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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…

FRANCOFOLIES INTERVIEW: ALPHA BLONDY

Alpha Blondy, in Montreal to play the FrancoFolies on June 15, is one of Africa’s most well-known and respected reggae artists. He sings in French, English, Hebrew, Arabic and Dioula, the language spoken in Côte d’Ivoire. Which helps, because Alpha Blondy’s goal is to shower the world in positive vibes…

FRANCOFOLIES: 5 SURE BETS

We all know about the Jazz Fest but Les FrancoFolies de Montreal, June 9-18, is also a contender for one of the city’s most exciting musical events. The second-largest French song festival in the world welcomes hundreds of thousands of people every year to hear iconic and innovative acts from France, Quebec and the French diaspora…

WHAT’S NEW AT THE SOCIETY FOR ARTS AND TECHNOLOGY

For all its old-world charm, cobbled streets, culinary traditions and party atmosphere, Montreal still manages to keep a eye on the future – specifically when it comes to international collaborations between technology and the arts. Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (or “SAT”) is a hub of all things creatively high-tech…

PIXINESS AT THE SAT

A new installation outside the recently renovated SAT (Society for Arts and Technology) is now lighting up part of boulevard St-Laurent. Pixiness, created by the visual artist Axel Morgenthaler, is a major work that fits into the lighting attractions found all over the Quartier des Spectacles. With 960 LED lamps, this impressive artwork offers a 24-hour a day show, constantly evolving as passersby can use their iPhones to interact with this unique piece of technological art.

NIGHT LIGHTS SHINE BRIGHT

“Trippy” was how my colleague described them. So I had to go and check out the “big white ball things” in front of Place des Arts and on the esplanade of Place des Festivals. In summer, the area comes alive with water jets, sprinkling people that walk by or completely dousing those who just can’t take the heat. In winter, as I’ve now seen with my own eyes, the public space appears to have been invaded from outer space.