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Montréal’s star-studded autumn 2015 classical music season

Montréal’s Autumn 2015 cultural season has many treats in store for classical music lovers. Even Grammy Award-winning Maestro Kent Nagano of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal is especially thrilled this season. “We’re doing Halloween concerts!” Nagano says with obvious delight. “I am looking forward to them!” At their three Halloween concerts on Oct 29-30 at the Maison symphonique de Montréal, the OSM will perform compositions by, among others, Dukas (The Sorcerer’s Apprentice) and Saint-Saëns (Danse macabre). Also, the OSM presents three Kent Nagano Conducts Bolero concerts from Oct. 20-22. Nagano will revisit Ravel’s Bolero (long associated in Montréal with famed former OSM Maestro Charles Dutoit with whom the OSM recorded their hugely successful 1982 Bolero album), as well as Stravinsky’s Firebird and Don Juan by Richard Strauss. After sold-out multiple concerts with British pop superstar Mika and country rocker Jim Cuddy of Blue Rodeo, the OSM POP concert series returns with OSM Soul with associate conductor Simon Leclerc adapting gospel, R&B and soul classics with popular Quebec vocalists Elizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite, Gardy Fury, soul diva Kim Richardson, Dorian Sherwood and Normand Brathwaite. The concerts will be held Nov. 3-4 at the Maison symphonique de Montréal. Meanwhile, the professional McGill Chamber Orchestra… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 18 to 24

It’s a pre-fall frenzy, with the cultural season on the cusp of busting open while Pop Montréal and Mois de la Photo alone are putting on more to-dos than you’ll be able to fit in. Hope you’re wearing your sneakers so you can hit the ground running! Pop till you drop Hop your way through Pop Montréal until September 20! Among the city’s most exciting music festivals, Pop unites hundreds of rock, pop, hip-hop, folk and electro artists in venues all over Mile End and the Plateau (and beyond). There are dozens of shows every night, not to mention music-industry insider talks, film screenings, the Puces Pop art & craft fair, Fashion Pop’s catwalk shows, Art Pop’s amazing exhibitions and talks (don’t miss yours truly interviewing amazing artist Olaf Breuning on Friday, September 18 at 6 pm). On Friday, September 18, highlights include AfriKeleKtro, Crystal Eyes and/or Mötorhead; on Saturday, Eleni Mandell is unmissable at an early 6 pm show; and on Sunday, finish the weekend off with an atmospheric smorgasborg courtesy of People Pretend, starting at 11 pm. A matter of image Sensory Stories at Phi Centre invites visitors to discover immersive experiences and new technologies that engage our… / Read More →

See affordable shows on Montréal stages

The curtain goes up and the theatre, dance, circus or comedy show unfolds, its live tension palpable, often unique and unforgettable. In Montréal, that memorable experience doesn’t have to break the bank – all year round, the city’s stages are filled with live shows at affordable prices (some of them are even free!) The city’s biggest and arguably most opulent show venue, Place des Arts, houses six large theatres and several more show spaces right downtown. With shows every night, there’s usually something for every budget. Find inexpensive balcony seats for under $25, as well as student and seniors pricing and matinée deals at the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal  (OSM) conducted by Kent Nagano, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Grands Ballets, Canadian premieres of Broadway productions, and internationally touring dance company shows presented by Danse Danse. Especially watch for shows at Cinquième Salle, which often hosts cutting-edge productions by celebrated choreographers and directors. While theatre in Montréal is often quite affordable as it is, watch for inexpensive shows at the Segal Centre and Centaur Theatre studio and second stages, as well as theatre at the city’s many Maisons de la culture, host to productions by both established and… / Read More →

Montréal Shows Off its incredible fall cultural calendar

We’re standing on the doorstep to September, and while we have lived and loved our gorgeous Montréal summer, we can’t wait for fall because the city’s got a cultural calendar that’s bursting with discovery. Looking for something to do? Let’s peruse just a sample of what Montréal’s got in store this autumn. Dance   The pleasure and passion of dance is everywhere this fall, from the lovely pirouettes and astonishing jetées of Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal to the raw expressiveness of contemporary dance troupes like La La La Human Steps. Experience the seduction of salsa at the Salsathèque, the passion of flamenco, the amped-up energy of breakdance battles, or the fun of freestyling yourself! History The cooler weather tends to trigger a little nostalgia and introspection, and a great way to let it run its course is wandering through some of our halls of history. Whether you’re walking through the city’s past with the help of Montréal en histoires cutting-edge app, delving into stories of our communities at the McCord Museum or taking in an exhibition on the fascinating Aztec civilization at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum, a trip back in time is great for reconnecting. Music Montréal’s music scene… / 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: January 24-30

The days may be chilly, but Montreal’s penchant for entertainment and lively activities never freezes: celebrate snowy sports with the family, settle in at the opera, see the light in new art at the museums and outside, and rock ‘n’ roll or dance late into the night…

Things to Do in Montreal: November 29–December 5

Along with the newly fallen snow in Montreal comes the beginning of the holiday season and its many events — this week brings winter sports, on-stage spectacle, new film, unique shopping experiences and live music…

Things to Do in Montreal: November 15-21

Montreal’s entertainment and arts scene this week is all about shifting from big outdoor crowds to getting cozy inside, whether that means watching new and rare films, going to the circus or the opera, shopping for winter wear, or turning the heat up at a rock show…

Things to Do in Montreal: November 8-14

As the city recovers from over a week of Halloween activities, entertainment options pop up everywhere. Eat, drink and be merry during the TASTE MTL restaurant event, see new films at two international film festivals, run away with world-class circus and theatre, and rock out to live music…

Things to Do in Montreal: September 27-October 3

There’s no shortage of entertainment and creativity this week in Montreal, starting with the hot bands and equally hot people of music festival Pop Montreal, and moving into innovative international circus and dance shows, film screenings, and three days of free, family-friendly arts and culture activities at  Journées de la Culture…