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Things to do in Montréal: July 22 to 28

Montréal turns the fun dial all the way up this week for comedy fest Just For Laughs, games fest Mondial des Jeux, two nights of fireworks, numerous outdoor activities and sports in the sun, new films and live music – we’ve even got Pokémon GO covered! Mike Ward, scène @videotron 🎉 // 16 juillet Une photo publiée par Juste pour rire (@juste_pour_rire) le 17 Juil. 2016 à 14h02 PDT Comedy gold Laugh out loud for days during comedy festival Just For Laughs, bringing headliners Nathan Lane, Sarah Silverman, Jeff Goldblum, Aziz Ansari, Julie Louis-Dreyfus, Russell Peters, Hannibal Buress and more comedy stars to Montréal until August 1. JFL’s free street festival outside Place des Arts entertains day and night – don’t miss the Twins Parade on July 23 and the Vintage Car exhibition on July 24, kid-focused V8energy labyrinth, puppeteer Jacques Boutin and dancer-clown Fifi Bric-à-Brac, nightly musical Jukebox and an array of food trucks. See new editions of The Ethnic Show hosted by Rachid Badouri and The Nasty Show, a seriously dirty good time hosted by Mike Ward. JFL’s “underground” program OFF-JFL features Janeane Garofalo, Tom Green, Scott Thompson, The Lucas Bros and more. Add to all that Zoofest, dedicated to wild indie humour and a… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: July 15 to 21

Sunny days and almost too much fun to handle make Montréal the place to be in mid-July: comedy, circus and music festivals fill the city with out-of-this-world performances, alongside an international film festival, a games festival, a world-class fireworks competition and more entertainment for all ages. Festival laughs Star-studded comedy festival Just For Laughs starts up this week with a free outdoor street festival outside Place des Arts – don’t miss the Mado’s Got Talent drag queen show on July 19 and nightly musical Jukebox – plus new editions of The Ethnic Show hosted by Rachid Badouri at Club Soda, and The Nasty Show  at Métropolis, a seriously dirty good time hosted by Mike Ward, who also performs a free outdoor show outside Place des Arts on July 16 at 9 pm. JFL’s “underground” program OFF-JFL begins with one-woman show 24 Hours with Mary Lynn Rajskub and new stand-up from Tom Green, with more shows running throughout the fest. Meanwhile, for kids there’s the V8energy labyrinth on de Maisonneuve Boulevard, daytime shows by puppeteer Jacques Boutin, dancer-clown Fifi Bric-à-Brac and more. Add to all that Zoofest, dedicated to wild indie humour and a fab drag show or two, and Oh My Fest!, celebrating a breadth of local YouTuber talent…. / Read More →

Experience Montréal in the lap of luxury

Looking for pampering? You’re in the right place. Montréal gets a ton of high-fallutin’ international guests every year, whether it’s Jazz Fest musicians, pop superstars, Formula One racers or star hockey players. Hell, even visiting comedians need paraffin mani-pedis! The result? Our service industry is poised to satisfy your every need and make your trip to La Belle Ville the most memorable it can be. Here’s your cheat sheet to the best things in life. SLEEP WELL High-end stays abound in Montréal, for all the reasons mentioned above. From Madonna to Aretha Franklin to Lady Gaga, we’ve hosted all the divas! Exacting guests flock to the gorgeously redesigned Ritz-Carlton Montréal, where you can leave your classically appointed suite and be at La Maison Ogilvy in five minutes flat.
 Hôtel Le St. James is probably the city’s most luxurious stay, nestled in a historic Old Montréal building appointed with priceless antiques. Loews Hôtel Vogue, Hôtel Le Crystal and InterContinental Montréal are perfect downtown pied-à-terres, with incredibly comfortable rooms and great bars and restaurants. To be within seconds of the Old Port, you’ll want to stay at either the sleekly contemporary Hotel Gault, Hotel Nelligan (the rooftop terrasse bar is a must),… / Read More →

See affordable shows on Montréal stages

The curtain goes up and the theatre, dance, circus or comedy show unfolds, its live tension palpable, often unique and unforgettable. In Montréal, that memorable experience doesn’t have to break the bank – all year round, the city’s stages are filled with live shows at affordable prices (some of them are even free!) The city’s biggest and arguably most opulent show venue, Place des Arts, houses six large theatres and several more show spaces right downtown. With shows every night, there’s usually something for every budget. Find inexpensive balcony seats for under $25, as well as student and seniors pricing and matinée deals at the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal  (OSM) conducted by Kent Nagano, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Grands Ballets, Canadian premieres of Broadway productions, and internationally touring dance company shows presented by Danse Danse. Especially watch for shows at Cinquième Salle, which often hosts cutting-edge productions by celebrated choreographers and directors. While theatre in Montréal is often quite affordable as it is, watch for inexpensive shows at the Segal Centre and Centaur Theatre studio and second stages, as well as theatre at the city’s many Maisons de la culture, host to productions by both established and… / 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 →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 24 to 30

Fantasia Film Festival sets the tone this week, with cool and captivating screenings that provide the perfect interlude to long days in the sun. There’s also great art to be seen, hilarious comedy, and live music galore – this is Montréal, after all. Festival offerings MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. The Just for Laughs comedy fest continues too until July 28, with chuckles courtesy of Dave Chappelle, Howie Mandel, Norm Macdonald, Neil Patrick Harris and Kevin Hart (for the first time in Montréal!) still to be had. Get your survival guide here. For more local comedy year-round, our guide to English comedy clubs is your starting point. Until August 1, Zoofest offers a counterpoint to Just For Laughs with a focus on Canadian comedians and some saucy burlesque in the mix. Fresh-air fun There’s no doubt, Montréal’s green spaces are an amazing place to park it. Catch the last couple of days of Twelfth Night… / Read More →

Fun with Kids this Summer in Montréal

It’s summer and the kids must play – Montréal keeps kids happy, entertained and active all day and into the night with festivals, music, games, swimming, sports and more throughout July and August. Many of the city’s famed festivals not only welcome families but feature outdoor shows and activities made just for kids. Step into the Place de la Famille kids zone at Just For Laughs at Place des Festivals, full of amusement park rides and games, laughter workshops and performances, open afternoons and evenings July 11-25, while street buskers amuse us at every turn and the Twins Parade on July 18 delights with wild costumes and music. Hot air balloons may be the heart of the International de montgolfières de Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, but the festival also boasts a variety of kid-focused activities and performances, August 8-16. With more activities than ever, it’s easy to spend a day or two in the Old Port of Montréal: from a sky-high zipline ride to an authentic French carousel, mini-train adventures to a Bateau-Mouche boat ride on the river, the SOS Labyrinthe‘s biggest indoor maze in the world and the skill-testing, all-ages Peur Dépôt live game. Kids can play pirates for hours at Voiles… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 17 to 23

Whether you’re looking for laughs, experimental post-punk, a chance to shake your tail under the sun or the best souvenirs EVER as produced by local artisans, Montréal is the place to be this week. Come on, jump in! (hot music) Catch the last of the Nuits D’Afrique festival until July 19 for a taste of the best of African and world music from all over the globe. For continued world-music bliss, check out this guide to clubs and happenings around town. It’s the second and final weekend of the inaugural feminist/queer Slut Island Festival, with a focus on experimental, post-punk, rock, plus raging dancing fun in the sun and around the city, July 17, 18 and 19. Don’t miss Dômesicles on Thursdays until August 13 at SAT, where dance beats rule both the Satosphere dome and the Foodlab terrasse. July 26 features Shaydakiss, A-Rock, TiND and Push 1 Stop. Starting July 23, dive right into MEG Montréal, Montréal’s hip hop, electro and indie-rock fest at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. (arts… / Read More →

YOUR 2015 JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE

Your survival is important to us. More than that, we want you to thrive! While the 2015 edition of the Montréal Just For Laughs Festival promises wall-to-wall good times from July 8 to 28, it’s also a monster-sized festival that can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned of culture vultures. To eliminate any uncertainties you may have and give you all the deets you need to get the most out of the festival experience, we’ve devised this Just For Laughs Survival Guide. EVENT Montréal Just For Laughs Festival, July 8 to 28, 2015 WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO A world-class event that unites the globe’s funniest people in Montréal’s downtown core, pretty much. From July 8 to 28, Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and a few venues slightly beyond host dozens of ticketed indoor shows and more free exterior entertainment than you can shake a funny bone at. This edition features unmissable headliners including Wanda Sykes, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Hart, Alan Cumming, Patton Oswalt, Trevor Noah, Margaret Cho, Jane Lynch, Ellie Kemper, Rob Schneider, Neil Patrick Harris, Omid Djalili and Norm Macdonald.   Don’t be surprised if, when you enter the festival site, someone asks to look in your bag. This… / Read More →

10 Montréal English Comedy Nights and Clubs

Montréal is home to the famed Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and such internationally-renowned stand-up comics as Sugar Sammy and DeAnne Smith, hilarious veterans Heidi Foss, Joey Elias and Mike Paterson, as well as up-and-comers like Tranna Wintour, a favourite of New York legend Sandra Bernhard. They are all products of Montréal’s vibrant English-language comedy scene that boasts entertaining events at bars and nightclubs throughout the city. Here is a sampling of some of the best in town: The Comedyworks (1238 Bishop) features well-known Canadian and international headliners every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a Monday improv night. A classic comedy club, complete with exposed-brick walls. Reservations recommended: 514-876-8777 or www.comedyworksmtl.ca. The Comedy Nest (2313 Sainte-Catherine W.) is a 160-seat cabaret-style nightclub located in the legendary Montréal Forum that features well-known comics every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It also hosts Newbie Tuesdays and Comedy Lab Wednesdays. Ages 18+. Reservations recommended: 514-932-6378 or http://comedynest.com/. Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club Montréal (1222 Mackay) welcomes celebrity headliners every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Ages 19+. Reservations recommended: 514-272-9857 or www.yukyuks.com/montreal. Montréal’s weekly indie Comedy Abroad! show headlines the Mbar (1245 Saint-André, back entrance) every Sunday beginning at 8:15 p.m. Admission:… / Read More →