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5 art shows to see in Montréal before the holidays

Late fall in Montréal is a prime time for art gallery hopping, letting us bask in artistic genius as warm days and daylight wane. In addition to several Must-see Autumn 2015 museum exhibitions, the following five exhibitions on display in November and December offer a glimpse of the depth and quality of art in Montréal’s galleries year round. Begin your art tour with a solo show by Paris-based designer and Montrealer Rad Hourani at Arsenal, located in the Griffintown/Little Burgundy/Saint-Henri area of the city around the corner from several renowned restaurants, bars and stores on Notre Dame Street. In his solo exhibition Neutralité/Neutrality, Hourani uses painting, print, sculpture and video to expand on ideas in his unisex fashion line, challenging divisions of sex, gender, race, nationality and other social segregators. While we can’t touch the art despite its welcoming tactile nature, an on-site pop-up shop entices us to wear Hourani’s gorgeous fall fashions. While there, visit Galerie Division in the same massive industrial building just blocks from the Lachine Canal. On the western edge of Old Montréal, the factory-turned-gallery Darling Foundry greets visitors with Mirador, a public art mountain of scaffolding and other materials created by collective Acapulco, while in… / Read More →

Must-see autumn 2015 Montréal museum exhibitions

There are several hot-ticket exhibitions on display at Montréal museums this autumn. Here are some choice picks: The George S. Zimbel: A Humanist Photographer exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has plenty of star power: The exhibition features seventy images from Zimbel’s collection and covers three years of his career: 1953, 1954 and 1955. The result of photographic commissions for magazines and personal projects, some of these photos have become iconic, such as his series on Marilyn Monroe shot in 1954 during the production of the film The Seven Year Itch by director Billy Wilder. With a camera in his hand since his teenage years, Zimbel’s New York street scenes reflect the social and economic climate of postwar America. “1953, ’54, ’55 — those were tense years,” says Zimbel, who has lived and worked in Montréal since the early 1980s. “I was in the U.S. Army in Germany working on the Rhine River, but on leave I was seeing Europe for the first time. Then back to New York to freelance for magazines, industry, any assignment, anywhere — New York, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Texas — I was on my own, shooting all the time, had to make a… / Read More →

5 Montréal essentials: décor

We have a special relationship with the objects we use every day – which is why souvenirs you can enjoy in your home are the best way to remember a place fondly. Montréal has got a slew of handsome designs on offer, conceived by home-grown creative geniuses. Here are five Montréal essentials you won’t be able to live without! Monumental Love Sit pretty on a piece of Montréal history with the beautiful cushions by Monumental Love, a brand hat transforms gorgeous photos of the city’s iconic sights (think Orange Julep, the Five Roses sign, the Monster ride from La Ronde) into decorative objects. The full-feather pillows come in two sizes, 18 x 18” and 24 x 24”, and the photos are printed here in Montreal onto butter-soft cotton twill. The brand also makes magnets, prints, post cards – even phone cases. Find the cushions online here, or in person at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal boutique (185 Sainte-Catherine Street West), a great source for Montréal-made design right in the heart of Place des Arts. Starting at $60 for the 18 x 18” cushion cover. Atelier Non-Useless This Buddy table in the Friends series just goes to show how portable,… / Read More →

A Cultural Autumn with Karine Vanasse

On September 8, Québec audiences were glued to their television screens for the finale of Radio-Canada’s Vengeance, the French adaptation of Revenge, to find out what would become of Karine Vanasse’s character. Last April, the actress who plays Margaux LeMarchal, the powerful and ultra-rich heiress of a French media mogul, found out that there would not be a fifth season of the popular Mike Kelley show, whose ratings have exceeded 10 million viewers on ABC. “At first, I was only supposed to be in eight episodes of season 3. In the end, I shot over 40 episodes,” Karine states. Although she is disappointed that Vengeance was not renewed, she is happy to have some free time to pursue other interests. “The last season took nearly nine months to film,” explains the actress. “Since Vengeance has been cancelled, I can return to Québec and be part of a new television series, Luc Dionne’s Blue Moon.” She’ll also be present for the premiere of the movie she co-produced, Paul à Québec. Out and about in Montréal “It feels great to be back in Montréal,” she states. “I want to find out everything that’s been happening on the cultural front. One of my… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal Museums Social Calendar

This city’s cultural scene never sleeps, and a big part of that is thanks to museums. From all-night dance parties to weekend art classes for the kiddies, there’s always something going on in the fine arts! September • It’s time for your close-up: September 9 marks the opening of an exhibition of work by photographer George S. Zimbel at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. • Don’t miss the Nocturne at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, on Friday, September 11, 2015. The museum stays open late (till 2 am!), plus it features live bands or DJs, drinks, workshops and revelry. (Entry is free to MACarte holders.) • On September 13 at 1:30 pm, enjoy a lecture entitled The New Predators, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, featuring Mois de la Photo curator Joan Fontcuberta in conversation with the artists Joachim Schmid and Isabelle Le Minh. • Want to help your local contemporary museum while having the night of your life? Join Montréal’s jet-set scene at the annual Musée Ball, this September 19 at Arsenal. From ball gowns to foie gras, you’ll find it all here. • On September 22 at 5:30 pm, a lecture entitled Bach and His… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: August 7 to 13

From gay pride to heavy metal, to blues to high fashion – Montréal really does offer everything. In a single week! Forget about choosing, just walk around and soak it all up at once. Call it a cultural experiment. Fresh-air music Music fans, ready your ears: it’s Heavy Montréal! Get your hard rocks off in Parc Jean-Drapeau from August 7 to 9, as headliners including Slipknot, Faith No More, Korn, Iggy Pop and NOFX bring their death metal, hair metal, black metal, hard rock and hardcore to Montréal. All that aggression leaving you blue? Wallow in style at Festiblues International de Montréal, the all-blues festival that runs from August 6 to 9 in bucolic Parc Ahuntsic. Catch world-class blues from over 50 international artists. If pop is more your style, head to Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, just 45 minutes from central Montreal, where from August 8 to 16 hot air balloons and even hotter music cohabitate at International des Montgolfières Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu. With top acts like Meghan Trainor, Our Lady Peace, Radio Radio and Moist sharing the lineup with luminaries from closer to home like Éric Lapointe, Misteur Vallaire and Jonas and the Massive Attraction, it’s a high colour date not to be missed –… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 31 to August 6

Montréal is on island time this week – Île Ste-Hélène time, to be exact, where Osheaga brings some of the world’s top musical acts to play in a beautiful park setting. That’s just the weekend though, and the fun doesn’t stop there: how about getting heebie-jeebies at Fantasia? Or shopping at Marché des Possibles? In Montréal in the summer, everything is possible. Sounds and sunshine A bucolic music and arts festival in beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, across the St. Lawrence from downtown Montréal on Île Ste-Hélène, Osheaga rocks the island from July 31 to August 2 with open-air shows by Florence + The Machine, The Black Keys, NAS, Interpol, Kendrick Lamar, St. Vincent, The Kills, Run the Jewels, First Aid Kit, A Tribe Called Red, Young Fathers, Sza, Milk & Bone and Cri – for starters. With stages every few feet and programming so richly packed there are always two acts you want to see at the same time, it’s a frenzy – especially on this, its 10th anniversary. So check out your survival guide here. Meanwhile, MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues until August 2, along the Main, on… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 24 to 30

Fantasia Film Festival sets the tone this week, with cool and captivating screenings that provide the perfect interlude to long days in the sun. There’s also great art to be seen, hilarious comedy, and live music galore – this is Montréal, after all. Festival offerings MEG Montréal lights up our days and nights with hip hop, electro and indie rock at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. The Just for Laughs comedy fest continues too until July 28, with chuckles courtesy of Dave Chappelle, Howie Mandel, Norm Macdonald, Neil Patrick Harris and Kevin Hart (for the first time in Montréal!) still to be had. Get your survival guide here. For more local comedy year-round, our guide to English comedy clubs is your starting point. Until August 1, Zoofest offers a counterpoint to Just For Laughs with a focus on Canadian comedians and some saucy burlesque in the mix. Fresh-air fun There’s no doubt, Montréal’s green spaces are an amazing place to park it. Catch the last couple of days of Twelfth Night… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: July 17 to 23

Whether you’re looking for laughs, experimental post-punk, a chance to shake your tail under the sun or the best souvenirs EVER as produced by local artisans, Montréal is the place to be this week. Come on, jump in! (hot music) Catch the last of the Nuits D’Afrique festival until July 19 for a taste of the best of African and world music from all over the globe. For continued world-music bliss, check out this guide to clubs and happenings around town. It’s the second and final weekend of the inaugural feminist/queer Slut Island Festival, with a focus on experimental, post-punk, rock, plus raging dancing fun in the sun and around the city, July 17, 18 and 19. Don’t miss Dômesicles on Thursdays until August 13 at SAT, where dance beats rule both the Satosphere dome and the Foodlab terrasse. July 26 features Shaydakiss, A-Rock, TiND and Push 1 Stop. Starting July 23, dive right into MEG Montréal, Montréal’s hip hop, electro and indie-rock fest at venues along the Main, on outdoor stages and on the infamous MEG Boat in the Old Port, all until August 2. For more inspiration, check out our great guide to the summer’s music festivals. (arts… / Read More →

10 things under 10 minutes from Place-des-Arts metro station

Place des Arts, on the green line of Montréal’s metro (subway system), is the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles and the epicentre of entertainment during festival season. It’s also home to a stunning open-air museum thanks to the ephemeral interactive installations that crown the Place des Festivals throughout the year, such as Luminothérapie, 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) and others. In this new series of guides, we feature 10 activities under 10 minutes from this station, which combines a love of the arts with the art of dining. The must: Place des Arts Walking time: 4 minutes This impressive complex is the meeting site of some of Montréal’s most prestigious cultural institutions. Its six concert halls showcase the latest creations by the Jean‑Duceppe theatre company, the Opéra de Montréal, the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Danse Danse and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, to name just a few. If you want a taste of Québec culture, it all starts here. Gourmet snack: Brasserie T! and Taverne F Walking time: 2 minutes and 1 minute Nestled in the Place des Festivals, these two modern architectural jewels dazzle the eyes and tantalize the taste buds. Brasserie T!, the little sister of the award-winning Toqué! restaurant, offers scrumptious treats like… / Read More →