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Things to do in Montréal: May 22 to 28

It’s hopping in town this week – between C2MTL, Museums Day, MUTEK and Festival TransAmériques, our schedules are already full! But with the weather the way it is, it’s essential to take a chill pill and hang out in the sun a bit too. Culture corner It’s Museums Day! This Sunday, May 24, all museums and most cultural institutions in the city of Montréal offer free entry, plus shuttle buses along five different trajectories to take you from one to the other. It’s the best way to explore areas off the beaten track. Two shows launch at TOHU this week: Les Étinceleurs, which runs from May 26 to June 7, a high-octane show featuring the best and brightest of the National Circus School, and L’Art de la Fugue, starting on May 27 and running until June 7, which is an homage to Bach, à la circus. Not to be missed! May 23 is your last chance to catch Death and the Maiden by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, a choreography by Stephan Thoss inspired by the Franz Schubert score of the same name and presented at Théâtre Maisonneuve. (Don’t miss the free pre-show talk hosted by Shelley Pomerance an hour before… / Read More →

Things to do in Montreal: May 15 to 21

You know it’s the unofficial start of summer when the season’s festivals start popping up. Time to hit the pavement and enjoy some of the best things about this city, including unparalleled entertainment, amazing green spaces and tasty, tasty food. Festival land The season’s first festivals are blooming left, right and centre, so be sure not to miss a beat with this festival guide. You’ve got until May 24 to take in some of the beautiful events during the 20th anniversary of Accès Asie, a festival celebrating Eastern cultures ranging from Iranian music to visual arts by Chinese artists. (Don’t miss the new media performance entitled The Thomas Wang Project on May 22 between 5 and 7 p.m. at Oboro). May 21 marks the opening of the exciting performance festival Festival TransAmériques, with offerings ranging from dance to theatre, and all the stage arts in between. Get the goods on six unmissable shows here. And, of course, the interactive spaces, visual and audio performances, immersive experiences, 3D productions, cutting-edge electronic music, vernissages and world-class events of Digital Spring also continue until June 21. Outdoor fun What better way could there be to celebrate the long weekend than by dancing it… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 8 to 14

Mom is queen this week (but isn’t she always?), which means amazing food, mimosas galore, good times over high tea and evenings of entertainment. Luckily the city is glad to oblige, with options ranging from classical music concerts to acrobatic burlesque – not to mention about a gazillion indie music shows. Springtime feasts With the return of the food trucks and the reopening of terrasses, good food is easier than ever to get in Montréal. Enjoy the view from the SAT’s reopened Food Lab terrasse and order the special Québécois Spring tasting menu (complete with buttermilk-dressed wedge salad), conceived by chefs Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse and offered between Tuesdays and Fridays from 5 to 10 p.m. Mother’s Day, on May 10, is the year’s best excuse for a decadent brunch, so if you’re heading downtown, you know where to go. Beat the morning rush and treat mom to lunch or dinner instead at one of these deliciously affordable spots, or if you want to go all-out, nothing beats the excessive experience of an all-you-can-eat-buffet. (I love you THIS MUCH, mom!) High tea at the Ritz or at XO in Hotel Le St-James are favourite mom-honouring rituals, but if your… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 1 to 7

Feel your appetite being whetted? That’s because the food trucks are back! Outdoor life returns in full swing this week as the sun shines its heat on the city’s parks, bike paths and terrasses. But keep your evenings free: there are enough shows going on to fill two lifetimes. Spring is in the air You know it’s spring when you see your first food truck! May 1 marks the time for foodies to celebrate the great thaw with a sampling of what’s out there. Whether its tacos, poutines, grilled cheeses or salads, check out our list, and don’t miss a beat! Other reasons to celebrate (besides the Montréal Canadiens being in the hockey playoffs, which you should watch from these hot spots) include the reopening of the bike paths all over the city, the amazing jogging trails that are just waiting for you to enjoy and the millions of fun activities for the whole family happening over the next couple of months. Avid shoppers will want to stroll the streets for some made-in-Montréal style, thanks to this handy-dandy fashion map, whether you’re looking for jewellery or other goodies. And of course, every day is a good day for a drink on… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: April 24 to 30

Rain or shine, just the fact of being able to stroll on snow-free streets is enough to give the city a giddy feel this week. There’s so much enchantment to be had with the thaw of spring, whether it’s the reopening of the musical swings at Place des Arts, the reawakening of the city’s huge bike-path network or the freeing of butterflies in the Botanical Garden (until April 26). Oh, and did we mention monster trucks? Springtime spectacles With the Montréal Canadiens in the playoffs, there’s already so much excitement in the air! But when you’re not at one of these cool spots taking in the games, check out the monster truck engines rev and the mud fly at the 20th edition of Monster Spectacular at the Olympic Stadium on April 25. Then there’s the Spielgelworld theatrical showstopper, Empire, which continues to wow in its own designated tent on the corner of René-Lévesque and Bleury with a unique blend of circus, comedy and vaudeville until May 24. As for theatre, Montréal filmmaker Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) directs Tom Stoppard’s Tony Award-winning comedy Travesties, on until May 3 at the Segal Centre. Not to mention the interactive spaces, visual and audio performances, immersive experiences, 3D productions, cutting-edge electronic music, vernissages… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 9 to 15

As winter winds turn to balmy breezes, Montréal becomes the perfect place at the perfect time to spend a few hours exploring on foot and swinging (on art) outdoors as well as getting cozy inside with world-class dance, theatre, comedy and live music. Swing into Spring It’s easy to make your own music in downtown Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles this spring as the 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) art installation returns April 14 to May 31. The swings all make musical sounds – piano, guitar, harp or vibraphone – that create melodies as more and more people stop to swing along Promenade des Artistes (between De Maisonneuve Blvd. and President-Kennedy Ave.). More art that captures the city’s unique spirit from historical past to present can be found at several of Montréal’s museums and at the New Discoveries and Other Obsessions exhibition at the Musée d’art contemporain, curated by the museum’s new director John Zeppetelli. Show time! Some of the best classical and modern ballet in the world graces the stage as Les Grands Ballets presents the Eifman Ballet in acclaimed Russian choreographer Boris Eifman’s passionate and psychologically complex Anna Karenina. With hockey playoffs just around the corner, catch the on-ice drama… / Read More →

Things to Do in Montréal April 2 to 8

The Easter long weekend in Montréal hints at the abundant spring to come – indulgence, playfulness, nature and creativity colour the many activities on hand this week in the city. Eat to your heart’s content at brunch or a sugar shack, relax with fine art and music, and find entertainment on stage and screen or in your own late-night dance moves. Easter treats Add some more Easter weekend ideas to your itinerary, whether you’re into egg hunting with the kids, visiting an historic church for Easter Sunday service, brunching with buds or partying with Montréalers. (Of course, whatever you’re doing, there’s always time for some high-quality, locally-made Easter chocolate.) In seasonal sports, the Canadiens play their second-to-last regular season NHL game at the Bell Centre, taking on the Washington Capitals on April 2 (the Habs go up against the Red Wings on April 9.) Meanwhile, baseball makes a comeback in Montréal this weekend too as the Toronto Blue Jays face off against the Cincinnati Reds in exhibition games at Olympic Stadium April 3 and 4. And for Easter Sunday party people, Bal en Blanc has become tradition, with thousands of revellers dressed all in white and dancing all night and… / 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 →

Things to do in Montréal: March 12 to 18

The day has come! The thermometer hit the plus side for the first time in months, and spring is well on its way to springing. That means a general fancy-free frenzy in the streets of Montréal, with lots of promenading, coffee dates on the season’s first few terrasses, and, of course, culture galore for warm evenings of entertainment. Visual arts Friday night, March 13, marks the launch of a new exhibition at La Centrale Galerie Powerhouse on the Main near Marianne Street: Love Me, Love My Doll, by Gabrielle Lajoie‑Bergeron. The Montréal artist’s expressive paintings play with the thin line between commercialized images of femininity and childishness. Galerie Lilian Rodriguez in the Belgo Building downtown launches two new painting shows too: Laura Findlay’s Denser than Night, guest curated by Benjamin Klein, and Hybrides, by José Luis Torres. Come grab a glass of wine at the vernissage on Saturday March 14, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Otherwise, the annual Art Matters festival continues until March 21, where you can see exhibitions addressing various meaty topics including the current political climate and the battle against austerity in Québec, in the exhibition Oppression Aesthetics, at the VAV Gallery on René‑Lévesque Boulevard West. Stage shows No need to travel around the globe when Australian troupes… / Read More →