A winter escape to Montreal this week is replete with gentle snowfall, delicious (and decadent) food, glamourous fashion shows, eye-popping theatre, dance and art, and live music for hot dancing or cozy unwinding…
(poutine party) It’s finally happened: Quebec’s signature dish of fries, cheese curds and gravy has been turned into a festival (of sorts). Montreal Poutine Week, February 1-7, sees the late-night meal of choice elevated to imaginative heights as 30 restaurants whip up a special poutines at special prices – with proceeds going towards the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation. Tour the town from Old Montreal to Mile End in search of your favourite, from variations on the classic to gourmet interpretations.
(outdoor fun & games) More comfort food is on the agenda at First Saturdays at the Olympic Park on February 2, 1-7 p.m. – bring the kids to skate, slide and play at the Olympic Park’s Winter Village and warm up with hot dishes from fabulous Montreal food trucks Grumman 78, Pastaga, Lucky’s, Pas d’cochon dans mon salon and Gaufrabec. For those yearning for a game of pick-up hockey, head out to one of Montreal’s bustling outdoor rinks. Meanwhile, out at the Ecomuseum Zoo, the Zoolympics are underway February 2 and 3: to mark its 25th anniversary, the Ecomuseum challenges families to a contest (with prizes!) involving animal trivia, physical feats and fun.
(fashion forward) Get a leg up on what’s haute for next fall/winter at Montreal Fashion Week, February 4-7 at Arsenal. The runway is rife with established and new Montreal designers showcasing their gorgeous concepts, and fashion is on everyone’s mind at conferences, exhibits and more, such as a series of fashion film screenings that includes a tribute to Montreal-born designer Rad Hourani.
(theatre & dance) A huge original Dali painting is both backdrop and inspiration for La Verità, a colourful, theatrical circus show created by Daniele Finzi Pasca, at Place des Arts to February 3. Catch the final night of the Opéra de Montreal production of Johann Strauss II’s lively Die Fledermaus, featuring tenor Marc Hervieux, on February 2. Montreal’s Beautiful City Theatre lets out all the stops in Godspell, The Musical, with final nights February 1-2, at Centaur Theatre. The revolution of an African price turned slave unfolds in Oroonoko, written by Aphra Behn and directed by Paul Van Dyck, at the MAI, February 6-17, part of Montreal Black History Month. And in contemporary dance, choreographer Karine Denault’s Pleasure Dome sees dancers and musicians shaking it up together, February 6-9 at Agora de la Danse.
(art & the world) The diverse land, history and culture of Peru at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts immersive Peru : Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon exhibition, opening February 2 – see pre-Columbian masterpieces along with modern art from the country’s creative forces. Six artists create sculpture, photography, painting and multidisciplinary works of art inspired by Martin Luther King’s famous speech in the I Have a Dream: The Exhibit, part of the Montreal Black History Month activities, at Espace Georges Emile Lapalme. And new photography and multidisciplinary exhibitions by artists Laurent Grasso, Lynne Cohen and Jonathas de Andrade open at the Musee d’art Contemporain, beginning February 7.
(music makers) Outdoor electronic music festival Igloofest keeps dancers and good-time-lovers warm out there with its third weekend of fun, featuring UK producer Ewan Pearson, US DJ Magda, France’s Agoria, housey-experimental Audiofly and more. Music is on the Black History Month program on February 2 with Ladysmith Black Mambazo at L’astral and Kalmunity remixing Blaxploitation era funk at the Phi Centre. Julie Doiron rocks, croons and keeps it real at Casa del Popolo on Sunday, February 3. On Monday, indie-rock duo Buke and Gase delight at Casa del Popolo. Eclectic rock singer-songwriting Ty Segall plays Cabaret Mile End on February 5. And on February 7, pop star Shawn Desman plays Le National, while it’s all Gershwin, Bernstein, Daugherty and Copland tunes for the Orchestre Métropolitain‘s Made in the USA show, at the Maison symphonique de Montréal.