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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 →

Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: Nathalie Bondil’s 5 must-sees

Nathalie Bondil, Director and Chief Curator of the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts, talks to us about her favourite works in the exhibition Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism: From Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in His Time, at the Museum until May 31. I discovered this huge painting on the wall of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, where it was on loan, holding place of pride in a room dedicated to Orientalism, facing superb paintings by Renoir et Delacroix. Next to these great masterpieces, it emanated strength and seduction, thanks to the brilliance of its colour and the beauty of its models. Here, the painter is interpreting the classic theme of the odalisque. Lounging languidly on rich fabrics, they are lulled by the sweet melody of the oud, played by a black slave. In the distance, the azure horizon of the Bay of Tangier bathes this masterpiece in light. Of course, the painter never actually saw this scene, which was far removed from the reality of women in Morocco… except in the composition of his studio! This Eurocentric vision evokes, with a rarely achieved elegance, the mythical harem. The favourite redhead with the translucent skin is a recurring model… / Read More →

The shadows and light of Orientalism at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Discover the gorgeous palette of Benjamin-Constant till May 31 at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts during the exhibition Marvels and Mirages of Orientalism, from Spain to Morocco, Benjamin-Constant in his time . This rediscovery of Benjamin-Constant (1845-1902), a major figure in Orientalist painting, deftly retraces a part of his works but also the ties between friends, styles and themes within his artistic circle in Toulouse (Laurens, Rixens, Debat-Ponsan), Spain (Fortuny, Tapiro, Cordero), Morocco (Regnault, Clairin) and with Eugène Delacroix. The exhibition also includes close to 250 works, including paintings by Orientalist painters such as Gérôme, Rochegrosse, Vernet-Lecomte or Dehodencq, contemporary Moroccan artists, Oriental objects, drawings, watercolours, prints, photographs, books, archives and other documents. A brilliant colourist, Benjamin-Constant treats viewers to a Byantine- or biblical-influenced slice of history. Some of the artist’s masterpieces, once considered too large to be transported, are here for the very first time, including the Sharifas, The Moroccan Caid Tahamy, The Harem, Judith, The Evening on the Terrace (Morocco) or The Favourite of the Emir. The visit is divided into six time frames, six emblematic Oriental places that straddle fictional account and documented reality. The first room, cozy and crimson, is a reconstruction of the Orientalist salon of the painter, a… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 23 to 29

It may be cold, but it’s cool, too. This week, Montréal is alive with the celebration of winter’s wonder, especially with the electrifying Igloofest outdoor dance party – but that makes the soul-warming indoor moments even more precious. Don’t miss the latest exhibitions, dance performances and live music shows. Outdoor fun Igloofest tops the charts of outdoor entertainment with its second weekend, featuring a mass of amazing DJs, including the spontaneous orchestrations of Germany’s Loco Dice and the heavy, hip-hop inflected tracks of Belgium’s Dave Luxe. Local acts include Enfants Malins, Da-P Dabeatx and Nick Wisdom, if you’re looking to move to Québec’s particular party sound. Parc Jean-Drapeau is a snowy haven of family activities during the Fête des neiges de Montréal, where the kids can skate, zip-line, slide, dog-sled and so much more. Get active alongside them and reward yourself with a feast from one of the food trucks. Or, in the Olympic Village, skate, go on sleigh rides or catch some live music all for free, as the Winter Village continues to emanate its charm. The free outdoor skating rink is one of the best maintained in the city, and what an impressive view! Cozy culture The latest, greatest show… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: November 7-13

Fall tastes sweet this week with the last strech of MTL à TABLE, not to mention film festivals, the Montreal Biennale and more live music than you can shake a drumstick at…