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French Music in Montreal: Coup de coeur

I think there’s a certain pleasure in listening to local music when you travel. If I had the choice between seeing Lady Gaga in Prague or hearing some Czech jazz musicians, I would definitely go for the second option, since it’s a unique experience to see local artists that might never make it to Montreal. The same applies for visitors coming to Montreal for the first time. Even if you don’t speak French, seeing a concert in French is a great way to discover the city’s arts and culture scene. If you’re visiting Montreal and want to check out some local music and see what the French music scene is like, then don’t miss Coup de coeur francophone. Read the full story to find my picks for this year’s edition.

DHC Session: An Annual Celebration of Modern Art

For art lovers, there’s nothing more exciting than a group show. In Montreal, with its thriving arts scene, we are quite fortunate to be able to discover new artists all the time. Group shows are fun because you can explore artists from various backgrounds, and learn about different kinds of art forms, whether it’s painting, sculpture or video, and see it all in the same space for a limited time. Either way, you have access to an array of original creations, giving you a chance to experience them all at once and meet other people into the arts scene. Last year, for instance, Montreal’s Contemporary Art Museum presented the first major retrospective of up-and-coming Quebec artists, and it quickly became one of the museum’s most successful events. Read the full story for more details about this exceptional contemporary art happening.

Montreal’s Alternative Classical Music Scene

Who said classical music is not accessible? In Montreal, you can take in some great concerts at very affordable prices that won’t cost as much as a major symphony orchestra ticket. Although I’m not an expert, I do like to discover some precious gems in the classical repertoire, especially when performed in smaller, lesser-known venues. Read the full story to find out how you can hear something a little different than Beethoven or Mozart while you’re in town.

Warning: La Chapelle Can Be Addictive

Montreal is full of interesting art galleries and performance spaces, but they’re not always easy to find simply by strolling through the streets.  However, if you keep your eyes peeled, you just might stumble upon La Chapelle, an alternative venue in the Plateau that focuses on experimental performances in a variety of disciplines and languages. Read the full story to find out how to catch a provocative puppet show inspired by Dennis Cooper’s infamous story of a serial killer.

Women Deconstruct Myths at MCAM

  MONTREAL’S CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM (MCAM) recently unveiled three new exhibitions running from October 10, 2009 to January 3, 2010, focusing on the work of three talented women artists from Montreal, Vancouver and the U.K. If Francine Savard, Tacita Dean and Tricia Middleton don’t seem to have much in common at first, look closer and you’ll see that the common theme in their work is the deconstruction of modern myths in our society. Read the full story to find out more about a bizarre apartment filled with dirt, detritus and random objects.

Learn French in Montreal with Creative Boost

The most frequent question people ask me when I talk to tourists about Montreal is whether or not speaking French is required to visit here. The truth is you can easily get around town even if you don’t know any French. Most locals are bilingual to a certain degree; however, getting to know a little French might be a good idea, especially if you’re planning on a longer visit, or if you simply want to enjoy and make the most of Montreal’s French culture, an essential part of the city’s past and present. Read the full story to know how to avoid bringing your ugly yellow “French for Dummies” book with you to Montreal.

Montreal’s best cheap ethnic restaurants

Montreal is literally bursting with ethnic restaurants. In fact, you can try a huge range of ethnic delights from over 80 different countries and regions, and more often than not, you can fill up for less than $10!

Cinemania: French Movies with English Subtitles

In Montreal, many people are into learning about other cultures. Movie lovers are no exception. For English speakers interested in French cinema, we have just the festival for you. CINEMANIA features French films shown with English subtitles. It’s been around for 15 years and has played host to such internationally acclaimed artists as Juliette Binoche, Isabelle Huppert, Patrice Lecomte, Emmanuelle Béart, and Bertrand Tavernier. To celebrate their 15th anniversary, they’ve selected some of the best movies made in French over the past year, and have invited one of the world’s most famous directors and provocateurs of the film world as a special guest. Read the full story to find out how you can catch the Canadian premiere of Costa-Gavras’ latest film and check out his master class on filmmaking and the creative process.

Antique Shopping in Montreal

Notre-Dame Street is Montreal’s antique shopping haven. A stroll between Guy and Atwater will take you on a walk back in time with more than 50 antique shops populating a one mile stretch, making it one of Canada’s highest concentrations of antiques and decoration shops.

TOHU: Montreal’s Circus Arts Centre

TOHU is a non-profit organization that was born ten years ago, an initiative of different institutions from the Montreal circus arts scene, including En Piste (the National Association of Circus Arts), the National Circus School and Cirque du Soleil.  Read the full story to know how you could catch tomorrow’s next Cirque du Soleil.