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Things to do in Montréal: May 6 to 12

Mothers make the world go ‘round, and Montréal knows it – the city is set to celebrate all moms this weekend, whether at brunch or the spa, the garden or craft fairs, cocktail bars or the beer fest. There’s also Cirque du Soleil’s newest show for the whole family, a big food truck event, and evening entertainment, from symphony orchestras and ballet to musicals and  electro dance nights. Mothers’ Day Treat Moms to something special in Montréal this weekend. Numerous restaurants offer a Mother’s Day special Sunday brunch menus: the Ritz-Carlton hosts brunch and a live jazz band, while 400 Coups, Restaurant Tandem, Restaurant Helena, Les Cavistes, Chez Alexandre and Industria Brasserie Italienne celebrate mothers with multi-course prix-fixe meals. Brunch favourites Tapas 24, Mercuri, Nolana and Madre also celebrate the day with great food and service, as do many more restaurants around the city. Our guide to living in the lap of luxury in Montréal details where to shop for locally designed and internationally desired fashion, and find high-class food and drink to go with it – plus the most relaxing spas around. If you’re coming to the city with kids, look into staying at a family-friendly hotel and wonder… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 1 to 7

April arrives in Montréal as sugar shack season begins to wind down – get your fill of maple syrup and more food before it’s over – and award-winning restaurants revamp menus while the spring cultural calendar heats up with multimedia art, dance, theatre, orchestra concerts and all kinds of live music. April flowers Step into Montréal’s Botanical Garden to see the very beginnings of spring in bud and sample maple taffy on snow during sugaring off time (only until April 3!), while indoors butterflies go free and caterpillars cocoon, and the Botanical Garden restaurant’s special Sugar Shack menu keeps everyone well fed to April 24. If you’re extending your Spring Break in Montréal, consult our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style and Montréal nightlife guide for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has some ideas for entertaining and even subtly educational things to do with kids. Throughout the season, find free things to do in Montréal – for families, for friends, for fun (speaking of fun, these great gifs illustrate the 10 Signs that spring has totally arrived in Montréal.) Do you love spas, fancy… / Read More →

Forty reasons to celebrate the 40 years since the 1976 Summer Olympics

It was one of the most pivotal periods in the history of the city. For two weeks in July, Montréal held the attention of the world as the host city for the 1976 Summer Olympics, which would live on in sports history as one of the most memorable presentations of the Games ever. Now, in 2016, Montréal is preparing to mark this milestone moment with an appropriately epic commemoration featuring 40 events celebrating the 40 years since the Olympics captured our imagination. The 1976 Summer Olympics in Montréal were the very first Summer Olympics hosted by Canada (and following two Winter Olympics in Calgary and Vancouver, remain the only Summer Games to take place here). Among the many highlights: 14-year-old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci held the world in thrall, scoring seven perfect 10s on the way to winning three gold medals. Bruce Jenner set a world record with his gold medal performance in the decathlon. And after breaking his right knee during the floor exercise, Japanese gymnast Shun Fujimoto hid the injury during the rings event and somehow managed to stick a perfect dismount thus securing gold for the Japanese team. We could go on… Montréal will pay tribute to these… / Read More →

OSM highlights for spring and summer 2016

The internationally-revered Orchestre symphonique de Montréal continues its blockbuster 2015-2016 season with a major 10-city U.S. tour that runs from March 14 to 26 to mark the 10th season of Grammy-winning Maestro Kent Nagano as OSM music director. The program will include Stravinsky’s immortal The Rite of Spring which audiences in Montréal can see the OSM perform first at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal at Place des Arts, from March 8 to 10. There are also several other must-see concerts to wind down the OSM’s 82nd season: French conductor Alain Altinoglu will appear for the first time with the OSM, in Holst’s The Planets as well as works by Simon Bertrand, Scott Good and Jeffrey Ryan (April 12, 13 and 14); while Finnish conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste will be heard in Shostakovich’s Eighth Symphony (April 20 and 21). Also, Russian conductor Vasily Petrenko will make a much-anticipated return to the OSM in Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, “Titan” (May 11 and 12). Music lovers and film buffs will also enjoy the program Dina Gilbert and Movie Soundtracks with Dina Gilbert, OSM assistant conductor, and legendary Québec actor and the evening’s host, Rémy Girard (April 26). This concert is presented without projections. The Toronto Symphony… / 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 →

Montréal offers a chorus of song for the holiday season

’Tis the season to have your ears sweep you off your feet as many of Montréal’s illustrious choirs and orchestras – offering spirited gospel, pop, classical, jazz and more – bring their holiday A-game to the city’s best venues in the coming weeks. The award-winning Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir – who closed the Montreal International Jazz Festival this year and have collaborated with artists like Ray Charles, Céline Dion and Barry White – are prepping for the 33rd instalment of their hugely popular Gospel Celebration Christmas Show. Roof-raising gospel songs and a selection of festive faves are all on tap for what is guaranteed to be an unforgettable celebration of song at Théâtre Maisonneuve, in Place des Arts, December 6. Hallelujah! The magnificent Saint Joseph’s Oratory – Canada’s largest church, situated on the western slope of Mount Royal – plays host to some 2 million visitors each year, many of whom eagerly anticipate the annual series of Christmas concerts. Again this year, on December 4 (8 pm) and 5 (2:30 and 8 pm), the Basilica of the Oratory will play host to ten renowned artists performing 22 holiday arias in the company of Oratory organist Vincent Boucher musical director/bassist Jacques Roy. It’s a Wainwright holiday… / Read More →

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE leaves the lights on even longer this year

The autumn leaves are barely off the trees, the first flurries have so far only teased, but winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is already planning a “blizzard” of arts and entertainment. Their freshly announced programming includes surprises in every corner of performance – music, theatre, dance, circus and more – and some welcome news for those who can’t get enough of Montréal’s cold-weather fun fest. MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, which annually attracts some 1,300,000 visitors, is already one of the largest winter festivals in the world, and now it will be one of the longest. The 2016 edition jumps from 11 to 17 days, February 18 to March 5, in order for families to take full advantage of the midwinter school break. Also new, as it is every year, is the festival’s featured country or city, and this year MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will celebrate Shenzhen, China. One of the world’s most rapidly developing urban centers, Shenzhen (population 10 million) is a UNESCO City of Design and a major arts and culture hub, making it a fascinating ambassador for the many Chinese-themed events at the festival. First among these is the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra – presenting Chinese and European classical works celebrating… / 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 →

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 →