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THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JUNE 25 to 27)

We have officially entered into the delicious embrace of Montreal festival season. And we’ve never been kissed so darn sweetly. Here are the events that will make you fall in love with Montreal (again) this weekend. —————————————————————————————————————— [festival] JAZZ FESTIVAL – The largest Jazz festival in the world, this Montréal institution is typically attended by two million people annually. This year you’ll be serenaded by Dave Brubeck, Cyndi Lauper, Misstress Barbara, Smokey Robinson, George Clinton and so much more. Find a tempo that works for you. [pyrotechnics] FIREWORKS – The top fireworks companies around the globe present 30-minute long shows on Saturday nights to compete for the top prize. The International des Feux, our International Fireworks Festival, attracts the world’s leading designers, bigbang technicians and sparkly optic addicts. Poland represents this weekend!

FIVE VERY FRENCH THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL

Montreal may be far away from Paris. But sometimes it’s pretty close. Here are four addresses to indulge into the original French lifestyle of Montreal

IT’S MAIN MADNESS ON SAINT-LAURENT

There are some events in Montreal, like for example the F-1, that locals often avoid. But when it comes to this week-end’s “Main Madness”, when all of St-Laurent is closed off to traffic, even the most cynical of Montrealers can usually find something to do… In my opinion this is because Main Madness, also known as the Street Sale, can be an entirely different experience depending on where you are on St-Laurent. If you want champagne and snootily gorgeous waitresses, head to the area just above Sherbrooke for the terrasses that extend out from spots like Buona Notte and the nearby oyster bars set up on the street. If you want DJs and a slight wilder scene, head to the area outside bars like Korova and spots like Laika .

GIVE JOHN LENNON’S PARK A CHANCE

When you tire of Zest & the City, take a break. Discover Montreal’s Mont Royal. The sprawling 200-hectare park is a signature space by Frederick Law Olmsted famous for his landscape design of New York’s Central Park . At the top of Peel Street, follow signs for GIVE PEACE A CHANCE. The garden is in memory of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s famed ‘bed-in for peace’ that took place in Montreal 41 years ago.

A PERFECT DAY IN GRIFFINTOWN

A perfect day in Montreal’s Griffintown neighbourhood starts with a walk from the Old Port along the Lachine canal, continues with an antique and vintage shopping spree on Notre-Dame street and ends with a comfort food dinner at Griffintown Café (reservation strongly recommended), listening to the live music of Dan Livingstone and The Griffintown Jug Addicts.

BEN MULRONEY MISSES MONTREAL “ALL THE TIME”

Ben Mulroney is renowned, of course, for his handsome presence as presenter on eTalk Daily. He also makes a cameo appearance in Jay Barushel’s The Trotsky (playing the role of a famous eTalk Daily presenter)! Last week, he took time off from his busy schedule to profess his love for Montréal through the much lauded Quickie With Montreal/Toronto initiative that is currently hitting the streets of both cities ( our video). 

MONTRÉAL IN A BOTTLE: MTL PREMIUM LAGER

Can you infuse a drink with Montreal’s DNA? Pol Brisset is a 35 years old passionnate – and experienced – brewer who believes so. He created the MTL Premium Lager to export his vision of the city’s creativity, refinement and Joie de vivre. I met him to hear the story behind the design of this tasty brew, to admire its see-through-font-loving bottle… and to enjoy a little liquid lunch!

MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: BIG TICKETS

The organizers of the 31st Montreal International Jazz Festival, which takes place from June 25 to July 6, have just announced the bulk of the shows happening this summer. Herbie Hancock, Smokey Robinson, George Clinton, The Moody Blues, Cyndi Lauper are just the tip of the iceberg… Trying to come up with a comprehensive list of everyone you need to see this summer is near impossible. As is making a list that appeals to an audience as varied as the one that attend the Jazz fest. Plus, the Fest’s website lets you make up your own schedule. So all I’ll do here is attempt pull some shows out of the list that I think are worth checking out…

MONTREAL GETS CLASSICAL IN MAY

The month of May in Montreal is all about classical music. Before the sounds of the Jazz Fest fill the city’s streets, parks and concert halls, it seems only fitting that we begin with the music that came first…

BARENAKED LADIES ON MONTREAL, ITS WOMEN, BAGELS…

Over the course of a 20 year career, the Barenaked Ladies have become one of Canada’s most beloved bands. When they touched down in Montreal before their April 30th, Metropolis show, I sat down with Jim Creegan and Tyler Stewart to talk about bagels, shopping, women and Mount Royal’s medieval fighters. We also got briefly serious and emotional, but it didn’t last long…