Montréal; so much so, we’ve got an entire event devoted to it. When the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE festival takes over town (July 2 to 12), we’ll be welcoming the biggest and brightest of the circus arts, from homegrown acts to international talent. With so much to see, it may leave you wondering where to start. If neither time nor money is an object, see as much as you can. But if you’ve got kids or you’re on a budget, prefer the indoors to outdoors, or want to do a circus cross-comparison, we’ve decided to round up the antics to help with the decision-making. FAMILY Take the kids to see Beyond (July 1 to 5) and be blown away by the fascinating feats of strength, hijinks and hilarity of Aussie troupe Circa. The self-mockery, tricky maneuvers and one-man multi-instrumentalist of Machine de cirque (July 8 to 12) guarantee to put a smile on everyone’s face, while the beautiful horses, stunning acrobatics and visuals of Odysseo (until July 5) will take your breath away. Watch the rubber-bodied little lady of Les Méandres de Little Lady (July 9) work her way through her quirky world, and see… / Read More →

Must-See Shows at Montréal’s 2015 Just For Laughs Festival

A who’s who of the comedy world, everybody from Margaret Cho to Mike Myers, headlines Montréal’s Just For Laughs Festival when the 33rd annual edition kicks off on July 8. “I’m so excited to be returning to Montréal because it’s my favourite festival,” Cho said in a phone interview. “It’s where I got my big break in 1991, so I am returning to Montréal with a great amount of joy.” Cho will headline her new Psycho Tour show one night only at the Olympia Theatre on July 24, while one of Canada’s greatest exports, Mike Myers, comes home to make his Just For Laughs Festival debut the same night at the Maison Symphonique with An Evening with Mike Myers. This “in conversation” will showcase his extraordinary career, from his humble Canadian comedic roots, to his turn as one of the most successful Saturday Night Live alums in the show’s 40-year history, to his ascent to become one of comedy’s biggest movie stars. Meanwhile, comedy legend and Just For Laughs ticket-selling record holder Dave Chappelle – his 2013 concert sold out in minutes before JFL added nine more concerts – returns for six shows at Theatre Maisonneuve, on July 20-22. The… / 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 →

Dance the Winter Away at Igloofest 2015

When the going gets cool, the cool get dancing in Montreal’s Old Port. As the mercury hits rock bottom in January and February, the bottom end gets a boost for the thousands upon thousands of electronic music fans who bundle into Igloofest’s Igloo Village over four weekends of top-rated local and international DJs…

Winter arts and culture festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is a bright light in a big city

Montrealers have long been predisposed towards thumbing their collective nose at deepest, darkest winter, so 16 years ago when the planners of a unique new February festival declared “Let there be light,” they weren’t kidding. Since then, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has evolved into one of the largest winter arts and culture festivals in the world. Organized by the same festive folks who produce Montréal’s globally renowned Jazz Fest and the FrancoFolies French music festival, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE annually draws some 1,300,000 visitors. The fest features an expansive and eclectic program of entertainment and activities encompassing an array of performing arts (live music, theatre, dance, circus arts and more), journeys in gastronomy, free outdoor family attractions/distractions and more than a few surprises. Every year the festival celebrates a featured country, and this year the spotlight is on artists from Switzerland. Internationally acclaimed Swiss pop singer/songwriter Stephan Eicher and ascendant Québec folk/soul artist Bobby Bazini are the honorary co-presidents of the fest, with Eicher performing the prestigious closing festival concert at Place des Arts, on February 28. For his part, Bazini will captivate the majestic Métropolis concert hall, February 26. The epicenter of all the action is MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s vibrant (and… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: November 14-20

The best of LGBT cinema hits our screens this week, not to mention tons of docs, providing the perfect excuse for some hibernating. Plus there’s contemporary dance, visual arts and tons of music to keep you warm… the only excuse to leave the house might be the shopping…

M for Montreal 2014

Interactive possibilities notwithstanding, short of using an actual springboard, there is little that the taste-making M for Montreal music festival and conference can’t or won’t do in its now nine-year-old quest to catapult worthy, primarily Montreal-based music artists onto the international stage. Hey, there’s always the tenth anniversary next year…

Black & Blue 2014 Takes Over Montreal on Thanksgiving Weekend

Montreal’s sprightly Black & Blue festival pays homage to the future for their 2014 edition by throwing back to Fritz Lang’s 1927 silent sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis. Join the all-night dance movement this Thanksgiving Weekend (Oct 9-13, 2014) at the Palais des congres de Montreal…