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Must-see autumn 2015 Montréal museum exhibitions

There are several hot-ticket exhibitions on display at Montréal museums this autumn. Here are some choice picks: The George S. Zimbel: A Humanist Photographer exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has plenty of star power: The exhibition features seventy images from Zimbel’s collection and covers three years of his career: 1953, 1954 and 1955. The result of photographic commissions for magazines and personal projects, some of these photos have become iconic, such as his series on Marilyn Monroe shot in 1954 during the production of the film The Seven Year Itch by director Billy Wilder. With a camera in his hand since his teenage years, Zimbel’s New York street scenes reflect the social and economic climate of postwar America. “1953, ’54, ’55 — those were tense years,” says Zimbel, who has lived and worked in Montréal since the early 1980s. “I was in the U.S. Army in Germany working on the Rhine River, but on leave I was seeing Europe for the first time. Then back to New York to freelance for magazines, industry, any assignment, anywhere — New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Texas — I was on my own, shooting all the time, had to make a… / Read More →

A cultural autumn with Gino Chouinard

A Montrealer by adoption, Gino Chouinard admits to having discovered some of his favourite cultural spots in the city on Salut, Bonjour!, the TVA television program he has been hosting since 2007. It’s thanks to the show that he found out about Arsenal, a contemporary art gallery in Griffintown. “Since then, I often go to the gallery to see what’s new in the world of contemporary art,” he explains. “Being there affords me a nice break from my hectic work schedule. Arsenal is hip and very much in tune with local contemporary artists. Housed in a heritage building, which in itself is a work of art, the gallery is located in a fast-growing neighbourhood. It makes you feel like you’re in New York or London. Personally, I just love their Division Gallery.” Although he managed an art gallery for several years, Gino sometimes has a hard time understanding contemporary works. “I don’t always understand or love everything that’s exhibited at Arsenal, but I make a point of reflecting on the artistic process,” he adds. He also strives to share this understanding with his children, aged five and eight, when he takes them to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “When… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal Museums Social Calendar

This city’s cultural scene never sleeps, and a big part of that is thanks to museums. From all-night dance parties to weekend art classes for the kiddies, there’s always something going on in the fine arts! September • It’s time for your close-up: September 9 marks the opening of an exhibition of work by photographer George S. Zimbel at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. • Don’t miss the Nocturne at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, on Friday, September 11, 2015. The museum stays open late (till 2 am!), plus it features live bands or DJs, drinks, workshops and revelry. (Entry is free to MACarte holders.) • On September 13 at 1:30 pm, enjoy a lecture entitled The New Predators, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, featuring Mois de la Photo curator Joan Fontcuberta in conversation with the artists Joachim Schmid and Isabelle Le Minh. • Want to help your local contemporary museum while having the night of your life? Join Montréal’s jet-set scene at the annual Musée Ball, this September 19 at Arsenal. From ball gowns to foie gras, you’ll find it all here. • On September 22 at 5:30 pm, a lecture entitled Bach and His… / Read More →

Montréal Shows Off its incredible fall cultural calendar

We’re standing on the doorstep to September, and while we have lived and loved our gorgeous Montréal summer, we can’t wait for fall because the city’s got a cultural calendar that’s bursting with discovery. Looking for something to do? Let’s peruse just a sample of what Montréal’s got in store this autumn. Dance   The pleasure and passion of dance is everywhere this fall, from the lovely pirouettes and astonishing jetées of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal to the raw expressiveness of contemporary dance troupes like La La La Human Steps. Experience the seduction of salsa at the Salsathèque, the passion of flamenco, the amped-up energy of breakdance battles, or the fun of freestyling yourself! History The cooler weather tends to trigger a little nostalgia and introspection, and a great way to let it run its course is wandering through some of our halls of history. Whether you’re walking through the city’s past with the help of Montréal en histoires cutting-edge app, delving into stories of our communities at the McCord Museum or taking in an exhibition on the fascinating Aztec civilization at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, a trip back in time is great for reconnecting. Music Montréal’s music scene… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 31 to August 6

Montréal is on island time this week – Île Ste-Hélène time, to be exact, where Osheaga brings some of the world’s top musical acts to play in a beautiful park setting. That’s just the weekend though, and the fun doesn’t stop there: how about getting heebie-jeebies at Fantasia? Or shopping at Marché des Possibles? In Montréal in the summer, everything is possible. Sounds and sunshine A bucolic music and arts festival in beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, across the St. Lawrence from downtown Montréal on Île Ste-Hélène, Osheaga rocks the island from July 31 to August 2 with open-air shows by Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, NAS, Interpol, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, The Kills, Run the Jewels, First Aid Kit, A Tribe Called Red, Young Fathers, Sza, Milk & Bone and Cri – for starters. With stages every few feet and programming so richly packed there are always two acts you want to see at the same time, it’s a frenzy – especially on this, its 10th anniversary. So check out your survival guide here. Meanwhile, MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues until August 2, along the Main, on… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 24 to 30

Fantasia Film Festival sets the tone this week, with cool and captivating screenings that provide the perfect interlude to long days in the sun. There’s also great art to be seen, hilarious comedy, and live music galore – this is Montréal, after all. Festival offerings MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. The Just for Laughs comedy fest continues too until July 28, with chuckles courtesy of Dave Chappelle, Howie Mandel, Norm Macdonald, Neil Patrick Harris and Kevin Hart (for the first time in Montréal!) still to be had. Get your survival guide here. For more local comedy year-round, our guide to English comedy clubs is your starting point. Until August 1, Zoofest offers a counterpoint to Just For Laughs with a focus on Canadian comedians and some saucy burlesque in the mix. Fresh-air fun There’s no doubt, Montréal’s green spaces are an amazing place to park it. Catch the last couple of days of Twelfth Night… / Read More →

The must-see exhibitions this summer in Montréal

As the culturally vibrant town that it is, Montréal is host to large-scale exhibitions this summer. From the dreamy and glassy universe of David Altmejd to Rodin’s spectacular bronzes to the luminous photographs of Horst, the town beams with artistic brilliance.  David Altmejd’s Flux and Jon Rafman Be sure to catch Flux from David Altmejd at the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC). Through materials (e.g., plexiglass and mirrors), scale (of the massive kind), and fantastical iconography, this Montréal artist now based in New York City exposes his creative world of wonders. Breathtaking and fascinating, you can easily spend hours just examining the many facets of The Flux and The Puddle, an impressive and massive showcase of the artist’s wild ingenuity. Meanwhile, The Spectre and The Main, at once static and dynamic, recalls the discovery of the ruins of an enchanted civilization as described in Barjavel’s “La Nuit des Temps.” And what about those giant figures—somewhat exotic, somewhat decomposed, and totally extraordinary. Also at the MAC is Montréal artist Jon Rafman’s inaugural exhibition of new and recent works. Drawing inspiration from the Internet and video game culture, as well as from some particularly obscure sub-cultures of the web, he creates alienated environments… / Read More →

The Passeport MTL: a city pass that lets you save big at 14 major Montréal attractions

Following in the footsteps of other major North American and European cities, Tourisme Montréal will be launching the brand-new Passeport MTL pilot project during the month of June. The new city pass does double duty for visitors: not only does it allow them to save money at major Montréal attractions (up to 44% off the price of single tickets), but it makes getting around the city easier with built-in bus and metro fares. Two versions of the pass are available: the 24-hour pass at a cost of $64, and the 72-hour pass for $109. Discover major Montréal must-sees The Passeport MTL includes the price of admission for one adult (18 years and older) to a total of 14 of major city attractions. Pass holders can soak up tons of culture, history and more by flashing their pass at the following Montréal attractions: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Museum of History and Archaeology McCord Museum Grévin Montreal Museum (wax museum) Bateau-Mouche (cruises) at the Old Port Croisières AML (riverboat cruises) Casino de Montréal Saint Joseph’s Oratory of Mount Royal Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal Biodôme – Space for Life Botanical Garden – Space for Life Insectarium – Space for Life Rio… / Read More →

Deals and steals at Montréal museums

Montréal Museums’ Day is a great way for art-lovers on a budget to visit Montréal’s 38 museums for free in late May each year. But the city’s major museums also have many deals year-round to see blockbuster exhibits as well as their permanent collections. Here are some choice activities and deals for solo visitors as well as families on a budget: Family deals The oldest and busiest museum in Canada, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts schedules Family Weekends with children’s drop-in workshops and interactive tours of the collections, as well as lectures and film screenings in the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium. MMFA admission for children 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MMFA’s popular Museum Day Camps for children. The Musée d’art contemporain admission for children aged 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MAC’s popular Museum Day Camps for children.  The MAC also charges a flat-rate $30 admission for families (2 adults with children). The McCord Museum admission and activities are free for children aged 12 and under. On arrival at the McCord’s admissions desk, kids will get a free backpack (as long as quantities last) containing everything they’ll need for… / 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 →