Love is in the winter air in Montréal this Valentine’s Day, but it’s not the usual romance: chocolate, wine and dinner is always an option here, but this week you could also dance in the snow, watch an ice canoe race, sneak into a hidden bar, raid a candy shop, contemplate Chagall, or sing along with C+C Music Factory.
This winter’s Les Hivernales 375th anniversary events mark only the latest cold-weather activities in a city that’s been celebrating winter like a a pro for 375 years. The party keeps going as winter electronic music festival Igloofest extends its February reign in the Old Port with Off-Igloofest on Feb. 10, with hip-hop/electro from Tommy Kruise, High Klassified and more accompanied by incredible visuals, and on Feb. 11 with an entirely free night with music from Branko and Poirier, plus the Nordik games (including the Slap Shot movie zone.) Among this week’s extreme winter sports: hop on a bike and join the illuminated cycling parade Snow Moon downtown on Feb. 11; lace up your winter running shoes for the Hypothermic Half Marathon at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Feb. 12; or cheer on the cold-water racers of the Montréal Ice Canoe Challenge, Feb. 12 at the Clock Tower in the Old Port.
From dancing and dinner at supper club Le Balcon to a weekend of all things chocolate at Je t’aime en chocolat at Marché Bonsecours, Montréal dedicates not only one day but several to Valentine’s romance. For the big night itself though, go big with special multi-course meals at an excellent romantic restaurant such as Les 400 Coups, Toqué!, La Rose des Sable, Europea, Carte Blanche, Ikanos, Tandem and many more. Make Valentine’s Day even sweeter with maple syrup treats at Délices Érables & Cie or with more chocolate at Juliette & Chocolat. Go for a romantic snowshoe in Mount Royal Park, or take in the city lights together from on high from the observation deck of Au Sommet Place Ville Marie.
More wining and dining
So many ways to warm up from the inside out in Montréal… Start with a big bowl of pho or Japanese authentic ramen on a wintery day and end with signature cocktails at one of Montréal’s Hidden Bars. Or cozy up next to Montréal’s coziest fireplaces or go for something different at the city’s new bars and restaurants. Discover excellent restaurants in some of Montréal’s most popular neighbourhoods or indulge at the Casino de Montréal’s L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Style meets substance at Montréal’s tea houses, whether you’re looking for a quinessential Parisian café, traditional British high tea or calming Japanese green tea. Feed your sweet tooth and spoil your inner child at Montréal’s candy shops – they’ve seriously got everything. Or snowshoe your way to gastronomic delights on lantern-lit Mount Royal at Les amis de la montagne fundraiser Tuques Bleus on Feb. 16.
Winter day activities
Whether you’re going to get outside and play in the snow or stick to indoor activities like art gallery hopping, Montréal has so many free things to do this winter – try tobogganing or ice skating on the Mountain like a real Montrealer. Go from tropics to boreal forests at the Biodôme and Botanical Garden, or explore space at the Planetarium, part of the many worlds at the Montréal Space for Life. Or dream about redecorating your own space at the Montréal Home Expo at Olympic Stadium Feb. 9-12. Take a yoga class or simply peruse the hundreds of exhibitors at Expo Yoga at Palais des congrès, Feb. 11-12. Cheer on the Montréal Canadiens as they take on the St. Louis Blues on Feb. 11 at the Bell Centre – or watch the game at one of Montréal’s best sports bars.
Stage and screen
February is Black History Month – this week, see acrobatic multimedia production Afrique en Cirque with Kalabanté at the Olympia Theatre on Feb. 17, Black Theatre Workshop’s children’s musical Bluenose on Feb. 18, and Slim Williams at Le Balcon on Feb. 14. China National Opera and Dance Drama performs the 2017 Montreal Chinese New Year Concert
on Feb. 11 at Place des Arts. This year’s winter-spring dance program includes contemporary dance choreographers Dave St-Pierre and Anne Le Beau’s “urban epic” suie, presented by Danse Danse at Place des Arts, to Feb. 11, while Clara Furey and Peter Jasko perform “sleek love story” Untied Tales, Feb. 9-12 at Usine C and Danse-Cité presents Katia Gagné’s lively Elle-Moi. D’un Bout Du Monde À L’autre video, dance and theatre work at La Chapelle. 100Lux brings urban dance troupes such as Tentacle Tribe to the intimate Cinquième Salle stage Feb. 16-18. In theatre, laugh along with farcical play Noises Off at the Segal Centre or Centaur Theatre’s hit comedy Bakersfield Mist. At the Phi Centre, watch indie films and step into new realities’s Virtual Reality Garden and Not Short on Talent installation. And see Québecois films on new music in the Salle d’exposition at Place des Arts.
#Chagall : #couleur et #musique «Autoportrait aux sept doigts» Les sept doigts du peintre réfèrent à un proverbe yiddish selon lequel celui qui fait les choses de ses sept doigts les exécute excellemment et de tout son cœur. #mbam #arts #exposition #mtlmoments #montreal Chagall: #Colour and #Music “Self-portrait with Seven Fingers” The seven fingers on the artist’s hand relate to a Yiddish saying whereby to do something with seven fingers means to do it very well and with all one’s heart. #exhibition
Museums and galleries
Among the museum exhibitions to see, don’t miss the gorgeous paintings, costumes and music of CHAGALL: COLOUR AND MUSIC, featuring 340 works by the Russian-French artist at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. While there, also see exhibitions Leila Alaoui: No Pasara, SHE Photographs, and Montreal in Love: Embracing Diversity. Telling stories in analog and digital form, exploring time and identity, kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) artist Skawennati’s solo exhibition Tomorrow People opens Oboro gallery’s year devoted to Aboriginal artists. See decades of excellent work by Montréal artist, Françoise Sullivan at Galerie de l’UQAM. In Old Montréal, experience thought-provoking sculpture and more by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye at DHC-ART. Never Apart’s winter exhibition celebrates Black heritage, Indigenous women and more. See artist and novelist Marc Séguin’s multidisciplinary exhibition Atemporalités at Arsenal. The Musée d’art contemporain launches Québec artist Emanuel Licha’s Now Have a Look at This Machine film installation on Feb. 16. And follow our guide to art in the “underground city” pedestrian network and the city’s most stunning churches and other sacred sites.
On Friday, St. Petersburg Palaces International Music Foundation presents Music Without Borders with Orchestre Métropolitain and guests conducted by Constantine Orbelian, at Maison symphonique. Also on Friday: the Yushra benefit concert for the Ste-Foy victims, with music by Bear Witness and DJ NDN (of A Tribe Called Red), Narcy, Wake Island, Tali Taliwah and more at the Rialto. Saturday brings rockers Arkells with Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls to Metropolis, buzzed-about British singer-songwriter and creative producer Sampha to Théâtre Corona, the orchestral video game music of Distant Worlds: Music from Final Fantasy to Place des Arts, and pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin with Les Violons du Roy to Place des Arts – or get on the dancefloor with Bixel Boys at New City Gas. On Sunday, Feb. 12, Jeffrey Tate conducts violinist Midori and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra in a concert of Mendelssohn’s Third Symphony, the Violin Concerto by Britten and Ravel’s Valses nobles et sentimentales at Place des Arts, and Us The Duo play their charming folk-pop at L’Astral. On Feb. 13, get down with Mykki Blanco and Cakes Da Killa on their The Stunt Queen Tour at Théatre Fairmount. Singer-pianist Andy Black (of Black Veil Brides) comes to town on his Homecoming Tour: Curtain Call on Feb. 14 at Théâtre Corona, while Québecois crooners Garou, Roch Voisine and Corneille are Forever Gentlemen at Place des Arts. Acclaimed violist Joshua Bell plays with and conducts the Montréal Symphony Orchestra, Feb. 14-15 at Place des Arts. Award-winning Canadian blues-rock guitarist Colin James returns with a new album, at Place des Arts˜on Feb. 16, while California metal band DevilDriver cruises into Théâtre Corona with openers Death Angel, and I LOVE THE 90’S TOUR brings Salt-N-Pepa, Color Me Badd, Montell Jordan, Rob Base, Young MC and C+C Music Factory together again at the Bell Centre. For real.