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2015 guide to Montréal summer music festivals

It’s beginning to sound a lot like summer in Montréal, as evidenced by the almost paralyzing array of music festival options – Osheaga, the Jazz Fest, Piknic Electronik, MUTEK and Heavy Montréal among them – featuring failsafe mainstays and some righteously exciting newbies. Getting wired and being plugged-in don’t always mean the same thing, but you can certainly do both in style at digital arts festival Elektra. From May 13 to 17, Elektra showcases new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, gaming and more, in combination with the inventive use of next-level digital technologies. Conversely, bringing music fun back to the basics is the annual Pouzza Fest of all things punk rock, May 15-17. Steadily making a bigger and badder name for itself over the last five years, Pouzza returns with over 200 punk bands that span generations of punk fans, including 80s punks the Dwarves, Chicago hardcore unit 88 Fingers Louie, and L.A. pop punks The Muffs. Summer is synonymous with picnics, and summer in Montréal has become synonymous with Piknic Electronik, the wildly popular weekly outdoor electronic music dance party. Typically held in Parc Jean-Drapeau (on Île Ste-Hélène, across from Montréal’s Old Port), this year’s Piknic Electronik… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal summer festival guide

With every major summer festival and event in Montréal comes the impetus for a holiday getaway in our great city. The F1 Grand Prix du Canada, MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, the Jazz Festival and Osheaga, for example, are but drops in a whole bucket of fun awaiting all ages and tastes in the coming weeks and months. Blue Metropolis Montréal International Literary Festival (April 20-26) The theme at Blue Met this year is “The Power of Words,” and this large-scale celebration of reading and writing across cultures once again brings in a raft of heavy hitter authors and literary-minded figures for readings, discussions and other special events. ELEKTRA (May 13-17) ELEKTRA is a yearly digital arts festival showcasing new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, design, gaming and interactive installation in combination with the innovative use of new technologies, and, in particular, those of the digital kind. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 21 to June 4) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this ninth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Chromatic (May… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Laurent Saulnier

Laurent Saulnier is arguably one of Montréal’s most powerful musical tastemakers. It’s a notion that would doubtless make the amiable and unassuming Vice-President of Programming and Production for three of the city’s largest festivals – MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and Les FrancoFolies – erupt in a fit of his signature laughter. Saulnier began working for the festivals 15 years ago after sharpening his skills as a music connoisseur at French-language alt-weekly Voir where he was music editor. Now Saulnier applies those same discerning tastes to the selection of the hundreds of artists of all genres who perform at the festivals’ indoor and outdoor stages. He is, in short, the VP of your good time. Job: Vice-President of Programming and Production at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and Les FrancoFolies. What exactly do you do? “I’m responsible for all the stages and what’s on those stages, both indoors and outdoors. So it’s about choosing the artists, but it’s also about the lights, the sound and everything that’s on the stages themselves.” What’s the coolest thing about your job? “The coolest thing is being able to bring new faces, new talent, new… / Read More →

Guide to the 2014 Montreal International Jazz Festival

The 35th edition of the Montreal International Jazz Festival lights up the city with hundreds of live music concerts, June 26 to July 6. Let our festival guide lead the way through some of the fest’s top-billing sweet sounds and an array of dining, shopping, late-night entertainment, and family-friendly options too…

Experience Some Jazzy #MTLMOMENTS in Toronto on May 9-11

Attention Torontonians: if you happen to be walking by Queen & Soho this weekend in Toronto, make sure to stop by our Jazz Fest inspired #MTLMOMENTS experience and catch some live music, great food, free lemonade, and maybe even win a trip to Montreal…

Tune in to the 2013 Montreal International Jazz Festival

Famed American composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, whose 1959 album Time Out was the first jazz record to sell over a million copies, did what was the unthinkable for a good many jazz musicians of his era: he lived a long, very long, life. Brubeck, who played the Montreal International Jazz Festival no less than 14 times, went to the great jazz club in the sky last December just shy of his 92nd birthday, and only six months after his final Jazz Fest appearance. This 34th edition of the Jazz Fest is dedicated to his memory…

Free Things to Do in Montreal in June

Beautiful weather combined with Montreal’s many festivals means June is a month packed with free events, especially when it comes to live jazz, folk, classical and rock music, along with theatrical performances and outdoor activities in all corners of the city…

C2-MTL 2013: Commerce, creativity, culture and cool

In Montreal, C2 stands for commerce and creativity, as in C2-MTL, an annual gathering of leading innovators from a broad spectrum of industry who have but one thing on their minds: finding creative answers to commercial questions. And, especially this year, C2 also stands for culture and cool…

Spring and summer fun in the Quartier des spectacles

As spring begins on a particularly warm and summery note, Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles, the centre of downtown’s arts and cultural district, becomes the hub of Montreal’s many festivals and free outdoor shows, and a welcome gathering space for Montrealers and visitors alike…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER 5-11

The Thanksgiving long weekend in Montreal features many things to be thankful for, and food is naturally among them. But on top of all the good meals Montreal provides, this week brings a film festival, world-class dance, theatre and art, a massive dance party, and lots of live jazz, rock and more…