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Things to do in Montréal: July 8 to 14

As always, July in Montréal means innumerable things to do: amazing shows at the Jazz Fest, Cirque Festival and in parks throughout the city; a Saturday night of fireworks; a family-friendly weekend of global culture activities and music; films new and old; and good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll. Jazz Fest fun The Montréal International Jazz Festival takes over the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montréal with hundreds of outdoor and indoor shows, numerous food and drink options, a kids’ activity zone and more to July 9 – let our Survival Guide to the Jazz Fest and our list of must-see concerts lead the way through the fest’s packed program. This weekend’s music includes the Swedish indie-pop of Peter Bjorn and John, The Wainwright Sisters, Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds, Squirrel Nut Zippers, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, a Women of Soul tribute concert, brilliant NYC pianist Aaron Parks and his trio, and dozens of amazing free shows. On top of all that, take a jazz-focused tour on foot or by boat during the festival, including a walking tour on the city’s history of jazz from the 1920s to present day, July 9-10 starting at noon. See even more of the city sights… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: July 1 to 7

Music and more at Jazz Fest The Montréal International Jazz Festival takes over the Quartier des Spectacles in downtown Montréal with hundreds of outdoor and indoor shows, numerous food and drink options, a kids’ activity zone and more to July 9 – let our Survival Guide to the Jazz Fest and our list of must-see concerts lead the way through the fest’s packed program. This week’s music spans from legends Taj Mahal, Brian Wilson, Kool & The Gang and Oliver Jones to Rufus Wainwright’s operatic show, the incomparable Lauryn Hill, folk hero Ian Kelly,  Jireh Gospel Choir, blues guitarist David Gogo, Jamie Cullum, Orlando Julius & The Afrosoundz, Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and so many more. On top of all that, take a jazz-focused tour on foot or by boat during the festival, including a walking tour on the city’s history of jazz from the 1920s to present day, July 1-3 and 9-10 starting at noon. See even more of the city sights on a guided tour, public art tours and guided bike tours. For the full Montréal festivals scoop, see our 2016 summer festival guide and list of summer music festivals. Bright and beautiful Celebrate Canada Day on July 1… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 24 to 30

The city heats up with a bang at the massive Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations this Friday and Saturday, keeps sizzling with great food and drink at outdoor markets everywhere, and stays hot as the Montréal International Jazz Festival opens on Thursday. Outdoor celebrations The whole city celebrates Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, also known as Fête National, on June 24 – and on June 23 too! Find live music, food and general festivities at Place des Festivals, Jardins Gamelin and along St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles, at the Olympic Park and in every neighbourhood including at the Marché des Possibles in Mile End – plus the annual parade along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown starting at 1 pm on June 24. In the Old Port of Montréal, ride the zipline, climb on the rope structures of Voiles en Voiles, and find your way through the SOS Labyrinthe. At the foot of the Jacques-Cartier bridge you’ll find Marché du Village au Pied-du-Courant, featuring free music events, an outdoor bar, food trucks and more all summer. The Botanical Garden continues its outdoor arts series with live music on the weekend, this Sunday with Ingrid St-Pierre. When night falls in Old Montréal, the building’s facades light up with the 20… / Read More →

Your 2016 Montréal summer festival guide

We don’t know everything, but we know how to do a few things really well in Montréal, and two of them are festivals – like Osheaga, Fantasia, the Montreal Jazz Festival and Just For Laughs – and time off. And like wine and cheese, those two things happen to pair up really well. With this in mind, and with summer vacation time on the horizon, we offer you our Montréal summer festival guide. Chromatic (May 19-22) Chromatic is a celebration of Montréal imagination situated in the Old Port’s historic Hangar 16. The program features an eclectic range of arts – visual, digital, performance, interactive and more –at events including concerts, exhibitions, screenings, workshops, parties and activities for all ages.  Both Montréal and Toronto talents will be teaming up for this seventh edition. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 26 to June 8) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this tenth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Fringe Festival (May 30 to June 19) The Montréal Fringe Festival (known as “the party Fringe” on… / Read More →

Have a Mad Men guy’s weekend in Montréal

The show may be over, but Mad Men’s suits and sexiness – and some of the smoking and scandal too – live on not only in our memories (and on Netflix), but in retro style in Montréal. Tourisme Montréal’s tips for a classy weekend with the guys tap into that Mad Men aesthetic in clothes, restaurants, hotels, barbers, cigars and bars. Dress the part Update or refine your own style in Montréal at luxury retailers of designer suits and brand-name menswear Holt Renfrew, Ogilvy Monsieur and Harry Rosen downtown, or smaller boutiques like Tozzi on Crescent Street, L’Uomo Montréal and Giorgio on Peel Street, Philippe Dubuc on Saint-Denis Street, StockMarkt on Notre Dame Street West, WANT Apothecary in Westmount, and three hot Mile End retailers: Clark Street Mercantile, Les Etoffes and the storefront location of online success story Frank & Oak. If you’re in the market for a new suit, consult our guide to buying a suit in Montréal. Find soft and supple leather wallets, briefcases, bags and jackets at Rudsak on Mont-Royal Avenue and in Eaton Centre and at three central locations of M0851. For slimmer wallets, walk down to Winners in Place Montréal Trust off Sainte-Catherine Street for reduced prices on brand-name shirts, jackets,… / Read More →

Places to go dancing in Montréal

No matter what your taste in dance music, Montréal’s got you covered when it comes to shaking it off, breaking it down or getting your groove on. Dance in style to electro, hip hop, soul, top 40 and more any night of the week at the city’s best dance clubs. The big names in EDM show up at New City Gas, a converted factory that’s now a massive club for energetic party-goers. Nearby in Old Montréal, boutique-club Peopl. and subterranean lounge spot Velvet Speakeasy beckon with international and local DJs rubbing shoulders with the city’s beautiful people. And electronic and hip hop merge at one of the city’s newest and talked-about clubs, Newspeak, in downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles – dance to cutting-edge DJs, hip-hop artists, live indie-electro bands and more. Underground house, techno and dub in the style of the MUTEK music festival keep the grooves smooth and dancers happy at Le Bleury Bar à Vinyle, Salon Daomé in the Plateau on Mont-Royal Avenue and Datcha in Mile End. When last call at 3 a.m. just isn’t late enough and you’ve got plenty of dancing energy left, look no further than Stereo and Circus, two of the best world-class afterhours… / Read More →

Montréal Ignites with Summer Festival Fun

[Updated on June 27, 2016] Sunny days, high-energy nights and strikingly illuminated festival stages make the summer season bright in Montréal. The city ignites with a sparkling line-up of entertainment in July and August – get ready to laugh, dance, groove and be dazzled at these big festivals and more this summer. The one-and-only Montréal International Jazz Festival officially ignites the height of summer festival season June 29-July 9. Incredible talent graces historic night clubs and Place des Arts stages while downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles bustles with unmissable free outdoor shows, including on July 7: the farewell concert of one of the most pivotal figures in Montréal music: bona fide jazz great Oliver Jones. More music lights up the town as Festival International Nuits d’Afrique welcomes traditional and ground-breaking musicians from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and right here at home, July 12-24. Discover your new favourite indie, electronic and hip hop artists at MEG Montréal, July 21-31, and take a ride on the late-night MEG party boat. Osheaga Music and Arts Festival crams the biggest names and the brightest emerging artists in indie-pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music into three amazing days on Île Sainte-Hélène, July 29-31 – this… / Read More →

Montréal’s Best Jazz and Blues Clubs, Events and Festivals

During her Sin City era, Montréal was home to some of the hottest jazz clubs on the planet and a wide-open scene fuelled by Prohibition. Gamblers, racketeers and the world’s greatest entertainers all came to Montréal at a time when the city’s most renowned musical export was jazz icon Oscar Peterson. His protégé was another jazz legend, Oliver Jones, who first performed at the fabled Café St-Michel at the age of 10 in 1944. “It was across the street from Rockhead’s Paradise, which was the first black-owned club in all of Canada,” says Jones. “The St-Michel was a little rougher. Rockhead never let anything get out of hand although there was always pressure from authorities to close him down. But I remember playing in the St-Michel and saw a lot of what I wasn’t supposed to see – girly girls and strippers. But the people there, there was always someone looking out for me.” Today, Montréal still has a thriving jazz and blues scene with concerts in nightclubs by popular local musicians, as well as superstar headliners at the city’s jazz and blues festivals. Here is a sampling of some of the best Montréal has to offer: Montréal boasts a… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal Jazz Fest Survival Guide

Your survival is important to us. Not surviving means not getting maximum enjoyment out of your visit to the Montréal International Jazz Festival’s 36th edition, and nobody wants that. To this end, we’ve devised a Jazz Festival Survival Guide that will eliminate, we hope, any uncertainties while breathing even more life into your festival experience. EVENT Montréal International Jazz Festival, June 26 to July 5, 2015 WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO In a nutshell, more amazing music and fabulous fun than should be legally allowed. From June 26 to July 5, Montréal’s downtown Quartier des spectacles hosts the largest Jazz Festival in the world. Get ready for 10 eye-widening and ear-pleasing days of ticketed indoor concerts – which this year features can’t miss blue-chip artists such as the Steve Miller Band, Erykah Badu, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Huey Lewis and The News, and Dee Dee Bridgewater among many others – and approximately 350 free outdoor shows and activities that draw around 2 million visitors every year. Don’t be surprised if, when you go to enter the festival site, someone asks to look in your bag. This is for your safety and that of others to ensure that nothing dangerous or disallowed makes… / Read More →

Nine must-see shows at the Montréal International Jazz Festival

A comprehensive list of this year’s can’t-miss concerts at the Montréal International Jazz Festival could put some heavy mileage on the eyes. For the sake of your continued good vision, dear reader, we’ve shortened that to a very manageable 9 essential shows, a number of which are among the 350 free concerts and activities on offer from June 26 to July 5. In chronological order… Steve Miller Band (June 26) With quintessentially ’70s, classic rock songs such as Fly Like an Eagle, Take the Money and Run and Rock’n Me, the Steve Miller Band will time warp fans to another era. And with 15 albums under its belt, the hits will keep coming Floyd Mayweather style. (Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier) Beirut (June 26) World-travelling, indie-folk rockers Beirut (Eastern European influences meet French pop with sojourns in Mexico and other warm locales) will open their latest tour with this outdoor Jazz Festival appearance, which will tease the September release of the new album No No No. (TD Stage – FREE) Erykah Badu (June 29) In a festival first, the Queen of Neo-Soul herself will be building a monument to jazzy R&B in Salle Wilfred-Pelletier where her lucky subjects may be afforded an opportunity… / Read More →