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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 →

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 →

Spring Break for families

Whether your kids want to get out in the snow or play games indoors, find fun, memorable and even free things to do for every kid at every age during Spring Break in Montréal, February 27 to March 6. Free for the whole family Downtown Montréal sparkles during MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, February 18 to March 5, especially at the winter festival’s free outdoor site outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des spectacles – ride an illuminated ice slide and Ferris wheel, play games and activities, roast marshmallows over fire pits, see music and circus performances and much more. On February 27, let the kids stay up late for all-nighter event Nuit Blanche, with indoor and outdoor activities and entertainment for all ages. Check out the art brightening up underground passageways linking downtown Montréal skyscrapers and malls (Complexe Desjardins, Place Ville Marie, Place Montréal Trust, Centre Eaton) during Art Souterrain. Outdoors, walk, run, snowshoe or cross-country ski in the city’s big parks – Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau – on March 2 watch the world’s top cross-country skiers compete in Ski Tour Canada 2016, with Mount Royal’s Beaver Lake Pavilion the start and finish point. And explore nature beyond the city centre at the… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal January 8 to 14

The year is already off to a bold start in Montréal with snow-bright outdoor entertainment to play with and dance to, the Happening Gourmand restaurant fest, internationally acclaimed dance, theatre and film, and live music from Tchaikovsky to Mark Farina. Snow days With memories of 2015 fading it’s time to make some new ones. Montreal brightens up your winter with all kinds of activities and entertainment in the coming months. Play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31, with animated digital art projections throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. If you love to dance and love being outdoors, get yourself to Igloofest, Montreal’s biggest winter electronic music festival, at Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port, opening January 14 with music by Bonobo, Lunice, Heron Preston and more. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, or skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, with happy hour every evening. On the ice at the Bell Centre, the Montréal Canadiens take on the Penguins on January 9 and the Blackhawks on January 14. Seek out warmth and art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain and Galerie… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 1 to 7

A new year, a new week – welcome to 2016 and welcome to Montréal! The genuine joys of the holiday season continue into this week at excellent restaurants and bars, outdoor markets, museums and music venues, and out on the streets and ice rinks of the city. New Year’s eats We could technically still call this “the holidays,” and many of the restaurants in our guide to holiday menus in Montréal do! From six-service table d’hôtes to classic French fare, welcome in the New Year with an excellent meal or two. Celebrate your love of wine and good food at these 10 wine-devoted restaurants. Get your fill of Peking Duck and dumplings on New Year’s Day at these Chinese food restaurants open over the holidays. If a burger and fries is your comfort food, get back to basics with these 5 must-try burgers. And since a vacation isn’t enough time to try everything Montréal’s cuisine scene has to offer, bring these made-in-Montréal treats home and pack a bottle of celebratory Québec-made alcohol, whether it’s gin or sparkling cider. Rewarding resolutions If you’re prone to making New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to follow through on the fun ones in Montréal: skydive… / Read More →

Must-see 2016 Montréal museum exhibitions

Several blockbuster exhibitions will be on display at Montréal museums in 2016. Here are some choice picks: The much-anticipated POMPEII: A Roman City exhibition chronicles the life and death of Pompeii and neighbouring town Herculaneum, which were destroyed by the spectacular eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. By that time, Pompeii had become a wealthy playground for some of Rome’s most influential citizens. When the city was buried under several metres of volcanic rubble and lava, the city’s treasures were protected from the ravages of time. Some 250 years after Pompeii’s rediscovery, this exhibition features nearly 200 archaeological artifacts – statues in bronze and marble, mosaics, frescoes and decorative arts – that offer an extraordinary glimpse into daily life at the height of the Roman Empire. POMPEII: A Roman City runs at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts from Feb. 6 to Sept. 5. The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts will also present the massive Rethinking Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition about the iconic and controversial American photographer famous for his homoerotic male nudes and celebrity portraits, including Richard Gere, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono and his great friend Patti Smith. This exhibition features 250 works, mostly Mapplethorpe’s highly stylized black-and-white photographs, but also colour… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 25 to 31

During Christmas week, Montréal slows down, a peaceful quality permeating the air – of course, restaurants and bars still serve up fantastic fare, art and cultural activities abound for kids and adults alike, skating rinks and winter villages bustle, and by New Year’s Eve everyone is ready to party like it’s 2016. Dazzling food and drink Montréal knows that the pleasure and comfort of excellent meals and marvelous drinks is essential to the holiday season. Our guide to holiday menus in Montréal takes you around the city to discover the best in seasonal eating, from six-service table d’hôtes to classic French fare. Also peruse our guide to Restaurants open on Christmas Day for more first-rate feasting options. Add the unique quality of Québec-made alcohols to your holiday cocktails: try gin, vodka, ice wine, ciders and more made by Canadian distilling experts with a flare for flavour. And wine lovers should get cozy at these 10 wine-devoted restaurants. If you’re dining with a big family or friends, look into a private dining room experience. And if your holiday tradition involves Peking Duck and dumplings, let us show you where to eat Chinese food on Christmas and New Year’s. On the other hand, sometimes you just need a… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 18 to 24

In the week leading up to Christmas a lot of us are either rushing around getting things done or winding down at last – whether you need to go gift shopping or just want to relax at a show, there’s plenty to do in Montréal right up to Christmas and beyond. Merry days and nights Celebrate the season in season in Montréal style at Merry Montréal throughout Old Montréal where you can warm up at fires, drink free hot chocolate, see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more. Over at downtown’s Place des festival, let the kids loose and your inner child play at the glittering Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal outdoors on the Esplanade of Place des Arts. Also outdoors at Place des Arts, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie, on until January 31 along with animated digital art projected onto nearby buildings and throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. And Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) with activities and music on weekday evenings and in the afternoon and evenings on weekends to December 25. More holiday fun For hours… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal December 11 to 17

This is the week when it really and truly begins to feel a lot like Christmas – whether snow falls or not, the streets are aglitter with seasonal festivities. Go shopping for gifts, play on interactive public art, see The Nutcracker and more on stage, and hear music from choirs to rock bands. Sparkling streets Follow the glittering lights and happy people to Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, a colourful new outdoor winter market right downtown at the Place des Arts Esplanade, December 12 to January 2, where not only can you find great presents but plenty of activities, entertainment and food and drink for the whole family. Montréal celebrates the season all around the city: 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; in the Plateau at the Marché de Noël Prince Arthur along Prince Arthur Street starting at the corner of Boulevard St-Laurent see performances, watch films, shop and sample treats; Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) and Parc Lahaie (Saint-Laurent Boulevard at Saint-Joseph) with activities and live… / Read More →