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Things to do in Montréal: December 2 to 8

That festive holiday glow hits the streets of Montréal this week – a massive Christmas tree and an interactive art installation illuminate downtown’s Place des Festivals, markets packed with local creations pop up everywhere (and so does Santa), and new art, film and live music inspire. Festive outdoor events Canada’s biggest Christmas tree, illuminated by thousands of lights, brightens up December outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, where you’ll find all kinds of local gifts and goodies plus an activity area for kids, live music and more. Right around the corner, play in the 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie interactive art project, opening Dec. 7. There’s more joy to be had at Noël dans le Parc at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin (opening Dec. 2 with live music from Beat Market and Loco Locass) and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau all month, as well as at the Merry Montréal celebrations in Old Montréal.  Santa also comes to the Plaza St-Hubert Christmas Parade on the evening of Dec. 2, Mount-Royal Avenue celebrates with the annual Noël sur l’Avenue all month, including a candle-lit parade and fireworks at  Parc La Fontaine on December 3 at 7 pm. Find more Santa and seasonal things to… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 25 to December 1

Montréal says goodbye to November and hello to December with glittering outdoor entertainment and indoor magic kingdoms, Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, designer Christmas markets, amazing new films, dance and theatre, and concerts for all tastes. Winter ready Step into an entertaining winter wonderland during Noël dans le Parc at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau neighbourhood, starting Dec. 1. Meanwhile in Old Montréal , join in the Merry Montréal celebrations, featuring a market on Place Jacques-Cartier, live music, food, microbrews and more. Visit Santa at the Complexe Desjardins Magic Kingdom, where you’ll also find a mini train and carousel, multimedia show Fontaine Boréale and performances, or find Santa in many forms at the historic Stewart Museum in a magical (and free) figurine exhibition. And explore the city streets with Art Public Montréal and in smart-phone multimedia tour Cité Mémoire in Old Montréal. Seasonal shopping Go shopping for locally made home decor, toys, clothing and accessories, beauty products, food, drink and more at the Marché Casse Noisette, transforming the lower promenade of the Palais des congrès into a glittering marketplace, Nov. 24 to Dec. 4. There’s more creative Montréal-made goods at the Souk @ SAT designer market, Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Or shop vintage at the Empire Exchange launch in Mile End on Dec. 1. We’ve… / Read More →

All-star 2016 edition of Montréal’s Image+Nation LGBTQ film festival

Image+Nation is Canada’s oldest LGBTQ film festival and will screen the best of queer cinema from around the world at its 29th annual edition, at various Montréal venues from Nov. 24 to Dec. 4. “Image+Nation is also one of the oldest LGBTQ film festivals in the world,” says festival director Charlie Boudreau. “It is a great contributor to the social fabric of Montreal and plays a trendsetting role within the larger festival circuit in Canada, North America and internationally.” Over 11 days, this year’s edition will screen award-winning features, powerful documentaries and acclaimed short films from such countries as Italy, Cuba, Argentina and Germany, offering something for all cinematic tastes – from light-hearted comedies and love stories to deeper dramatic tales and social-issue works. Also, two Image+Nation series will focus on films from Ireland and America. After GAZE, Dublin’s LGBTQ Film Festival, curated their Québec Queer Cinema Focus at their 2016 festival, Image+Nation began a programming exchange with GAZE to program several Irish films, including the opening film, Handsome Devil, by Irish novelist John Butler. Handsome Devil is an atypical coming-of-age story that was the toast of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. “A wee gem in this year’s film findings,” says… / Read More →

12 Reasons for LGBT travellers to visit Montréal in 2016

As one of the gateway cities to the New World, underground gay life has flourished in Montréal for centuries. Montréal’s legendary joie-de-vivre and queer-positive embrace has turned the city into a choice LGBT international tourism destination, and there is much to see and do in Montréal for LGBT travellers in 2016. L’Opéra de Montréal presents the world-premiere of the opera adaptation of legendary gay Québec playwright Michel Marc Bouchard’s internationally-acclaimed 1987 play Les Feluettes which premiered in 1987 and was also made into the 1996 movie Lilies, directed by John Greyson. Les Feluettes, about a gay love triangle involving a Catholic bishop, runs from May 21 to 28 at the 3,000-seat Salle Wilfred-Pelletier at Place des Arts. Summer kicks off with Montréal drag legend Mado Lamotte’s 16th annual Drag Race – the over-the-top two-hour outdoor live show predates RuPaul’s Drag Race – at the Montreal Fringe Festival, whose 2016 edition runs from June 9 to 19. Several professional Montréal drag queens team up with their amateur counterparts for a side-splitting outdoor afternoon competition in Parc des Amériques. Mado’s Drag Race is usually held on the final weekend of the Montreal Fringe Festival. Free admission. Montréal’s Gay Village is home to the 16th edition of Mtl en… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 4 to 10

Montréal sparkles as the holiday season truly arrives this week, turning streets into winter villages and playgrounds, art and craft fairs into gift-shopping bonanzas, and the city’s numerous stages into charming gatherings for choirs, orchestras and rock shows. Celebrate the season Whether in the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal or in the parks of the Plateau, Montréal celebrates the holiday season with music, food, drink and open arms this week. Merry Montréal turns Old Montréal into a winter wonderland with fires to warm up by, free hot chocolate, Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, Christmas-themed films and more. Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up trees, offers activities for kids and shares the music of dozens of local musicians in free concerts at Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) and at Parc Lahaie (Saint-Laurent Boulevard at Saint-Joseph) on weekday evenings and in the afternoon and evenings on weekends, to December 10 – don’t miss the parade on December 5 on Mount Royal Avenue ending in fireworks at Parc LaFontaine at 7 p.m. Also see Santa in Montréal’s downtown malls or delve deeper into the traditional Victorian Christmas in Montréal. Creative gifts Find all kinds of Québec-made… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 27 to December 3

With December officially here this week, there’s something seasonally appropriate and festive to do every day of the week: see Santa and sip hot chocolate, go to a hockey game, shop and shop some more, see a show or a film or a choir, and drink wine and eat well. Santa, hockey and merry making  The city’s biggest Santa Claus parade was last weekend, but if you missed it there’s still more Santa to see at the Plaza St-Hubert Santa Claus Parade on November 27 at 7 p.m. on St-Hubert Street between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon. Also find Santa at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Stewart Museum, packed with handmade Santa figurines and free all month, while toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. Whether it snows this week or not, Merry Montréal makes Old Montréal feel like a winter wonderland – warm up around fires, drink hot chocolate, bring the kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more, starting December 3. And, of course, there’s plenty of hockey: The Canadiens play on home ice at the Bell Centre three times this week, taking on the Devils, the Blue Jackets… / Read More →

All-Star 2015 edition of Montréal’s Image+Nation LGBT film festival

Image+Nation is Canada’s oldest LGBT film festival and will screen the best of queer cinema from around the world at its 28th annual edition, at various Montréal venues from Nov. 26 to Dec. 6. “Image+Nation is the first LGBT film festival in Canada and one of the oldest in the world,” says festival director Charlie Boudreau. “It stands as the premiere site to discover LGBT film in the city and plays a trendsetting role within the larger festival circuit in Canada, North America and internationally. Over three decades the festival has earned a reputation for itself as an event that brings together the best and brightest LGBT film from around the globe while at the same time hopefully providing a window onto our queer world.” The opening film is the much-buzzed about American feature That’s Not Us by director William Sullivan, about three New York couples who pack whiskey-fueled card games, buzz-killing wisecracks and overdue emotional conversations into one end-of-the-season beach house vacation. The closing film is Kiss Me Kill Me by director Casper Andreas and screenwriter David Michael Barrett. The West Hollywood murder mystery is filled with outrageous stereotypes and ludicrous plot twists, and co-stars Gale Harold (of Queer… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal this November

If anyone dared think that with the cooling effect of November weather came a cooling of things to see, eat and do in Montreal, they’d best think again. Some of Montreal’s most popular and interesting events and festivals are just getting warmed up…

Things to Do in Montreal: December 6-12

The city lights up indoors and out this week with a sparkling public art exhibition along with giant Christmas trees, illuminated skating rinks, sports competitions and films, and delightful dance, theatre, and live music…

Things to Do in Montreal: November 29–December 5

Along with the newly fallen snow in Montreal comes the beginning of the holiday season and its many events — this week brings winter sports, on-stage spectacle, new film, unique shopping experiences and live music…