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Plan an Adrenalin Weekend with the Jackalope Action Sports Fest and More

Welcome to the jungle. The urban jungle that is, where many of Montréal’s wilder denizens are prepping for an “Adrenalin Weekend” that includes an action sports festival, Old Port ziplining, a massive weekly outdoor dance party and, of course, fun food for energizing your good times. The fourth edition of Jackalope, an urban action sports fest taking place July 17-19 on the vast outdoor Esplanade of the Olympic Stadium, is a call to action unlike any other in Montréal. Not only are professional urban athletes drawn to intense, high-level competition in an eclectic range of sports disciplines – skateboarding, wakeskating, motocross, slacklining, highlining, and now rock climbing and more – but audience members are encouraged to engage at a number of different participatory events as well. As a sanctioned World Cup Skateboarding (WCS) event – the only one in Canada – with a $10,000 prize purse, Jackalope is expecting to draw top men and women skateboarders from approximately 10 countries. The event consists of a Friday practice session, Saturday qualifying round and finals on Sunday. The victor will be the skater with the best trick session on a custom street course. But Jackalope is way more than just decks. There are also freestyle… / Read More →

Crazy In Love Getaway at Hovey Manor

With its dimly lit cocktail nooks, gastronomic scene and narrow European streets, Montréal is an ideal city for a romantic getaway. It’s a rich epicentre of cultural happenings, but it’s also a great launching pad for some glorious daytrips or weekend getaways. The Canadian countryside is unique in its lush greenery, and in fall, the colours of the changing leaves are spectacular. Take a quick drive – just under a couple of hours – and you can land in a lovers’ haven like Hovey Manor. Set on the outskirts of North Hatley in the Eastern Townships, Hovey Manor is a storied property that saw its beginnings as a fine farmhouse, but became an inn as early as the 1950s. Since 1979, it’s been the luxurious getaway it is today, run by Steve and Kathryn Stafford, who have elevated it, added a lauded gastronomic element and updated it with a deft touch, respecting the property’s original design and feel. It’s one of the handful of Relais et Châteaux properties in Québec – a well-deserved honour bestowed upon them by the international organisation as a mark of excellence in service and fine dining. The gleaming white property is set atop a rolling… / Read More →

YOUR 2015 JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL SURVIVAL GUIDE

Your survival is important to us. More than that, we want you to thrive! While the 2015 edition of the Montréal Just For Laughs Festival promises wall-to-wall good times from July 8 to 28, it’s also a monster-sized festival that can be overwhelming for even the most seasoned of culture vultures. To eliminate any uncertainties you may have and give you all the deets you need to get the most out of the festival experience, we’ve devised this Just For Laughs Survival Guide. EVENT Montréal Just For Laughs Festival, July 8 to 28, 2015 WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO A world-class event that unites the globe’s funniest people in Montréal’s downtown core, pretty much. From July 8 to 28, Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and a few venues slightly beyond host dozens of ticketed indoor shows and more free exterior entertainment than you can shake a funny bone at. This edition features unmissable headliners including Wanda Sykes, Patrick Stewart, Kevin Hart, Alan Cumming, Patton Oswalt, Trevor Noah, Margaret Cho, Jane Lynch, Ellie Kemper, Rob Schneider, Neil Patrick Harris, Omid Djalili and Norm Macdonald. Don’t be surprised if, when you enter the festival site, someone asks to look in your bag. This is… / Read More →

Montréal frozen treats to beat the heat

If you’re like me and love ice cream, then you don’t need a reason to enjoy an awesome cone of ice cream, gelato or cup or sorbet… or even a box of creamsicles any time of year. One of the days I anticipate the most is when I see my local “crèmerie” (ice cream parlor) come out of hibernation and set up shop for the summer. After the spring thaw, there’s nothing more satisfying than downing a frozen treat in Montréal in the summer months, here are some of my favourite places to go. Monsieur Crémeux : 43 Rue Beaubien East A popular draw at most food truck gatherings in Montréal, the Monsieur Crémeux ice cream truck (by restaurant scene veteran Martin Juneau and Louis-Philippe Breton,) recently opened their first brick-and-mortar location on the edge of Little Italy just in time for summer.  Make sure to load up your cup or top your cone with some of Mr. Crémeux’s homemade toppings like their peanut and pretzel crumble or even their luscious strawberry sundae sauce. Look out for their ice cream carts patrolling the city’s festivals this summer! Les Givrés: Multiple locations This ice cream shop recently opened up their second location… / Read More →

Late Night Dining in Montréal

Summer in Montréal is an exciting time of year. From festival after festival, sidewalk sales, movies in the park and a plethora of other activities and events to keep you busy, there’s no rest of the weary. Keeping yourself fueled for late night walks along the cobbled stone streets of Old Montréal or taking in the sights and sounds of Place des Festivals is essential. In a city that barely sleeps during the summer, here are some of my favourite places for late night dining. L’Express: 3927 Saint-Denis Street The quintessential Parisian-style French bistro will transport you back to the days when you were a struggling poet pouring your heart and soul into your unappreciated work over a coq au vin in some bistro along Boulevard Saint-Germain. That wasn’t you? Well, you’ll feel like it was. Open until 3 am daily and 2 am on Sundays, L’Express is a popular dining destination for locals at any hour. With dishes like their famous bone marrow starter to calf liver with tarragon, their take on classic French dishes will leave you wanting more. Leméac: 1045 Laurier Avenue West Leméac is another great bistro that will satiate your stomach with French classics and… / Read More →

10 Montréal English Comedy Nights and Clubs

Montréal is home to the famed Just For Laughs Comedy Festival and such internationally-renowned stand-up comics as Sugar Sammy and DeAnne Smith, hilarious veterans Heidi Foss, Joey Elias and Mike Paterson, as well as up-and-comers like Tranna Wintour, a favourite of New York legend Sandra Bernhard. They are all products of Montréal’s vibrant English-language comedy scene that boasts entertaining events at bars and nightclubs throughout the city. Here is a sampling of some of the best in town: The Comedyworks (1238 Bishop) features well-known Canadian and international headliners every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a Monday improv night. A classic comedy club, complete with exposed-brick walls. Reservations recommended: 514-876-8777 or www.comedyworksmtl.ca. The Comedy Nest (2313 Sainte-Catherine W.) is a 160-seat cabaret-style nightclub located in the legendary Montréal Forum that features well-known comics every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. It also hosts Newbie Tuesdays and Comedy Lab Wednesdays. Ages 18+. Reservations recommended: 514-932-6378 or http://comedynest.com/. Yuk Yuk’s Comedy Club Montréal (1222 Mackay) welcomes celebrity headliners every Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Ages 19+. Reservations recommended: 514-272-9857 or www.yukyuks.com/montreal. Montréal’s weekly indie Comedy Abroad! show headlines the Mbar (1245 Saint-André, back entrance) every Sunday beginning at 8:15 p.m. Admission:… / Read More →

Laughs and Lap-Dances (okay, not really) at Zoofest

Like any good off-festival, Zoofest takes advantage of the comedy frenzy going on in town because of Just For Laughs (JFL) and offers an alternative type of programing. Centred on Canadian talent, which tends to slip between the cracks of JFL’s focus on international heavy hitters, Zoofest branches out into a uniquely cool indie Vaudevillian vibe, with entertainment spanning burlesque to straight-up stand-up by way of weird yet hilarious stage shows. Here are five gigs you won’t want to miss at the event, running from July 9 to August 1. 1) Chris Locke: Cats, Man You may know Chris from his best-selling stand-up album, The World Is Embarrassing. He’s a cat-owning madman whose show delves deep into the fur-covered nooks and crannies of his life with feline friends, a long-suffering wife and junk foods from all nations. Fifteen minutes in, you’ll understand why he was the 2014 Canadian Comedy Awards Best Male Stand-Up winner. July 20 to 23, 7:15 p.m., Monument-National 2) Something Wicked This Way Comes Enter the darkest chambers of your mind and leave your reservations at the door for this special night of tease, featuring Lou Lou la Duchesse de Rière, Stitch the Geek and their collection of curious… / Read More →

Where to Watch Films Outdoors This Summer in Montréal

While summer festivals keep Montréal buzzing non-stop with music and laughter, outdoor film screenings provide a short breather, whether right downtown or in a neighbourhood park – and all for free! Bring a cushion or a picnic blanket and settle in under the stars for a movie-going experience like no other. Just For Laughs has picked two Hollywood comedies to add to their impressive roster of stand-up stars this July: see Tim Burton’s beloved Beetlejuice on July 13 and Mike Meyers spy sendup Austin Powers on July 22 at 9 pm at Place des Festivals. See the city in yet another light every Tuesday at 9 pm as the Quartier des spectacles hosts Downtown Screenings Under the Stars at Place de la Paix: Pop Montréal programs a 16 mm screening of 1980 Québec comedy Pinball Summer a.k.a. Pick-Up Summer on July 7 and Fantasia International Film Festival picks The Incredible Adventure of Jojo (And His Annoying Little Sister Avila) on July 21, while the Montréal First Peoples Festival presents Alanis Obomsawin’s documentary Kanehsatake, 270 ans de résistance on August 4 and Festival International du Film sur l’Art screens Entre ciel et terre, quand le Hip-Hop devient art on August 25…. / Read More →

Your sun and sand getaway: Great beaches in and around Montréal

Think “Montréal,” and water sports aren’t the first things that come to mind. But aren’t we just full of surprises? Beaches and lakes abound both in and around the city, and with these come all sorts of organized aquatic fun, like places where you can rent or bring your own SUP, kayak or canoe, and enjoy sailing and water skiing. If you like your summers as cool as they are active, put these 10 spots on your summer bucket list. 1) Clock Tower Beach Right smack bang on the Old Port of Montréal, this is the city’s quintessential urban beach, complete with soft sand, great beach fare courtesy of the nearby food truck stand and a scene that makes people watching so, so fun. There are chairs, parasols and refreshing mist machines that nicely make up for the fact that swimming isn’t allowed. 2) Pointe-Calumet Beach Club This beach has family-fun written all over it, with two trampolines on the lake, inflatable bouncy games for kids, and activities like face painting and treasure hunts most weekends of the summer. Sports lovers can go mellow with pedal boats rides or more serious with kayaking, wakeboarding, waterskiing or beach volleyball. You can… / Read More →

Montréal gets five very special rings for Canada Olympic Excellence Day

Move over Five Roses, there are five rings that are about to take an even more prominent spot on Montréal’s skyline. On Canada Olympic Excellence Day, July 9, the Olympic rings will be raised for permanent display above the downtown Montréal HQ of the Canadian Olympic Committee (COC). The raising of the rings also heralds the opening of the new and dynamic Canadian Olympic House in the same building, and they’ll be hard for Montréalers to miss. “The rings will be placed in two locations on the roof,” explains Canadian Olympic Committee president Marcel Aubut. “The ones in front, above the main entrance, will be 36 feet by 16 feet, 7 inches. A second 24- by 11-feet symbol will be installed at the back. They will be permanently illuminated, so they will be visible day and night from many places in the city, including the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, Mount Royal, from many skyscrapers, from planes, etc. In other words, the Montréal skyline will change forever.” And there’s an extra layer of significance to the rings being raised above the COC and Canadian Olympic House at 500 René-Lévesque West: It’s the only building outside of Lausanne, Switzerland permitted to display the Olympic… / Read More →