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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 →

La Fête Nationale in Montréal: Things to do on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day

Each year in Québec, June 24 is Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (more commonly known as La Fête Nationale locally), a public holiday that celebrates French Canadian culture and this beautiful province that more than 8 million people call home. The holiday takes its name from St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of French Canadians, and has been recognized as a legal holiday since 1925. The history of Saint-Jean extends much further back that, with celebrations surrounding the midsummer feast having been brought to Canada by French settlers as early as 1636. Visiting Montréal during La Fête Nationale is a unique and wonderful opportunity to learn about—and participate in—the celebration of French Canada and Québec’s rich and colourful local culture.  With many free public activities going on around the city, we recommend you eat, listen, dance, and laugh your way through La Fête Nationale du Québec à Montréal! Grand spectacle de la Fête nationale This huge free outdoor concert celebrates its new home this year at the Place des Festivals. Kicking off at 6 pm on June 23, come listen to famous local acts such as Isabelle Boulay, Ariane Moffat, Daniel Bélanger, Marie-Pier Arthur and many others as they heat up the… / Read More →

Six Provocative Shows to See at Festival TransAmériques

Now in its 9th year, Festival TransAmériques (FTA), May 21 to June 4, continues to meticulously curate a stellar cutting-edge program of dance, theatre and performance art from around the world – this year we’ll see 25 thought-provoking shows from Montréal, Toronto, Ottawa, New York, France, Belgium, Portugal, The Netherlands, Israel and South Korea, as well as party nights, cocktail hours, film screenings and workshops. With festival ticket packages and more events in the city’s Quartier des spectacles this spring, any one of these FTA picks makes a unique cornerstone to the Montréal arts-and-culture experience. For unconventional Korean choreographer Eun-Me Ahn, age ain’t nothing but a number – her celebratory show, Dancing Grandmothers, features 12 older women from all walks of life dancing to techno and 1960s pop alongside nine acrobatic young dancers. The colourful, kitschy show is both larger than life and true to it, bringing together generations through shared memories and heartfelt connections. (New York artist Miguel Gutierrez also plays with the passage of years in his Age and Beauty, making its Canadian premier at Festival TransAmériques.) Radical German director Michael Thalheimer and the Schaubühne Theatre of Berlin take on Molière’s Tartuffe, reinterpreting the classic comedy of hypocrisy… / Read More →

Run and Play in the Light of Luminothérapie

Wander through an illuminated wheat field and play robot-populated video games on 100-foot-high screens this winter in Montreal in the name of Luminothérapie, a high-tech public art exhibition in the Quartiers des Spectacles, every night from December 11 to February 2…

Cruise ship tours: Montreal in three hours or three days

The island of Montreal offers the contemporary cruise ship passenger innumerable possibilities for their own three-hour stopover tour of the city. Or make it a three-day tour, depending on how long you’re docked…

Montrealer Jay Baruchel plays himself at Just For Laughs

Montreal actor Jay Baruchel has found all kinds of success in Hollywood, scoring major roles in Clint Eastwood’s Million Dollar Baby, Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up, the upcoming This Is the End, and the recently-wrapped Robocop reboot, but he resolutely calls Montreal home – and Montreal loves his right back, giving him his own Just For Laughs gala show this summer…

The Montreal First Peoples’ Festival

Once again, a massive, colourfully-lit teepee in the heart of downtown’s Place des Festivals marks the beginning of Montreal’s First Peoples’ Festival, now in its 23rd edition, July 30 to August 5…

Tune in to the 2013 Montreal International Jazz Festival

Famed American composer and pianist Dave Brubeck, whose 1959 album Time Out was the first jazz record to sell over a million copies, did what was the unthinkable for a good many jazz musicians of his era: he lived a long, very long, life. Brubeck, who played the Montreal International Jazz Festival no less than 14 times, went to the great jazz club in the sky last December just shy of his 92nd birthday, and only six months after his final Jazz Fest appearance. This 34th edition of the Jazz Fest is dedicated to his memory…

21 Swings brings music to the Quartier des spectacles

The 21 Swings public art installation, outside at the Quartier des Spectacles in the heart of downtown, is the kind of instrument anyone can play – and everyone is, no matter what their musical ability, age or whether they find themselves next to friends or strangers on the swings…