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Montréal history awes in Montréal Avudo

A dazzling new multimedia show transforms the St. Lawrence River this summer in Montréal’s Old Port. Created in celebration of the city’s 375th anniversary, Montréal Avudo turns walls of water and 11 storeys of shipping containers into windows to the past. Through innovative projected 3D animations and archival images, sound effects and a striking musical score, Montréal Avudo takes us on a journey through the city’s history, from its industrial beginnings to its most recent innovations, spanning quiet winter nights and festive summer days over 375 years. With water jets reaching 30 metres high matched by 94 shipping containers stacked into the world’s highest container tower, Montréal Avudo seems set to stun. Yet within the show’s high-tech wonders is an impassioned, true-to-life tale of human connection – memories of lives lived along the St. Lawrence River, a community building a city from the ground up and into the global metropolis it is today. Montréal Avudo‘s creator, Swiss artist Daniele Finzi Pasca, is best known for crafting award-winning shows for Montréal-based Cirque Éloize (Nomade, Rain and Nebbia) and Cirque du Soleil (Corteo and Luzia), as well as imbuing the closing ceremonies of the Turin and Sochi Olympic Games with awe-inspiring imagery. He co-founded Compagnia Finzi Pasca with his wife, Julie… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 24 to March 2

With the idea of spring in the air, Montréal celebrates with one of the biggest winter festivals in the world, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, along with more inspiring dance, theatre, art, film and music, plus some top-talent hockey, indie video games and outdoor fun. Winter city lights Montréal is no stranger to winter festivities – we’ve been celebrating winter like a a pro for 375 years – while these last 18 winters have been even brighter with the wonderful MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts, culture and fine dining festival. From Feb. 23 to March 11, the fest shines with an all-new program of performing arts, diverse fine dining options, all-nighter event Nuit blanche on March 4, and the free and family-friendly downtown outdoor site. That’s where you’ll find great local food and drink (sample Québec cheeses, sip Cabral porto, roast marshmallows over open fires), live music and performances such as X-Lumina, and more unique activities: take a ride on the illuminated Ferris wheel, glide down the urban ice slide and zip line, and try your hand at a classic Canadian sport with Curling en lumière.  Activities for all Among the many free things to do this winter, try tobogganing or ice skating on the Mountain or visit Mammouth Village at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, featuring skating, ice slides, activities… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 3 to 9

Winter’s feeling fine as Montréal settles into February by going dancing in the snow, digging into La Poutine Week (perfectly paired with the Superbowl) and doing a little freestyle snowmobiling – with some opera, art, live music and speakeasy cocktails on the side. Montréal turns 375 From Montréal’s first winter carnival to this winter’s Les Hivernales events, the city has been celebrating winter like a a pro for 375 years. This weekend keeps the party going by day with free and family-friendly Fête des neiges at Parc Jean-Drapeau (complete with games, an ice-sculpted pirate ship, snow tubing, a Ferris Wheel and more), and at night with electronic music festival Igloofest in the Old Port – dance to music by Green Velvet and more artists on Friday and Dave Clarke and other beat-droppers on Saturday, plus incredible visuals. Day or night, try Igloofest’s Nordik ice slide on Place Jacques-Cartier or visit the Nordik Village next to Quai Jacques-Cartier. Freestyle snowmobiling is way up there on the list of extreme winter sports: see world snowmobiling champions perform unbelievable aerial tricks this weekend at free event Motoneige MTL Xtrem at Philips Square. On the other end of the e-sports spectrum: Ubisoft’s Rainbow Six Invitational gaming event at Usine C. And hear campfire songs and stories at Feu, feu, joli feu, un karaoké… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 30 to October 6

It’s finally fall in Montréal, and we’re celebrating the change of seasons with outdoor activities (from garden walks to Oktoberfest), a city-wide weekend cultural event, new art, film, theatre and dance, and live music for classical afficianados to late-night dancers. Action and adventure Explore exotic greenery lit by the soft glow of 1000 lanterns at the Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Light exhibition – the Chinese Garden features the Forbidden City while the Japanese Garden provides a contemplative setting. Or discover urban public art in a walk among the skyscrapers. The graceful power of figure skating hits the ice as top athletes compete at the 2016 Skate Canada Autumn Classic International, Sept. 29 to Oct. 1. The on-ice action continues at the Bell Centre as the Montréal Canadians take on the Toronto Maple Leafs on Oct. 6. Show your true colours in 5K The Color Run Night at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Oct. 1. Tour the universe in animated film We Are Stars on the 360° dome at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Montréal Space for Life.  And seek out new tastes by sampling craft beer from Québec microbreweries at Oktoberfest at Atwater Market, Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. It’s also Litty Italy Pizza Week Oct. 3-9! Art and culture Free… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 5 to 11

Montréal takes the chill off February this week with food festivals that celebrate poutine, chocolate and full-course meals, alongside winter festivals Fêtes des neiges and Igloofest and a glittering array of opera, art, dance, theatre, film and live music. Winter fun Whatever the weather, head to scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau for the final weekend of family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, a massive activity park featuring tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, a toddler play zone, hot beverages, delicious snacks and lively entertainment on Saturday and Sunday. The winter sports action continues at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at Olympic Park (also home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium). Nighttime stays bright as massive outdoor party Igloofest – also in its final weekend – gets people dancing in their parkas at the Old Port – this Friday dance to Michael Mayer, Tale of Us and more artists, while Saturday brings Brodinski, Swindle, Laura Scavo and more to the festival’s two stages. And the Montréal Canadiens try to get back on top of their NHL hockey game in three home rounds at the Bell Centre this week, facing the Oilers on Saturday, Hurricanes… / Read More →

Montréal’s star-studded winter-spring 2016 classical music season

Montréal’s winter-spring 2016 cultural season features many all-star concerts for classical music lovers. The return of famed Swiss Maestro Charles Dutoit with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal in the Maison symphonique for two much-anticipated concerts on February 18 and 20 with superstar Argentine pianist Martha Argerich (also former spouse of Dutoit) ranks as one of the most significant cultural events in Montréal in 2016, and is part of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. Dutoit, who turns 80 this year, will lead the OSM 14 years after his 24-year tenure as its legendary conductor, a period that witnessed the OSM’s elevation into the ranks of the world’s greatest orchestras. On the program: the overture of Roman Carnival, op. 9 by Berlioz; the Piano Concerto no 1 in C Major, op. 15, by Beethoven; Petrushka (the original 1911 version from) by Stravinsky; and La Valse by Ravel. Other concerts of note presented by the OSM this season include the concert recital Marie-Nicole Lemieux & The French Art of Song, presented in collaboration with Pro Musica at the Maison symphonique de Montréal on April 19, featuring internationally-acclaimed Quebec contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux, who was also appointed to the order of Canada in 2015; and three OSM Pop concerts with famed French entertainer Patrick… / Read More →

10 New Year’s resolutions you’ll keep… in Montréal

Whether we make them every year or we’ve sworn off them for life, New Year’s Resolutions can haunt us – the trick is to make your yearly promises as fun-loving as possible. And since Montréal is decidedly fun-loving, it’s easy to follow through on those quintessential New Year’s resolutions any time of the year. Eat a multi-course meal Eating is necessary to life, whether you’ve made a “lose-weight” resolution or not, and five-course meals aren’t something most of us enjoy every day – so why not dig in to Montréal’s best prix-fixe menus at award-winning hotel and independent gourmet restaurants serving delicious local creations, authentic French food, special late-night menus, and so much more. If you visit in late fall, take advantage of the slashed prices at dozens of restaurants during the MTL à TABLE Montréal restaurant week. If you’re here in February, look for gourmet specials at MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE. And from late February to early April, experience the Québec cabane à sucre sugar shack tradition. Drink the good stuff There’s no time like the present in Montréal to splurge on that cask-aged whiskey or gorgeous bottle of wine you’ve been dreaming about. Taste rare single malts and more… / Read More →

10 (more) wonderful ways to explore Montréal

A second (or third or fourth) visit to Montréal is a time for really getting to know the city and its people – but where to start digging deeper? We’ve compiled a top-ten list that’s all about going beyond the main attractions – check our 10 Montréal “musts” for first-time visitors first so you don’t miss any of those! See a Show at Place des Arts Live music, theatre, dance and more is all under the roof of Place des Arts, the city’s biggest theatre complex, right downtown in the Quartier des spectacles. Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and Orchestre Métropolitain play classical favourites and new music in the new Maison Symphonique, Opéra de Montréal stages lush opera productions, Danse Danse brings international dance stars to the Montreal stage, and rock stars and Broadway shows make appearances at PdA throughout the year. Shop the Plateau Find speciality stores and Canadian and Quebecois designers’ boutiques as well as bookstores, furniture and more on the streets of the Plateau neighbourhood, especially on Saint-Denis Street and Saint-Laurent Boulevard north of Sherbrooke, Mont-Royal Avenue in the several blocks east and west of the Mont-Royal Metro station, and along Laurier Avenue west of Saint-Laurent. and if… / 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 →