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Things to do in Montréal: November 20 to 26

The snow has yet to fall, but Santa’s already coming to town for Montréal’s legendary Santa Claus Parade this week, along with new documentary films from around the world, gripping opera, theatre and dance, artisanal and craft fairs, and all kinds of live music from local indie-rock and jazz to electro-pop and Bach. Santa in the city Spend some family time with Santa and a whole lot of other people as the 65th Edition of the Santa Claus Parade official starts the holiday season in Montréal on Saturday, November 21. Starting at 11 a.m. on Sainte-Catherine Street, between Du Fort and Saint-Urbain, cheer on 20 spectacular floats and a host of singers, dancers, street performers, polar bears and, of course, Santa! There’s more Santa to see at Parc Jean-Drapeau too: drink hot chocolate and see all the handmade Santa figurines at the Stewart Museum or cheer on the hundreds of runners dressed as Santa Claus for the Santa Montreal 5 km race, starting at 10 a.m. on November 21. Toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life lights up the season in a different way… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: November 6 to 12

November warms us up with gourmet food and drink at MTL à TABLE, La Grande Dégustation and more delicious events, along with the thrills of this week’s high-energy hockey and dance, innovations in film and art, and joyous fun of theatre and live music. Go gourmet Eat well and often as the city’s best restaurants participate in MTL à TABLE, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, a celebration of food and drink with special prices to match. Until November 8, food lovers can enjoy table d’hôte menus at reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à TABLE for details and feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Not only that but month-long event Happy November adds to the festivities, including La Grande Dégustation de Montréal, November 6 and 7, showcasing 200 wine producers, distillers and brewers and their fabulous wares at Place Bonaventure. And if you’re vegan or simply vegan-curious, check out the 2nd-annual Montréal Vegan… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal October 30 to November 5

Clocks turn back but Montréal faces forward this week with innovate and affordable gourmet cuisine at MTL à Table Restaurant Week, all manner of Halloween celebrations, mind-expanding new dance, theatre, film and art, and live music that shakes up the status quo. Restaurant Week specialities Food, glorious food, rules the city this week as MTL à Table, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, celebrates the pleasures of a good meal, a perfect snack and the best tipple to pair with it. Until November 8, food lovers can find table d’hôte reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, chocolate sampling, special events and more at 150 restaurants and other locations throughout the city. See our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à Table for details and get ready to feast at brilliant brunch eateries, family-friendly restaurants, group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites and much more, plus try out local cheeses or take a gourmet excursion. Alternatively, if you’d like to get in the kitchen yourself, choose the Montréal cooking class that suits your tastes. Find autumn delicacies at local farms and wineries and take a delicious piece of Montréal home with you in a jar with these locally-made treats…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: October 23 to 29

Late October in Montréal is all about food, art-abundant culture, live music and Halloween fun. The city’s official Restaurant Week, MTL à TABLE, kicks off with gourmet festivities and menu specials, just as a cultural feast is unleashed in theatres and galleries, touring bands thrill music fans and Halloween activities creep into our already wild nightlife. Fantastic food   Montréal is a food lovers’ city, with more restaurants than most major urban centres and the acclaim to match – try as many eateries as you can during MTL à TABLE, Montréal’s official Restaurant Week, happening October 29 to November 8 at 150 restaurants across the city. For 11 days, take advantage of table d’hôte reduced prices ($21, $31 or $41), culinary tours, wine tastings, special events and more, from family-friendly restaurants to group-friendly locales, bring-your-own-wine favourites to local cheeses. For more details on what to do and where to go during Restaurant Week, read our Tourisme Montréal Guide to the 2015 Edition of MTL à TABLE. Happy eating! Halloween anticipation Because Montréalers love Halloween, the costumed fun starts early. Cult movie fans cheer for both the film and a cast of characters on stage at the Rocky Horror Picture Show Ball,… / Read More →

A Cultural Autumn with Ariane Moffatt

After having spent the summer playing festivals, including the Festival d’été de Québec where she opened for Patrick Bruel, Ariane Moffatt will be taking her 22h22 tour across Quebec this fall and has even scheduled a few stops in France in December. She’s playing Club Soda on November 12, and will then put on a number shows in Montreal’s outlying cities. “Most of my concerts this fall will be close to home,” says the mother of two-year-old twins. Performing arts Despite having to juggle work and family life, Ariane always finds the time to check out emerging artists. “I absolutely love Pop Montréal, the international music festival that took place this year from September 16 to the 20. It’s the best place to discover up-and-coming musicians, especially indie music artists, and to revisit well-established ones. There are about 30 halls hosting nearly 400 performers. In 2009, I played at the Ukrainian National Federation’s church in Mile End as part of this festival. It was awesome!” Being a mother has also led her to discover—or, in some cases, rediscover—other art forms, like children’s theatre. “My sons are still very young, but they have a great attention span,” adds the 36-year-old singer…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 4 to 10

Labour Day is around the corner, school is starting again… but that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Get out there and enjoy the best of summer with world-class visual arts, illuminated gardens, incredible films from the world over and an endless bounty of burgers. Pretty pictures The World Press Photo exhibition celebrates its 10th anniversary this year, returning to Marché Bonsecours in Old Montréal to wow image lovers until September 27 with the world’s very best in professional media photography. Then, from September 10 to October 11, the Mois de la Photo de Montréal photography biennale returns with an edition curated by Catalan artist Joan Fontcuberta according to the theme The Post-Photographic Condition. Here’s a taste of what to expect at both. This is also your last week to see the awesome shows on at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal: David Altmejd’s sprawling solo show called Flux is engrossing in every sense of the word, full of his signature visceral odes to the process of metamorphosis and transformation, while Jon Rafman’s solo displays his penchant for kinky subcultures and videogame narratives in very entertaining installations (note: you’ll want to allow good time to sit and watch). YUL… / Read More →

10 Montréal “Musts” For First-Time Visitors

A first-time visit to any city can be overwhelming. What to see? What to do? And most importantly — how to prioritize it all?  To simplify your initial Montréal visit, we’ve compiled a simple list of crowd-pleasin’ attractions. Think of it as a “greatest hits” list of what to see and do in a diverse and exciting city. In no particular order, here are ten activities and attractions that first-time Montréal visitors might want to put on their “must see” list. Climb Mount Royal (The Lookout) Designed by Frederick Law Olmstead (the same landscape architect who crafted New York’s Central Park), the “mountain” park at the heart of the city is the city’s most iconic landmark — and the most popular place to snap a Montréal selfie. Reach the viewpoint at the top of Mount Royal Park by walking up the stairs or with a guided tour. In the chalet at the summit, visitors will find washrooms and a small canteen for refreshments. Give yourself a breezy two hours. Spree on St-Catherine As one of the longest commercial strips in Canada, Sainte-Catherine Street is the perfect place for retail rehabilitation. You’ll find international fashion mainstays such as Gap, Victoria’s Secret… / Read More →

The must-see exhibitions this summer in Montréal

As the culturally vibrant town that it is, Montréal is host to large-scale exhibitions this summer. From the dreamy and glassy universe of David Altmejd to Rodin’s spectacular bronzes to the luminous photographs of Horst, the town beams with artistic brilliance.  David Altmejd’s Flux and Jon Rafman Be sure to catch Flux from David Altmejd at the Musée d’art contemporain (MAC). Through materials (e.g., plexiglass and mirrors), scale (of the massive kind), and fantastical iconography, this Montréal artist now based in New York City exposes his creative world of wonders. Breathtaking and fascinating, you can easily spend hours just examining the many facets of The Flux and The Puddle, an impressive and massive showcase of the artist’s wild ingenuity. Meanwhile, The Spectre and The Main, at once static and dynamic, recalls the discovery of the ruins of an enchanted civilization as described in Barjavel’s “La Nuit des Temps.” And what about those giant figures—somewhat exotic, somewhat decomposed, and totally extraordinary. Also at the MAC is Montréal artist Jon Rafman’s inaugural exhibition of new and recent works. Drawing inspiration from the Internet and video game culture, as well as from some particularly obscure sub-cultures of the web, he creates alienated environments… / Read More →

Deals and steals at Montréal museums

Montréal Museums’ Day is a great way for art-lovers on a budget to visit Montréal’s 38 museums for free in late May each year. But the city’s major museums also have many deals year-round to see blockbuster exhibits as well as their permanent collections. Here are some choice activities and deals for solo visitors as well as families on a budget: Family deals The oldest and busiest museum in Canada, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts schedules Family Weekends with children’s drop-in workshops and interactive tours of the collections, as well as lectures and film screenings in the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium. MMFA admission for children 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MMFA’s popular Museum Day Camps for children. The Musée d’art contemporain admission for children aged 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MAC’s popular Museum Day Camps for children.  The MAC also charges a flat-rate $30 admission for families (2 adults with children). The McCord Museum admission and activities are free for children aged 12 and under. On arrival at the McCord’s admissions desk, kids will get a free backpack (as long as quantities last) containing everything they’ll need for… / Read More →

Innovative Electronic Music and Art at Mutek 2015

Body, mind and music meet at Mutek once again, as the festival encapsulates the heart of innovative electronic music and high-tech visual art in its 16th edition, May 27 to 31 in Montréal, featuring a roster of internationally-known big names and emerging artists ready to set urban stages, screens and dance floors on figurative fire. With a well-earned reputation as one of the best live-performance electronic music and arts festivals in the world, Mutek 2015 continues the festival’s focus on true originality, impressive real-time experiences and creating an inclusive festival environment where artists and audiences easily mingle. A key player in the city-wide Digital Spring arts and cultural program, Mutek this year features over 100 artists and several world, North American and Canadian premieres, with both paid and totally free shows held at the chic Musée d’art contemporain, outside in the sun at Place des Arts and at top music venue Métropolis. Fans of electronic visual art with a music-minded bent flock to Mutek’s immersive A/Visions evening series, though late-night Nocturnes and Métropolis club events almost always sport jaw-dropping visuals too. Daytime events in the outdoor Experience program groove to accessible beats for both fans and passers-by, while the free-entry… / Read More →