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FREE THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL: AUGUST

As August is a vacation time for many, whether they’re staying in Montreal or headed to a cottage on its outskirts, the city’s pace slows down somewhat – the festival frenzy of the Jazz Fest and Just for Laughs is replaced by more even-keeled cultural events at the Quartier des Spectacles and plenty of free entertainment outdoors in the parks and streets…

ARCADE FIRE PLAYING FREE SHOW IN MONTREAL ON SEPTEMBER 22

Montreal’s Arcade Fire have just announced that they’ll be playing a free show at the Quartier des Spectacles‘ Place des Festivals on September 22, 2011. The show, part of Pop Montreal‘s 10th anniversary festival, is a tip of the cap to their hometown. “Our band couldn’t exist without Montreal,” says the band’s Régine Chassagne. “After having had the chance to tour extensively around the world, we’re very excited to finally come home. And to do so the Montreal way, we hoped to play a free outside show, on the very last day of summer as a big ‘Thank you’ to the beautiful city we love so much…”

THINGS TO DO IN MONTREAL (JULY 28-AUGUST 4)

Here we are at the end of July – only one more month of summer, but what a glorious month it is. July finishes strong with three final days of great comedy at Just For Laughs and Zoofest, along with the long-awaited outdoor music festival Osheaga in Jean-Drapeau Park and The Montreal Electronic Groove Festival in town. August rides that happy wave with The Montreal First Peoples’ Festival, the Festival of Fashion and Design, and plenty of music and arty happenings in the parks and in venues around town…

HYATT REGENCY MONTREAL

What came first, the Hyatt Regency or the Jazz Festival? Well, the Hyatt did in 1976 but the Jazz Festival moved right across the street shortly afterwards, designating the Hyatt as the place to be for the best shows in town. In fact, you don’t even need to be within the Jazz Festival grounds to enjoy the world-class entertainment. Simply saddle up to the bar, order a cocktail and hit the expansive wrap-around terrace with the best view of the shows happening right across the street. With a full bar and restaurant and a pool with glass sliding doors, why would you want to be anywhere else?

MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL JAZZ FESTIVAL 2011

The 32nd edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montreal just wrapped up and Just for Laughs is about to begin. But before the laughter starts, let’s take a look back at the 2011 Jazz Fest…

QUARTIER DES SPECTACLES: WHERE TO EAT

Montreal becomes Festival Central every summer, its streets permanently animated by crowds and performances. At the heart of it all is the always-lively Quartier des Spectacles, or Show District, which is anchored by a public esplanade where many of Montreal’s free shows are held. The Jazz Fest may be wrapping up, but the party keeps going when the Just for Laughs festival takes over downtown…

JAZZ FEST INTERVIEW: MADELEINE PEYROUX

Madeleine Peyroux might very well define what the Montreal Jazz Festival has become over its 32-year history: one foot rooted in jazz and blues tradition and the other taking exploratory steps into new musical configurations…

MONTREAL’S BEST RESTAURANT PATIOS

When it comes to restaurant patios in Montreal (known here as terrasses), there are really two different sorts. The front patios, which are basically extensions of the restaurant itself, on which diners can eat their meals while watching the world go by (and the world, in turn, watches their meals while going by). Otherwise, you have the back patios, the inner sanctums of a restaurant where kitchen secrets bloom in private. Sitting on a restaurant’s back patio is a chance to access a leafy secret garden of bliss at the back end of a favourite dining spot. Below, we’ve picked the gold-medal standard of both front and back patios in Montreal, as well as a few alternates.

FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL NUITS D’AFRIQUE: JULY 12-24

This year marks the 25th edition of one of Montreal’s most dynamic festivals, Nuits D’Afrique, and it’s no surprise that this year’s theme is A Quarter Century of World Music and the mantra is tradition, boldness and renewal. The extravaganza features 57 artists from 32 countries and 13 jam-packed days of shows featuring the best names of African and world music…

FRANCOFOLIES 2011, MONTREAL

The 2011 edition of FrancoFolies has just wrapped up. If you made it to the fest this year, you saw an amazing celebration of French music and culture. If you didn’t, watch this video and make sure you come back in 2012…