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Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 13 to 19

Montréal offers a feast for the senses this week, with new films set on earth and in the sky, high-energy sports and video gaming, drama and dance, cutting-edge visual art and local artisanal creations, and a seemingly endless amount of live music. On-screen adventure Hundreds of new documentary features and shorts from around the world come to Montréal screens this week during the 18th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM), November 12 to 22 – along with so many eye-opening films on subjects ranging from war and refugees to environmental issues and government reform, go to talks by directors, actors and film industry members, special events and more. Catch the newest in French-language films (with English subtitles, bien sûr) at the CINEMANIA festival until November 15, including Jacques Audiard’s Dheepan and the premieres of Floride by Philippe Le Guay Marguerite et Julien by Valérie Donzelli and Je suis mort mais j’ai des amis by Stéphane and Guillaume Malandrin. As well, at the Phi Centre, see David Oelhoffen’s Loin des Hommes, November 16 to 18, an adaptation of a short story by Albert Camus and starring Viggo Mortensen. The Éléphant Classiq festival honours Québec cinema masterpieces, November 19 to 22, opening… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: P.K. Subban

At only 26 years of age, Montréal Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban has already taken his place amongst the most beloved hockey players ever to wear the Habs jersey. Recently, he endeared himself even more deeply to his fellow Montrealers with a $10 million pledge to the Montréal Children’s Hospital. We caught up with the colourful and charismatic Subban at the launch of his new website, at newly opened upscale nightclub École Privée, the day after the Habs set a franchise record by going unbeaten in the opening five games of the season, the first time in club history. Not everyone is as comfortable with celebrity as you are. Why is it important to break down the barrier that celebrity creates and, as you say you want to do with your website, connect with fans? “Because I know that, as a kid growing up, if I had had the opportunity to connect with someone who I looked up to in professional sports, I hope that they would have given me the time or given me some way of connecting with them. Everything I do, I always put myself in the fan’s shoes and what they would expect and what they would… / Read More →

Montréal Canadiens 2015-16: By the numbers

The unbridled pride and unconditional love for Montréal’s professional hockey team, the Montréal Canadiens (known affectionately to fans as the “Habs”) is deeply woven into the fabric of the city. And with the 2015-16 National Hockey League (NHL) season set to kick off on October 7, Montréalers will once again be wearing their hopes for the Habs on their tightly knit sleeves. So let’s look at the Habs, and the city they call home, by the numbers. 24 The number of championship Stanley Cups the most storied team in the NHL have to their credit. ’Nuff said. 21,273 The number of hockey-crazy fans for each home game at the Bell Centre, which boasts the most electric atmosphere in the NHL courtesy of one of its most exciting teams. 10 Years of consecutive sold-out home games since the Canadiens moved to the Bell Centre from the former epicentre of Habs hockey awesomeness in the city, the Montréal Forum. The Montréal Forum is now an imaginatively repurposed entertainment, business and resto complex that pays innovative tribute to its former self. 41 Regular season home games that make Montréal vibrate for six months from October until April. It’s not uncommon to see players… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer…Marie-Pier Veilleux, owner of Brasserie Harricana

Brasserie Harricana first opened its doors in Amos in 1975. Now, 40 years later, Marie-Pier Veilleux, a young entrepreneur, has breathed new life into the family business, this time in Montréal. Chairs, tables, lights and the cold storage room door were recuperated from the old brasserie and are now part of the décor of this convivial new restaurant. The concept for the brasserie is based on meal-and-beer pairings. Marie-Pier and her associate Cynthia Santamaria offer clients an array of beers to choose from. They have over 40 types of beer on tap in addition to a selection of Québec ciders, cocktails as well as American rum spiced with boreal herbs. The menu, for its part, features an array of dishes that lean toward “family” or “bistro” cuisine. The musts, unquestionably, are the spaghettini with meat, the whole chicken roasted on a beer can (for two) and the Queen Elizabeth cake served with creamy caramel. With yumminess like this, who wouldn’t want a seat at this brasserie? It’s open every day from noon to 2 a.m. And with the arrival of summer, it also offers thirst-quenching lemonades to sip on its new outdoor patio!    Why did you decide to start your… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 1 to 7

Feel your appetite being whetted? That’s because the food trucks are back! Outdoor life returns in full swing this week as the sun shines its heat on the city’s parks, bike paths and terrasses. But keep your evenings free: there are enough shows going on to fill two lifetimes. Spring is in the air You know it’s spring when you see your first food truck! May 1 marks the time for foodies to celebrate the great thaw with a sampling of what’s out there. Whether its tacos, poutines, grilled cheeses or salads, check out our list, and don’t miss a beat! Other reasons to celebrate (besides the Montréal Canadiens being in the hockey playoffs, which you should watch from these hot spots) include the reopening of the bike paths all over the city, the amazing jogging trails that are just waiting for you to enjoy and the millions of fun activities for the whole family happening over the next couple of months. Avid shoppers will want to stroll the streets for some made-in-Montréal style, thanks to this handy-dandy fashion map, whether you’re looking for jewellery or other goodies. And of course, every day is a good day for a drink on… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 9 to 15

As winter winds turn to balmy breezes, Montréal becomes the perfect place at the perfect time to spend a few hours exploring on foot and swinging (on art) outdoors as well as getting cozy inside with world-class dance, theatre, comedy and live music. Swing into Spring It’s easy to make your own music in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles this spring as the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation returns April 14 to May 31. The swings all make musical sounds – piano, guitar, harp or vibraphone – that create melodies as more and more people stop to swing along Promenade des Artistes (between De Maisonneuve Blvd. and President-Kennedy Ave.). More art that captures the city’s unique spirit from historical past to present can be found at several of Montréal’s museums and at the New Discoveries and Other Obsessions exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain, curated by the museum’s new director John Zeppetelli. Show time! Some of the best classical and modern ballet in the world graces the stage as Les Grands Ballets presents the Eifman Ballet in acclaimed Russian choreographer Boris Eifman’s passionate and psychologically complex Anna Karenina. With hockey playoffs just around the corner, catch the on-ice drama… / Read More →

Montréal pro-sports season round-up

It’s no accident that Montréal is home to one of the most legendary professional sports franchises in the history of pro-sports, the Montréal Canadiens. Montréalers are passionate about being, well, Montréalers, and love for the city’s sports teams and annual competitive events – the Canadiens, Alouettes, Impact, Rogers Cup and more – is DNA-deep in the identity of the city’s inhabitants. It’s a love that’s going to see its full expression over an action-packed pro sports schedule in 2015. The National Hockey League’s Montréal Canadiens (or “Habs,” from the French word “habitants”) are always the biggest sports story in town at this time of the year simply because we’re in the final stretch of the regular season. In decades past, now is when the Habs Nation would normally break out in a rash of collective anxiety. Not this year. Against pre-season expectations, The Habs are currently alternating for top spot in the NHL’s Eastern Conference, in large part due to the next-level net minding efforts of Carey Price, who’s spent a good part of the season writing the book on Zen and the Art of Goaltending Greatness. And despite a recent lapse in scoring, and a Western Conference road trip… / Read More →

A self-guided tour for the Montréal Canadiens faithful

Hockey in Montréal is, in a word, sacred. It’s an almost religious fervour that the Montréal Canadiens’ fans reserve for their beloved Habs, short for “Les Habitants.” Indeed, what other team has had a “Saint-Patrick” (Hall of Fame goaltender Patrick Roy) or a “Sainte-Flanelle” (referring to the team’s “holy” jersey)? So it is that hockey is deeply enmeshed in both the identity and history of Montréal, and for fans of Les Canadiens and hockey generally, the city offers unique opportunities for the faithful to undertake a pilgrimage of sorts. Time is always of the essence, and if you only have a weekend to explore Habs lore, the following two-day self-guided tour offers a chance to check out the team’s living history while hooking up with a few of the ghosts as well. Day 1: It’s only fitting that one would start at the epicentre of Habs hockey history for 70 years (1926-1996), the Montréal Forum, on the western edge of downtown at the corner of Atwater and Sainte-Catherine streets. Once referred to as “the most storied building in hockey history,” where some two dozen Stanley Cups were won, the original building is now an imaginatively re-purposed entertainment and resto complex that pays grand tribute… / Read More →

Montreal at your fingertips with the Family Pass

This holiday season, soaking up the beauty, culture and fun of Montreal as a family has never been so easy. Introducing the Family Pass, a specially designed travel package that makes all of Montreal’s family-oriented activities accessible and affordable…