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THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: SEPTEMBER 21-27

This week in Montreal is tailor-made for music fans and show-hoppers, with hundreds of bands in town for the Pop Montreal music fest, while at the same time, the new arts and culture season gets going with world-class dance, theatre, film, art, circus and more, some of it even outdoors during these last days official days of summer.

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: SEPTEMBER 14-20

Montreal is slowly starting to move indoors as summer fades away – things to do this week straddle the open-air events Montreal is famous for and the many sheltered options necessitated by the winter season. See films, dance and music shows in parks and in theatres, tour Tall Ships, meet Star Trek royalty, go to the Opera, or dance the night away…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: November 11-17

Montreal puts its own in the spotlight this week: musicians, filmmakers, actors, dancers, all kinds of the assorted amazing talent this town seems to inspire on a daily basis. At the same time, locals merge with international stars at two film festivals, a new Opera Montreal production of Rusalka, a music and arts festival focused on the Arab world, and more. With this wide a scope, there’s no shortage of entertainment…

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…

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…

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (JUNE 2-5)

June is here at last, the month we’ve been waiting for, when summer comes on strong and the festivals come on even stronger. It can be overwhelming at times – the Quartier des Spectacles fills with people, three or more festivals happen simultaneously with hundreds of events to choose from – but there’s something to suit every pace. This weekend, go dancing rave-style or nice and slow, take in some local independent theatre or the kind that tours the world, or lose yourself in operatic Italy or Latin love.

FREE THINGS IN MONTREAL: MARCH

Let the festivals and their related free events begin! Not that they ever stopped – not even winter can halt the arts in Montreal. But now that it’s March and the days seem to suddenly be brighter and longer (and slightly warmer), our enthusiasm for socializing also sees a considerable jump. We’re on our way to spring, and what better way to celebrate that fact, even if it does snow again, which it will, than by showing our smiling faces in public spaces…

MASSENET’S WERTHER: A NIGHT AT THE OPERA

The Opéra de Montréal debuted their latest production, Werther by Massenet (January 22-February 3 at Place des Arts), this past weekend and the Montreal Buzz was there to take it all in… French composer Jules Massenet based his libretto, Werther, on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther, a novel so popular that its publication in the late 18th century created a “Werther Fever”, which caused young men to dress in the style of the protagonist and even, in some extreme cases, to commit copycat suicides. Massenet’s Werther stays faithful to Goethe’s narrative arc: the young artist Werther falls in love with the beautiful and caring Charlotte, even though she is already engaged to another man. Werther runs off to escape his feelings for her, but returns only to find his love for her has not diminished and that desperate measures must be taken. A story about a tortured young artist deep in throes of love? A perfect fit for a city that gave Leonard Cohen to the world…