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Montréal Ignites with Summer Festival Fun

Sunny days, high-energy nights and strikingly illuminated festival stages make the summer season bright in Montréal. The city ignites with a sparkling line-up of entertainment in July and August – get ready to laugh, dance, groove and be dazzled at these big festivals and more this summer. The one-and-only Montréal International Jazz Festival officially ignites the height of summer festival season June 26-July 5. Incredible talent graces historic night clubs and Place des Arts stages while downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles bustles with unmissable free outdoor shows, including the grand finale on July 5: a stylish, bluesy tribute to the late, great B.B. King. More music lights up the town as Festival International Nuits d’Afrique welcomes traditional and ground-breaking musicians from Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and right here at home, July 7-19. Discover your new favourite indie, electronic and hip hop artists at MEG Montréal, July 23-August 2, and take a ride on the late-night MEG party boat. Osheaga Music and Arts Festival crams the biggest names and the brightest emerging artists in indie-pop, rock, hip hop and electronic music into three amazing days on Île Sainte-Hélène, July 31-August 2 – this year see Florence + The Machine, Kendrick Lamar,… / Read More →

Your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals

As July approaches, Montréal continues to be flooded with an almost overwhelming array of musical options. So you don’t miss out on any of the excitement this month, here’s your July guide to Montréal summer music festivals! The Montréal International Jazz Festival, from June 26 to July 5, needs little introduction, but heck, we’ll do it anyway: the planet’s greatest, grandest jazz fest turns 36 this year with hundreds of concerts representing numerous genres including some 300 free outdoor shows that inundate downtown Montréal with a flood of music-loving merriment. From moving music to moving to the music, the International Percussion Festival turns 14 down in Old Montréal and the Old Port from July 3-12. A participative event (spectators are encouraged to get in on the playing and dancing action), the festival is also multidisciplinary, uniting music, dance, visual arts, film, food, workshops and conferences in the company of over 500 artists. The summer heat will begin to peak with Montréal’s vibrant and lively Nuits D’Afrique world music festival, July 7-19. Boasting the best of African and African-influenced music from some of the biggest names in the game at numerous indoor and free outdoor shows, Nuits D’Afrique is a guaranteed… / Read More →

5 Reasons why you can’t miss MURAL 2015

We don’t need to convince you. Everyone wants to be at MURAL, the annual street art festival that takes over the Main with parties, street food and the live, high-colour spectacle of world-class street artists leaving their mark on the city’s walls. But this year, from June 4 to 14, you’ll notice some kick-ass new developments. In addition to bringing in 20 international artists from eight different countries (with Spanish artist Elian, American duo 2Alas and Mexican artist Curiot among them), MURAL is going bigger and better than ever! We asked co-founder André Bathalon to give us his top 5 list of hot new stuff at the fest. 1) The first two editions of MURAL were held over four days, but this year we’re doing it over a whopping 11. During the first weekend, not only are the murals beginning, but we’re also launching an art fair in the main exterior space, where the bloc parties happen, in the spirit of Scope in Miami or The Armory Show in New York City. It will extend beyond street art; we’ve invited a dozen Montréal galleries to come and show their artists’ works. It’s free, and it’s the perfect way to start… / Read More →

2015 guide to Montréal summer music festivals

It’s beginning to sound a lot like summer in Montréal, as evidenced by the almost paralyzing array of music festival options – Osheaga, the Jazz Fest, Piknic Electronik, MUTEK and Heavy Montréal among them – featuring failsafe mainstays and some righteously exciting newbies. Getting wired and being plugged-in don’t always mean the same thing, but you can certainly do both in style at digital arts festival Elektra. From May 13 to 17, Elektra showcases new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, gaming and more, in combination with the inventive use of next-level digital technologies. Conversely, bringing music fun back to the basics is the annual Pouzza Fest of all things punk rock, May 15-17. Steadily making a bigger and badder name for itself over the last five years, Pouzza returns with over 200 punk bands that span generations of punk fans, including 80s punks the Dwarves, Chicago hardcore unit 88 Fingers Louie, and L.A. pop punks The Muffs. Summer is synonymous with picnics, and summer in Montréal has become synonymous with Piknic Electronik, the wildly popular weekly outdoor electronic music dance party. Typically held in Parc Jean-Drapeau (on Île Ste-Hélène, across from Montréal’s Old Port), this year’s Piknic Electronik… / Read More →

10 Things that Make Montréal Shine

We’ve been telling you for years: Montréal is an amazing place to visit. With world-class dining, accommodations, festivals, museums and heritage sites, enhanced with four distinct seasons and sexy French charm, our city consistently ranks among the world’s best. Naming all our successes could take a while, so we’ve narrowed down the list to a cool round-up of 10 media nominations that rank Montréal among the world’s hottest travel destinations. Since we’ve come out on top in such a diverse range of categories—including some that will surprise you (check out #7!)—we know that Montréal offers something for everyone. See which features will tickle your fancy, then go ahead and book your ticket. Here are just 10 things that put Montréal in the limelight: 1.  Best Winter Destinations National Geographic, December 2014 “Montréal is at its most magical blanketed in snow. Bundle up, get outside, and celebrate winter at the 16th MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, the city’s biggest winter arts, music, and food festival. Save some energy for the final night’s Nuit Blanche à Montréal, a dusk-to-dawn party packed with more than 200 indoor and outdoor activities. Most events are free, and some are held under the stars or, if you’re lucky, the lightly falling snow.” 2. Best Music… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal summer festival guide

With every major summer festival and event in Montréal comes the impetus for a holiday getaway in our great city. The F1 Grand Prix du Canada, MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, the Jazz Festival and Osheaga, for example, are but drops in a whole bucket of fun awaiting all ages and tastes in the coming weeks and months. Blue Metropolis Montréal International Literary Festival (April 20-26) The theme at Blue Met this year is “The Power of Words,” and this large-scale celebration of reading and writing across cultures once again brings in a raft of heavy hitter authors and literary-minded figures for readings, discussions and other special events. ELEKTRA (May 13-17) ELEKTRA is a yearly digital arts festival showcasing new creations in electronic music, video, cinema, performance, design, gaming and interactive installation in combination with the innovative use of new technologies, and, in particular, those of the digital kind. Festival TransAmériques (FTA) (May 21 to June 4) The Festival TransAmériques (FTA) celebrates new works in contemporary dance and theatre. Showcasing both established and emerging artists, choreographers, writers and directors, this ninth edition of the FTA also aims to foster dialogue through a stimulating range of workshops, debates and roundtable discussions. Chromatic (May… / Read More →

Montréal’s many globetrotting DJs – all hands on decks!

Whether it’s Montréal or Miami, Berlin or Brisbane, for over two decades, Montréal DJs have been a fixture, as it were, lighting up nights at many of the biggest, bangin’, beat-driven events around the orb – whether you knew they were from the Montréal or not. The following represents a cross-section of the many DJ names you may have heard, from pioneers to up-and-comers, repping Montréal dance music both at home and abroad. We’ll kick-off with the man who has the best real-life-human name, bar none: producer/DJ Lunice, known to his parents as Lunice Fermin Pierre II. This Montréal native brings a music aesthetic typified by electro-synth riffs over deep, deep drum and bass while incorporating elements of “trap” (an early, particularly intense strain of d’n’b). He produced the track Runnin’ for Azealia Banks and co-produced Blood On the Leaves for Kanye West, among many others. Also on a post-trap trip is High Klassified, who takes a more ethereal, even a bit eccentric, approach to synth line layering on dreamy, hypnotic tracks as evidenced on his Palindroma EP of last year. Born in Haiti and raised in Montréal, at only 22 years of age, Kaytranada has already made an international name for himself as… / Read More →

Legends, Hitmakers & Electro at Osheaga 2014

Three days of music, sunshine, and happy, beautiful people make Osheaga an unforgettable way to spend a weekend in Montreal this summer. The three-day outdoor festival gets bigger and better every year, and the 2014 line-up proves that yet again…

Things to Do in Montreal: May 23-29

See more of the city in warm weather this week by foot, bike or even Sunday’s Museums Day shuttle bus, ferrying visitors from the urban centre to pastoral gardens. At night, take in the international entertainment of ballet, opera, contemporary dance, electronic music and art, and rock ‘n’ roll…