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Things to do in Montréal: October 9 to 15

The sun still shines and the leaves turn bright orange and red in Montréal this week as the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a Great Pumpkin Ball, hockey season, live music and much more keeps us warm indoors and out. New worlds in new films The 44th Festival du Nouveau Cinéma screens hundreds of fabulous Québécois, Canadian and international films October 7 to 18 – join the jovial crowds of film lovers to see much-awaited new work by Guy Maddin, Atom Egoyan, Jaco Van Dormael, Paolo Sorrentino, Wim Wenders, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Jia Zhangke, Laurie Anderson, Apichatpong Weerasethakul and more, including Les P’tits Loups, a whole program of films and activities just for kids, interactive sound and food experience Food Sessions, and several late-night parties and performances – consult our FNC film picks and see the official Festival du Nouveau Cinéma site for more details. See the Common Space? project’s innovative multimedia art and film outdoors in the Quartier des Spectacles every night October 1 to 18. And see mind-blowing 360° image and sound immersive experience Versus by French/Japanese duo Nonotak, at the SAT dome to October 30. Fun for all ages Enjoy the natural beauty of autumn… / Read More →

A cultural autumn with Gino Chouinard

A Montrealer by adoption, Gino Chouinard admits to having discovered some of his favourite cultural spots in the city on Salut, Bonjour!, the TVA television program he has been hosting since 2007. It’s thanks to the show that he found out about Arsenal, a contemporary art gallery in Griffintown. “Since then, I often go to the gallery to see what’s new in the world of contemporary art,” he explains. “Being there affords me a nice break from my hectic work schedule. Arsenal is hip and very much in tune with local contemporary artists. Housed in a heritage building, which in itself is a work of art, the gallery is located in a fast-growing neighbourhood. It makes you feel like you’re in New York or London. Personally, I just love their Division Gallery.” Although he managed an art gallery for several years, Gino sometimes has a hard time understanding contemporary works. “I don’t always understand or love everything that’s exhibited at Arsenal, but I make a point of reflecting on the artistic process,” he adds. He also strives to share this understanding with his children, aged five and eight, when he takes them to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. “When… / Read More →

See affordable shows on Montréal stages

The curtain goes up and the theatre, dance, circus or comedy show unfolds, its live tension palpable, often unique and unforgettable. In Montréal, that memorable experience doesn’t have to break the bank – all year round, the city’s stages are filled with live shows at affordable prices (some of them are even free!) The city’s biggest and arguably most opulent show venue, Place des Arts, houses six large theatres and several more show spaces right downtown. With shows every night, there’s usually something for every budget. Find inexpensive balcony seats for under $25, as well as student and seniors pricing and matinée deals at the Opéra de Montréal, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal  (OSM) conducted by Kent Nagano, the Orchestre Métropolitain, Les Grands Ballets, Canadian premieres of Broadway productions, and internationally touring dance company shows presented by Danse Danse. Especially watch for shows at Cinquième Salle, which often hosts cutting-edge productions by celebrated choreographers and directors. While theatre in Montréal is often quite affordable as it is, watch for inexpensive shows at the Segal Centre and Centaur Theatre studio and second stages, as well as theatre at the city’s many Maisons de la culture, host to productions by both established and… / Read More →

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 →