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Montréal’s favourite summertime terrasses

Whether it’s for refreshing cocktails in the sun, or dining al fresco under a starlit sky, Montréal’s terrasse (patio) scene is one of the most happening attractions throughout the summer. From popular spots perched atop downtown high-rises, or nestled between historic buildings in Old Montréal, here are some must-visit terrasses that are sure to impress. Hyatt Regency – SIX Resto Lounge – 1255 Jeanne-Mance                                           Overlooking Place des Festivals, Hyatt Regency’s SIX Resto Lounge has a prime view of all the outdoor summer festivities. This downtown location is a favourite spot for locals for cocktails and bites during their weekly Thursday happy hour event (Les Jeudis en Vue). From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., everyone is invited to the terrasse at SIX Resto Lounge to enjoy a trendy atmosphere featuring a live DJ, outdoor bar and grill. Tokyo Bar – 3709 St-Laurent Boulevard Open for 20 years now, Tokyo Bar is a popular nightlife destination for the party crowd. Hosting some of the city’s finest DJs, Tokyo Bar is also home to one of Montréal’s favourite rooftop terrasses—as voted on by the public. Weekly event nights will keep the summer bumping with the sweet sounds of the hottest hip hop and… / Read More →

French music mania: Shows to see at Les FrancoFolies

The universal language of music gets a French twist at the 28th edition of Les FrancoFolies de Montréal, June 9-18 – and you don’t have to speak French to rock out, dance and even sing along with fans at these shows by artists from Montréal to Paris to North Africa. Orchestral heights Hot on the heels of cutting-edge art and music festivals MUTEK, ELEKTRA and TransAmériques, Les FrancoFolies give us something different too: The Montréal Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Simon Leclerc, welcomes musician Arthur H and  Serge Gainsbourg’s muse and companion Jane Birkin in Gainsbourg Symphonique, a performance of the iconic French artist’s best known and loved songs, marking the 25th anniversary of Gainsbourg’s death. Charming Québécois artist Alexandre Désilets also brings an orchestra on stage for his mysterious new electro-pop show marking the release of album Windigo. And Juno award-winner Karim Ouellet adds musicians on acoustic guitars, brass and strings, boosting his soulful, quirky electro-pop further into joyous territory. Soulful singer-songwriters World music, trip hop and rock meet poetry and politics in the music of Emel Mathlouthi, a Tunisian singer-songwriter who sings her songs of peace and revolution in French, English and Arab and comes to Francofolies with a… / 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 →

Your Montréal Nuit blanche Survival Guide

Calling all nighthawks, night owls and burners of midnight oil. The once-a-year, all-night, nearly citywide arts, culture and performance party that is Nuit blanche is nearly upon us. It’s a vast undertaking with almost innumerable options and opportunities, and with that in mind, we offer you this guide to one of Montreal’s brightest winter nights. THE EVENT The 13th edition off Nuit blanche, part of the annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at locations all over downtown Montréal and surrounding neighbourhoods, starting on February 27 and ending in the wee hours of February 28. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO One of the highlights of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is the always illuminating, always epic Nuit blanche all-nighter. Nuit blanche (“white night”) invites all comers to partake in upwards of 200 (mostly free) activities this year, including live music, film, dance, performance art, interactive installations, storytelling, digital and visual art, and great food to match a great night. IT’S WHERE EXACTLY? Almost everywhere MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s family-friendly free outdoor site in the downtown Quartier des Spectacles is the central hub from which all the action radiates. The site features a giant outdoor stage, interactive installations, dining areas, numerous fun activities (we don’t need… / 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 →

Your MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE Survival Guide

Cold weather festing hath no fury like the ever-strengthening MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival, which brightens moods and sets downtown Montréal alight with excitement each and every year. A blizzard of entertainment and activities awaits visitors at both indoor and outdoor locales, so let this be your guide to navigating the storm. THE EVENT The 17th edition of the MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at various locations in downtown Montréal from February 18 to March 5, 2016. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO Over the course of 17 days, MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will enjoy some 1,300,000 visits from fearless fun seekers at what has become one of the largest winter festivals in the world. The annual happening hosts an expansive, eclectic and high-powered program of performing arts (live music, theatre, dance, circus arts and more) at many of the city’s best venues. There are also almost innumerable gastronomic options (some 500 chefs, wine producers and culinary experts have participated over the years) and a lively range of events and activities on the action-packed outdoor site that visitors can participate in. THE LAY OF THE LAND Where everything’s happening The almost 200 paid indoor performances and… / 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 →

Montréal winter nights are bright with activity possibilities

Nighttime is always the right time for both family fun and slightly more adult-oriented activities and entertainment in Montréal during the winter season. Gliding on ice under night skies is a sublime pastime at the Old Port’s idyllic Bonsecours Basin skating rink, a huge open-air surface renowned for its exceptional ice. It features some of the most striking views of Old Montréal and the city skyline in an extremely fun-friendly environment. Each day has a different music theme: classical Mondays, world music Tuesdays, urban sounds Wednesdays, and so on. The ice is open Monday to Wednesday until 9 pm, and Thursday to Sunday until 10 pm. Skate rentals and lockers are available. Many of Montréal’s most beautiful parks also feature night skating along with music, warming stations and/or places to eat and, er, lubricate. The picturesque Parc Lafontaine, Parc Maisonneuve and Beaver Lake on the summit of Mount Royal are all examples of top-tier blading places that typically stay open on the weekends until 10 pm. For locations, skating conditions and other info, please go here. Speaking of the mountain, Mount Royal Park is an outdoor winter sports enthusiast’s dream. In addition to skating, sledding and cross-country skiing – there… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: January 1 to 7

A new year, a new week – welcome to 2016 and welcome to Montréal! The genuine joys of the holiday season continue into this week at excellent restaurants and bars, outdoor markets, museums and music venues, and out on the streets and ice rinks of the city. New Year’s eats We could technically still call this “the holidays,” and many of the restaurants in our guide to holiday menus in Montréal do! From six-service table d’hôtes to classic French fare, welcome in the New Year with an excellent meal or two. Celebrate your love of wine and good food at these 10 wine-devoted restaurants. Get your fill of Peking Duck and dumplings on New Year’s Day at these Chinese food restaurants open over the holidays. If a burger and fries is your comfort food, get back to basics with these 5 must-try burgers. And since a vacation isn’t enough time to try everything Montréal’s cuisine scene has to offer, bring these made-in-Montréal treats home and pack a bottle of celebratory Québec-made alcohol, whether it’s gin or sparkling cider. Rewarding resolutions If you’re prone to making New Year’s resolutions, it’s easy to follow through on the fun ones in Montréal: skydive… / Read More →