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La Virée Classique: Symphony Under the Stars

The world-renowned Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal kicks off its fifth annual OSM Couche‐Tard Classical Spree festival with its big free outdoor concert for tens of thousands of classical-music lovers on the esplanade outside Olympic Stadium on August 10. This outdoor concert is a unique Montréal tradition that, says OSM conductor and music director Kent Nagano, unites people from “across all socio-economic classes, all cultural and racial backgrounds, all nationalities and all generations.” The OSM’s Classical Spree festival – known locally as La Virée Classique OSM – will also feature three additional free outdoor concerts at the Quartier des Spectacles, as well as a series of 30 ticketed indoor concerts at Place des Arts, from Aug. 10 to 13. The opening Galaxy of Heroes concert at the Parc Olympique on Aug. 10 will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Montréal’s 1976 Summer Olympic Games and the athletes who left their mark on the global Olympic movement. The Olympics is also the theme for the OSM’s Chariots of Fire indoor concert at the Maison symphonique on Aug. 12. “People associate this music with the film Chariots of Fire, a great film about the Olympics,” says the California-born Nagano. “We wanted to carry on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 5 to 11

August in Montréal means it’s time to relax a little even while festival season keeps the energy high. This week we’ve got classical, metal, electronic dance music, anime and First Peoples festivals along with the start of Montréal Pride and the Olympics – plus all the food and drink to match. Festival pride Classical music meets the Olympic spirit this week at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Couche-Tard Classical Spree main event on August 10: free, outdoor show Galaxy of Heroes pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of Montréal’s 1976 Summer Olympics, at Olympic Park – music enthusiasts also won’t want to miss the Spree’s many affordable and abundant concerts, August 10-13 in the Quartier des Spectacles. Traditional music and hip hop, video and film, art and theatre made by Aboriginal artists take the spotlight as the Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival, August 3-10 in and around the Quartier des Spectacles – evening shows include Innu singer Shauit on August 5 and Soirée ÉlectroChoc on August 6. Montréal Pride celebrates its 10th edition with parties, community and art events, cabaret shows, parades and more, August 8-14. For more festival fun, including Heavy Montréal and ÎleSoniq, see our live music section below. Fun and games The world… / Read More →

A world of electronic music awaits at ÎleSoniq

Third time is the charm for ÎleSoniq! The biggest electronic music festival in Montréal returns to Parc Jean-Drapeau with their hottest headliners yet: The Chainsmokers and Zedd on August 5, followed by Skrillex and Canadian duo DVBBS on August 6. Also on the bill, a curated stage by Dutch DJ Oliver Heldens, the Montréal premiere of Ferry Corsten’s latest project, and the return of Montréal born DJ/producer Tiga. With three stages and nearly 50 artists from all different electronic music genres, there’s a whole new world of music to discover at ÎleSoniq. Friday, August 5 Having already conquered this year’s Coachella Festival (where Kesha performed his single “True Colors”) and pretty much ruling the dance charts with hits such as “Clarity” and “I Want You to Know”, featuring Selena Gomez, ZEDD is sure to fire up the crowds with his trademark dance hits. Also at the OASIS Fido Stage, American DJ duo The Chainsmokers will also drive EDM lovers insane! The duo has scored hits with their singles “Roses” and “Don’t Let Me Down” (currently a contender for Billboard’s Song of the Summer). Over at the La Vie Bud Light Stage, Oliver Heldens has curated an amazing roster of artists,… / Read More →

It’s all heavy hitters at Heavy Montréal 2016

Get your ears ready for a sound overload! Over the weekend of August 6 and 7, the word’s biggest heavyweights in metal, rock and punk descend upon Montréal for Heavy Montréal, the city’s heaviest outdoor music fest at Parc Jean-Drapeau. The fun starts at 1 pm on Saturday when Pop Evil kick things off on the Molson Canadian Stage, one of the three stages onsite. Saturday is a big day, with mainliners including Black Label Society (at 6:30 pm), Suicide Silence (7:30), Mastodon (also at 7:30 pm! Gahhh dilemma), Nightwish (8:30 pm) and Five Finger Death Punch (9:30 pm). One act you won’t want to miss either is Fear Factory (3:05 pm), the old school American industrial metal band that’s been making ears bleed since 1989. You’ll have time to catch some mathcore on the Heavy Stage beforehand, as Jersey’s The Dillinger Escape Plan takes over at 2:30 pm. And Inquisition will be legendary: the thrash metal kings of Colombia will turn the sunny afternoon to pitch darkness at 2 pm. On Sunday, get up and at ‘em early enough to catch I Prevail at 1 pm, followed by a veritable who’s who of heaviness. The biggest names include Kataklysm… / Read More →

Where to eat smoked meat in Montréal

When traveling to a new city – especially Montréal, extensive research is usually done to find great attractions, local museums, shows and or shopping.  In such a metropolitan city the things to do are endless, but what lures most travelers to Montréal is the food. Deemed as a “foodie destination”, certain Montréal restaurants have an appeal that boarder on a cult like following – and by far the tastiest cult is that of Montréal smoked meat. With a few major players in the smoked meat game, people who pledge alliance to a particular restaurant will argue and fight without shame with anyone who opposes their discerning palate.  One of these institutions is without a doubt, Schwartz’s Hebrew Delicatessen (3895 Saint Laurent Boulevard.) This landmark on St. Laurent Boulevard has been slicing up smoke meat and satiating Montréaler’s smoked brisket void since 1928.  This deli boasts a 10-day brine to their meat, which in tandem with their spice mix, produces the signature taste exclusive to Schwartz’s. You can order your meat on a scale of “lean” to “fat”, and locals usually order “medium-fat”; the sweet-spot at which die-hard smoked meat aficionados swear the stars align and magic happens. Directly across the… / Read More →

Your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the warm 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. Here is your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals. The Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival celebrates  its 26th edition, August 3 to 10. Theirs is an expansive programme of outdoor concerts (hip-hop to rock to Inuit throat singing to you name it), aboriginal video and film (a veritable international film fest unto itself), outdoor street theatre, native art and a variety of other events and entertainment all taking place in and around the Quartier des Spectacles. Heavy Montréal blasts big chunks of hard rock, August 5 to 7. Death metal, hair metal, black metal, hard rock and hardcore are all on the agenda, and this year’s line-up is sick with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish and Volbeat, to name a few. Parc Jean-Drapeau remains at the center of… / Read More →

Get ready for hot air balloons and even hotter music

Party people, family guys and culture vultures, head to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu this August, just 45 minutes from central Montreal! The International des Montgolfières Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, from August 13 to 21, is a high colour date for all that’s simply not to be missed. With top acts like Half Moon Run (on August13), Metric (August 13), Redfoo (August 17), Francesco Yates (August 20) and OMI (August 20) sharing the lineup with local luminaries Koriass (August 15), Ariane Moffatt (August 18) and Dumas (August 19), it’s definitely a music-lover’s destination. But that’s not even mentioning the kids’ music shows, which happen all day during the fest at another of the three stages. Aside from the cool notes, there are activities for the entire family, including bouncy castles, forts and citadels in every colour. Shoppers will want to check out the crafts village, featuring goods by all sorts of local artisans, and thrill seekers, we’ve got you covered with rides that’ll give you a taste of the heights and high emotions that are in store once you get to the balloons. (Speaking of which, if you want to see the world from aboard a balloon, all you need to do is sign up here.) Une… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: July 29 to August 4

Non-stop live music, world-class comedy and entertainment for all ages make Montréal the place to be this weekend and into the week. Whether you’re here for Osheaga, Just For Laughs, Mondial des Jeux, Fantasia, fireworks or Montréal’s great food, you’re in for a fun time. Laughs for all International comedy festival Just For Laughs brings the funniest comedians in the world to Montréal this week – see gala showcases hosted by Nathan Lane, Jeff Goldblum, Carrie Fisher, P.K. Subban, David Cross, Howie Mandel and Sebastian Maniscalco and stand-alone shows by Sarah Silverman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Aziz Ansari, Judd Apatow, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress and more comedy stars until August 1. A new edition of The Nasty Show makes for a seriously dirty good time, hosted by Mike Ward. JFL’s free street festival features Cirque Carpe Diem on July 29, Boogie Wonder Band on July 30, the kid-focused V8energy labyrinth, puppeteer Jacques Boutin, dancer-clown Fifi Bric-à-Brac, musical Jukebox, plus an array of food trucks. JFL’s “underground” program OFF-JFL welcomes Janeane Garofalo, Tom Green and more. Add to all that Zoofest, dedicated to wild indie humour and theatre. Osheaga overload Thousands of festival-goers flood Parc Jean-Drapeau from July 29 to 31 for Montréal’s biggest indie-rock, pop, hip hop and… / Read More →

Brazilian food and drinks in Montréal

On August 5, the Olympic flame arrives in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to kick off the 2016 Summer Olympics, a.k.a. the Games of the XXXI Olympiad. Having hosted the Olympics, Montrealers have a special place in their hearts for the Games. In fact, we are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1976 Summer Olympic Games in Montréal this year. To get you into the spirit of the Olympics, here are some great places around town to get a taste of Brazil. #Montreal #oldTown #Quebec Une photo publiée par caiodorio (@caiodorio) le 24 Mai 2015 à 4h33 PDT Rodízio Brasil — 160 Notre-Dame Street East Located in the heart of Old Montréal, Rodizio Brasil specializes in churrasco (grilled meats or “Brazilian barbecue”).  The house specialty is “rodizio”, which is an all-you-can-eat meal service. This menu features 10 different types of meats cooked over fire, served table side and sliced right onto your plate. Don’t forget about the accompanying all-you-can-eat salad bar or the delectable à la carte menu, which includes fish, seafood and chicken. Hang out by the “Boteco” bar for Brazilian-inspired cocktails and live entertainment. The authentic taste of jerked meat Brazilian style and manioc in our special dish: “Escondidinho”!… / Read More →

Where to find Wi-Fi when travelling in Montréal

Travel is fun. Roaming fees, not so much. Fortunately, Montréal is a destination with plenty of Wi-Fi options. This means that in various corners of the city, visitors can access wireless networks — most of them free — to send an email, post a picture or even capture that darn elusive Pokémon. Here are some of our favourite Wi-Fi options in Montréal. Old Montréal. Launched last year as part of the Montréal’s Smart and Digital City Plan, the majority of Old Montréal is now a Wi-Fi zone. Simply select MtlWifi on your wireless device and start surfing — no hoops to jump through! While you’re wandering through Old Montréal, use the network to view the Cité Mémoire exposition, the largest outdoor video-projection installation in the world. The Montréal-Trudeau International Airport. After your flight lands in Montréal, you might have a few moments of wait time for your luggage. Use the airport’s free Wi-Fi to post an official “I’m in Montréal” selfie! (Just don’t forget to tag it #MTLmoments.) The Entertainment District. The Quartier des spectacles (as it’s formally known en français) is the cultural heart of Montréal. Throughout the year, the district is home to massive outdoor live performances during such events as the Montréal… / Read More →