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Things to do in Montréal: June 26 to July 2

Music is in the air in Montréal this week, not only with the Jazz Fest kicking off at full volume, but also AIM, the three-day music electro fest that has got bum-shakers from far and wide excited. Whatever beat you bop your head to (Canada Day, perhaps?), summer has swing in this fair city! (festival action) Vic Vogel, Beirut, Bebel Gilberto, Cibo Matto, Erykah Badu, Mika, Huey Lewis and the News… it can only be the highly anticipated Festival International de Jazz de Montréal! In addition to these must-sees, there are dozens of free shows throughout the Quartier des spectacles from June 26 to July 5, not to mention beer stalls, cocktail booths, food stands of all sorts, an exhibition space with purchasable art by Montréal greats and photos from past editions of the festival, plus awesome merch stores – in short, all you need for a full day’s entertainment. Is it any wonder this is the mother of all our summer music festivals? Electronic music lovers won’t want to miss this year’s AIM Festival, from June 26 to 29, featuring three days full of dance-friendly beats from, among others, Jamie xx, Tiga, Pleasurekraft, Isolee, Kerri Chandler, Kevin Saunderson, The… / 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 →

Things to do in Montréal April 16 to 22

Who can get enough of this sun?! The pendulum has swung in this beautifully bipolar city, utterly bypassing spring and basically settling on straight-up summer. We’ll take it! The streets are teeming with life, bike paths are back in action, coffee shops are spilling out and Montréal’s famous terrasses are just waiting for you to come tipple between cultural happenings and live music shows. Lounging like lizards Sometimes the best way to spend time is to waste it. Nothing will make you appreciate the simple beauty of life like a day spent strolling around Montréal in your short sleeves. Mount Royal and the city’s other dozens of parks are bursting with green shoots and wild crocuses pushing their brave way through the snow, Montréal’s best terrasses are open again with promises of refreshing cocktails or caffeinated concoctions, and, best of all this year in terms of putting a spring in our step, the Habs are in the playoffs. Life is good! Take in the games at one of these great sporty spots. Taking in art The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal has a great roster of spring exhibitions, including Sophie Calle and Simon Starling, the latter of whom examines metamorphosis… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: John Zeppetelli

John Zeppetelli had lived in many places and curated for some of the most renowned contemporary art establishments before becoming Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). The avid runner has breathed new life into the institution, thanks to an infectious passion for art and an ability to speak about it in simple, human terms. This is how he experiences Montréal. Job: Director and Chief Curator of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal. Favourite pastime: Watching dark, Scandinavian TV dramas. The Bridge, The Killing… I had just travelled to Copenhagen a couple of months before watching The Bridge, and I became obsessed! I also love reading. How long have you been a Montrealer? I am a born and bred Montrealer. I’ve also lived in Italy, Scotland, England, and in the United States. What’s the coolest thing you’ve done so far this year? I’m very happy with my collection show, “New Discoveries and Other Obsessions,” which just opened on February 28. My first exhibition as Director of the MAC was at another museum, oddly enough, the “1+1” exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, so this is the first I’ve done in our space. I… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: March 19 to 25

As Mother Nature tries to decide which way to go out there, huddle indoors with a few dozen good movies thanks to the International Festival of Films on Art this week, or lose yourself in the masses of programming for Digital Spring. There’s also tons of family activities, theatre, ballet, music, and the exciting kickoff of the sugaring season. (Be sure to warn your dentist.) All about arts The 2015 edition of the International Festival of Films on Art presents some 60 films about art this year, running from March 19 to 29, in cinemas all over the downtown core. You can see films on everything from architecture to dance to animation; goodies like Escape From Moomin Valley, all about the fantastical world of comic artist Tove Jansson, or The Man Who Saved the Louvre, about the heroic efforts of Louvre director Jacques Jaujard during the Second World War. Read more here. Theatre lovers won’t want to miss their last chance to catch The Goodnight Bird, at Centaur, a play about a vagrant who lands on a middle-aged couple’s balcony. It runs until March 22. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal premiere their latest opus on March 19: The Little Prince, chorographed by Dutch… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 23 to 29

It may be cold, but it’s cool, too. This week, Montréal is alive with the celebration of winter’s wonder, especially with the electrifying Igloofest outdoor dance party – but that makes the soul-warming indoor moments even more precious. Don’t miss the latest exhibitions, dance performances and live music shows. Outdoor fun Igloofest tops the charts of outdoor entertainment with its second weekend, featuring a mass of amazing DJs, including the spontaneous orchestrations of Germany’s Loco Dice and the heavy, hip-hop inflected tracks of Belgium’s Dave Luxe. Local acts include Enfants Malins, Da-P Dabeatx and Nick Wisdom, if you’re looking to move to Québec’s particular party sound. Parc Jean-Drapeau is a snowy haven of family activities during the Fête des neiges de Montréal, where the kids can skate, zip-line, slide, dog-sled and so much more. Get active alongside them and reward yourself with a feast from one of the food trucks. Or, in the Olympic Village, skate, go on sleigh rides or catch some live music all for free, as the Winter Village continues to emanate its charm. The free outdoor skating rink is one of the best maintained in the city, and what an impressive view! Cozy culture The latest, greatest show… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal this October

As ghouls and golems rev up for the end of the month, entertainment is around every corner, in the form of art openings, dance shows, Oktoberfest and more. Get out there and enjoy it all…

Things to Do in Montreal: November 1-7

The city pulls out all the stops for Halloween, with wild and eerie entertainment and parties all weekend, while still attending to another of life’s necessities: food, courtesy of TASTE MTL. Once Halloween ends, the food fun continues along with innovative theatre, dance, art and live music… (restaurant hopping) Montreal holds its own version of restaurant week with TASTE MTL, November 1-11, inviting over 100 restaurants to prepare affordable 3-course meals, giving culinary tours around the city, and offering wine tastings, cooking classes and workshops with master chefs and gastronomy experts. Restaurants Tasso, Au Cinquième Péché and Le Continental on St-Denis Street even host Opéra de Montréal singers on select evenings, and, as an enticement to sample restaurants on Mont-Royal Avenue, on the evenings of November 1-2 and 8-9 see several hundred candles light up in an art installation outside Mont-Royal metro station. (fright nights) Halloween happens all weekend in Montreal, so expect to see costumed hoards aplenty. Celebrate the season outdoors at the Montreal Botanical Garden, where the Great Pumpkin Ball and the Insectarium’s Spiders Unmasked shows entertain all day, or go on a ghost tour of the city with Fantômes Montreal. Of course, night time is when the real… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montreal: October 25-31

As both winter and Halloween approach, Montreal continues to entertain with live theatre and music, intriguing art, designer shopping, and horror movies, along with many chances this week to make the most of the fall weather, whether it’s sunny for daytime ambling or eerily overcast for costumed cavorting…

Beat Nation Remixes Aboriginal Art and Hip Hop

Drumbeats, many resounding like the rhythm of the human heart and some more akin to electronic dance music, accompany an array of sculptural, painting and new media work by a new generation of North American Aboriginal artists in Beat Nation: Art, Hip Hop and Aboriginal Culture, at the Musée d’art contemporain this fall…