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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 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 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 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 →

A Gay old time at Just For Laughs

Montréal’s Just For Laughs Festival blazed a trail for LGBT comics when it presented its annual Queer Comics showcase, boldly introducing many stand-up comedians over the years. Since JFL’s Queer Comics signed off in 2006, many LGBT entertainers have become major stars of stage and screen. This year, Just For Laughs is bringing many gay icons and LGBT entertainers to Montréal for the queerest edition of the festival ever. Neil Patrick Harris may be best known for his TV roles in How I Met Your Mother and Doogie Howser, M.D. But gay audiences adore gay entertainer as the charismatic song-and-dance host of the Tony Awards on Broadway in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013; of the Primetime Emmy Awards in 2009 and 2013, as well as the 87th Academy Awards in 2015. Which makes especially well-suited to host four Just For laughs Galas (July 27 and 28 at 7 and 9:45 nightly). Star of stage and screen, Jane Lynch is best known for her role as Sue Sylvester in the smash-hit Fox TV series Glee, which was huge with LGBT audiences. The openly-lesbian Lynch will host her Just For Laughs Gala on July 22 at 7 p.m. Fresh from being Master of Ceremonies at a huge July 4 gala… / Read More →

Meet-a-Montrealer: André Ménard

Montréal International Jazz Festival co-founder and artistic director André Ménard has been one of the most influential figures on the Québécois artistic scene for over 30 years. Born in the working-class neighborhood of Tétreaultville in East-End Montréal, he began producing concerts as a student at Collège de Maisonneuve. Montréal’s jazz festival – which Ménard co-founded with Alain Simard in 1980 – has become the largest and most important festival in Canada, drawing more than two million spectators each summer to some 150 indoor ticketed shows and over 350 free outdoor concerts. On top of that, Ménard attends over 300 concerts around the world every year. What is your favourite memory in the history of the Montréal International Jazz Festival? Ella Fitzgerald singing Summertime as her closing song the last time she was here in 1987. What is the craziest moment in the history of the Montréal International Jazz Festival? A man had a heart attack right in front of the main outdoor stage at the end of the 1980s. We were very sad to see a person die at the festival. Later that night we found out he had been revived by the paramedics en route to the hospital. Why did… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: July 3 to 9

When you’re not jazzing it up this week, you’ve got laughs, drama, picnics, acrobatics and even more live music to choose from. Not too shabby, eh? Just another summer week in idyllic Montréal! Musical madness You’ve still got until July 5 to soak up the incredible feast for the senses that is the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, where there are dozens of free shows throughout the Quartier des spectacles in addition to beer stalls, cocktail booths, food stands and an onsite art gallery. Keep the beat going with the International Percussion Festival in Old Montréal and the Old Port from July 3 to 12, an interactive drum and dance event that also involves visual arts, film, food and workshops. July 7 kicks off the hot and lively Nuits D’Afrique festival, which brings in the best of African and world music from all over the globe for shows that span the downtown core. Performance fests Apart from a summer full of music festivals, though, there’s a bucketful of performance goodies to be had this week too, starting with the amazing, chock-a-block Just for Laughs. From Jane Lynch to Wanda Sykes to Neil Patrick Harris and Dave Chappelle, this edition… / Read More →

10 Years of Osheaga in 10 Photos by Montréal photographer Susan Moss

Anyone who’s been to a concert in Montréal will surely recognize Susan Moss, not just for her mane of curly ginger locks and signature black dress, but for her inspired photographs of the city, its nightlife, its people and – especially – its rock stars. Susan’s work has appeared in international magazines including Rolling Stone, Spin, Billboard, NME and Vice. She’s covered the stars and crowds of countless music festivals, including Heavy Montréal, POP Montréal, Festival International de Jazz de Montréal and almost a decade of the ever-growing Osheaga Music and Arts Festival. Over the past 20 years she’s captured iconic images of some of the most influential artists of our time: KISS, Metallica, Snoop Dog, Beastie Boys, Aretha Franklin, Arcade Fire – the list is endless. Susan’s known for her raw, fierce, urgent style, realized in both high contrast black & white and in rich, vivid colour. She’s drawn to the in-between moments and is inspired by people doing what they love, in action, being their true selves. Susan has been capturing the spirit and energy of Osheaga since its early years a decade ago. Here is Susan’s selection of 10 photos to celebrate the festival’s 10th anniversary. You… / Read More →