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Electronic wonders of the world at MUTEK and ELEKTRA

Two of Montréal’s most cutting-edge summer festivals, MUTEK and ELEKTRA, bring electronic music, high-tech creativity and experimental art from around the world to Montréal, June 1 to 5. This year marks the 17th edition for both festivals, with MUTEK’s roaster boasting over 100 musicians, producers and audiovisual artists – some in free outdoor shows – and ELEKTRA pulling out all the stops in digital multimedia performances and immersive art installations. Extraordinary A/V shows As part of citywide arts and culture event Digital Spring, both festivals boldly investigate our world’s digital tendencies through on-screen spectacles, intellectually considered artistry and long nights of underground techno. Audiovisual performances are one of the highlights at MUTEK: the A/Visions programs at the Salle Pierre-Mercure, feature immersive and astounding shows from Russian born, Berlin-based artists Dasha Rush & Stanislav Glasov, UK producer Paul Jebanasam, French musician Franck Vigroux and Belgian artist Kurt D’haeseleer, among many other talents. ELEKTRA joins the International Digital Art Biennial (BIAN) to presents its major multimedia exhibition AUTOMATA at Arsenal Contemporary Art gallery, under the tagline “art made by machines for machines,” while robotic performance Inferno, a theatrical music and light show of intense emotion and distortion called Blink, Bleu Remix a… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 27 to June 2

Music and performance festivals, a ticket-free Museums Day, fascinating outdoor entertainment, world-class opera and dance, glorious urban gardens and fabulous food make this week another uniquely Montréal way to celebrate spring. Fresh air Art, music and more entertainment fills the streets this week, from the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire projected on the walls, trees and alleyways of Old Montréal and the Old Port. The annual Mont-Royal Avenue street fair, June 2-5 in the Plateau neighbourhood, closes part of bustling Mont-Royal Avenue to traffic and fills the street with music, art, food, pop-up shopping, mini golf, a giant slide and more. There’s also plenty to see, eat and do downtown at the redesigned Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station. Over 80 exhibitors show off their green thumbs, plants and garden accessories at the 19th Great Gardening Weekend, May 27 to 29 at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Celebrate the 140th anniversary of Mount Royal Park at the dance night on Mount Royal event, with traditional folk dancing and an electro-trad performance on Saturday, May 28 outside Beaver Lake Pavilion. Outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles, as part of Festival TransAmériques, Montréal-based artist 2Fik reconstructs the… / Read More →

Where to hear live music in Montréal

Every band might say it in every city, but in Montréal it’s true: we’ve got the best audiences, not just on Friday and Saturday nights but every night of the week. Going to a live music show here is a glimpse at life as a Montrealer: enthusiastic applause, appreciative hooting and plenty of dancing are pretty much the norm, whether at a small venue or the Bell Centre. Since the 1920s, Montréal has been a musical mecca and nightlife destination, welcoming prohibition-era Americans to burlesque and jazz clubs that evolved into rock venues and dance clubs as the century wore on. Today, massive outdoor summer festival Osheaga, the electronic eclecticism of MUTEK and the indie-rock and hip hop of POP Montreal showcase not only touring bands but local musical geniuses, while throughout the year you can see live music at the following venues dedicated to brilliant music and quality sound. Théâtre Corona, Cabaret La Tulipe (4530 Papineau) and Le National (1220 Ste-Catherine E.): Among several venues that were at one time glitzy theatres, these three stand out for maintaining their theatrical charm – you can even go relax up in the balcony – while welcoming some of the latest and… / Read More →

Free things to do in Montréal this spring

There’s always something going on in Montréal whether the snow is falling or melting, and while many of those things come with a cost, all kinds of them don’t! We’ve got you covered for things to do in Montréal for free with friends, kids or on your own – from the first day of spring to the last. Free for the family Energetic kids can swing and make music at the same time on the 21 Swings art installation right downtown on De Maisonneuve Boulevard outside Place des Arts starting April 11, and if you’re here on May 20 skip over to Parc Hydro-Québec for the Grand Pique-nique Urbain for parents-and-kids yoga and more free activities. Curious kids will love the hands-on Eurêka Festival, featuring over 100 thought-provoking demonstrations, workshops, performances, magic shows and more, outdoors in the Old Port, June 10 to 12. Delve into Québec’s varied history, art and culture with a museums pass, taking advantage of the fact that kids 12 and under have free admission at many of the city’s major museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (which hosts several workshops and tours for kids and where admission to the permanent collections… / Read More →

Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide

When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often being called the capital of the digital arts in North America. New digital arts projects, video game production, the visual effects industry and virtual reality innovations all thrive here and are among the many reasons why Montréal Digital Spring has garnered international attention. The annual citywide event promises to free your mind and your body with interactive exhibitions and audio-visual performances, architectural installations and contemporary creations that cross artistic and scientific currents. Rules are meant to be broken during Digital Spring, so follow our Survival Guide to see the city of the future, now. THE EVENT  The 3rd edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Whether you’re a forerunner in cutting-edge technology or your kids just figured out your smart phone for you, Montréal Digital Spring can take you however deep into the high-tech arts rabbit hole you desire. Also known as Printemps numérique, Digital Spring partners with local arts and culture organizations – meaning the whole city gets in on the act, from… / Read More →

20 great reasons to visit Montréal in 2016

Because the food is fabulous 1. Get ready to roll out the red carpet and welcome Joël Robuchon, who starting in fall 2016 will be tickling our taste buds at Atelier, in the Montréal Casino on beautiful Île Notre-Dame. The famed French chef has 28 Michelin stars to his name—want to bet Atelier garners him more? 2. There are dozens upon dozens of award winning restaurants in La Belle Ville, including Joe Beef, Au Pied de Cochon, Park, Toqué, Laloux, Pastaga, Lawrence, Le Bremner, Le Serpent, Chez Lévêque, Foodlab… the city is your oyster. Find other suggestions here. 3. Montréal’s festivals are renowned, and some of them are tasty as heck. There’s a mouth-watering calendar of food fests, from Poutine Week in February to Happy November! in, well November, not to mention our very special restaurant week, MTL à TABLE, which brings flavour to the end of October every year by joining dozens of local restaurants together to offer prix-fixe menus that give everyone a chance to enjoy their out-of-sight delights. Come taste for yourself! Because it never sleeps 4. With a promoter like Evenko, Montréal doesn’t miss a thing. Not only do they put on world-famous festivals Osheaga and Heavy… / Read More →

Luminothérapie and high-tech creativity light up city life

A ride on an illuminated seesaw while surrounded by storeys-tall video projections may be all you need to get comfortable with Montréal winter this December. The city greets the season with the new glittering creations of annual event Luminothérapie, reflecting just how ahead of the technological curve Montréal is all year, whether in video gaming or art making. The sixth edition of Luminothérapie, held December 10 to January 31, builds on Montréal’s affinity for technological innovation with a distinctly artistic and cultural edge – this year’s event turns Place des Festivals into an interactive-art playground filled with 30 seesaws emitting sound and light. Inspired by Montrealers’ love of outdoor play no matter what the weather, the designers of Impulse – Lateral Office, CS Design and EGP Group – have created a cheerful gathering place in the heart of downtown. Meanwhile, video projections by Montréal-based digital art team Maotik and Iregular transform nearby Théâtre Maisonneuve and UQAM’s President–Kennedy building as well as the Grande Bibliothèque, UQAM bell tower and five more looming facades into screens for gorgeous abstract visuals accompanied by soundtracks by Toronto-based artist Mitchell Akiyama. Luminothérapie grew out of Montréal’s participation in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, a global network… / Read More →

Places to go dancing in Montréal

No matter what your taste in dance music, Montréal’s got you covered when it comes to shaking it off, breaking it down or getting your groove on. Dance in style to electro, hip hop, soul, top 40 and more any night of the week at the city’s best dance clubs. The big names in EDM show up at New City Gas, a converted factory that’s now a massive club for energetic party-goers. Nearby in Old Montréal, boutique-club Peopl. and subterranean lounge spot Velvet Speakeasy beckon with international and local DJs rubbing shoulders with the city’s beautiful people. And electronic and hip hop merge at one of the city’s newest and talked-about clubs, Newspeak, in downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles – dance to cutting-edge DJs, hip-hop artists, live indie-electro bands and more. Underground house, techno and dub in the style of the MUTEK music festival keep the grooves smooth and dancers happy at Le Bleury Bar à Vinyle, Salon Daomé in the Plateau on Mont-Royal Avenue and Datcha in Mile End. When last call at 3 a.m. just isn’t late enough and you’ve got plenty of dancing energy left, look no further than Stereo and Circus, two of the best world-class afterhours… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 22 to 28

It’s hopping in town this week – between C2MTL, Museums Day, MUTEK and Festival TransAmériques, our schedules are already full! But with the weather the way it is, it’s essential to take a chill pill and hang out in the sun a bit too. Culture corner It’s Museums Day! This Sunday, May 24, all museums and most cultural institutions in the city of Montréal offer free entry, plus shuttle buses along five different trajectories to take you from one to the other. It’s the best way to explore areas off the beaten track. Two shows launch at TOHU this week: Les Étinceleurs, which runs from May 26 to June 7, a high-octane show featuring the best and brightest of the National Circus School, and L’Art de la Fugue, starting on May 27 and running until June 7, which is an homage to Bach, à la circus. Not to be missed! May 23 is your last chance to catch Death and the Maiden by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a choreography by Stephan Thoss inspired by the Franz Schubert score of the same name and presented at Théâtre Maisonneuve. (Don’t miss the free pre-show talk hosted by Shelley Pomerance an hour before… / Read More →

2015 guide to Montréal summer music festivals

It’s beginning to sound a lot like summer in Montréal, as evidenced by the almost paralyzing array of music festival options – Osheaga, the Jazz Fest, Piknic Electronik, MUTEK and Heavy Montréal among them – featuring failsafe mainstays and some righteously exciting newbies. Getting wired and being plugged-in don’t always mean the same thing, but you can certainly do both in style at digital arts festival Elektra. From May 13 to 17, Elektra showcases new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, gaming and more, in combination with the inventive use of next-level digital technologies. Conversely, bringing music fun back to the basics is the annual Pouzza Fest of all things punk rock, May 15-17. Steadily making a bigger and badder name for itself over the last five years, Pouzza returns with over 200 punk bands that span generations of punk fans, including 80s punks the Dwarves, Chicago hardcore unit 88 Fingers Louie, and L.A. pop punks The Muffs. Summer is synonymous with picnics, and summer in Montréal has become synonymous with Piknic Electronik, the wildly popular weekly outdoor electronic music dance party. Typically held in Parc Jean-Drapeau (on Île Ste-Hélène, across from Montréal’s Old Port), this year’s Piknic Electronik… / Read More →