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Things to do in Montréal: August 5 to 11

August in Montréal means it’s time to relax a little even while festival season keeps the energy high. This week we’ve got classical, metal, electronic dance music, anime and First Peoples festivals along with the start of Montréal Pride and the Olympics – plus all the food and drink to match. Festival pride Classical music meets the Olympic spirit this week at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Couche-Tard Classical Spree main event on August 10: free, outdoor show Galaxy of Heroes pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of Montréal’s 1976 Summer Olympics, at Olympic Park – music enthusiasts also won’t want to miss the Spree’s many affordable and abundant concerts, August 10-13 in the Quartier des Spectacles. Traditional music and hip hop, video and film, art and theatre made by Aboriginal artists take the spotlight as the Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival, August 3-10 in and around the Quartier des Spectacles – evening shows include Innu singer Shauit on August 5 and Soirée ÉlectroChoc on August 6. Montréal Pride celebrates its 10th edition with parties, community and art events, cabaret shows, parades and more, August 8-14. For more festival fun, including Heavy Montréal and ÎleSoniq, see our live music section below. Fun and games The world… / Read More →

It’s all heavy hitters at Heavy Montréal 2016

Get your ears ready for a sound overload! Over the weekend of August 6 and 7, the word’s biggest heavyweights in metal, rock and punk descend upon Montréal for Heavy Montréal, the city’s heaviest outdoor music fest at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The fun starts at 1 pm on Saturday when Pop Evil kick things off on the Molson Canadian Stage, one of the three stages onsite. Saturday is a big day, with mainliners including Black Label Society (at 6:30 pm), Suicide Silence (7:30), Mastodon (also at 7:30 pm! Gahhh dilemma), Nightwish (8:30 pm) and Five Finger Death Punch (9:30 pm). One act you won’t want to miss either is Fear Factory (3:05 pm), the old school American industrial metal band that’s been making ears bleed since 1989. You’ll have time to catch some mathcore on the Heavy Stage beforehand, as Jersey’s The Dillinger Escape Plan takes over at 2:30 pm. And Inquisition will be legendary: the thrash metal kings of Colombia will turn the sunny afternoon to pitch darkness at 2 pm. On Sunday, get up and at ‘em early enough to catch I Prevail at 1 pm, followed by a veritable who’s who of heaviness. The biggest names include Kataklysm… / Read More →

Your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the warm weather. It’s also when the city is beset by a veritable onslaught of amazing music festivals, everything from Osheaga to the Jazz Fest, and from MUTEK and Île Soniq to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree. For four sunny, summery months, Montréal is truly a music lover’s paradise. Here is your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals. The Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival celebrates  its 26th edition, August 3 to 10. Theirs is an expansive programme of outdoor concerts (hip-hop to rock to Inuit throat singing to you name it), aboriginal video and film (a veritable international film fest unto itself), outdoor street theatre, native art and a variety of other events and entertainment all taking place in and around the Quartier des Spectacles. Heavy Montréal blasts big chunks of hard rock, August 5 to 7. Death metal, hair metal, black metal, hard rock and hardcore are all on the agenda, and this year’s line-up is sick with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish and Volbeat, to name a few. Parc Jean-Drapeau remains at the center of… / Read More →

Comedy, concerts, shows, evenings… the fun continues summer long at the Casino!

During festival season, the Casino de Montréal is even sparklier than ever. An awesome go-to to cap off your party evenings, it has tons going on during Montréal’s legendary festivals! Move to the beat at the Casino This summer, Parc Jean-Drapeau turns into a giant open-air concert hall with the super-charged festivals of Osheaga, Île Soniq and Heavy Montréal. Pre- or post-evening, you can quench your thirst at the new Jardin bar-terrasse with Shaydakiss on July 28 and Dragonette on July 29. At the Valet de carreau bar, sate your electronic music cravings with DJ Seibaz, Pierce Fulton and Michael Sparks on August 5. Wrap it up with a dash back to the 90s in the company of Sebastian Bach on August 6. Photos and autograph signing, of course! Mode et Design at the Casino August 18 and 19, during the Festival Mode et Design, take part in a bingo and high heels night, win gift certificates and let loose during a double bill DJ and comedy evening! The party keeps going at the Casino Thought of tucking in already? The night’s still young! World-class DJs, winners of the DJ Red Bull Thre3style competition, will be cranking up the heat… / Read More →

Your ultimate 2016 guide to Montréal’s many summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the impending warming of the weather. It’s also when the city is beset by a veritable onslaught of amazing music festivals, everything from Osheaga to the Jazz Fest, and from MUTEK and Île Soniq to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree. For four sunny, summery months, Montréal is truly a music lover’s paradise. 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 series runs every weekend from May 22 until Oct. 2. To see their 2016 programming, check here after May 10. Speaking of living life on the edge, it doesn’t get more musically adventurous than the annual Suoni Per Il Popolo festival, June 2-20. The now 16-year-old brainchild (brainteen?) of the founders of leading indie music scene venues Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa, Suoni Per Il Popolo presents approximately 50 concerts featuring an eclectic range of experimental and avant-garde music and sound (think free jazz, musique actuelle, avant-rock, noise, etc.)… / Read More →

Your 2016 Montréal summer festival guide

We don’t know everything, but we know how to do a few things really well in Montréal, and two of them are festivals – like Osheaga, Fantasia, the Montreal Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs – and time off. And like wine and cheese, those two things happen to pair up really well. With this in mind, and with summer vacation time on the horizon, we offer you our Montréal summer festival guide. Chromatic (May 19-22) Chromatic is a celebration of Montréal imagination situated in the Old Port’s historic Hangar 16. The program features an eclectic range of arts – visual, digital, performance, interactive and more –at events including concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, parties and activities for all ages.  Both Montréal and Toronto talents will be teaming up for this seventh edition. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 26 to June 8) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this tenth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Fringe Festival (May 30 to June 19) The Montréal Fringe Festival (known as “the party Fringe” on… / Read More →

20 great reasons to visit Montréal in 2016

Because the food is fabulous 1. Get ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome Joël Robuchon, who starting in fall 2016 will be tickling our taste buds at Atelier, in the Montréal Casino on beautiful Île Notre-Dame. The famed French chef has 28 Michelin stars to his name—want to bet Atelier garners him more? 2. There are dozens upon dozens of award winning restaurants in La Belle Ville, including Joe Beef, Au Pied de Cochon, Park, Toqué, Laloux, Pastaga, Lawrence, Le Bremner, Le Serpent, Chez Lévêque, Foodlab… the city is your oyster. Find other suggestions here. 3. Montréal’s festivals are renowned, and some of them are tasty as heck. There’s a mouth-watering calendar of food fests, from Poutine Week in February to Happy November! in, well November, not to mention our very special restaurant week, MTL à TABLE, which brings flavour to the end of October every year by joining dozens of local restaurants together to offer prix-fixe menus that give everyone a chance to enjoy their out-of-sight delights. Come taste for yourself! Because it never sleeps 4. With a promoter like Evenko, Montréal doesn’t miss a thing. Not only do they put on world-famous festivals Osheaga and Heavy… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: August 7 to 13

From gay pride to heavy metal, to blues to high fashion – Montréal really does offer everything. In a single week! Forget about choosing, just walk around and soak it all up at once. Call it a cultural experiment. Fresh-air music Music fans, ready your ears: it’s Heavy Montréal! Get your hard rocks off in Parc Jean-Drapeau from August 7 to 9, as headliners including Slipknot, Faith No More, Korn, Iggy Pop and NOFX bring their death metal, hair metal, black metal, hard rock and hardcore to Montréal. All that aggression leaving you blue? Wallow in style at Festiblues International de Montréal, the all-blues festival that runs from August 6 to 9 in bucolic Parc Ahuntsic. Catch world-class blues from over 50 international artists. If pop is more your style, head to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, just 45 minutes from central Montreal, where from August 8 to 16 hot air balloons and even hotter music cohabitate at International des Montgolfières Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. With top acts like Meghan Trainor, Our Lady Peace, Radio Radio and Moist sharing the lineup with luminaries from closer to home like Éric Lapointe, Misteur Vallaire and Jonas and the Massive Attraction, it’s a high colour date not to be missed –… / Read More →

The loudest must-see shows at Heavy Montréal

The heavyweights of metal, rock and punk descend on Montréal as Heavy Montréal shakes Parc Jean-Drapeau August 7-9. The 7th edition of the festival once known as Heavy MTL may be its weightiest yet, with three days of music from over 60 bands. Where the August 1 weekend’s massive Osheaga festival teems with brightly-hued youthful enthusiasm, Heavy Montréal spans five decades of music and prefers to dress in black – at the same time, it’s more approachable than ever. With headliners such as spectacularly entertaining Slipknot, iconic Iggy Pop, 90s metal-fusion populists Korn and Faith No More, post-hardcore Alexisonfire and Heavy Montréal headliner veterans Lamb of God mainstaging as some of the most obvious must-see shows over the three days of the festival, several others carve niches of their own in the program. Die-hard metal fans all have their favourites in a music scene replete with sub-genres. Revered French metal band Gojira rallies the darkening crowds as Swedish extreme metal maniacs Meshuggah prove their continued might. Influential doom metalists Neurosis blow minds, British black metal originators Venom reboot as Venom Inc., founder of Norwegian black metal band Immortal, Olve Eikemo, returns solo as Abbath, while devotees of black metal underground… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Nick Farkas

As cofounder of festivals Osheaga, Ile Soniq, Heavy MTL and, starting this September, YUL EAT, Nick Farkas never stops. The only downside to his culturally immersed life is that sometimes, he’s too busy to enjoy other people’s events, like Just For Laughs and the Rogers Cup! This is how he experiences Montréal. Job: Vice President, Concert and Events, Evenko. Favourite pastime: Listening to music. How long have you been a Montrealer? Since 1970, when I was 5 years old. My parents came from Hamilton. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? Osheaga this weekend! The next three weekends of festivals, with Osheaga followed by Heavy Montréal and then Ile Soniq, are our busiest time in the year. What’s the next big thing you’re planning? We’re doing a new festival called YUL EAT in Old Montreal, near the Clock Tower, in the beginning of September, over Labour Day weekend. In the midst of doing our other three festivals and the 13,000 shows we do a year, the team decided it was time to do another festival. Tons of chefs, cooking classes, brunches, dinners, free concerts and more. What’s your favourite thing about organizing events? Definitely seeing the reaction… / Read More →