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Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide

When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often  called the digital arts capital of  North America. Montréal Digital Spring celebrates innovations in high-tech art, video games, visual effects and virtual reality. The annual citywide event promises to free your mind and your body with interactive exhibitions and audio-visual performances, architectural installations and contemporary creations that cross artistic and scientific currents. Rules are meant to be broken during Digital Spring, so follow our Survival Guide to see the city of the future, now. The event The 4th edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2017. Printemps numérique from Printemps numérique on Vimeo. What you’re getting yourself into Whether you’re a forerunner in cutting-edge technology or your kids just figured out your smart phone for you, Montréal Digital Spring can take you however deep into the high-tech arts rabbit hole you desire. Also known as Printemps numérique, Digital Spring partners with local arts and culture organizations – meaning the whole city gets in on the act, from Place des Arts performances and art installations to the C2 Montréal creative tech industry conference…. / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 17 to 23

Even in the midst of a snow storm, the idea of spring is on the minds of Montrealers by late March – one of the sure signs of the season is the city’s huge St. Patrick’s Day parade, joined this week by sugar shack season, a Pink Floyd opera, the vivid colours of Chagall, butterflies at the Botanical Garden, and plenty more. St. Patrick’s Day party Montréal may be one of the biggest French speaking cities in the world, but its varied history wouldn’t be quite as colourful without its long-standingn Irish contingent. That’s why Montréal boasts the longest consecutive running St. Patrick’s Day parade in the world – see what it’s all about on March 19 as the parade dances and drums for all ages along Sainte-Catherine Street downtown. Add to the annual tradition by raising a glass at the city’s best Irish pubs – our guide to 10 things you didn’t know about the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations in Montréal makes for great bar fodder. Une publication partagée par #CINQCENTQUATORZE ® (@jfsavaria) le 16 Mars 2017 à 7h52 PDT Spring anticipation Snowstorms rival sunny days in March, so if you’re here on Spring Break, keep your plans flexible: our guide to… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 6 to 12

Montréal officially kicks off celebrations for its 375th! The city marks its momentous anniversary this week – and all year – with seasonal activities and events, including a winter action sports festival, a giant ice slide and winter villages, an outdoor electronic music fest, all kinds of art and more. It’s January at maximum fun! Winter activities Les Hivernales events kick off Montréal’s 375th anniversary, beginning with the free Barbegazi winter action sports festival, Jan. 6-8 and 13-15 downtown – try the skill-testing obstacle course, snowskating, fatbiking, wood cutting and Christmas-tree throwing. Montréal has even more free things to do this winter – go ice skating at Mount Royal Park’s Beaver Lake or Park La Fontaine and at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth where there’s also a tube slide, food and drink, and an activity area for kids. In Old Montréal, take a ride down the Nordik ice slide on Place Jacques-Cartier, opening Jan. 12 – and when you get to the bottom, visit the Nordik Village next to Quai Jacques-Cartier – both built by electronic music event Igloofest. Spin fairy-tale images in giant zoetropes at this year’s Luminothérapie art playground at Place des Festivals. And now that the World Junior Hockey Championships has finished a stellar series at the Bell Centre, watch the Montréal Canadiens return to home ice on Jan. 9… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: December 9 to 15

The festive season truly fires up this week in Montréal – the city celebrates with outdoor events and markets brimming with local treats, Santa’s doing photo-op visits, The Nutcracker ballet graces the stage, along with Christmas concerts, a Leonard Cohen tribute and more. Festive fun outdoors In the heart of downtown, outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal glitters alongside Canada’s tallest Christmas tree outside Place des Arts – find locally made gifts and goodies, activities for kids, live music and more. While there, take a turn on the colourful 13 giant zoetropes of this year’s Luminothérapie interactive outdoor art. Merry Montréal adds entertainment, a market, fire pits, films and warm drinks to the ambience of Old Montréal, and fireworks light up the Old Port’s Natrel Skating Rink on Dec. 10. Live music and circus, food and drink, weekend visits with Santa – and with friendly sheep and amusing elves too! – make Noël dans le Parc a must at downtown’s Place Émilie-Gamelin and at Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Over at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth go ice skating and tube sliding, snack on food truck fare and shop at the winter market. Find Santa and more seasonal things to do in our round-op of winter activities for… / Read More →

Actually cool Montréal souvenirs

It’s so nice to have things to remember a trip by, but is there anything cheesier than tourist-shop fare? Luckily there’s a crop of stores in Montréal that offer genuinely cool branded gear you’ll actually want to take home not just for you, but for anyone on your gift list. And no snow globes in sight. Le Rhinocéros From local designer clothing and accessories by Travis Taddeo, Denis Gagnon, Des Rosiers and Okinx to wacky costume jewellery and crazy cellphone covers, Le Rhinocéros is a good-time store in the Phi Centre in Old Montréal filled with unique local finds. Our favourites are the scarves they get printed with art by local creatives like Renata Morales and Joe Becker. Au Sommet This boutique at the bottom of one of the most spectacular views of downtown Montréal you can have, the summit of Place Ville-Marie, sells made-in-Montréal goods pretty enough to decorate the house with. Among many other decorative objects, go there for the series of cushions by Monumental Love featuring Montréal landmarks such as the Farine Five Roses sign and the Orange Julep. YUL Designs A veritable who’s who of Montréal creators, YUL Designs is like the Etsy of made-in-Montréal ware,… / Read More →

10 Montréal art stars we loved at the Red Bull Music Academy

From September 24 to October 28, 2016, the 18th season of the Red Bull Music Academy visited the Phi Centre and injected a jolt of excitement into Montréal’s creative scene. The event brought together 70 producers, singers, beatmakers, DJs and visual artists, coming from a total of 38 countries—it was truly a microcosm of the world’s best in music and art production. But some of the most exciting discoveries were the participants from right here at home. Here are 10 of the Montréal artists we discovered in the Phi Centre space over the month of celebrations, and where we can all go to keep enjoying their magic—post-Academy. Étienne Chartrand Objects and creatures come to life in Chartrand’s mythology-building spaces, painted or otherwise, with ceramics work that freezes time and installations that aspire to reflect a parallel reality. Chartrand draws inspirations from popular culture, abstract expressionism and automatism. For purchase, you find his work at galleries Artgang Montréal in Rosemont or Robert Poulin near Little Italy, plus you can contact the artist directly via his wacky website. The art exhibition at RBMA Montréal (curated by Trusst) features Celia Perrin Sidarous, the Montréal-based photographer whose work challenges the way that everyday objects… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: October 21 to 27

Spend these crisp, bright Montréal days in colourful urban parks and Oktoberfest celebrations, diving deep into Björk’s virtual reality universe, at a playful weekend festival for kids, and taking in all kinds of new dance, theatre and live music. Colours of fall Explore the beauty and history of Old Montréal and downtown on a public art walk among the skyscrapers and in multimedia tour Cité Mémoire. Or walk among the changing leaves in the city’s quaint neighbourhoods and big parks and at Montréal’s Botanical Garden , hosting the family-friendly Great Pumpkin Ball and Gardens of Light lantern exhibition. From toys to TV shows and technology, Montréal KidCon keeps kids interested and entertained Oct. 22-23 at Stade Uniprix in Jarry Park. On Oct. 21, drink local brews, eat local foods and play silly games at Oktoberfest in the outdoor biergarten of the Olympic Stadium Esplanade. Find bright new designer clothing and accessories for an amazing deal at Braderie de mode Québécoise Oct. 20-23. And cheer in the hockey season as the Montréal Canadiens face the Flyers on Oct. 24 and the Lightning on Oct. 27 at the Bell Centre, while in the CWHL Les Canadiennes de Montréal take on Toronto on Saturday and Sunday. L’exposition Björk Digital est maintenant amorcée à @dhc_art! Jusqu’au 12 novembre, visitez… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 23 to 29

As the fall season begins in Montréal, the warm weather holds as art and entertainment abounds: walk through lantern-lit gardens and markets, see the work of Robert Mapplethorpe, watch world-class dance, rock out at POP Montréal, and even run a marathon. Warm days, bright nights Nature meets the soft glow of lantern light at the Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Light exhibition – start your walk at sunset for the full effect. Excellent food, drink and entertainment (especially on Friday nights) await at open-air markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port and Les Jardineries at Olympic Park. Croisières AML cruises offer laid-back brunch and gourmet dinners on the Saint-Lawrence River. See the city in a different way during the Montréal Rock’n’Roll Oasis Marathon on Sept. 25 as over 20,000 runners wind their way from Île Notre Dame through Old Montréal and into the Plateau, finishing at Parc La Fontaine. And the Canadiens start the NHL pre-season with games at the Bell Centre, Sept. 26, 27 and 29. For more, see our guide to Free things to do this fall in Montréal. POP sounds and city beats Music and arts festival POP Montréal celebrates 15 years of fun with shows, talks, art exhibitions, Puces POP craft fair, films, kids events… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 16 to 22

Mid-September eases between summer and fall in Montréal – the sun keeps shining on open-air markets and outdoor performances while a major Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition and Opéra de Montréal’s AIDA wow and POP Montréal keeps Montréal nightlife wild. Outdoor time Beautiful day and night, the Botanical Garden hosts its annual Gardens of Light lantern exhibition – walk through the Chinese and Japanese gardens after sunset in a soft glow. Montréal’s favourite terrasses stay open for meals, drinks and revelry – don’t miss the FoodLab terrasse at the SAT, where the Omnivore World Tour offers one-of-a-kind feasts, workshops and more, Sept. 16-19. You’ll also find excellent food, drink and entertainment at markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port and Les Jardineries at Olympic Park. Take a cruise along the Saint-Lawrence River with Croisières AML for a laid-back brunch or gourmet dinner. For more activities, see our guide to Free things to do this fall in Montréal.  City-wide POP entertainment The 15th edition of POP Montréal starts its engines on Wednesday night with dozens of music shows along with talks, art exhibitions, the professional-level Puces POP craft fair, film screenings, kids events and more until Sept. 25 – get the low-down in our Survival Guide to POP Montréal and… / Read More →

Red Bull Music Academy brings music icons to Montréal

The Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) gathers musicians from around the world for an annual conference and concert-a-thon featuring both legends and next-big-things in the music industry. The RBMA doesn’t place many limits on music style and on who can be involved, so the genres span from hip hop to dub, house to soca, drum’n’bass to, well, pretty much anything that will — errr — give you wings. Over the years, the event has been at the forefront of celebrating and documenting music history, while simultaneously adding new chapters to it through its much-lauded network of events, lectures, editorial content and radio programming. Cities such as Berlin, New York, Tokyo, São Paulo and Cape Town have hosted the annual Red Bull Music Academy. This year, the big event is coming to Montréal. The epicentre of Canadian artistic experimentation According to the Red Bull Music Academy, “Montréal has been at the epicentre of Canadian artistic experimentation for decades, which makes the city an ideal fit.” We’re not going to argue. As one of North America’s cultural capitals, our charming French Canadian city makes an ideal location for an event of this nature: a multilingual makeup and multicultural vitality. It’s a setting… / Read More →