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Things to do in Montréal: February 12 to 18

Montréal pairs Valentine’s sparkle with glittering winter entertainment this week – the city’s top restaurants and hotels ready for romance, and the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival kicks off, along with inspiring international ballet, contemporary dance, art, theatre, film and live music. City lights Winter, spring, summer or fall, we’re counting the ways Montréal warms our hearts – and this week’s kickoff of massive winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has us all fired up. Opening Thursday, February 18, the family-friendly festival’s free outdoor site entertains with multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more, while indoors see dozens of musicians and performers, including Swiss Maestro Charles Dutoit and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra at Place des Arts February 18 and 20. Day or night, skate next to the Saint-Lawrence River at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Park Esplanade. Also near the Olympic Park, the wonders of the natural world await at the Space For Life, home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium – the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free exhibit opens February 18, this year butterflies share the spotlight… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 5 to 11

Montréal takes the chill off February this week with food festivals that celebrate poutine, chocolate and full-course meals, alongside winter festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest and a glittering array of opera, art, dance, theatre, film and live music. Winter fun Whatever the weather, head to scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau for the final weekend of family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. The winter sports action continues at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium). Nighttime stays bright as massive outdoor party Igloofest – also in its final weekend – gets people dancing in their parkas at the Old Port – this Friday dance to Michael Mayer, Tale of Us and more artists, while Saturday brings Brodinski, Swindle, Laura Scavo and more to the festival’s two stages. And the Montréal Canadiens try to get back on top of their NHL hockey game in three home rounds at the Bell Centre this week, facing the Oilers on Saturday, Hurricanes… / Read More →

Your Spring Break guide to eating, drinking and partying, Montréal-style

Spring Break amazingness? You can have it all in Montréal. With its 3 a.m. closing hours, drinking age of 18 and hugely depreciated dollar (the whole city is basically a 30% off sale), Montréal is a win-win-win Spring Break party proposition. Let the following be your guide to doing it up right. Eats and pre-drinks There are those of us who would argue that the eating and pre-drinks portion of the evening is the most critical phase: not only are you laying a base for the remainder of the evening, you’re setting the tone. If you’re starting out on the Plateau Mont-Royal, imaginative hipster magnet and oyster/cocktail bar Le Majestique is all eye candy and killer cuisine. Fab fun food and drinks are also the raison d’être of L’Gros Luxe (Caesars topped with hamburgers, ’nuff said), and Big in Japan’s delectable small plate menu and vibrant vibe have also made it big in Montréal. If downtown, head to Sainte-Catherine Street West for Imadake, another Japanese small plate pub with a fun bordering on raucous atmosphere (which may have something to do with their signature “sake bombs”). Dominion Square Tavern is a must if only for the beautiful 1920s setting, though the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 29 to February 4

Montréal prevails as a bustling winter wonderland this week with the fun of outdoor festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest, food celebrations La Poutine Week and Happening Gourmand, and a bounty of opera, dance, theatre, art and live music. Winter action Go play in the snow at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau’s family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. Also ice skate in the Old Port at Bonsecours Basin or head to Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH – or try curling in the courtyard of the Stewart Museum. Nighttime stays bright city-wide, starting downtown at Place des Festivals where you can play on 30 illuminated teeter-totters at Luminothérapie until January 31. Dress in your warmest winter gear and for massive outdoor dance party Igloofest at the Old Port – this Friday it’s Detroit techno legend Carl Craig and British producer Heidi followed on Saturday by Sébastien Léger, Gina Turner and Poirier, and the following Thursday by Modeselektor. Fight fans will be at the Bell Centre on January… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 22 to 28

We’ll never underestimate Montréal’s capacity to turn winter into a vacation-destination party – this week, it’s time to play in the snow at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Fêtes des Neiges, dance the night away at Igloofest, eat well at Happening Gourmand, and be awed by dance, theatre, film, and live music. Winter stays bright in Montréal this weekend at family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, where you can go tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, hot-chocolate drinking and doughnut-eating to your heart’s content at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. Put on your brightest and warmest toque and parka and get ready to dance at massive outdoor dance party Igloofest – this Friday it’s Scuba and Jimmy Edgar, Rone and other artists while on Saturday hear the sounds of Maceo Plex, Odd Parents, Pierre Kwenders and more along with eye-popping visuals – and it all starts again on Thursday night with Mr. Oizo, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more! – at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Downtown at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie or head out to the Olympic Park (also home to the Biôdome, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 18 to 24

It’s a pre-fall frenzy, with the cultural season on the cusp of busting open while Pop Montréal and Mois de la Photo alone are putting on more to-dos than you’ll be able to fit in. Hope you’re wearing your sneakers so you can hit the ground running! Pop till you drop Hop your way through Pop Montréal until September 20! Among the city’s most exciting music festivals, Pop unites hundreds of rock, pop, hip-hop, folk and electro artists in venues all over Mile End and the Plateau (and beyond). There are dozens of shows every night, not to mention music-industry insider talks, film screenings, the Puces Pop art & craft fair, Fashion Pop’s catwalk shows, Art Pop’s amazing exhibitions and talks (don’t miss yours truly interviewing amazing artist Olaf Breuning on Friday, September 18 at 6 pm). On Friday, September 18, highlights include AfriKeleKtro, Crystal Eyes and/or Mötorhead; on Saturday, Eleni Mandell is unmissable at an early 6 pm show; and on Sunday, finish the weekend off with an atmospheric smorgasborg courtesy of People Pretend, starting at 11 pm. A matter of image Sensory Stories at Phi Centre invites visitors to discover immersive experiences and new technologies that engage our… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 11 to 17

Back to school already? No worries, it’s recess every hour of every day somewhere in Montréal! Pop Montréal sets the tone for this week of full-packed fun, not to mention the tons of great art shows to see, plays and dance performances to catch and quiet nice times to be had too, like in the botanical gardens. Oh, and anyone down for a BMX competition? Pop music Welcome to Pop Montréal, one of the city’s most exciting music festivals (and that’s saying something in the city of festivals!), uniting hundreds of rock, pop, hip-hop, folk and electro artists in venues all over Mile End and the Plateau (and beyond). With dozens of shows every night, not to mention music-industry insider talks, film screenings, the Puces Pop art & craft fair, Fashion Pop’s catwalk shows, Art Pop’s amazing exhibitions and talks (don’t miss yours truly interviewing amazing artist Olaf Breuning on Friday, September 18 at 6 pm), expect your schedule to be extra packed between September 16 and 20. Opening night sets the tone with a party at Pop HQ, plus shows by Cœur de Pirate, Félix Dyotte, Molly Sweeney, Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats, Ruby the Hatchet, Ecstatic Vision, Fanfaraï,… / Read More →

Places to go dancing in Montréal

No matter what your taste in dance music, Montréal’s got you covered when it comes to shaking it off, breaking it down or getting your groove on. Dance in style to electro, hip hop, soul, top 40 and more any night of the week at the city’s best dance clubs. The big names in EDM show up at New City Gas, a converted factory that’s now a massive club for energetic party-goers. Nearby in Old Montréal, boutique-club Peopl. and subterranean lounge spot Velvet Speakeasy beckon with international and local DJs rubbing shoulders with the city’s beautiful people. And electronic and hip hop merge at one of the city’s newest and talked-about clubs, Newspeak, in downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles – dance to cutting-edge DJs, hip-hop artists, live indie-electro bands and more. Underground house, techno and dub in the style of the MUTEK music festival keep the grooves smooth and dancers happy at Le Bleury Bar à Vinyle, Salon Daomé in the Plateau on Mont-Royal Avenue and Datcha in Mile End. When last call at 3 a.m. just isn’t late enough and you’ve got plenty of dancing energy left, look no further than Stereo and Circus, two of the best world-class afterhours… / Read More →

More New Music – and a Party Boat! – at MEG Montréal

Dive right into Montreal’s hip hop, electro and indie-rock music scenes this July at MEG Montréal. The 17th edition of the Montréal Electronic Groove summer music festival keeps the beat alive July 23 to August 2, at venues along St-Laurent Boulevard, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat. MEG’s first weekend proves why Thursdays are the new Fridays, starting off the fest on July 23 with synth-addled indie-rock and electronic experiments by Dear Criminals, Secret Secret Girl and Doldrums at La Sala Rossa and an unmissable night of heavy dance music by Fool’s Gold collaborator High Klassifed, electro-dreamscaper J.u.D. and hip-hop remixer Dave Luxe at Le Belmont. Friday lives up to the Friday-night hype with hypnotic psych-rock beats from Fragile Feet, About:, Human Human and Syzzors at Divan Orange as multi-DJ group Melt Mtl, jazz-influenced producer Robert Robert and genre-blending French producer Fakear shake the dance floor at Le Belmont. Saturday night’s alright on land and at sea as the MEG Boat cruises at party speed along the St-Laurent River with hours of dance music from French house producers Darius and Myd, Belgium’s DJ Slow and local Fonkyson, while Ragers and Wasiu mix underground electronic with hip hop… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montreal April 4-10

Spring invigorates Montreal with new life, with interactive art on the streets and butterflies at the Botanical Gardens, alongside the final few weeks of sugar shack season and an array of theatre, dance, cutting-edge art, and live music from around the world. (spring things) Swing into spring with interactive public art Les 21 Balançoires, returns on April 8 to the Quartier des Spectacles, outdoors along President Kennedy Avenue: the 21 colourful swings play music as people swing – always a fun, friendly time. One of springtime’s most obvious symbols, the butterfly, comes out in full force at Butterflies Go Free at the Botanical Garden, where thousands of colourful butterflies fill the main exhibition greenhouse until April 27 – while there, learn about the transformation from caterpillar to butterfly and the far corners of the world that butterflies call home. Stock up on new made-in-Quebec fashion at La Grande Braderie de la Mode Québécoise super sale, April 10-13 at Bonsecours Market. Another marker of spring: maple syrup – and with it comes the sweet-and-savoury sugar shack tradition. Until the end of April, sit down to a meal of sausages, pancakes, meat pie and much, much more at restaurants in the city, such as La Cabane,… / Read More →