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Things to do in Montréal: October 7 to 13

Enjoy the long weekend in Montréal as the leaves begin to fall and we turn our thoughts to big family dinners, apple picking, pumpkin pie and, because this is Montréal after all, a new season of arts and culture activities, from contemporary dance to Drake. Fall family time Canadian Thanksgiving stands for food, family and autumnal chilling out – read about all kinds of things to do and where to eat in our Thanksgiving Weekend guide. With a warm, sunny day in the forecast, why not start the weekend at the delightful and delicious First Fridays : fill up on food truck fare, drink local brews and listen to live music, Oct. 7 at Olympic Park. Nearby, explore the Botanical Garden’s Great Pumpkin Ball and beautiful Gardens of Light lantern exhibition, or tour the universe in animated film We Are Stars at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at Montréal Space for Life. Downtown, discover urban public art in a walk among the skyscrapers. Watch the Montréal Allouettes take on Edmonton on Oct. 10 or Disney on Ice’s Dare to Dream at the Bell Centre, Oct. 12-16. Or go apple picking with Labonté. All that plus more free things to do this fall. Film and art Hundreds of excellent feature films and shorts – along with performances and parties – make the 45th Festival du nouveau cinéma a must for… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: September 16 to 22

Mid-September eases between summer and fall in Montréal – the sun keeps shining on open-air markets and outdoor performances while a major Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition and Opéra de Montréal’s AIDA wow and POP Montréal keeps Montréal nightlife wild. Outdoor time Beautiful day and night, the Botanical Garden hosts its annual Gardens of Light lantern exhibition – walk through the Chinese and Japanese gardens after sunset in a soft glow. Montréal’s favourite terrasses stay open for meals, drinks and revelry – don’t miss the FoodLab terrasse at the SAT, where the Omnivore World Tour offers one-of-a-kind feasts, workshops and more, Sept. 16-19. You’ll also find excellent food, drink and entertainment at markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port and Les Jardineries at Olympic Park. Take a cruise along the Saint-Lawrence River with Croisières AML for a laid-back brunch or gourmet dinner. For more activities, see our guide to Free things to do this fall in Montréal.  City-wide POP entertainment The 15th edition of POP Montréal starts its engines on Wednesday night with dozens of music shows along with talks, art exhibitions, the professional-level Puces POP craft fair, film screenings, kids events and more until Sept. 25 – get the low-down in our Survival Guide to POP Montréal and… / Read More →

Geek out in Montréal!

Montréal has reached new levels of geekdom over the past few years. From large Hollywood comic book adaptations being filmed in the city (We’re eagerly awaiting X-Men: Apocalypse, shot in Montréal last summer), growing pop-culture festivals, and some of the largest video game publishers setting up shop in Montréal (hello WB Games Montréal!), it’s no surprise that this city has been taken over by geeks. So what is there to explore in Montréal? Grab your trusty fanny pack, slather on some sunscreen, and put on your favourite super hero t-shirt: we’re going to show you where the geeks roam free in the city! LEVEL 1: The Pop Culture Festival Zone The world of pop-culture comes together in July for Montréal Comiccon, and every year it promises to be nothing short of awesome. Aside from being the place to meet-and-greet stars from your favourite shows and films, it’s a must if you seek vendors who sell one-of-a-kind art, TV and movie merchandise, rare comics, and more! Plus, attendees are encouraged to dress-up as their favourite characters. Trust us, you haven’t lived until you see dedicated cosplayers dressed as pop culture characters such as Katniss Everdeen, Wolverine, and Sailor Moon in one… / Read More →

Luminothérapie and high-tech creativity light up city life

A ride on an illuminated seesaw while surrounded by storeys-tall video projections may be all you need to get comfortable with Montréal winter this December. The city greets the season with the new glittering creations of annual event Luminothérapie, reflecting just how ahead of the technological curve Montréal is all year, whether in video gaming or art making. The sixth edition of Luminothérapie, held December 10 to January 31, builds on Montréal’s affinity for technological innovation with a distinctly artistic and cultural edge – this year’s event turns Place des Festivals into an interactive-art playground filled with 30 seesaws emitting sound and light. Inspired by Montrealers’ love of outdoor play no matter what the weather, the designers of Impulse – Lateral Office, CS Design and EGP Group – have created a cheerful gathering place in the heart of downtown. Meanwhile, video projections by Montréal-based digital art team Maotik and Iregular transform nearby Théâtre Maisonneuve and UQAM’s President–Kennedy building as well as the Grande Bibliothèque, UQAM bell tower and five more looming facades into screens for gorgeous abstract visuals accompanied by soundtracks by Toronto-based artist Mitchell Akiyama. Luminothérapie grew out of Montréal’s participation in UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network, a global network… / Read More →

Autumn Glows in Montréal with Gardens of Light and High-Tech Fireflies

As fall leaves turn and nights start earlier, Montréal gets brighter than ever, beginning on September 4 with the annual Gardens of Light display at the Botanical Garden. Putting on a light show of its own nearby, the Insectarium’s Bearers of Light exhibition lets loose hundreds of “fireflies.” In its 4th edition, Gardens of Light introduces hundreds of lanterns and lights to the Botanical Garden’s striking natural setting, just minutes away from downtown. Walk along tree-lined paths and plant-covered grounds of the Chinese and Japanese gardens to discover the fauna at night in the Botanical Garden, part of the country’s largest natural science museum complex, Space for Life, also home to the Biôdome, Insectarium and Planetarium. This year, the colourful hand-made lanterns of people and animals in the Chinese Garden tell a new a story – a compelling and festive myth about the Chinese New Year. While bright pandas climb trees and glowing boats float in the garden’s pond, a soft and subtle light display in the Japanese Garden conveys the beauty of the changing seasons, illuminating trees, waterfalls and stones. With so much to see and ground to cover, a visit to Gardens of Light can be a fun… / Read More →

Deals and steals at Montréal museums

Montréal Museums’ Day is a great way for art-lovers on a budget to visit Montréal’s 38 museums for free in late May each year. But the city’s major museums also have many deals year-round to see blockbuster exhibits as well as their permanent collections. Here are some choice activities and deals for solo visitors as well as families on a budget: Family deals The oldest and busiest museum in Canada, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts schedules Family Weekends with children’s drop-in workshops and interactive tours of the collections, as well as lectures and film screenings in the Maxwell Cummings Auditorium. MMFA admission for children 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MMFA’s popular Museum Day Camps for children. The Musée d’art contemporain admission for children aged 12 and under is free, although fees do apply for the MAC’s popular Museum Day Camps for children.  The MAC also charges a flat-rate $30 admission for families (2 adults with children). The McCord Museum admission and activities are free for children aged 12 and under. On arrival at the McCord’s admissions desk, kids will get a free backpack (as long as quantities last) containing everything they’ll need for… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: March 26 to April 1

Spring is sweet in Montréal, literally thanks to maple mania, and figuratively with all the cultural effervescence of the season. From Digital Spring to music that will massage your soul with beauty and light, it’s all happening, right here, right now. Digital spring fever The sophomore edition of Digital Spring, on until June 21, showcases 150 interactive spaces, visual and audio performances, immersive experiences, 3D productions, cutting-edge electronic music performances, art exhibitions and world-class events put on by 90 organizations. It’s overwhelming to say the least, but you can let the calendar lead your experience and follow the guide online week by week. The programming will take you everywhere from Piknic Électronik to the International Symposium on Immersion and Experience and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium,at the Space for Life complex. For something a bit more lo-fi, head next door for spring fever, Botanical Garden-style: butterflies fly free through the beautifully temperate greenhouses until April 26. The kids will love it. Taste the season It isn’t really spring in Québec if there isn’t maple syrup involved. You can enjoy a feast of maple goodness, either classical or revisited, in the city or further afield. In town there’s a slew of restaurants that have launched special seasonal menus… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: March 19 to 25

As Mother Nature tries to decide which way to go out there, huddle indoors with a few dozen good movies thanks to the International Festival of Films on Art this week, or lose yourself in the masses of programming for Digital Spring. There’s also tons of family activities, theatre, ballet, music, and the exciting kickoff of the sugaring season. (Be sure to warn your dentist.) All about arts The 2015 edition of the International Festival of Films on Art presents some 60 films about art this year, running from March 19 to 29, in cinemas all over the downtown core. You can see films on everything from architecture to dance to animation; goodies like Escape From Moomin Valley, all about the fantastical world of comic artist Tove Jansson, or The Man Who Saved the Louvre, about the heroic efforts of Louvre director Jacques Jaujard during the Second World War. Read more here. Theatre lovers won’t want to miss their last chance to catch The Goodnight Bird, at Centaur, a play about a vagrant who lands on a middle-aged couple’s balcony. It runs until March 22. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal premiere their latest opus on March 19: The Little Prince, chorographed by Dutch… / Read More →

Montréal’s Digital Spring 2015: 1 season, 90 organizations, 150 happenings

Spring in Montréal is always amazing, but this spring in Montréal promises to be particularly awesome because digital fever will be sweeping the city with the second edition of Digital Spring (known locally as Printemps numérique). But aside from the 100,000 participants who enjoyed the fun of the first edition, everyone is probably scratching their heads, wondering: “Digital Spring? What is that?” From March 21 to June 21, Digital Spring showcases and celebrates the capital of the digital arts in North America, a.k.a. our cutting-edge city of Montréal. Organized by the Conférence régionale des élus (CRÉ) (in English: regional conference of elected officials) in partnership with organizations from creative milieus or those interested in digital arts, Digital Springs showcases the organizations, artists and projects from the wide world of digital to the general public. So, what’s on the menu? Digital newbies and mavens alike will have the chance to enjoy interactive spaces, visual and audio performances, immersive experiences, 3D productions, cutting-edge electronic music, vernissages and world-class events. Where’s it all happening? City-wide. You can check out Digital Spring anywhere from the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium to the ELEKTRA 16 Digital Arts Festival to Piknic Électronik to the International Symposium on… / Read More →


Space travel may still be out of reach for most of us, but exploring the cosmos in all its visual glory just became possible in Montreal at the city’s brand new, high-tech Planetarium….