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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…

THE PEOPLE OF POP MONTREAL: PHOTO GALLERY BY RICHMOND LAM

There’s no way you’d ever confuse the Montreal Jazz Fest audience with that of Pop Montreal, but let’s just drop the overused “hipster” descriptor and move on. It’s about as accurate as calling Pop Montreal an “indie” music festival. We enlisted the wonderful Montreal photographer Richmond Lam to help document that the people who attend Pop Montreal are as diverse as the fest itself…

ARCADE FIRE AT POP MONTREAL 2011: VIDEO

Arcade Fire’s free outdoor Pop Montreal show at Quartier des Spectacles was everything we knew it would be. Over 100,000 fans showed up in downtown Montreal and were treated to one of the best concerts this city has ever seen. Check out the post below for a full review and some great photos by Susan Moss and watch this video and to get a sense of what a special night it was. Wow.

ARCADE FIRE AT POP MONTREAL: PHOTO GALLERY BY SUSAN MOSS

Arcade Fire’s love for Montreal – including the crowd of over 100,000 who came out to Quartier des Spectacles last night – was clear as soon as they walked on stage, smiling ear to ear and bouncing into Ready to Start, from their Grammy-winning album The Suburbs. Images of teenage rebellion among suburban sprawl played on screens behind the eight-member band, who seemed intent on eradicating world-wide malaise themselves. “Our hearts are very full right now,” lead singer Win Butler said, and he meant it. Arcade Fire was home.

POP MONTREAL: 10 YEARS OF SHOWS IN COOL PLACES

Back in its first year, 2002, Pop Montreal helped me discover the city’s nooks and crannies via music, and the festival still manages to find new venues for bands to make their own. Pop Montreal’s venue choices have included the tried and true, but it’s the unusual and interesting locales that have stuck in my memory. Maybe that’s how memory works though, a strange environment just solidifying good music and a good time…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (SEPTEMBER 15-22)

With summer behind us, we can now move on to more serious things. Like pop music festivals, eating hamburgers, singing karaoke classics and high-fiving extreme skiers. That’s just how Montreal rolls. But along with all that fun – all of which is actually happening in organized-event form this week – we’ve got thought-provoking drama and dance on more than a few stages, new mind-bending art, some very short films and, as always, rock n’ roll…