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M FOR MONTREAL 2011

Another great M for Montreal has just wrapped up and we got to the opportunity to see everyone from up-and-comers like Karim Ouellet to locals-done-great like Karkwa. M for MTL continues to be both a way for local bands to gain international exposure and for audiences to see a million (my estimate) bands in a couple days. Though 2011 still has plenty of great concerts on the way, our next big music fest here in Montreal is January’s Igloofest. See you there.

M FOR MONTREAL: THE BANDS YOU NEED TO SEE

In November, the reality that you’re no longer ambling listlessly through summer days becomes undeniable. But thankfully M for Montreal (November 16-19), the city’s mini music fest, is here to save the season. Here’s a list of some of the bands you need to see…

FALL 2011 CONCERTS IN MONTREAL

When it comes to concert craziness, it seems that each subsequent year outdoes its predecessor, and 2011 was no exception. Record attendance was reported at Montreal’s major music festivals and the number of club and larger venue music events hit an all-time high. Clearly, the appetite for music entertainment in Montreal continues to be one that’s not easily satisfied. Hungry music gourmandizers, therefore, will want to take note that Prince, The Wailers, Jay-Z & Kanye, Feist, Judas Priest, Bon Iver, the New York Philharmonic and many more represent the best of what’s left in 2011…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER 28 TO NOVEMBER 3

At the centre of the week ahead is Montreal’s favourite holiday: Halloween! Some have futilely argued with me that Halloween isn’t actually a holiday; they are wrong. Just like any other holiday worth its salt, Halloween has traditional costumes (witches, the living dead, sexy kitties), special dishes (candy), and time-honoured rituals (treat or treating, dance parties, making out with masked strangers). And this week, Halloween is celebrated from Friday night to Monday night! And in between, catch some live music, theatre, dance, a new movie and life-altering art…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER 21-28

No doubt about it, it’s fall now – the north winds blow, the leaves fall, the days grow shorter. Which also means Montreal nights are longer, and what better excuse to eat, drink and be merry well into the wee hours. Lovers of live music will adore this week in Montreal, as will lovers of film, as one film festival comes to an end and another begins. Montreal stages brace for drama, comedy, politics and the stomping of hundreds of horses hooves (seriously!). Art, poetry and spoken word round out the busy week with heady, ready made-in-Montreal creative stuff..

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER 14-20

As Montrealers gear up for our favourite non-holiday holiday, Halloween, our imaginations begin to run a little wilder than usual – and so do we. All that energy has to go somewhere – maybe that’s why there’s such a variety of creative, rebellious things to do this week. A film festival that turns mainstream on its head, a rebel-yelling ska festival, experimental dance, avant-garde art and spoken-word performances, old and new rock n’ roll…

FREE THINGS IN MONTREAL: OCTOBER

As the warm weather truly wanes here in Montreal, our heralded free outdoor activities are slowly replaced by free indoor activities – so dress for both this October. Indoors and out, there’s much to see and hear: modern art, interactive dance, jazz, movies and more.

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (OCTOBER 7-13)

At some point in the last few years, I started calling Thanksgiving Day, coming up this Monday, Canadian Thanksgiving. I blame my American friends, many of whom don’t understand why we celebrate Thanksgiving in early October. The common ground, however, is food and Montreal’s got plenty of food! But in between the turkey and pumpkin pie and leftovers, try to stuff in a cultural activity or two: a film festival, family-friendly theatre, new art, new dance, live music and a big gay party are all something to be thankful for…

MMFA OPENS BEAUTIFUL BOURGIE PAVILION AND CONCERT HALL

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is expanding in bold and beautiful ways. As autumn settles in and winter is trailing not so far behind it, art and music lovers can seek refuge in Montreal’s newest creative space – the Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion and Bourgie Concert Hall…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 30 TO OCTOBER 6)

Summer is over but Montreal’s busy fall season is about to leave all that fun and sun in its wake. As the days grow shorter this week, the nights light up here: in bars and restaurants – and for outside dining too, in theatres and music venues, in art galleries and cinemas. The weekend starts with an arts and culture bang with Les Journées de la Culture, three days of free entertainment around town and around the whole province…