This week is perfect for enjoying the winter light in Montreal, both natural and electrically crafted for the festive season: wander through downtown to see public art sparkle, go ice skating at night, do some holiday shopping at a cozy craft fair, and see stars of theatre, dance and music take the stage…
(winter wonderland) As wintery as the weather is becoming, outdoors remains the place to (briefly) be in Montreal. As our Christmas and Holiday Guide points out, the city positively glitters this season: see the illuminated and animated art of Luminothérapie in the Quartier des Spectacles, visit Old Montreal for the Merry Montreal festivities along with skating, ice fishing and more in the Old Port, or head further east to Olympic Park’s Winter Village and Space for Life’s Botanical Garden, Biodome and Planetarium. In NHL hockey, see what seats you can score for the Panthers vs. Canadiens on Sunday and Coyotes vs. Canadiens on Tuesday at the Bell Centre. Meanwhile, the Olympian-packed Canadian Women’s Hockey League shows home-team strength as the Montreal Stars take on the Calgary Inferno, December 14-16 at Arena Etienne-Desmarteau, with a special intermission show at the December 15 game, featuring the family-friendly hockey music of Lederhosen Lucil.
(crafty shopping) If you’re still on the look-out for unique gifts for the unique people your life, look no further than our Holiday Shopping Guide. Several art and craft fairs are a sure bet this weekend, including Pop Montreal Puces Pop, at 5075 Rivard, and Articule gallery’s Winter Fair, at 262 Fairmount West, both in the Mile End neighbourhood, and downtown’s massive Salon des Metiers d’Art and Marché Casse Noisette. Plus, on the more urban, arty edge of gift-giving, the Fresh Paint Gallery Christmas Market features original graffiti art, accessories, and more, all made in Montreal, December 14-15, downtown at 221 Sainte-Catherine East.
(seasonal stages) Delight in the dance, music and lightness of being at Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal’s The Nutcracker, featuring over 100 dancers, December 12-30 at Place des Arts. One of Montreal’s most brilliant circus troupes, 7 Doigts de la Main performs their acrobatic ode to humanity, Traces, at La Tohu, December 17 to January 4. Dance and theatre combine with Greek stories of love in the Phaedra Project’s No! I! Don’t! Want! To! Fall! In! Love! With! You!, at MAI, December 11-14. Talented emerging dance artists show their creative stuff in Tangente’s Classe, at Monument-National, December 12-15. And choreographer Pierre-Paul Savoie directs Eugène Ionesco’s Les Chaises for PPS Danse, December 15 at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts.
(classical & rock music) If it’s not really Christmas until you’ve heard a choir sing, be sure to hear The Orchestre Métropolitain Choir at Place des Arts on December 14. The Orchestre also performs on December 13 as conductor Julian Kuerti interprets Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra. And on December 16, the McGill Chamber Orchestra performs with soloists at Christ Church Cathedral in Old Montreal, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra performs a Christmas concert with Quebecois storyteller Fred Pellerin, December 16-19 at the Symphony Hall. On the rock ‘n’ roll side of the holiday spectrum, Friday night begins with Montreal’s ever-popular Jonas and the Massive Attraction, playing their pop-rock hits at Club Soda with opener Mat Joly, while Toronto’s Cancer Bats rock Cabaret Mile End, and the Phi Centre screens Deedle Lacour’s doc Filmage: The Story of Descendents. On December 14, let Rod Stewart win your heart all over again with his winsome ways at the Bell Centre, or dance to some of the best good-time DJs in the city as The Goods spin for Bonsound Record’s Party de Noël at Sala Rossa, or go further underground with Doldrums – how the Beach Boys would sound if they really liked to party – at Cabaret Playhouse. On Sunday, December 15, hard rockers Monster Truck roll into Petit Campus. And on December 19, get in on the monthly Hip Hop Karaoke action at Le Belmont.