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Happy birthday, Montréal!

Expect La Belle Ville to be breathless this May 17. Partly because of the 375 candles the city has to put out for its birthday, and partly because of all the celebrations happening in its honour through to the weekend! Montréal was cofounded by Sieur de Maisonneuve and Jeanne Mance on May 17, 1642 – a fact that’s certainly worth toasting. A day of celebrations The May 17 events start at City Hall with an 8 a.m. Inspection of the Guard of the Régiment de Maisonneuve by the Mayor of Montréal. At 8:15 the guard will march to the Notre-Dame Basilica for the ringing of the bells, which will toll at 8:45, first at the Saint Joseph’s Oratory, and then in churches all over town, including the basilica. At 9 a.m. there will be a multi-faith mass at the basilica with representatives of Canada’s First Nations, followed by a tribute to the city’s founders at the Maisonneuve Monument at 10:30 a.m., complete with a Mohawk drum ceremony. AVUDO honours the St. Lawrence Starting with a sold-out public premiere at 9 p.m. on May 17, and running until September 2, you can’t miss Montréal AVUDO. The spectacular multimedia show was created for… / Read More →

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 3 to 9

March begins with the thrills of massive winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE and its all-nighter Nuit Blanche, plus spring break activities for families, dance and theatre, incredible illuminated art, classical music and rock shows. Bright days and nights The city seriously shines during winter arts, culture and fine dining festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE ongoing to March 11 with an all-new program of performing arts, fabulous fine dining options and the free and family-friendly outdoor site at Place des Festivals, where you’ll find great local food and drink, from Québec cheeses to Cabral porto, live music and performances such as X-Lumina, an illuminated Ferris wheel, the urban ice slide and zip line, and classic Canadian sport Curling en lumière. Walk around the Quartier des Spectacles to see the high-tech interactive light art of Illuminart or head down into the underground city for Art Souterrain‘s miles of new art installations. And, of course, the festival’s biggest deal: all-nighter Nuit blanche featuring free activities, performances, music, film and more, from downtown to Mile End and many more neighbourhoods on March 4. Montréal on Spring Break We’ve put together an overflowing guide to restaurants, bars and parties for spring break in Montréal but we haven’t forgotten about the younger set either – with local schools closed this week, there are plenty of things to do for families during… / Read More →

Blockbuster winter and spring 2017 Montréal museum exhibitions

Famed Russian-French artist Marc Chagall, French couturier Jean Paul Gaultier and legendary Canadian photographer William Notman take centre stage in blockbuster exhibitions at Montréal museums this winter and spring 2017. Chagall: Colour and Music at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is the largest exhibition ever devoted to Marc Chagall (1887-1985) in Canada, featuring some 500 works and documents—paintings, collages, watercolours, sculptures, stained glass windows and ceramics—which show how Chagall’s aesthetic and artistic world is imbued with music. The exhibition includes his creations for the stage, notably 40 rarely-seen costumes and sets for the ballets and operas Aleko (1942), The Firebird (1945), Daphnis et Chloé (1958) and The Magic Flute (1967). No less than famed art critic Robert Hughes called Chagall “the quintessential Jewish artist of the 20th century.” Chagall: Colour and Music runs from January 28 to June 11. After such a great adventure, “The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk” seen by two million visitors in twelve cities over five years couldn’t end like this… As cherry on the cake, as a very early Christmas gift or as a 2017 good resolution, the @mbamtl is presenting a surprise return of the most incredible wedding moments by… / Read More →

Free things to do this winter in Montréal

Montréal knows how to do winter right, from indoor entertainment to outdoor illuminations – and in celebration of Montréal’s 375th anniversary this year, even more free activities fill the calendar from December into March. December festivities Outdoor market Le Grand Marché de Noël de Montréal transforms Sainte-Catherine Street at Place des festivals into a winter village – find locally made goods and goodies, an activity area for kids, live music and, of course, Montréal’s first giant Christmas tree. Nearby, the 13,000 lights of the Place Ville Marie Christmas tree structure light up the business district. In Old Montréal, drink hot chocolate around a cozy fire and wander through a Christmas market at Merry Montréal at Place Jacques-Cartier. Walk down Mount-Royal Avenue for Noël sur l’Avenue and experience Noël dans le Parc at Place Émilie-Gamelin downtown and in Parc des Compagnons and Parc Lahaie in the Plateau. Indoors, the Complex Desjardins Magic Kingdom makes the mall delightful with a mini train, carousel and the multimedia Fontaine Boréale show. Winter wonderlands Take a whirl spinning fairy-tale images in giant zoetropes at this year’s Luminothérapie interactive-art playground at Place des Festivals to Jan. 29. Look towards Mount Royal (“The Mountain” to Montrealers) to see Aurores Montréal, a new 15,000 square metre light projection by artist Marc Séguin and multimedia company 4U2C…. / Read More →

Your guide to a wicked Halloween 2016

For those of us possessed by fear during the Halloween season – a profound fear of missing out, that is – Montréal has a witches’ brew of solutions for your All Hallows aspirations. Whether it’s fun stuff for the little monsters in your life, hair-raising thrills and chills, rollicking onstage entertainment or raucous Halloween parties, the following options will provide the healing potion for your FOMO. Not-so-frightful family fun It’s kooky for kiddos at the Botanical Gardens (part of Montreal’s Space for Life, which also includes the Biodôme, Insectarium and Planetarium), which invites you and yours to be the honoured guests of the good witch Esmerelda for the 31st celebration of The Great Pumpkin Ball. And you can truly have a ball in the company of the urban farming Esmeralda, Pépo the Pumpkin and some 800 wildly and wackily decorated squashes and pumpkins. The Ball rolls every day, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., until October 31. While there, be sure to mosey on over to the aptly titled, outdoor Little Monsters Courtyard where the wee ones can conquer The Tricky River, The Shaky Bridge, a straw maze, tunnels and monkey bars (for kids 10 and under). Over at the Insectarium,… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: August 26 to September 1

The end of August doesn’t mean the end of summer in Montréal: warm weather keeps  restaurant terrasses open late and turns parks and city streets into entertainment venues. Also keeping things hot this week: a beer tasting event, new films and art, and live music. Late-summer days The Mont-Royal Avenue Street Sale closes the avenue to traffic Aug. 25-28, featuring plenty of shopping along with open-air restaurants and bars, entertainment – including music on Friday evening from Socalled in front of Mont-Royal metro, live painting, DJs and more – games and activities for kids – from face painting and rock climbing to an electric train and mini golf – at the corners of Mont-Royal and Cartier and Mont-Royal and Des Érables. Walk among farmers, craftspeople and entertainers straight out of 1750 at Pointe-à-Callière’s 18th-Century Public Market in Old Montréal, Aug. 27-28, featuring food, drink, music, storytelling and performances in the spirit of New France. Swing to the sound of musical art installation 21 Swings outside Place des Arts, or take an easy cruise along the Saint-Lawrence River on a laid-back brunch, afternoon or gourmet dinner cruise with Croisières AML. The SOS Labyrinthe and sailing-ship-themed ropes course Voiles en Voiles keep everyone on their toes in the Old Port of Montréal. Test your chess skills on the… / Read More →

Your Montréal Digital Spring Survival Guide

When it comes to creative high-tech, Montréal ranks among the top cities in the world, often being called the capital of the digital arts in North America. New digital arts projects, video game production, the visual effects industry and virtual reality innovations all thrive here and are among the many reasons why Montréal Digital Spring has garnered international attention. 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 3rd edition of Montréal Digital Spring digital arts and culture initiative, at various locations throughout Montréal from March 21 to June 21, 2016. 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… / 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 January 8 to 14

The year is already off to a bold start in Montréal with snow-bright outdoor entertainment to play with and dance to, the Happening Gourmand restaurant fest, internationally acclaimed dance, theatre and film, and live music from Tchaikovsky to Mark Farina. Snow days With memories of 2015 fading it’s time to make some new ones. Montreal brightens up your winter with all kinds of activities and entertainment in the coming months. Play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31, with animated digital art projections throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. If you love to dance and love being outdoors, get yourself to Igloofest, Montreal’s biggest winter electronic music festival, at Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port, opening January 14 with music by Bonobo, Lunice, Heron Preston and more. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, or skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, with happy hour every evening. On the ice at the Bell Centre, the Montréal Canadiens take on the Penguins on January 9 and the Blackhawks on January 14. Seek out warmth and art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain and Galerie… / Read More →