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Things to do in Montréal: December 9 to 15

The festive season truly fires up this week in Montréal – the city celebrates with outdoor events and markets brimming with local treats, Santa’s doing photo-op visits, The Nutcracker ballet graces the stage, along with Christmas concerts, a Leonard Cohen tribute and more. Festive fun outdoors In the heart of downtown, outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal glitters alongside Canada’s tallest Christmas tree outside Place des Arts – find locally made gifts and goodies, activities for kids, live music and more. While there, take a turn on the colourful 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie interactive outdoor art. Merry Montréal adds entertainment, a market, fire pits, films and warm drinks to the ambience of Old Montréal, and fireworks light up the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink on Dec. 10. Live music and circus, food and drink, weekend visits with Santa – and with friendly sheep and amusing elves too! – make Noël dans le Parc a must at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Over at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth go ice skating and tube sliding, snack on food truck fare and shop at the winter market. Find Santa and more seasonal things to do in our round-op of winter activities for… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 2 to 8

That festive holiday glow hits the streets of Montréal this week – a massive Christmas tree and an interactive art installation illuminate downtown’s Place des Festivals, markets packed with local creations pop up everywhere (and so does Santa), and new art, film and live music inspire. Festive outdoor events Canada’s biggest Christmas tree, illuminated by thousands of lights, brightens up December outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, where you’ll find all kinds of local gifts and goodies plus an activity area for kids, live music and more. Right around the corner, play in the 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie interactive art project, opening Dec. 7. There’s more joy to be had at Noël dans le Parc at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin (opening Dec. 2 with live music from Beat Market and Loco Locass) and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau all month, as well as at the Merry Montréal celebrations in Old Montréal.  Santa also comes to the Plaza St-Hubert Christmas Parade on the evening of Dec. 2, Mount-Royal Avenue celebrates with the annual Noël sur l’Avenue all month, including a candle-lit parade and fireworks at  Parc La Fontaine on December 3 at 7 pm. Find more Santa and seasonal things to… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 25 to December 1

Montréal says goodbye to November and hello to December with glittering outdoor entertainment and indoor magic kingdoms, Cirque du Soleil’s OVO, designer Christmas markets, amazing new films, dance and theatre, and concerts for all tastes. Winter ready Step into an entertaining winter wonderland during Noël dans le Parc at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau neighbourhood, starting Dec. 1. Meanwhile in Old Montréal , join in the Merry Montréal celebrations, featuring a market on Place Jacques-Cartier, live music, food, microbrews and more. Visit Santa at the Complexe Desjardins Magic Kingdom, where you’ll also find a mini train and carousel, multimedia show Fontaine Boréale and performances, or find Santa in many forms at the historic Stewart Museum in a magical (and free) figurine exhibition. And explore the city streets with Art Public Montréal and in smart-phone multimedia tour Cité Mémoire in Old Montréal. Seasonal shopping Go shopping for locally made home decor, toys, clothing and accessories, beauty products, food, drink and more at the Marché Casse Noisette, transforming the lower promenade of the Palais des congrès into a glittering marketplace, Nov. 24 to Dec. 4. There’s more creative Montréal-made goods at the Souk @ SAT designer market, Nov. 30 to Dec. 4. Or shop vintage at the Empire Exchange launch in Mile End on Dec. 1. We’ve… / Read More →

Deck the concert halls: A can’t-miss holiday music list

’Tis the season to be jolly, and as usual there’s no shortage of Christmas-themed concerts – from choirs to symphonies, from gospel to rock – to help you troll the ancient yuletide carol. The following are virtually guaranteed to get those sugar plum fairies dancing in your head. Let’s commence with one of the most-anticipated highlights of the holiday concert calendar, the Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir’s annual “Gospel Celebration” Christmas show, which takes December 4 at Théâtre Maisonneuve in Place des Arts, located in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des Spectacles. This year’s 34th edition features over 50 singers and musicians (including a six-piece horn section). Indeed, Place des Arts’ cup overfloweth with Christmas cheer this year, especially at beautiful new concert hall Maison Symphonique. This includes Noël Symphonique, a classical interpretation of the “greatest Christmas classics” by a 38-piece symphony orchestra and some of Québec’s best known singers (two performances at 2:30 and 8 p.m., December 3). In the mood for a “Festive Russian Holiday”? Of course you are! Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, Russian Christmas songs, and Mozart’s Exsultate, jubilate and Ave verum corpus are all on the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s playlist December 14 and 16. Or maybe it’s a “Christmas with Valérie Milot” that your… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 11 to 17

This week in Montréal, eat well at MTLàTABLE restaurant week, take an art walk downtown or a hike up the Mountain, meet hockey stars, dive deep into digital art, and see films, dance, theatre and live music from here and around the world. Wine and dine Get a taste of the real Montréal during the decadent MTLàTABLE event, featuring 150 diverse restaurants offering multi-course prix-fixe menus at incredible prices, from $21 to $41, until Nov. 13. See what it’s all about in our Survival guide to MTLàTABLE and choose from restaurants to dine and party, places to brunch, where to taste dishes of the world, neighbourhood restaurants loved by locals, fabulous hotel restaurants, Languedoc wines and SAQ wine events, food-focused tours, an array of local cheeses and chocolate creations and more. Bon appetit! #ThatAwesomeMoment when Patrice Brisebois subbed in for a little one-on-one on the @mcdonaldscanada rink. #hometownhockey Une photo publiée par Rogers Hometown Hockey (@hometownhockey) le 22 Oct. 2016 à 10h47 PDT City sights Fun and free, the Rogers Hometown Hockey Tour sets up outside Place des Festivals downtown, Nov. 12-13, with autograph sessions with NHL alumni, live music (including Sam Roberts on Sunday), circus shows and more. Walk through the city streets and among the skyscrapers on tours created by Art Public Montréal. See Montréal’s natural side in quaint neighbourhoods… / Read More →

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 →