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Light Up the Night at the Botanical Gardens

One of the brightest ides of fall in Montréal is the annual Gardens of Light event at the Botanical Gardens, which fills the Chinese and Japanese Gardens in our little piece of Eden with a multitude of jewel-coloured lanterns. The amazing thing is that every year is different, with whole new lanterns built around a new theme. This year is spectacular: the theme is the Son of Heaven, the Chinese Emperor, who sits at the centre of the main pond in the Chinese garden surrounded by bronze cranes and turtles. The story of the Emperor’s life unfolds all around him, as key moments of his years in Beijing’s Forbidden City such as his enthronement and his wedding are brought to illuminated life. The tale is made up of over 1,000 lanterns, designed here in Montréal and built by experts in China. Wander the meandering footpath around the pond, set ablaze in a million colours with delicate silk lanterns in the shapes of animals such as horses, tigers and bears, as well as otherworldly flowers and trees that interact with Mother Nature’s own works of plant art throughout the Chinese Garden. In the Japanese Garden, next door, the exhibition house is… / Read More →

Exhibition and walking tour celebrate Montréal’s fabled Golden Square Mile

The luxurious Edwardian-style homes in Montréal’s fabled Golden Square Mile and beyond are on display in the magnificent Montreal Mansions, 1974 – Photographs by Charles Gurd exhibition at the McCord Museum. Also bringing the past to life is the museum’s new Golden Square Mile historical walking tour, launched in conjunction with the exhibition. The Golden Square Mile is delineated by Pine Street (or the foot of Mount Royal), Guy Street, Sainte-Catherine Street and University Street.  Back in the day, (or the heyday, from about 1850 to 1930), this area was the seat of Montréal’s impressive wealth, and it wielded most of the country’s economic clout, thus inspiring the moniker of the “Golden” Square Mile. In 1974, Montréal architect Charles Gurd was given rare access to the mansions of Montréal’s moneyed elite – including the homes of the Redpaths, the Molsons and the Ogilvies – as the final generations of these families were preparing to move out of their grand homes. “The Golden Square Mile is part of the cultural heritage of Canada,” says Gurd. “It is evidence of a lifestyle at a time when Montrealers controlled over 85 per cent of the resources in Canada, at a time when the… / Read More →

The shadows and light of Orientalism at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Discover the gorgeous palette of Benjamin-Constant till May 31 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts during the exhibition Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, from Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in his time . This rediscovery of Benjamin-Constant (1845-1902), a major figure in Orientalist painting, deftly retraces a part of his works but also the ties between friends, styles and themes within his artistic circle in Toulouse (Laurens, Rixens, Debat-Ponsan), Spain (Fortuny, Tapiro, Cordero), Morocco (Regnault, Clairin) and with Eugène Delacroix. The exhibition also includes close to 250 works, including paintings by Orientalist painters such as Gérôme, Rochegrosse, Vernet-Lecomte or Dehodencq, contemporary Moroccan artists, Oriental objects, drawings, watercolours, prints, photographs, books, archives and other documents. A brilliant colourist, Benjamin-Constant treats viewers to a Byantine- or biblical-influenced slice of history. Some of the artist’s masterpieces, once considered too large to be transported, are here for the very first time, including the Sharifas, The Moroccan Caid Tahamy, The Harem, Judith, The Evening on the Terrace (Morocco) or The Favourite of the Emir. The visit is divided into six time frames, six emblematic Oriental places that straddle fictional account and documented reality. The first room, cozy and crimson, is a reconstruction of the Orientalist salon of the painter, a… / Read More →


Pop music, shaggy haircuts, screaming fans – all are iconically associated with The Beatles and all show up in a spangly new exhibition at Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Museum of Archaeology and History..