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English theatre shines in Montréal this fall

Theatre goers will enjoy Rodgers and Hammerstein’s blockbuster Broadway musical Cinderella and the red-carpet world premiere of Prom Queen: The Musical, as well as plays based on the novels of Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, produced by some of Montréal’s most exciting professional and independent English-language theatre companies this autumn. One of the Canadian theatre scene’s most-anticipated new productions of the year is Prom Queen: The Musical, based on the true story of Marc Hall, the Ontario teenager who made international headlines when he took his Catholic school board to court in 2002 when they refused to let him attend his prom with his boyfriend. “I think this musical is a celebration, but is also a timely reminder of how far we have come,” says Hall. “We must still fight discrimination and celebrate diversity. It is important to love and accept who you are, and love and accept others. We have come a long way, but people still need to hear those messages.” Prom Queen: The Musical world premieres at the Segal Centre for Performing Arts from Oct. 27 to Nov. 20. One of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most popular titles, Cinderella, was originally written for television, debuting in 1957 starring Julie… / 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 →

Autumn will make you fall in love with music in Montréal

Autumn is always a fertile time for music in Montréal ­ international calibre creators like The Kills, Adele, Maroon 5, Charles Aznavour, Simple Plan and more ­ and this year is proving no exception. Let the following be your guide to getting and giving some live music love in the cooling coming months. Heralding the arrival of the fall, fans of punk’n’roll have their work cut out for them on September 21. Naples, Florida nu-skool punks Against Me! will be playing tunes off their just-released seventh album, Shape Shift with Me, at Club Soda, while achingly cool post-punk indie rockers The Kills will be slinging songs off their fifth and latest, Ash & Ice, at Metropolis as part of the many-spectacled Pop Montreal (Sept. 21-25). And for the old school punks among us? Pioneering canuck skate-punk band SNFU will raze the stage at Petit Campus. It’s the 15-year anniversary of the release of Maroon 5‘s landmark Songs About Jane debut album, and as the L.A.-based pop phenomenon embarks on their only North American tour of 2016, they’re promising “to make a more traditional record next… like the way we made Songs About Jane.” Expect to hear some of the fruits… / Read More →

The most Instagrammed spots in Montréal [part 2]

If you saw part 1 of our round-up of the most Instagrammed spots in Montréal and wondered why some of your favourite places were not on the list, fear not: part 2 of our series serves up ten more photogenic spots for capturing amazing #MTLmoments. Do you have a place to recommend? Drop us a line. Biosphere Hotspot: There are lots of great views of the Biosphere from Chemin Tour-de-l’Isle on Île Sainte-Hélène. Just hop the metro to the Parc Jean-Drapeau station and start strolling along the paths for a vantage point that sparks your inspiration. The Biosphere is a geodesic dome designed by architect Buckminster Fuller as the pavilion of the United States for the 1967 World Fair, Expo 67, and is now the only environment museum in North America. Parc Jean-Drapeau – Biosphère ♻️🐝 #montreal #biosphere A photo posted by Armelle G. (@armelle18) on Jun 15, 2016 at 11:02am PDT Nearby: Once you are at Parc Jean-Drapeau there are tons of things to see and do nearby: the aquatic complex, Jean-Doré Beach, the Casino de Montréal the former French Pavillion, plus, if your timing is right, you can take in music festivals and happenings like Piknic Électronik, Osheaga and Heavy… / Read More →

Memorable moments at the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Patience and quick thinking are job requirements for Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (FIJM) organizers dealing with divas, egos, cancellations, no-shows and the inevitable musician being held up at Canada Customs. Here are some memorable anecdotes from the FIJM, the biggest and grandest music festival on the planet: After the FIJM fronted reggae icon Bunny Wailer $10,000 for his 1998 gig at Métropolis, Wailer pocketed the cash and blew off the show. FIJM co-founder André Ménard was outraged. Twelve years later, when Wailer was booked to headline the Montréal International Reggae Festival in August 2010, Ménard told me, “We’re not taking any action against Wailer because we don’t want to give him an excuse not to come a second time. Bunny Wailer posed to me as a man of integrity and principle. I still think he is a great artist. But a man of integrity? F–k it! I’m still waiting for his personal invitation to see him at the reggae festival. That will be the most expensive concert ticket I’ve ever paid for.” In the end, Wailer was a no-show at the Montréal International Reggae Festival that year too. When Tony Bennett headlined Théâtre St-Denis in 1985, his band took off with his… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 18 to 24

As the snow melts away in Montréal, urban sugar shacks serve up delicious meals, spring break activities continue, film festivals and art events grant new perspectives, dance and theatre move us, and live music sets the weekly soundtrack. Spring starts Welcome spring with thousands of Montrealers at the city’s boisterous 193rd St. Patrick’s Day Parade, taking place downtown along Ste-Catherine Street starting at noon on March 20, and keep on celebrating the luck of the Irish at the city’s best Irish pubs. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Flames on March 20 and the Ducks on March 22 at the Bell Centre. Whether you’re on Spring Break or not, check out our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for places to eat, drink, dance and chill out. If you’re here with family, our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide has kids covered. And if the warmer weather has you itching to paint the town red – whether that means sampling local microbrews or going late-night dancing – Montréal’s nightlife has it all. Seasonal food If you’re in Montréal in March, you must experience the Québecois tradition of the sugar… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal March 11 to 17

As much as Montréal loves its winter festivals and snow sports, the city welcomes spring with open arms – we’re feeling a hint of it this week as restaurants roll out new dishes, film festivals and art events open our eyes on the world, our sports teams fight to the finish, and dance, theatre and live music keep us inspired. Spring sights and sports With winter festivals over and the city starting to thaw out, thoughts of spring are in the air – see our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas or find all kinds of things to do with kids of all ages in our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide. Downtown’s underground city welcomes art lovers to do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art in expansive exhibition Art Souterrain. Celebrate the luck of the Irish on on March 17 at the city’s best Irish pubs, see the Olympic Stadium tower lit up in green, and stick around for Montréal’s legendary St-Patrick’s Day Parade on March 20. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Wild on March 11 and the Panthers on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: February 19 to 25

Montréal’s downtown sparkles with free entertainment this week at the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter festival, while indoors you can go butterfly spotting, play games at the games festival, watch hockey, and see stars of dance, theatre, film, art and live music shine. Snowy celebrations Montréal’s biggest family-friendly festival of the season is in full swing: MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s free outdoor site fills downtown’s Place des Festivals with music, multimedia shows, ice slides, a Ferris wheel, fabulous food and more, while the festival’s indoor performances highlight musical performances and theatre – let our MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE SURVIVAL GUIDE lead the way. Go for a scenic 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. Talk a walk through nature right in the city in Mount Royal, La Fontaine and Jean-Drapeau parks. And make it all easier with these Montreal-specific apps. Indoor activities Spring is truly in the air at the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free event at the Space For Life (also home to the Biodôme, Insectarium and Planetarium) – this year butterflies share the spotlight with furry caterpillars. Game lovers of all ages can play board games,… / 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 →

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 →