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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 →

Things to Do with Kids this Spring and Summer in Montréal

With so much going on in Montréal during the warm-weather months, it’s easy to experience the best of the city through the eyes of children – free outdoor activities, indoor entertainment and much more keep everyone amused. Parks and Rec Run and play in Mount Royal Park mere minutes away from downtown, featuring children’s playgrounds and wading pools, picnic grounds, walking and cycling trails, paddle boat rentals at Lac aux Castors and an incredible view of the city and beyond from the top of the mountain. A short Métro ride from downtown, Parc Jean-Drapeau boasts a huge amount of green space, an outdoor pool, a lake and sandy beach, the Biosphere ecological museum, a view of the city, flower gardens, and summer events such as July’s Week-ends du Monde. Next to the Parc Jean-Drapeau is Six Flags’ La Ronde, open all summer long, with plenty of rides just for kids and families – in July, kids who can stay up a little later will love the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Find the best swing set in the city in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles: the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation and instrument… / Read More →

On the Run! Great Jogging Trails from Amazing Montréal Hotels

If your starting line is: The Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth Few hotels around the world can boast a Running Concierge, but then again, few hotel chains dedicate as much thought to fitness as Fairmont does. (Try their fitness-gear rental program – it’s so handy!) At the Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth in the heart of downtown Montréal, every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 6:30 am between May and late September, the lobby fills with avid runners led by Vicki Findley, Convention & Catering Services Manager in addition to being the Running Concierge. She and her colleagues – all marathoners or triathletes – combine the best of both worlds: fitness and exploration of this gorgeous city and its assets. “As we run, we give information about the hotel and the city,” explains Findley. “It starts out chatty, but as we go and the breathing gets heavier, it tends to get a bit more quiet!” Among the three jogging routes offered, the most popular is the 7 km downtown/Plateau run. The group goes up McGill, then runs into the McGill University campus to the exit on Milton. They continue east on Milton, until St-Laurent; then go north up to Prince Arthur. From there,… / Read More →

Must-see shows at Montréal’s 2015 Osheaga festival

[Updated, July 27] As 10-year-olds go, Montréal’s Osheaga Music and Arts Festival has again proven itself to be one of the most precocious kids on the block with a 2015 line-up – including the likes of Florence and the Machine, Kendrick Lamar, Weezer, Ben Harper and many, many more – that’s all smarts and smiles. From very modest if ambitious beginnings 10 years ago in 2006, the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival has grown from a two-day festival pulling in some 25,000 folks totally to a three-day monster of music awesomeness that now sells out 45,000 tickets per day as a matter of routine. This is in large part due to superlative artist programming since the outset, and the promise of a festival experience – at the treed and pathway-lined Parc Jean-Drapeau on Montréal’s scenic Île Sainte-Hélène – that is second to none. This year’s 10th anniversary of Osheaga, from July 31 to August 2, keeps that promise. Over 100 bands and performers will grace the festival’s six stages, among them several key Osheaga alumni. Exciting for many of us who were at that very first, baby-stepping edition of Osheaga in 2006 is the return of then-headliners Ben Harper, who has reunited with backing… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Daniel Iregui

As the Creative Director and founder of Iregular, Daniel Iregui is one of those people who is responsible for creating the rich, artistic fabric Montréal is known for. He and his colleagues François Loubert-Hudon and David Surprenant mix technology and design to create ambitious, immersive public experiences, which then travel around the world. The next piece they are doing will be at the heart of the Montréal Digital Spring launch, at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). This is how Daniel experiences Montréal. Job: Creative Director and founder of Iregular Favourite pastime: I have a jam space in my studio where I play music with some friends. It’s always different people, so it’s like a group without a name and without albums. I love Mutek, and the jams we do around Mutek are always particularly inspired. How long have you been a Montrealer? For nine years. I’m originally from Colombia, but I moved to Toronto to finish my studies. Even though I lived there for three years, I always felt like an immigrant; but every time I came to Montréal, it was completely different. I felt at home. It was very strange, and it’s very hard to point out why. I really fell in… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montreal: September 5-11

September gets off to a sunny start in Montreal with indoor and outdoor entertainment for all ages, new art, a tattoo festival, live music and all kinds of fantastic food, from burgers to oysters and more…

Things to Do in Montreal: August 29-September 4

The Labour Day long weekend may mark the end of summer, but Montreal’s enthusiasm for open-air entertainment keeps going strong: eat, drink, shop, see films and hear live music outdoors and in this week and throughout the month…

Tiësto, Iggy Azalea and More at EDM Fest Île Soniq

Montreal has always been a hot spot for club culture, from the days of disco to underground raves to state-of-the-art afterhours venues – this year the city’s electronic dance music scene kicks it up a notch with EDM and urban music festival Île Soniq.

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…