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Your guide to how to “do” C2 Montréal

Commerce and creativity will once again intersect in a tremendous collision of ideas when more than 5,000 business innovators, entrepreneurs and creatives gather to find creative solutions to business problems at the C2 Montréal conference. Taking place over three days, May 24-26, at remarkable (and immense) contemporary space Arsenal in Montreal’s Griffintown district, C2 will play host to an inspirational array of top thinkers, field leaders and straight-up industry visionaries, and an almost dizzying choice of activities and entertainment. Let the following be your guide for how to “do” C2. Most definite “dos” The first do is one of the biggest: DO MAKE A PLAN. This year, as every year, C2 Montréal’s cup overfloweth with speaker talks (130 last year), masterclasses, workshops, labs, networking sessions, social gatherings, entertainment, art and so many other activities. You don’t want to miss out on anything, so a little preparation beforehand makes for a successful plan of attack. Avail yourself of world-class, top-tier speakers sharing their thoughts in C2’s brand-new, state-of-the-art 360 Big Top performance platform. This year features talks by none other than Apple inventor Steve Wozniak, video game icon Jade Raymond, Cirque du Soleil creative brain J-F Bouchard, deep-learning luminary Yoshua Bengio,… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 14 to 20

Montréal celebrates the return of spring with Easter brunches, Cirque du Soleil’s newest show, musical swings and butterflies, NHL playoffs and pro soccer, martial arts merged with dance, and live music by the Dixie Chicks, Jackson Brown, PJ Harvey and more. Easter weekend activities Montréal makes the most of the Easter long weekend, from staying active to religiously reflecting, whether you’re here with friends, family or that special someone – see our guide to Easter weekend 2017 for some ideas. Swing like you’re a kid again – and make music at the same time! – at 21 Swings outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles, part of this year’s Digital Spring art-meets-tech explorations. Observe butterflies up close and in the hundreds at the Botanical Garden greenhouse’s Butterflies Go Free event, part of the Montréal Space for Life‘s manyactivities. The NHL playoffs have hockey fans at the edge of their seats: the Montréal Canadiens face off against the New York Rangers at the Bell Centre on April 14. For soccer fans: Minor League Soccer team Montréal Impact plays Atlanta United FC in the season home opener on April 15 at Saputo Stadium. Take a walk off the beaten path to discover welcoming and wonderful quirky spots in Montréal, from urban caves to arcade bars to Montréal’s best karaoke… / 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 →

Montréal’s Autumn 2016 opera, ballet and classical music season

Montréal’s Autumn 2016 cultural season has many treats in store for lovers of opera, ballet and classical music. International stars will grace Montreal’s finest stages, including Russian classical pianist Denis Matsuev; Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux; Chinese-American cellist Yo-Yo Ma; as well as Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Montreal-born conductor and music director of the Orchestre Métropolitain recently named music director of the Metropolitan Opera in New York beginning in 2020. The Opéra de Montréal launches their 37th season with a big-budget production of Guiseppe Verdi’s three-act masterpiece Aida, set in Ancient Egypt and first performed at Cairo’s Khedivial Opera House in 1871. The Montreal production runs Sept. 17 to 24 and stars Russian soprano Anna Markarova as Aida and Bulgarian tenor Kamen Chanev as Radames. The orchestra will be lead by legendary American conductor Paul Nadler. “Aida is the grandest of grand operas, it is an inexhaustable part of the repertoire,” says Opéra de Montréal’s newly-appointed GM Patrick Corrigan. “Its humanity, its beauty, its context in terms of politics and history and art, is still so significant.” The Opéra de Montréal will follow-up Aida with a much-anticipated production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni, which runs Nov. 12 to 19, starring Canadian bass-baritone Gordon Bintner in the title role, as well as tenor… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 12 to 18

Relax the way Montrealers do in August with outdoor classical music concerts and film screenings, set your kids free at family-focused events, or party like a Montrealer at Montréal Pride and the Fashion & Design Festival. And definitely eat like a Montrealer – we’ve got recommendations. Music for all ages Classical music enthusiasts of all ages will love the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal Couche-Tarde Classical Spree, August 10-13: 30 affordable concerts at Place des Arts starting with Kent Nagano conducting the OSM in Chariots of Fire, plus matinée shows for kids, free activities and two free outdoor concerts: Mozart’s Magic Flute opera on Aug. 12 at 7 pm, and four orchestras performing in Spotlight on Youth on Aug. 13 at 10:30 am. Make your own music just by swinging: outdoor art installation 21 Swings is back until Sept. 5 outside Place des Arts. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts transforms a side street into Toulouse-Lautrec’s Belle Époque on Aug. 13 at noon, featuring Cancan dancers and music by the Alex Francoeur jazz trio. La Tohu circus centre hosts FALLA, a free event of world music, circus acts and kids activities, Aug. 11-13. And the Olympic Park hosts kids event Carnaval estival on Aug. 13. Montréal Pride… / Read More →

La Virée Classique: Symphony Under the Stars

The world-renowned Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal kicks off its fifth annual OSM Couche‐Tard Classical Spree festival with its big free outdoor concert for tens of thousands of classical-music lovers on the esplanade outside Olympic Stadium on August 10. This outdoor concert is a unique Montréal tradition that, says OSM conductor and music director Kent Nagano, unites people from “across all socio-economic classes, all cultural and racial backgrounds, all nationalities and all generations.” The OSM’s Classical Spree festival – known locally as La Virée Classique OSM – will also feature three additional free outdoor concerts at the Quartier des Spectacles, as well as a series of 30 ticketed indoor concerts at Place des Arts, from Aug. 10 to 13. The opening Galaxy of Heroes concert at the Parc Olympique on Aug. 10 will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Montréal’s 1976 Summer Olympic Games and the athletes who left their mark on the global Olympic movement. The Olympics is also the theme for the OSM’s Chariots of Fire indoor concert at the Maison symphonique on Aug. 12. “People associate this music with the film Chariots of Fire, a great film about the Olympics,” says the California-born Nagano. “We wanted to carry on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 5 to 11

August in Montréal means it’s time to relax a little even while festival season keeps the energy high. This week we’ve got classical, metal, electronic dance music, anime and First Peoples festivals along with the start of Montréal Pride and the Olympics – plus all the food and drink to match. Festival pride Classical music meets the Olympic spirit this week at the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Couche-Tard Classical Spree main event on August 10: free, outdoor show Galaxy of Heroes pays tribute to the 40th anniversary of Montréal’s 1976 Summer Olympics, at Olympic Park – music enthusiasts also won’t want to miss the Spree’s many affordable and abundant concerts, August 10-13 in the Quartier des Spectacles. Traditional music and hip hop, video and film, art and theatre made by Aboriginal artists take the spotlight as the Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival, August 3-10 in and around the Quartier des Spectacles – evening shows include Innu singer Shauit on August 5 and Soirée ÉlectroChoc on August 6. Montréal Pride celebrates its 10th edition with parties, community and art events, cabaret shows, parades and more, August 8-14. For more festival fun, including Heavy Montréal and ÎleSoniq, see our live music section below. Fun and games The world… / Read More →

Your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals

The word “summer” is always music to our ears in Montréal, and not just because of the warm weather. It’s also when the city is beset by a veritable onslaught of amazing music festivals, everything from Osheaga to the Jazz Fest, and from MUTEK and Île Soniq to the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal’s Classical Spree. For four sunny, summery months, Montréal is truly a music lover’s paradise. Here is your August guide to Montréal summer music festivals. The Présence Autochtone Montréal First Peoples Festival celebrates  its 26th edition, August 3 to 10. Theirs is an expansive programme of outdoor concerts (hip-hop to rock to Inuit throat singing to you name it), aboriginal video and film (a veritable international film fest unto itself), outdoor street theatre, native art and a variety of other events and entertainment all taking place in and around the Quartier des Spectacles. Heavy Montréal blasts big chunks of hard rock, August 5 to 7. Death metal, hair metal, black metal, hard rock and hardcore are all on the agenda, and this year’s line-up is sick with the likes of Five Finger Death Punch, Disturbed, Nightwish and Volbeat, to name a few. Parc Jean-Drapeau remains at the center of… / Read More →

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 →