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MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE Survival Guide

Circus shows come in all shapes and sizes at the 6th edition of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE – Expect to be amazed and delighted by international and local performers doing what they do best in a city known to push the limits of circus. EVENT MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, July 2–12, 2015. OFFICIAL TWITTER & HASH TAG @mtlccirque #mccirque LOCATION Various locations, including Place Émilie-Gamelin in the Quartier des spectacles downtown and one of the world’s largest circus arts centres, La Tohu. HOW TO GET THERE For downtown show venues, take the Métro to Place-des-Arts (Green Line) or Berri-UQAM (Orange, Green, Yellow Lines), and walk along Sainte-Catherine Street. For La Tohu, located at 2345 Jarry East (north of Highway 40 and east of Papineau Avenue), take the Métro Blue Line to Iberville station and bus 94 North, or the Métro Orange Line to Jarry station and bus 193 East. If driving, pay parking is available on site. WHAT TO BRING A sense of humour to go with your sense of adventure. WHAT NOT TO BRING A fear of clowns. WHAT TO WEAR Sunglasses, sunscreen and silly hats for daytime outdoor shows. Casual chic for indoor shows – It may be the circus,… / Read More →

Must-See Shows at Montréal’s 2015 Just For Laughs Festival

A who’s who of the comedy world, everybody from Margaret Cho to Mike Myers, headlines Montréal’s Just For Laughs Festival when the 33rd annual edition kicks off on July 8. “I’m so excited to be returning to Montréal because it’s my favourite festival,” Cho said in a phone interview. “It’s where I got my big break in 1991, so I am returning to Montréal with a great amount of joy.” Cho will headline her new Psycho Tour show one night only at the Olympia Theatre on July 24, while one of Canada’s greatest exports, Mike Myers, comes home to make his Just For Laughs Festival debut the same night at the Maison Symphonique with An Evening with Mike Myers. This “in conversation” will showcase his extraordinary career, from his humble Canadian comedic roots, to his turn as one of the most successful Saturday Night Live alums in the show’s 40-year history, to his ascent to become one of comedy’s biggest movie stars. Meanwhile, comedy legend and Just For Laughs ticket-selling record holder Dave Chappelle – his 2013 concert sold out in minutes before JFL added nine more concerts – returns for six shows at Theatre Maisonneuve, on July 20-22. The… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: June 19 to 25

C’est la Saint-Jean! This week Québec celebrates its national holiday, which, combined with the Francofolies, Fringe Fest and Suoni Per il Popolo, means Montréal is basically celebrating non-stop. Join in the party with free live music, great cultural outings and beautiful spots to lounge in the sun. Let’s celebrate The Saint-Jean-Baptiste festivities set the night of June 23 alight all through to the national holiday of June 24, with awesome free music (Ariane Moffatt, Daniel Bélanger and Marie-Pier Arthur are all on the star-studded bill) at the Place des Festivals. On the 24th during the collective day off, the celebrations take to the neighbourhoods, with roads closed all over town, live music, food, activities and a general air of slightly hung-over merriment. From Parc La Fontaine on the Plateau to Parc Benny in NDG, there’s something somewhere for everyone! Festivals en fête The Francofolies, meanwhile, continues with an amazing selection of free outdoor shows in the Quartier des spectacles until June 20, making way, after a short reprieve, to the highly anticipated Festival International de Jazz de Montréal. (Get your must-see list here.) Up on the Plateau, Suoni Per Il Popolo sets the tone until June 22, with a smaller,… / Read More →

Montreal’s Top 5 Drag Queens

Montréal ranks with New York and Sydney as one of the world’s Top drag cities. Montreal firmly established itself on the international drag map when local drag legend Mado Lamotte hosted her famed outdoor Mascara concert – billed as the biggest drag show on Earth – from 1998 to 2013. Over at Fierté Montréal Pride, another Montréal drag legend, Michel Dorion, hosts her annual outdoor Illusion drag concert each summer. While there are innumerable working drag queens in Montréal – the city has been home to many drag legends over the decades, including Guilda (Jean Guida) and La Monroe (a.k.a. Armand Monroe) – here are the top 5 drag queens working in Montreal today. Mado Lamotte After getting her start at Montreal nightclubs Poodles and Club Lézard in 1987, Mado Lamotte has released a kitschy dance album and an anthology of her Fugues magazine columns, hosted her infamous bingo nights at the Just For Laughs Festival where she also launched her annual outdoor show Mado’s Got Talent in 2014, appeared on countless TV shows and was even a spokesmodel for a major potato chip company. After hosting Mascara for 15 years, Mado continues to host her annual Mado’s Drag Race… / Read More →

Catholic religious landmarks and heritage of Montréal

Writer Mark Twain once famously said of Montréal, “This is the first time I was ever in a city where you couldn’t throw a brick without breaking a church window.” The history of Montréal – a city nicknamed “La ville aux cent clochers” (The City of a Hundred Bell Towers) – has been steeped in religion since its beginnings, when Paul Chomedey de Maisonneuve (who founded Montréal on May 17, 1642) erected the first cross atop Mount Royal on January 6, 1643, to thank God for sparing his colony from rising flood waters. The current steel cross was erected in 1924. Here are some other popular and historic religious landmarks to visit in Montréal: Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montréal was originally the small parish church of Notre-Dame built in 1672. Montréal’s Roman Catholic Sulpician Order commissioned New York architect James O’Donnell to design the new church on the same site in 1824, and when the Basilica was completed in 1829 – its Gothic Revival architecture and grand interior among the most dramatic in the world – it was the largest church in North America for the next half-century. More recently, the Basilica was the site of Luciano Pavarotti’s famed 1978… / 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… / Read More →

10 Things that Make Montréal Shine

We’ve been telling you for years: Montréal is an amazing place to visit. With world-class dining, accommodations, festivals, museums and heritage sites, enhanced with four distinct seasons and sexy French charm, our city consistently ranks among the world’s best. Naming all our successes could take a while, so we’ve narrowed down the list to a cool round-up of 10 media nominations that rank Montréal among the world’s hottest travel destinations. Since we’ve come out on top in such a diverse range of categories—including some that will surprise you (check out #7!)—we know that Montréal offers something for everyone. See which features will tickle your fancy, then go ahead and book your ticket. Here are just 10 things that put Montréal in the limelight: 1.  Best Winter Destinations National Geographic, December 2014 “Montréal is at its most magical blanketed in snow. Bundle up, get outside, and celebrate winter at the 16th MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the city’s biggest winter arts, music, and food festival. Save some energy for the final night’s Nuit Blanche à Montréal, a dusk-to-dawn party packed with more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities. Most events are free, and some are held under the stars or, if you’re lucky, the lightly falling snow.” 2. Best Music… / Read More →

Dance the Winter Away at Igloofest 2015

When the going gets cool, the cool get dancing in Montreal’s Old Port. As the mercury hits rock bottom in January and February, the bottom end gets a boost for the thousands upon thousands of electronic music fans who bundle into Igloofest’s Igloo Village over four weekends of top-rated local and international DJs…

Photo gallery: Our favourite #MTLMOMENTS of 2014

From the lights of Luminothérapie in winter to the frenzy of festivals all summer long, Montréal is teeming with discoveries and unforgettable moments to share, every season, every day of the year. Here are some of our favourite #MTLMOMENTS from 2014. (Run and Play in the Light of Luminothérapie) hoto by Michael Vesia via Instagram (Good Night Montréal) Photo by Alex Rykov via Instagram (The Clock Tower) Photo by Chloé Dagenais via Instagram (Boules Roses lights up Montréal’s Gay Village) Photo by Virginie Roy via Instagram (Farine Five Roses) Photo by Tobrook via Instagram (The Big Orange) Photo by Fred R. via Instagram (Montréal’s Architecture) Photo by Andrew Tchernilevskii via Instagram (Osheaga crowd) Photo by Susan Moss via Instagram (Just enjoy the view) Photo by Masha Zhdanava via Instagram (Warming up by the fire) Photo by SDC Vieux-Montréal via Facebook See more of our favourites on the Visit Montréal Facebook page. Make the most of your trip to Montreal with this exclusive Sweet Deal coupon booklet with special offers valued at $450!

Guide to New Year’s Eve in Montreal 2014

Consider this your invitation to New Year’s Eve in Montreal, but be sure to note that, as always, it’s BYOB: Bring Your Own Bedtime. Whether it’s delectable dining, wintery walking or skating, champagne-fuelled dancing and/or every other manner of party prancing, Montreal has the solution to your New Year’s Eve resolution, all night and – in some cases – all the next day long. Strap in…