The city lights up indoors and out this week with a sparkling public art exhibition along with giant Christmas trees, illuminated skating rinks, sports competitions and films, and delightful dance, theatre, and live music…
(holiday & family) December comes packed with holiday-themed events, starting with Old Montreal’s Merry Montreal entertainment and the Olympic Park Esplanade winter village activities. Ice skate to music at the Old Port and see a fireworks show on Saturday night. Downtown in the Quartier des Spectacles, see the latest high-tech public art and fun film projections, dreamed up for the Luminothérapie exhibition, opening December 11.
(shopping & eating) December highlights some of the most unique and abundant shopping experiences of the year. Check out our Holiday Shopping Guide for details, including this weekend’s stylish and all-local Smart Design Mart, the massive gift-packed Salon des Metiers d’Art, the Christmas-themed Marché Casse Noisette craft and artisanal fair, the Botanical Garden’s Christmas craft fair, and more. Fuel those shopping adventures with another kind of adventure: culinary delights await on December 7 at the Olympic Park, where the city’s gourmet food trucks set up shop all afternoon. Or check out the city in search of the best Greek comfort food around.
(sports & outdoors) Soccer, or rather, football, is the name of the entertaining game at Pitchfest, an all-new festival celebrating the most popular sport in the world, at Theatre Corona, December 6-7 – see art inspired by the sport and films about soccer’s influence on everything from fashion to music (including Bob Marley), and more. In hockey, head down to the Bell Centre downtown to see pro hockey in action as the Canadiens take on the Sabres on December 7 and the Kings on December 10. Ice skate or go on a sleigh ride at the Olympic Park’s winter village throughout the month. Or go for extreme sports with indoor rock climbing, surfing and sky diving indoors and a ski and snowboard competition outdoors on the slope of St-Denis Street between Sherbrooke and Ontario for Shack Attack, December 6-7.
(stage & screen) Opulence and Christmas cheer light up the stage in Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal’s classic interpretation of The Nutcracker, featuring over 100 dancers, December 12-30 at Place des Arts. In contemporary dance, Groupe Rubberbandance wonderfully mixes ballet with breakdance in new production Quotient Empirique, to December 7 at Place des Arts, while Catherine Lavoie-Marcus & Michel F. Côté perform irreverent Schizes sur le Sundae at Tangente, December 5-7, and the Phaedra Project’s No! I! Don’t! Want! To! Fall! In! Love! With! You! draws on Greek tales of love, at MAI. The Montreal Burlesque Festival glitzes and glams up the holiday season with both 1920s style and rock n’ roll flare, December 6-7 at Club Soda. Stories of Christmas dinners and holiday plans gone wrong populate the comedy of Centaur Theatre’s Urban Tales theatre series. And Canada’s longest-running LGBT film festival, image+nation features films from Canada and around the world, including Cannes contender Montrealer Chloé Robichaud’s feature Sarah Prefers to Run.
(live music) After touring with Mumford and Sons, Half Moon Run returns home to play two shows, December 6-7 at Metropolis. Also returning from a successful overseas tour, Montreal’s No Joy makes a joyful experimental-rock sound at Il Motore on December 6, while another Montreal success, inspired singer-songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage, plays Casa del Popolo on December 7. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra and OSM chorus lead by conductor Ken Nagano breathes even more life into Bach’s Mass in B Minor, part of the Montreal Bach Festival, December 6-7. Get back to alt-rock basics with The Cult, still going strong on December 8 at Metropolis. Party with dance-ready indie-rockers MGMT, December 9 at Metropolis. Quebec vocal sensation Bruno Pelletier sings Christmas songs with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra on December 10, and Tchaikovsky’s Winter Dreams and Wagner’s Prelude to Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg greet our ears on December 11. Trio Fibonacci plays Élégie, a concert of Russian music from Rachmaninoff, Arensky and Tchaikovsky, December 10, 7:30pm, at the Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur (100 Sherbrooke East. Cinema for the Ears brings talented musicians together to play filmic music by Morricone, Artemiev, Vangelis, Badamenti and more, December 9-10 at Sala Rossa. And on December 11, Toronto rockers Three Days Grace come to Metropolis, while Serena Ryder croons at Theatre Corona on December 11.