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Things to do in Montréal: March 17 to 23

Even in the midst of a snow storm, the idea of spring is on the minds of Montrealers by late March – one of the sure signs of the season is the city’s huge St. Patrick’s Day parade, joined this week by sugar shack season, a Pink Floyd opera, the vivid colours of Chagall, butterflies at the Botanical Garden, and plenty more. St. Patrick’s Day party Montréal may be one of the biggest French speaking cities in the world, but its varied history wouldn’t be quite as colourful without its long-standingn Irish contingent. That’s why Montréal boasts the longest consecutive running St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world – see what it’s all about on March 19 as the parade dances and drums for all ages along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown. Add to the annual tradition by raising a glass at the city’s best Irish pubs – our guide to 10 things you didn’t know about the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Montréal makes for great bar fodder. Une publication partagée par #CINQCENTQUATORZE ® (@jfsavaria) le 16 Mars 2017 à 7h52 PDT Spring anticipation Snowstorms rival sunny days in March, so if you’re here on Spring Break, keep your plans flexible: our guide to… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 3 to 9

March begins with the thrills of massive winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and its all-nighter Nuit Blanche, plus spring break activities for families, dance and theatre, incredible illuminated art, classical music and rock shows. Bright days and nights The city seriously shines during winter arts, culture and fine dining festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE ongoing to March 11 with an all-new program of performing arts, fabulous fine dining options and the free and family-friendly outdoor site at Place des Festivals, where you’ll find great local food and drink, from Québec cheeses to Cabral porto, live music and performances such as X-Lumina, an illuminated Ferris wheel, the urban ice slide and zip line, and classic Canadian sport Curling en lumière. Walk around the Quartier des Spectacles to see the high-tech interactive light art of Illuminart or head down into the underground city for Art Souterrain‘s miles of new art installations. And, of course, the festival’s biggest deal: all-nighter Nuit blanche featuring free activities, performances, music, film and more, from downtown to Mile End and many more neighbourhoods on March 4. Montréal on Spring Break We’ve put together an overflowing guide to restaurants, bars and parties for spring break in Montréal but we haven’t forgotten about the younger set either – with local schools closed this week, there are plenty of things to do for families during… / Read More →

Spring break for families in Montréal

Kids can slide down hills in the snow, discover nature’s wonders or play all kinds of games indoors this spring break in Montréal – find fun, memorable and even free things to do for every kid at every age, March 6 to 12. Family-friendly 375th anniversary activities Montréal’s 375th Les Hivernales family programming makes the most of winter – and makes downtown Montréal sparkle during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, February 23 to March 11.Ride an illuminated ice slide and Ferris wheel, play gamesand go curling, roast marshmallows over fire pits, listen to live music, marvel at the giant projections and interactive art of ILLUMINART and much more at the winter festival’s free outdoor site outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des spectacles. Check out the art brightening up the underground city linking downtown‘s Complexe Desjardins, Place Ville Marie, Place Montréal Trust and Centre Eaton during Art Souterrain. And on March 4, the whole city gets in on the Nuit Blanche celebrations, with activities and entertainment for all ages, all night long.   Une publication partagée par Espace pour la vie (@espacepourlavie) le 15 Févr. 2016 à 14h14 PST Toddlers and pre-schoolers Thrill younger kids with the antics of lynx, otters,… / Read More →

Blockbuster winter and spring 2017 Montréal museum exhibitions

Famed Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier and legendary Canadian photographer William Notman take centre stage in blockbuster exhibitions at Montréal museums this winter and spring 2017. Chagall: Colour and Music at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the largest exhibition ever devoted to Marc Chagall (1887-1985) in Canada, featuring some 500 works and documents—paintings, collages, watercolours, sculptures, stained glass windows and ceramics—which show how Chagall’s aesthetic and artistic world is imbued with music. The exhibition includes his creations for the stage, notably 40 rarely-seen costumes and sets for the ballets and operas Aleko (1942), The Firebird (1945), Daphnis et Chloé (1958) and The Magic Flute (1967). No less than famed art critic Robert Hughes called Chagall “the quintessential Jewish artist of the 20th century.” Chagall: Colour and Music runs from January 28 to June 11. After such a great adventure, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” seen by two million visitors in twelve cities over five years couldn’t end like this… As cherry on the cake, as a very early Christmas gift or as a 2017 good resolution, the @mbamtl is presenting a surprise return of the most incredible wedding moments by… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 9 to 15

The festive season truly fires up this week in Montréal – the city celebrates with outdoor events and markets brimming with local treats, Santa’s doing photo-op visits, The Nutcracker ballet graces the stage, along with Christmas concerts, a Leonard Cohen tribute and more. Festive fun outdoors In the heart of downtown, outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal glitters alongside Canada’s tallest Christmas tree outside Place des Arts – find locally made gifts and goodies, activities for kids, live music and more. While there, take a turn on the colourful 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie interactive outdoor art. Merry Montréal adds entertainment, a market, fire pits, films and warm drinks to the ambience of Old Montréal, and fireworks light up the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink on Dec. 10. Live music and circus, food and drink, weekend visits with Santa – and with friendly sheep and amusing elves too! – make Noël dans le Parc a must at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Over at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth go ice skating and tube sliding, snack on food truck fare and shop at the winter market. Find Santa and more seasonal things to do in our round-op of winter activities for… / Read More →

Blockbuster autumn 2016 Montréal museum exhibitions

The famed photographs of controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as those of William Notman, Canada’s most important 19th-century photographer, take centre stage in Montreal this autumn, alongside the 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal in a city that is an exciting and trailblazing global hub for contemporary art. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts blockbuster exhibition Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe deals with issues of gender, race and sexuality, and features Mapplethorpe’s famed photographs of New York’s underground BDSM scene, of which he was an active participant, as well as many celebrity portraits, including Richard Gere, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Deborah Harry and Mapplethorpe’s soulmate, punk-rock icon Patti Smith. In all, there are some 300 works on view, mainly black-and-white photographs but also colour prints, Polaroids and Mapplethorpe’s famed X, Y and Z portfolios, all three on display in their entirety: X shows S&M scenarios; Y, floral still lifes; and Z, nude portraits of African-American men. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition by clicking here. Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe continues to Jan. 22, 2017. Meanwhile, as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the McCord Museum presents Notman, A… / Read More →

See art among the skyscrapers in Montréal

A walking tour is probably the best way to get the sense of any city. But when you follow one of the many cool itineraries suggested by the folks at Art Public Montréal, you’ll get the best sense you can of Montréal’s artsy core. This is a city where culture shines year-round and in every detail, down to the amazing public art you can visit for free! So grab a map, your walking shoes and your camera, and explore this crop of art works among the skyscrapers of downtown Montréal. Monument à Sir Wilfrid Laurier (1953), created by Émile Brunet Did you know Brunet also designed the Canadian pavilion for the Exposition universelle in Paris in 1937? His portrait of the former prime minister that stands in Dominion Square represents Laurier’s successful union of western and eastern Canada, thanks to the symbolic use of the maple leaf. Note the bed of flowers, too, at Laurier’s feet: French lilies, Scottish thistles, English roses and Irish clovers mix to represent Canada’s four founding nations. Autoportrait (2012), created by Nicolas Baier Baier is a young and active artist whose works you can see at the nearby Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, as well… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 19 to 25

Montréal feels lively and carefree this week as the sun shines on family-friendly outdoor sports event Jackalope, the Fashion & Design Festival, the St-Laurent street fair, pretty parks and open-air bars, all with music and food to keep us going. Soak up summer Skateboarding, motocross, fixed gear biking, bouldering and a massive watergun fight await at JACKALOPE at Olympic Park, Aug. 19-21– but the family-friendly festival (kids 10 years and under get in free! And there’s a babysitting service!) isn’t only about extreme sports: chill out in a hammock, do some yoga, listen to live music from High Klassified, The Posterz and more artists, and eat great food from food trucks – later on, go to official after parties in Mile End. HOT AIR BALLOON SUNSET🎈#bucketlist #7yearani Une photo publiée par @sallysaleh le 15 Août 2016 à 17h23 PDT Slow down by swinging to the sound of musical art installation 21 Swings outside Place des Arts, or cruising along the Saint-Lawrence River on a laid-back brunch, afternoon or gourmet dinner cruise with Croisières AML. Or float above the city and countryside: hot air balloon and music festival International des Montgolfières Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu runs to Aug. 21 in nearby Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Play time Watch the final three days of the Rio 2016… / Read More →

What’s happening during Montréal’s Italian Week

Montréal will be honouring the beauty and diversity of Italy through music, culture, food and folklore at Italian Week, held August 5 to 14. The agenda includes an outdoor opera, a star-lit fashion show, classical and popular music concerts, a Fiat 500 car exhibit, a dessert contest and much more. Now boarding for la dolce vita! Food You can’t even mention Italy without thinking about the country’s cuisine. At 2 p.m. on August 14, Saint-Laurent Boulevard’s Shamrock Stage will turn into a buttery battlefield with the official Best Coda d’Aragosta Contest. Before your very eyes, master pastry chefs will be going head to head to impress a handpicked jury of discerning eaters. Rest assured that once the deliberations are over, the flaky creations will be available for you to sample! But if it leaves you still feeling hungry, try one of these fantastic pizzerias or authentic Italian restaurants. Meanwhile, the Ateliers & Saveurs culinary school in the Old Port will be offering several cooking classes and wine tastings inspired by the flavours of Italy. Treat your taste buds while feasting your eyes on their fantastic heritage space! Culture If there’s an exhibit you should check out this week, it’s Pompeii. Running… / 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 →