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Your 2016 Osheaga survival guide

No one goes to the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival to get away from it all. They go to have it all: the spectacular sights, the tantalizing wealth of tastes and smells (most of them anyway), the feel of summer on your skin. And, of course, the many, many amazing musical sounds. It’s an immersive sensory bath that is designed to overwhelm, albeit in a good way. Consider the following tips and helpful hints your guide to maximizing your time at Canada’s most unique outdoor concert event. Event The 11th edition of Osheaga, July 29 to 31. Doors open at 11 am and performances begin at 1 pm. Performances end at 11 pm. What you’re getting into A bucolic music and arts festival in beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, across the St. Lawrence from downtown Montréal, Osheaga unites some of the world’s best acts at an open-air site. From July 29 to 31, get ready to party to live performances by Brit-rock royalty Radiohead, hip-hop pioneers Cypress Hill, hometown indie-rock phenomenon Half Moon Run, the inexplicably popular Lumineers, funk-rock icons Red Hot Chili Peppers, original indie hipsters Death Cab For Cutie, the very deservedly much-loved Lana Del Ray – and sooo muuuuch… / Read More →

What to do on Canada Day in Montréal

Sure, Montréal has oodles of European charm, but in its heart of hearts, it really is Canadian. On July 1, tourists and locals will come together to celebrate Canada Day with an array of events to choose from across the city. Between the official ceremonies, a multicultural parade, star-studded musical performances, evening parties and a fireworks display, you’ll have plenty of fun to choose from as you immerse yourself in all things Canadian. Celebrate with the family “From east to west… Happy Canada Day” is the theme of this year’s celebration and people will have plenty of fun and free activities to enjoy in the Old Port and the Bonsecours Basin Park. Fun guaranteed! The celebrations start with pomp and circumstance at 11 a.m., with an official ceremony that includes the swearing in of new Canadians, the raising of the flag and the Canadian Armed Forces Military Band playing. At noon, there will be a 21-cannon salute and, for people with a sweet tooth, the chance to have a piece of giant birthday cake. Come afternoon, there will be a host of activities to choose from. In the Canada Tent, history buffs can take a history tour of the Canadian… / Read More →

Your 2016 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day survival guide

HAPPY SAINT-JEAN! If you’re in Montréal over the weekend of June 24, you’re in luck – everyone will be celebrating with you. Québec’s national holiday, named after St. John the Baptist (the patron saint of French Canadians), is celebrated in Montréal with everything from neighbourhood parties with outdoor jams and community picnics to a parade and a giant, no-holds-barred free music show. It’s all great fun, but it can be overwhelming! So because we want you to have the best time ever this June 23 and 24, we’ve devised this Saint-Jean-Baptiste Survival Guide – it’ll help you ensure you’re prepped and ready to celebrate Saint-Jean like a local. Event Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, celebrated on June 23 and 24, 2016 What you’re getting into A city-wide, family-friendly celebration on both the grassroots, neighbourhood level and the municipal one. Neighbourhoods that have great all-day outdoor activities worth wandering through include Villeray (check out De Castelneau street between De Gaspé and Drolet for free musical performances), Hochelaga-Maisonneuve (the Olympic Stadium Plaza is animated with activities for the whole family), the Plateau (especially around Lafontaine Park), Rosemont (Pelican Park is the hot spot) and Chinatown (in and around Sun Yat Sen Place). The live show… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 20 to 26

Outdoor life in Montréal heats up this week with the arrival of festivals and more activities – many of them free! – from multimedia projections on Old Montréal buildings to urban art by the river and live music and dance downtown. Sunny days, bright nights A new urban multimedia experience awaits visitors in Old Montréal and the Old Port: the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire are projected on the walls, in the alleys, on the ground and in the trees of the historic quarter, featuring images, dialogue and music that reveal some of the city’s most fascinating history. Also in the Old Port, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music rocks under the high ceilings of Hangar 16, May 20-22, with free art exhibitions, interactive installations and live music during the day – the space transforms into a club at night. Under the big top nearby, Cirque du Soleil’s newest artistic and acrobatic LUZIA, inspired by the culture of Mexico, thrills to July 17. In Griffintown/Little Burgundy, one-of-a-kind creative business event C2 Montréal takes over the Arsenal gallery space May 24-26. Over in the Quartier des Spectacles, go on a guided walking tour of public… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal May 13 to 19

We’re already feeling the summer hype here in Montréal this week, with cutting-edge outdoor entertainment, farmers’ markets, walking tours and more fun under the sun, while our indoor venues light up with fabulous food and fashion, dynamic circus and drama, inspiring art and live music. Open-air entertainment The Quartier des Spectacles’ Jardins Gamelin officially opens for the season, offering a park-like atmosphere, delicious food (some from gourmet food trucks) and free entertainment in the heart of downtown near Berri-UQAM metro station. Take a picturesque guided walking tour of the Quartier des Spectacles – see public art, learn some of the city’s history, and stroll by and take a swing on interactive musical art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts. Walk around the city’s public markets, full of colourful fruits and veg, local meats and cheeses, full meals and delicious desserts. One step away from being outdoors, the must-see Chromatic festival of urban art and music kicks off on May 19 under the high ceilings of Hangar 16 in the Old Port, with art exhibitions, interactive installations and Afrobeat electro music by Pierre Kwenders. And under the big top nearby, see Cirque du Soleil’s newest… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 29 to May 5

Montréal puts some spring in everyone’s step this week with Cirque du Soleil’s newest show in the Old Port, food trucks out and about, spring fashions for sale, and nighttime entertainment from ballet and contemporary dance to film and theatre, classical music, indie rock and metal. Walk and roam See the springtime sights at a slower pace by taking a walk: take the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal past museums, restaurants and shops; head downtown to try your hand at making music on art installation 21 Swings, located on de Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts; or take the metro east to the Space for Life to walk around the blooming Botanical Garden or the Biodôme, currently celebrating Bird Fest. Indoors, there’s plenty of ground to cover at the Montréal Science Centre and Pointe-à-Callière archaeology museum. See Minor League Soccer team the Montréal Impact on the pitch with the Colorado Rapids at Saputo Stadium on April 30. And find more places to go in our free things to do in Montréal guide, whether this is your first time here or your tenth. Spring shopping Find fashion, beauty and health products, food items, travel ideas and more at over 300 exhibitors… / Read More →

Forty reasons to celebrate the 40 years since the 1976 Summer Olympics

It was one of the most pivotal periods in the history of the city. For two weeks in July, Montréal held the attention of the world as the host city for the 1976 Summer Olympics, which would live on in sports history as one of the most memorable presentations of the Games ever. Now, in 2016, Montréal is preparing to mark this milestone moment with an appropriately epic commemoration featuring 40 events celebrating the 40 years since the Olympics captured our imagination. The 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal were the very first Summer Olympics hosted by Canada (and following two Winter Olympics in Calgary and Vancouver, remain the only Summer Games to take place here). Among the many highlights: 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci held the world in thrall, scoring seven perfect 10s on the way to winning three gold medals. Bruce Jenner set a world record with his gold medal performance in the decathlon. And after breaking his right knee during the floor exercise, Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto hid the injury during the rings event and somehow managed to stick a perfect dismount thus securing gold for the Japanese team. We could go on… Montréal will pay tribute to these… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: October 2 to 8

Montréal welcomes fall with invitingly crisp weather and a packed cultural season: this week sample the gourmet goods of the city’s food trucks, watch the world’s newest films at the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, wonder at the National Ballet of Canada, see multimedia art outdoors, hear dozens of live bands, and more. Urban culture Eat well and often at Montréal’s First Fridays, a.k.a. Les Premiers Vendredis – the last food truck rally of the season! The family-friendly food and entertainment event happens October 2 at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Stadium, from 4 pm to 11 pm. Nearby at the Insectarium at Space for Life see the high-tech Bearers of Light exhibition and take an evening walk through the Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Light event, illuminating the Chinese and Japanese gardens with dozens of lanterns and light art. Downtown, make music as you swing on the colourful 21 Swings interactive art (and exercise) installation at Place des Festivals on de Maisonneuve Avenue, to October 28. Also in the Quartier des Spectacles, at the SAT dive into Québécois French culture and literature at Le Buvard event on October 7 and try the gourmet FoodLab’s Autumn Tasting Menu on… / Read More →

Montréal’s healthy appetite for the Alouettes

Pro football in Montréal, both on and off the field, is typically far from boring. This year is no exception for the city’s Canadian Football League (CFL) franchise, the Montréal Alouettes, as the team hits the halfway point of the regular season and readies for a drive sure to satisfy football-hungry (and hungry football) fans. While the Als may be down in the overall CFL standings at the moment, the beauty of the Canadian game is that rebounding teams can remain in contention, so look for the Als to deliver on the promise of an exciting second half to the season. And the fun won’t just be on the field. In 2015, much of the focus off-field has been on the fans, with a number of new events and activities designed with the overall game-day experience in mind. Starting with stomachs. Football? Foodball! While home field Percival-Molson Stadium, nestled into the side of Mount Royal, provides for a dramatic setting complete with scenic views of the city, it doesn’t lend itself well to traditional NFL-style tailgate parties for the simple reason that there are no sprawling concrete lots in which to park your pickup. A good thing. It’s inspired a… / 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 →