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Things to do in Montréal: October 21 to 27

Spend these crisp, bright Montréal days in colourful urban parks and Oktoberfest celebrations, diving deep into Björk’s virtual reality universe, at a playful weekend festival for kids, and taking in all kinds of new dance, theatre and live music. Colours of fall Explore the beauty and history of Old Montréal and downtown on a public art walk among the skyscrapers and in multimedia tour Cité Mémoire. Or walk among the changing leaves in the city’s quaint neighbourhoods and big parks and at Montréal’s Botanical Garden , hosting the family-friendly Great Pumpkin Ball and Gardens of Light lantern exhibition. From toys to TV shows and technology, Montréal KidCon keeps kids interested and entertained Oct. 22-23 at Stade Uniprix in Jarry Park. On Oct. 21, drink local brews, eat local foods and play silly games at Oktoberfest in the outdoor biergarten of the Olympic Stadium Esplanade. Find bright new designer clothing and accessories for an amazing deal at Braderie de mode Québécoise Oct. 20-23. And cheer in the hockey season as the Montréal Canadiens face the Flyers on Oct. 24 and the Lightning on Oct. 27 at the Bell Centre, while in the CWHL Les Canadiennes de Montréal take on Toronto on Saturday and Sunday. L’exposition Björk Digital est maintenant amorcée à @dhc_art! Jusqu’au 12 novembre, visitez… / Read More →

Blockbuster autumn 2016 Montréal museum exhibitions

The famed photographs of controversial American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, as well as those of William Notman, Canada’s most important 19th-century photographer, take centre stage in Montreal this autumn, alongside the 2016 edition of La Biennale de Montréal in a city that is an exciting and trailblazing global hub for contemporary art. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts blockbuster exhibition Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe deals with issues of gender, race and sexuality, and features Mapplethorpe’s famed photographs of New York’s underground BDSM scene, of which he was an active participant, as well as many celebrity portraits, including Richard Gere, Andy Warhol, Yoko Ono, Deborah Harry and Mapplethorpe’s soulmate, punk-rock icon Patti Smith. In all, there are some 300 works on view, mainly black-and-white photographs but also colour prints, Polaroids and Mapplethorpe’s famed X, Y and Z portfolios, all three on display in their entirety: X shows S&M scenarios; Y, floral still lifes; and Z, nude portraits of African-American men. Get a behind-the-scenes look at the exhibition by clicking here. Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe continues to Jan. 22, 2017. Meanwhile, as part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations and the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the McCord Museum presents Notman, A… / Read More →

Double the love on a double-decker bus

No matter how deep the relationship, when we see the object of our love on a daily basis – whether it’s the cobblestone streets Old Montréal, the gravity-defying tilt of the Olympic Tower or the graceful silhouette of Mount Royal – we run the risk of taking them for granted. We’re happy to report that there is, however, a quick, red and rumbly fix for that: an authentic London double-decker bus tour. While visitors to Montréal can profit monstrously from bus tours – essentially a mobile city sampler pack that offers a taste of everything – they are also the ticket for Montrealers looking to reconnect. Take it from one who knows: there’s nothing quite like taking a tour on a vintage London double-decker bus for falling in love with Montréal all over again, for seeing the city through the eyes of a visitor, and feeling like a tourist in your own town. Hop-on Hop-off #MTLmoments Une photo publiée par Amélie St-Cyr (@astcyr) le 21 Juin 2016 à 14h43 PDT There are a variety of double-decker bus tours on offer from May through until the end of October. There are no-stop tours of varying lengths, night-time tours (highly recommended –… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: October 7 to 13

Enjoy the long weekend in Montréal as the leaves begin to fall and we turn our thoughts to big family dinners, apple picking, pumpkin pie and, because this is Montréal after all, a new season of arts and culture activities, from contemporary dance to Drake. Fall family time Canadian Thanksgiving stands for food, family and autumnal chilling out – read about all kinds of things to do and where to eat in our Thanksgiving Weekend guide. With a warm, sunny day in the forecast, why not start the weekend at the delightful and delicious First Fridays : fill up on food truck fare, drink local brews and listen to live music, Oct. 7 at Olympic Park. Nearby, explore the Botanical Garden’s Great Pumpkin Ball and beautiful Gardens of Light lantern exhibition, or tour the universe in animated film We Are Stars at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Montréal Space for Life. Downtown, discover urban public art in a walk among the skyscrapers. Watch the Montréal Allouettes take on Edmonton on Oct. 10 or Disney on Ice’s Dare to Dream at the Bell Centre, Oct. 12-16. Or go apple picking with Labonté. All that plus more free things to do this fall. Film and art Hundreds of excellent feature films and shorts – along with performances and parties – make the 45th Festival du nouveau cinéma a must for… / Read More →

Montréal’s Autumn 2016 opera, ballet and classical music season

Montréal’s Autumn 2016 cultural season has many treats in store for lovers of opera, ballet and classical music. International stars will grace Montreal’s finest stages, including Russian classical pianist Denis Matsuev; Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux; Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma; as well as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Montreal-born conductor and music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain recently named music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York beginning in 2020. The Opéra de Montréal launches their 37th season with a big-budget production of Guiseppe Verdi’s three-act masterpiece Aida, set in Ancient Egypt and first performed at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House in 1871. The Montreal production runs Sept. 17 to 24 and stars Russian soprano Anna Markarova as Aida and Bulgarian tenor Kamen Chanev as Radames. The orchestra will be lead by legendary American conductor Paul Nadler. “Aida is the grandest of grand operas, it is an inexhaustable part of the repertoire,” says Opéra de Montréal’s newly-appointed GM Patrick Corrigan. “Its humanity, its beauty, its context in terms of politics and history and art, is still so significant.” The Opéra de Montréal will follow-up Aida with a much-anticipated production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which runs Nov. 12 to 19, starring Canadian bass-baritone Gordon Bintner in the title role, as well as tenor… / Read More →

Free things to do this fall in Montréal

Montréal in the fall is a beautiful sight, and taking it all in can easily be done on a budget – free stuff abounds! Summery weather usually lasts through September and early October, meaning outdoor events and activities are plentiful. It’s always free to see the changing leaves, but Montréal’s got even more no-cost entertainment in store right through November. Outdoor life Take a walk from Parc Avenue into the relative wilderness of Mount Royal Park – climbing the stairs to the top is absolutely worth it for the view of downtown and the Saint Lawrence River. Even easier, a stroll through beautiful Parc La Fontaine, or hop on the metro to Parc Jean-Drapeau where riverside trails await – the park is also home to the Stewart Museum, free for kids 12 and under, and Biosphère Environment Museum, free for youth 17 and under. Explore Old Montréal at nightfall through multimedia smartphone tour Cité Mémoire, where images come alive on building facades. And walk around downtown and the Plateau to discover murals and more street art around every bend. Throughout September, find activities and entertainment at outdoor markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, and, until November, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port. On Sept. 11, watch athletes ride… / Read More →

“Robert Mapplethorpe: Perfection” at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe once famously said, “I am looking for perfection in form. I do that with portraits. I do it with cocks. I do it with flowers.” Now, 27 years after his death from AIDS-related complications in March 1989, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts celebrates everything Mapplethorpe in its new blockbuster exhibition Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe, which opens on Sept. 10 and continues to Jan. 22, 2017. Focus: Perfection is the first major North American retrospective of Mapplethorpe since Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center and CAC director Dennis Barrie were criminally charged with obscenity after the controversial Mapplethorpe exhibition The Perfect Moment opened at the CAC in April 1990 at the height of America’s Culture Wars. An eight-person jury eventually found the defendants not guilty, and the controversy itself figures in the MMFA’s new exhibition. “We did have Cincinnati in the back of our minds as we were putting this together,” says Diane Charbonneau, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Decorative Arts and Photography at the MMFA. “Cincinnati was a turning point in Mapplethorpe’s career, even though by then he had already passed away. Today we have a different reading of Mapplethorpe who used to say (about his… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal September 2 to 8

Summer doesn’t stop for September in Montréal. Rhroughout Labour Day weekend and well afterwards, outdoor events – from food festivals to lantern-lit garden walka – and all kinds of stage-and-screen entertainment keep going strong. Labour Day long weekend The last long weekend of summer is fittingly packed: we’ve got the inside scoop on what to do this Labour Day Weekend in Montréal – an array of activities for all ages, incuding live music, art gallery tours, a glittering evening walk through the Gardens of Light at the Botanical Garden, and excellent food at Festival YUL EAT all weekend and at First Fridays on Sept. 2. Hey, you can even make a final decision on dresses and place settings at Le Grand Salon Marions-nous wedding fair. Extended days of summer Swing to the sound of music installation 21 Swings outside Place des Arts, or take a laid-back brunch, afternoon or gourmet dinner cruise with Croisières AML on the Saint-Lawrence River. Have a wonderful meal on Montréal’s favourite terrasses, and check out the entertainment, food and drink at markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port and Les Jardineries at Olympic Park. And, Sept. 7-10, eat, drink, play games and dance to the beat of live music at outdoor festival OUMF on St-Denis Street downtown. On stage Kid… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 19 to 25

Montréal feels lively and carefree this week as the sun shines on family-friendly outdoor sports event Jackalope, the Fashion & Design Festival, the St-Laurent street fair, pretty parks and open-air bars, all with music and food to keep us going. Soak up summer Skateboarding, motocross, fixed gear biking, bouldering and a massive watergun fight await at JACKALOPE at Olympic Park, Aug. 19-21– but the family-friendly festival (kids 10 years and under get in free! And there’s a babysitting service!) isn’t only about extreme sports: chill out in a hammock, do some yoga, listen to live music from High Klassified, The Posterz and more artists, and eat great food from food trucks – later on, go to official after parties in Mile End. HOT AIR BALLOON SUNSET🎈#bucketlist #7yearani Une photo publiée par @sallysaleh le 15 Août 2016 à 17h23 PDT Slow down by swinging to the sound of musical art installation 21 Swings outside Place des Arts, or cruising along the Saint-Lawrence River on a laid-back brunch, afternoon or gourmet dinner cruise with Croisières AML. Or float above the city and countryside: hot air balloon and music festival International des Montgolfières Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu runs to Aug. 21 in nearby Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Play time Watch the final three days of the Rio 2016… / Read More →

Your ultimate 2016 guide to Montréal’s many summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the impending warming of the weather. It’s also when the city is beset by a veritable onslaught of amazing music festivals, everything from Osheaga to the Jazz Fest, and from MUTEK and Île Soniq to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree. For four sunny, summery months, Montréal is truly a music lover’s paradise. 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 series runs every weekend from May 22 until Oct. 2. To see their 2016 programming, check here after May 10. Speaking of living life on the edge, it doesn’t get more musically adventurous than the annual Suoni Per Il Popolo festival, June 2-20. The now 16-year-old brainchild (brainteen?) of the founders of leading indie music scene venues Casa del Popolo and Sala Rossa, Suoni Per Il Popolo presents approximately 50 concerts featuring an eclectic range of experimental and avant-garde music and sound (think free jazz, musique actuelle, avant-rock, noise, etc.)… / Read More →