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Things to do in Montréal: June 12 to 18

Music is in the air as festival season gathers steam – and volume. Catch French tunes in the street, indie music in clubs, dance tracks in the park on weekends and fun in the sun in all our beautiful green spaces. Fresh and fun Bask in the sunshine by testing your climbing skills at the urban acrobatic venue Parc Exalto at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, a three-storey rope-climbing structure. You can also play soccer or mini-golf, or jump along on an acro-bungee trampoline. As of mid-June, you’ll be able to cool down at the beach in Parc Jean-Drapeau, just one of many amazing spots to chill out in the city. Bring your own grub, and if you’re inspired, try one of these picnic and park pairings. Afterwards, celebrate the amazing day you had with one of these amazingly shareable pitchers. Speaking of pitchers, the Mondial de la Bière continues at Palais des congrès until June 14. The beer festival unites amateurs and connoisseurs alike for a taste of new hoppy brews and pairings with great food. Musical festing Francofolies kicked off on the 11th and will fill downtown with local and international French sounds until June 20, including Patrice Michaud, Dumas,… / Read More →

Things To Do in Montréal: June 5 to 11

There’s so much going on these days in the city, from big arts and culture festivals like MURAL and the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival to music happenings like Suoni per il Popolo and Francofolies (see last week’s guide for more). But topping a lot of charts is the high-speed funfest of Formula 1 and all the gastronomic and bacchanalian celebrations that it entails. Get ready, get set, and go below to see what’s on the road ahead! EAT All Montréal is alight with the high rollers in town, and they’re laying out the red carpet. At Auberge St-Gabriel, the trio of owners – Guy Laliberté, Garou and Marc Bolay – haven’t spared any expense to create the momentous Momentum weekend. From June 4 to 7, expect culinary masterpieces, a constant flow of fine liqueurs, intoxicating music every night, not to mention drivers and international celebrities. There are a couple of foodie trajectories to choose from in Old Montréal. From June 4 to 7, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., all of Saint-Paul Street West is basically the venue for a terrasse-hop. And boy, what terrasses there are – get a load of the view from the Phi Centre deck! There’s… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 29 to June 4

It’s festival season! Well, festival season never really stops in Montréal, but in the warm months it revs up into a positive frenzy, where there’s so much going on, you don’t know where to turn. This week, pick between live music, street art performances, mass cycling, circus exploits… or mash it all together for the week of a lifetime. It’s showtime See that sexy 25-year-old over there? That’s the Montréal Fringe Festival. At a quarter-century-old, the massive, entertaining theatre, dance, comedy and myriad performance experiment festival is as youthful as ever, offering the best and cheapest way of having a good time for the next few weeks. From June 1 to 21, hundreds of performers will attempt to wow you with their homespun shows and then gather alongside you in the Fringe Park, at the corner of Saint-Laurent and Rachel, for a beer or five. Don’t miss the good times! If circus is what you’re after, head to TOHU: Les Étincelleurs and L’Art de la Fugue, both until June 7, are shows by the best and brightest of the National Circus School. The first is high-octane acrobatics, the second a more poetic homage to Bach (circus style). Festival TransAmériques continues… / Read More →

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 →