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Chill ideas for fun February nights for the ladies

Guest post by Florence Gagnon, Lez Spread the Word Boris et Béatrice ont vu une soirée d’ouverture ! | Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois For the 34th Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois, an exciting opening night has been planned at the Cinémathèque québécoise. A solid choice for girls who like to shake it on the dance floor and shmooze with film buffs! A major festival devoted to Québec cinema, the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois has been a must on the Québec and Montréal cultural landscape for the past 33 years. Featuring unique discoveries and meet-ups between the public and creators, you’ll want to mark the RVCQ—especially its party nights—in your agenda. Where: Cinémathèque québécoise 335 De Maisonneuve East Montréal When: February 18, 2016 @ 9:30 p.m. Nude Area | The 8th edition of Massimadi Festival Massimadi, the Afro-Caribbean LGBT film and art festival, was founded to fight against hate and discrimination. Featured as part of Black History Month, the fest offers a unique program that aims to provide a haven of freedom and, above all, a movement of liberation. Must-see: the screening of lesbian film Nude Area, co-presented by Gris-Montréal and Lez Spread The Word. Directed by Urszula Antoniak, the film tells… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 12 to 18

Montréal pairs Valentine’s sparkle with glittering winter entertainment this week – the city’s top restaurants and hotels ready for romance, and the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival kicks off, along with inspiring international ballet, contemporary dance, art, theatre, film and live music. City lights Winter, spring, summer or fall, we’re counting the ways Montréal warms our hearts – and this week’s kickoff of massive winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE has us all fired up. Opening Thursday, February 18, the family-friendly festival’s free outdoor site entertains with multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more, while indoors see dozens of musicians and performers, including Swiss Maestro Charles Dutoit and Argentine pianist Martha Argerich with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra at Place des Arts February 18 and 20. Day or night, skate next to the Saint-Lawrence River at the Bonsecours Basin ice skating rink in the Old Port and at the Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Park Esplanade. Also near the Olympic Park, the wonders of the natural world await at the Space For Life, home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden and Planetarium – the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free exhibit opens February 18, this year butterflies share the spotlight… / Read More →

Romance for all in Montréal

Beautiful views, European charm, award-winning dining, entertainment that never sleeps… Montréal has got all the markers of a winning romantic weekend for any type of couple. This Valentine’s Day, whether you like things sporty, luxurious or classic (because long-stem roses never go out of style), here are five getaway ideas from us to you – with love. A classic kind of love Wining and dining is a sure way to pretty much anyone’s heart. With hotel specials like the Valentine’s Day package at the beautiful Le Germain in Old Montréal, you’re already half way there. After picking up some chocolates at Maison Christian Faure and some flowers at the stand in Square Victoria, grab a horse-drawn carriage tour of Old Montréal across the street from Notre-Dame Basilica, where Céline Dion got married (it’ll set the mood). Next, book a tête-à-tête to sample the special V Day offerings at 400 Coups (a five-course meal featuring crab ravioli and foie gras mousse), Le Quindici (short ribs braised in wine, anyone?) or the warm, European flavoured Branzino. If you can’t choose, how about one on Friday, one on Saturday and the other on Sunday? Then stroll up from Old Montréal to downtown for… / 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 →

Things to do in Montréal: January 22 to 28

We’ll never underestimate Montréal’s capacity to turn winter into a vacation-destination party – this week, it’s time to play in the snow at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Fêtes des Neiges, dance the night away at Igloofest, eat well at Happening Gourmand, and be awed by dance, theatre, film, and live music. Winter stays bright in Montréal this weekend at family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, where you can go tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, hot-chocolate drinking and doughnut-eating to your heart’s content at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. Put on your brightest and warmest toque and parka and get ready to dance at massive outdoor dance party Igloofest – this Friday it’s Scuba and Jimmy Edgar, Rone and other artists while on Saturday hear the sounds of Maceo Plex, Odd Parents, Pierre Kwenders and more along with eye-popping visuals – and it all starts again on Thursday night with Mr. Oizo, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more! – at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Downtown at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie or head out to the Olympic Park (also home to the Biôdome, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 15 to 21

Montréal makes the most of every snowfall with the incredible winter activities of Fêtes des Neiges, outdoor dance party Igloofest, restaurant event Happening Gourmand, international dance, theatre and film, and all kinds of live music. Winter entertainment Montréal is well known for brightening up winter and helping you keep your most fun New Year’s resolutions – this week get happy in the snow at Fêtes des Neiges, a family-friendly weekend of activities, from giant ice slides to zip lines, and entertainment at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Keep your parka on for the nighttime entertainment of massive outdoor dance party Igloofest, now in its 10th year – this Friday go for Paul Kalkbrenner, Kim Ann Foxman, Alicia Hush and more, while on Saturday it’s Dave Clarke, Misstress Barbara, Debbie Døe and more, along with eye-popping visuals, at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Outdoors at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, and cheer as the Montréal Canadiens play the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on January 19…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal January 8 to 14

The year is already off to a bold start in Montréal with snow-bright outdoor entertainment to play with and dance to, the Happening Gourmand restaurant fest, internationally acclaimed dance, theatre and film, and live music from Tchaikovsky to Mark Farina. Snow days With memories of 2015 fading it’s time to make some new ones. Montreal brightens up your winter with all kinds of activities and entertainment in the coming months. Play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31, with animated digital art projections throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. If you love to dance and love being outdoors, get yourself to Igloofest, Montreal’s biggest winter electronic music festival, at Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port, opening January 14 with music by Bonobo, Lunice, Heron Preston and more. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, or skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, with happy hour every evening. On the ice at the Bell Centre, the Montréal Canadiens take on the Penguins on January 9 and the Blackhawks on January 14. Seek out warmth and art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain and Galerie… / Read More →

Glitzy girls’ weekend in Montréal

For the best kind of girls’ getaway, you need a simple yet essential list of ingredients: 1) No men; 2) Lots of pampering; 3) Great spots to gab (and laugh like idiots); 4) Amazing food and drinks; and 5) Chocolate. Lots of chocolate. You’re in luck: Montréal has got it all, against the backdrop of an incredibly culture-rich city you’ll fall in love with for all kinds of other reasons too. SATURDAY Brunching There’s nothing better to get the weekend rolling than brunch, and Montréal knows brunch. Choose from a sophisticated menu (tipples included) at Le Comptoir on St-Laurent or a heartier eggs-n-bacon style selection at Fabergé (try the breakfast poutine!) in Mile End – and did we mention the gazillion options downtown? If you’re in Old Montreal, let the gabbing begin at Le Cartet, a beautiful space on McGill Avenue that serves punchy coffee, delicious mimosas and a dish that involves crêpes topped with fruit coulis and nut-and-maple French with apple butter and blueberries, plus a bowl of homemade granola. Whaaa? Yes. Learning Oh, chocolate, how we love thee. One of the funnest things to do in Montréal is learn stuff – you really know a trip will stay… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal December 11 to 17

This is the week when it really and truly begins to feel a lot like Christmas – whether snow falls or not, the streets are aglitter with seasonal festivities. Go shopping for gifts, play on interactive public art, see The Nutcracker and more on stage, and hear music from choirs to rock bands. Sparkling streets Follow the glittering lights and happy people to Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal, a colourful new outdoor winter market right downtown at the Place des Arts Esplanade, December 12 to January 2, where not only can you find great presents but plenty of activities, entertainment and food and drink for the whole family. Montréal celebrates the season all around the city: Merry Montréal turns Old Montréal into a winter wonderland with fires to warm up by, free hot chocolate, Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, Christmas-themed films and more; in the Plateau at the Marché de Noël Prince Arthur along Prince Arthur Street starting at the corner of Boulevard St-Laurent see performances, watch films, shop and sample treats; Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) and Parc Lahaie (Saint-Laurent Boulevard at Saint-Joseph) with activities and live… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 4 to 10

Montréal sparkles as the holiday season truly arrives this week, turning streets into winter villages and playgrounds, art and craft fairs into gift-shopping bonanzas, and the city’s numerous stages into charming gatherings for choirs, orchestras and rock shows. Celebrate the season Whether in the cobblestone streets of Old Montréal or in the parks of the Plateau, Montréal celebrates the holiday season with music, food, drink and open arms this week. Merry Montréal turns Old Montréal into a winter wonderland with fires to warm up by, free hot chocolate, Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, Christmas-themed films and more. Le Festival Noël dans le parc lights up trees, offers activities for kids and shares the music of dozens of local musicians in free concerts at Parc des Compagnons-de-St-Laurent (Mont-Royal Avenue at Cartier) and at Parc Lahaie (Saint-Laurent Boulevard at Saint-Joseph) on weekday evenings and in the afternoon and evenings on weekends, to December 10 – don’t miss the parade on December 5 on Mount Royal Avenue ending in fireworks at Parc LaFontaine at 7 p.m. Also see Santa in Montréal’s downtown malls or delve deeper into the traditional Victorian Christmas in Montréal. Creative gifts Find all kinds of Québec-made… / Read More →