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Things to do in Montréal: July 15 to 21

Sunny days and almost too much fun to handle make Montréal the place to be in mid-July: comedy, circus and music festivals fill the city with out-of-this-world performances, alongside an international film festival, a games festival, a world-class fireworks competition and more entertainment for all ages. Festival laughs Star-studded comedy festival Just For Laughs starts up this week with a free outdoor street festival outside Place des Arts – don’t miss the Mado’s Got Talent drag queen show on July 19 and nightly musical Jukebox – plus new editions of The Ethnic Show hosted by Rachid Badouri at Club Soda, and The Nasty Show  at Métropolis, a seriously dirty good time hosted by Mike Ward, who also performs a free outdoor show outside Place des Arts on July 16 at 9 pm. JFL’s “underground” program OFF-JFL begins with one-woman show 24 Hours with Mary Lynn Rajskub and new stand-up from Tom Green, with more shows running throughout the fest. Meanwhile, for kids there’s the V8energy labyrinth on de Maisonneuve Boulevard, daytime shows by puppeteer Jacques Boutin, dancer-clown Fifi Bric-à-Brac and more. Add to all that Zoofest, dedicated to wild indie humour and a fab drag show or two, and Oh My Fest!, celebrating a breadth of local YouTuber talent…. / Read More →

MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL Survival Guide 2016

MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL features circus shows in all shapes and sizes – some for families, some for late-night thrill seekers – but no matter what, expect to be amazed and delighted by international and local performers doing what they do best in a city known to push the limits of circus. Event The 7th edition of MONTRÉAL CiRQUE FESTIVAL, July 7–17, 2016 Official Social Media @mtlccirque #mccirque Location Various locations, including TOHU, one of the world’s largest circus arts centres, and Place Émilie-Gamelin and St-Denis Street in the Quartier des Spectacles downtown, plus neighbourhood shows city-wide. How to Get There For downtown outdoor venues, take the metro to Berri-UQAM, or Place d’Armes for Old Montréal. For TOHU, located at 2345 Jarry East (above Highway 40 east of Papineau Avenue), take the metro’s blue line to Iberville station and bus 94 north or the metro’s orange line to Jarry station and bus 193 east. If driving, pay parking is available on site. What to Bring A sense of humour to go with your sense of adventure. What not to Bring A fear of clowns. What to Wear Sunglasses, sunscreen and silly hats for daytime outdoor shows. Casual chic for indoor shows… / Read More →

Things to do in Montréal: May 27 to June 2

Music and performance festivals, a ticket-free Museums Day, fascinating outdoor entertainment, world-class opera and dance, glorious urban gardens and fabulous food make this week another uniquely Montréal way to celebrate spring. Fresh air Art, music and more entertainment fills the streets this week, from the 20 poetic and playful tableaux of Cité Mémoire projected on the walls, trees and alleyways of Old Montréal and the Old Port. The annual Mont-Royal Avenue street fair, June 2-5 in the Plateau neighbourhood, closes part of bustling Mont-Royal Avenue to traffic and fills the street with music, art, food, pop-up shopping, mini golf, a giant slide and more. There’s also plenty to see, eat and do downtown at the redesigned Jardins Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station. Over 80 exhibitors show off their green thumbs, plants and garden accessories at the 19th Great Gardening Weekend, May 27 to 29 at the Montréal Botanical Garden. Celebrate the 140th anniversary of Mount Royal Park at the dance night on Mount Royal event, with traditional folk dancing and an electro-trad performance on Saturday, May 28 outside Beaver Lake Pavilion. Outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles, as part of Festival TransAmériques, Montréal-based artist 2Fik reconstructs the… / Read More →

Go green: an eco-friendly stay in Montréal

Montréal, a green city? Absolutely! Discover our top 10 for a totally green stay. Catch some Zzzzzzzzzs Enjoy sweet dreams at either one of these choice establishments whose souci for the environment is always at the heart of things. At the pretty Cœur Urbain B&B, certified by Terroir et Saveurs du Québec, choose from five chic and refined rooms that boast green touches like bedding and towels made from organic cotton. You can wake up to gourmet breakfasts of homemade and local products in this lovely early-1920s building too. For a more downtown design experience, book at the Alt Hotel, in the industrial-chic neighbourhood of Griffintown, for its buoyant mix of flashy colour and environmentally responsible construction. For more options, check out Tourisme Montréal’s selection of sustainable accommodations. Enjoy the city’s culinary scene When it comes to dining, new Québec cuisine gets glowing reviews for its farm-to-table goodness. Tourisme Montréal teamed up with specialized publishing firm VIATAO to create a list of “green” restaurants in Montréal, based on its environmental criteria as well as social, economic and cultural factors. Our top picks from this list include Le St-Urbain, Pastaga and H4C, exquisite eateries that employ exceptional practices. Pamper yourself A… / Read More →

See Saint-Michel through Cirque du Soleil Eyes with Patricia Ruel

With the vast Cité des arts du Cirque as its centrepiece, the neighbourhood of Saint-Michel, in the northern end of Montréal, is at the heart of the city’s circus scene—and as the birthplace of Cirque du Soleil, the home to TOHU and the site of the annual festival Montréal Complètement Cirque, Montréal truly is the city of circus. In addition to world-class entertainment, Saint-Michel boasts a ton of interesting food and things to explore, despite being off the average tourist’s beaten path. We catch up with Patricia Ruel, director of creation behind the Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA, to discover all the cool stuff we’ve been missing. Cité des arts du Cirque “Cirque du Soleil is part of this complex dedicated to the circus arts, so I spend most of my days there. The programming at TOHU is super interesting. Plus during the summer, during the Montréal Complètement Cirque festival, the area comes alive – the whole esplanade in front of TOHU transforms. They set up a little bistro with a lovely terrasse where the Cirque du Soleil gang often ends up for drinks and a burger after work.” 2345 Jarry Street East Le Petit Coin du Mexique “Luzia is a… / Read More →

What to do on Easter weekend in Montréal

We’ve made it though the winter and are now headed for the gentle caress of spring. With Easter just around the corner—and an amazing long weekend in sight in Montréal—we’ve got the scoop on all that’s open and going on in the city for kids, couples and friends. What’s open, what’s closed Mostly everything stays open in Montréal during the Easter weekend, with some exceptions, especially Easter Sunday. The STM bus and métro service, grocery stores, movie theatres and malls are open. Banks are also open, but closed on Good Friday. And tipplers, fear not: bars stay open too! Fun for kids With the scent of spring in the air, kids are chomping at the bit to run wild. Let them live out their inner Luke Skywalker at Laser Quest or climb some walls (why should you?) at the Centre d’Escalade Horizon Roc or Allez Up. If they light up at the thought of glow-in-the-dark golf, take them to Putting Edge, or let them do some code cracking at A/maze Montréal. Put the pedal to the metal and splatter paint at Action 500 Karting & Paintball, or watch them freefall at SkyVenture Montréal. If they still have the skating bug,… / Read More →

Your Montréal Nuit blanche Survival Guide

Calling all nighthawks, night owls and burners of midnight oil. The once-a-year, all-night, nearly citywide arts, culture and performance party that is Nuit blanche is nearly upon us. It’s a vast undertaking with almost innumerable options and opportunities, and with that in mind, we offer you this guide to one of Montreal’s brightest winter nights. THE EVENT The 13th edition off Nuit blanche, part of the annual MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE winter arts and culture festival at locations all over downtown Montréal and surrounding neighbourhoods, starting on February 27 and ending in the wee hours of February 28. WHAT YOU’RE GETTING YOURSELF INTO One of the highlights of MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is the always illuminating, always epic Nuit blanche all-nighter. Nuit blanche (“white night”) invites all comers to partake in upwards of 200 (mostly free) activities this year, including live music, film, dance, performance art, interactive installations, storytelling, digital and visual art, and great food to match a great night. IT’S WHERE EXACTLY? Almost everywhere MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE’s family-friendly free outdoor site in the downtown Quartier des Spectacles is the central hub from which all the action radiates. The site features a giant outdoor stage, interactive installations, dining areas, numerous fun activities (we don’t need… / Read More →

MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE leaves the lights on even longer this year

The autumn leaves are barely off the trees, the first flurries have so far only teased, but winter festival MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is already planning a “blizzard” of arts and entertainment. Their freshly announced programming includes surprises in every corner of performance – music, theatre, dance, circus and more – and some welcome news for those who can’t get enough of Montréal’s cold-weather fun fest. MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, which annually attracts some 1,300,000 visitors, is already one of the largest winter festivals in the world, and now it will be one of the longest. The 2016 edition jumps from 11 to 17 days, February 18 to March 5, in order for families to take full advantage of the midwinter school break. Also new, as it is every year, is the festival’s featured country or city, and this year MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE will celebrate Shenzhen, China. One of the world’s most rapidly developing urban centers, Shenzhen (population 10 million) is a UNESCO City of Design and a major arts and culture hub, making it a fascinating ambassador for the many Chinese-themed events at the festival. First among these is the Shenzhen Symphony Orchestra – presenting Chinese and European classical works celebrating… / Read More →

Fun things to do with kids in Montréal

It’s August and whether we’re kids or adults, we’re all trying hard not to count down the last days of summer. Thankfully Montréal’s late summer and early fall festivals, live music, games, sports and more family-friendly activities make it easy to stay holiday-minded and carefree. Set butterflies free at the Monarch Odyssey this September, when monarch butterflies are labeled and released on their migratory journey south, and learn more about fireflies in the Bearers of Light exhibition at the Insectarium at Space for Life, also home to the Botanical Garden, Biôdome and Planetarium. And walk through the illuminated the Botanical Garden in September during the Gardens of Light event, a brilliant array of lanterns in the Chinese and Japanese gardens. More outdoor playtime is in store at Parc Exalto, an acrobatic park and obstacle course at the Esplanade Financière Sun Life at the Olympic Park, and at the Old Port of Montréal where kids can ride a zip line, a French carousel, mini-train or boat, explore the huge SOS Labyrinthe, play video games at Game On or the Peur Dépôt live game or play at pirates at the Voiles en Voiles, obstacle courses set on high-seas sailing ships. Or become an… / 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 →