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10 things under 10 minutes from Saint-Laurent metro station

Saint-Laurent metro station, on the green line, spills out onto Saint-Laurent  Boulevard – known affectionately to Montréalers as “The Main” – and into the historic red-light district, now reborn as part of the downtown Quartier des spectacles, a year-round hive of arts, culture and entertainment activity. One-of-a-kind, character-filled performance venues, bars, restaurants and shops are a staple of this lively and dynamic part of the city. To help you get to know the neighbourhood, here are 10 unique and popular spots within 10 minutes walking distance of Saint-Laurent metro station. The Must: Quartier des spectacles Walking time: Between 2 and 9 minutes, depending on the venue Visitors to the roughly one-square-kilometre downtown Quartier des spectacles may notice the red-lit sidewalks in front of many of the 80-plus cultural venues located within this district, a nod to the area’s colourful history. In the present, the Quartier des spectacles is home to classy and classic state-of-the-art venues like Monument National, Théâtre du Nouveau Monde, Metropolis, Club Soda and, the crown jewels of soft-seater theatres, the centrally located Place des Arts complex. The Underground Experience: Les Foufounes Électriques Walking time: 4 minutes Foufounes Électriques (which translated means, yup, “electric buttocks”) is Montréal’s – and arguably… / Read More →

Meet a Montrealer: Thierry-Maxime Loriot

Since its inauguration at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in 2011, the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit has toured the world, attracting more than 2 million visitors on three continents. Now at the tenth stop on its tour, the exhibit is on display at the Grand Palais in Paris—the fashion designer’s hometown—where it will remain until August 3, when it will pack up and head to Munich for the fall.  To mark this symbolic milestone, we met with Thierry-Maxime Loriot, former international supermodel and the exhibit’s curator, to discuss this extraordinary experience and ask about his favourite spots in Montréal. Here’s the interview. Why were you interested in being appointed as curator of the Jean-Paul Gaultier exhibit? This is the first exhibit that I’ve curated on my own. I had already done two other exhibits for the Museum of Fine Arts. There was Imagine: A Ballad for Peace from John and Yoko as well as Expanding Horizons: Painting and Photography of American and Canadian Landscape 1860-1918. But fashion has always been my main area of expertise, since I spent 10 years in the field and still have strong ties to this industry I love. I find it really exciting to make… / Read More →

Your 2015 Montréal Jazz Fest Survival Guide

Your survival is important to us. Not surviving means not getting maximum enjoyment out of your visit to the Montréal International Jazz Festival’s 36th edition, and nobody wants that. To this end, we’ve devised a Jazz Festival Survival Guide that will eliminate, we hope, any uncertainties while breathing even more life into your festival experience. EVENT Montréal International Jazz Festival, June 26 to July 5, 2015 WHAT YOU’RE GETTING INTO In a nutshell, more amazing music and fabulous fun than should be legally allowed. From June 26 to July 5, Montréal’s downtown Quartier des spectacles hosts the largest Jazz Festival in the world. Get ready for 10 eye-widening and ear-pleasing days of ticketed indoor concerts – which this year features can’t miss blue-chip artists such as the Steve Miller Band, Erykah Badu, the Wayne Shorter Quartet, Huey Lewis and The News, and Dee Dee Bridgewater among many others – and approximately 350 free outdoor shows and activities that draw around 2 million visitors every year. Don’t be surprised if, when you go to enter the festival site, someone asks to look in your bag. This is for your safety and that of others to ensure that nothing dangerous or disallowed makes… / Read More →

Innovative Electronic Music and Art at Mutek 2015

Body, mind and music meet at Mutek once again, as the festival encapsulates the heart of innovative electronic music and high-tech visual art in its 16th edition, May 27 to 31 in Montréal, featuring a roster of internationally-known big names and emerging artists ready to set urban stages, screens and dance floors on figurative fire. With a well-earned reputation as one of the best live-performance electronic music and arts festivals in the world, Mutek 2015 continues the festival’s focus on true originality, impressive real-time experiences and creating an inclusive festival environment where artists and audiences easily mingle. A key player in the city-wide Digital Spring arts and cultural program, Mutek this year features over 100 artists and several world, North American and Canadian premieres, with both paid and totally free shows held at the chic Musée d’art contemporain, outside in the sun at Place des Arts and at top music venue Métropolis. Fans of electronic visual art with a music-minded bent flock to Mutek’s immersive A/Visions evening series, though late-night Nocturnes and Métropolis club events almost always sport jaw-dropping visuals too. Daytime events in the outdoor Experience program groove to accessible beats for both fans and passers-by, while the free-entry… / Read More →

10 things under 10 minutes from Place-des-Arts metro station

Place des Arts, on the green line of Montréal’s metro (subway system), is the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles and the epicentre of entertainment during festival season. It’s also home to a stunning open-air museum thanks to the ephemeral interactive installations that crown the Place des Festivals throughout the year, such as Luminothérapie, 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) and others. In this new series of guides, we feature 10 activities under 10 minutes from this station, which combines a love of the arts with the art of dining. The must: Place des Arts Walking time: 4 minutes This impressive complex is the meeting site of some of Montréal’s most prestigious cultural institutions. Its six concert halls showcase the latest creations by the Jean‑Duceppe theatre company, the Opéra de Montréal, the Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal, Danse Danse and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, to name just a few. If you want a taste of Québec culture, it all starts here. Gourmet snack: Brasserie T! and Taverne F Walking time: 2 minutes and 1 minute Nestled in the Place des Festivals, these two modern architectural jewels dazzle the eyes and tantalize the taste buds. Brasserie T!, the little sister of the award-winning Toqué! restaurant, offers scrumptious treats like… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 9 to 15

As winter winds turn to balmy breezes, Montréal becomes the perfect place at the perfect time to spend a few hours exploring on foot and swinging (on art) outdoors as well as getting cozy inside with world-class dance, theatre, comedy and live music. Swing into Spring It’s easy to make your own music in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles this spring as the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation returns April 14 to May 31. The swings all make musical sounds – piano, guitar, harp or vibraphone – that create melodies as more and more people stop to swing along Promenade des Artistes (between De Maisonneuve Blvd. and President-Kennedy Ave.). More art that captures the city’s unique spirit from historical past to present can be found at several of Montréal’s museums and at the New Discoveries and Other Obsessions exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain, curated by the museum’s new director John Zeppetelli. Show time! Some of the best classical and modern ballet in the world graces the stage as Les Grands Ballets presents the Eifman Ballet in acclaimed Russian choreographer Boris Eifman’s passionate and psychologically complex Anna Karenina. With hockey playoffs just around the corner, catch the on-ice drama… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 2 to 8

The Easter long weekend in Montréal hints at the abundant spring to come – indulgence, playfulness, nature and creativity colour the many activities on hand this week in the city. Eat to your heart’s content at brunch or a sugar shack, relax with fine art and music, and find entertainment on stage and screen or in your own late-night dance moves. Easter treats Add some more Easter weekend ideas to your itinerary, whether you’re into egg hunting with the kids, visiting an historic church for Easter Sunday service, brunching with buds or partying with Montréalers. (Of course, whatever you’re doing, there’s always time for some high-quality, locally-made Easter chocolate.) In seasonal sports, the Canadiens play their second-to-last regular season NHL game at the Bell Centre, taking on the Washington Capitals on April 2 (the Habs go up against the Red Wings on April 9.) Meanwhile, baseball makes a comeback in Montréal this weekend too as the Toronto Blue Jays face off against the Cincinnati Reds in exhibition games at Olympic Stadium April 3 and 4. And for Easter Sunday party people, Bal en Blanc has become tradition, with thousands of revellers dressed all in white and dancing all night and… / Read More →

The Top 10 must-see major concerts of 2015 in Montréal (so far)

Here is a “top 10” list of must-see concerts – from pop to rock to jazz and metal – that are set to make 2015 one of the most memorable years in Montréal music history. Montréal has always had a special relationship with radio rockers Fleetwood Mac, a mutual love affair that spans four decades, beginning with the release of 1975’s self-titled, multimillion-selling breakthrough LP, Fleetwood Mac. Now the band is on tour again, and this time with all five members of that hit-making 1975 lineup, including singer/keyboardist Christine McVie, who completes the Mac attack after a 16-year absence. The “On with the Show Tour” pulls into the Bell Centre on February 5. Love ’em or hate ’em (or love them and hate them, depending on the day), multiplatinum rockers Nickelback are firing up their massive rock’n’rollercoaster of a tour machine and will be heading out in support of their eighth studio album, No Fixed Address. The 61-city tour will touch down in Montréal at the Bell Centre on February 18. And there’s even more Canadian rock royalty on deck when the pride of Kingston, Ontario, pay tribute to their Diamond-selling (that’s a million) 1992 release, Fully Completely. The Tragically Hip are… / Read More →

Fall Into the Classical Arts

After letting the festivals take over the spotlight of summer entertainment, Montreal’s more classical culture institutions are revving up their programming for the new season. Expect operatic heights, symphonic grandeur and balletic prowess…

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…