The city lights up this week for the all-night festivities of Nuit Blanche, a Quebec-made beer festival, internationally-acclaimed circus, theatre, dance and live music, and even keeps family spirits bright throughout spring break…
(out all night) Montreal’s signature winter festival of fun, art, music and food, Montreal en Lumière continues to March 2, reaching its peak during the extremely-popular Nuit Blanche throughout the night of March 1. Visit the festival’s free outdoor site at Place des Festivals and ride the illuminated ice slide and ferris wheel, play games in the Kids’ Zone, dance along to live music, and see building-sized multimedia video projections. Nuit Blanche activities continue until 3 a.m. at the outdoor site and run later throughout the city, from the underground art-world of Art Souterrain to gallery-hopping in the Belgo Building to Old Montreal, the Plateau and Olympic Park. And just for Nuit Blanche, 19 downtown hotels offer discounts up to 50 percent off, including a late check-out time of 3 p.m.
(family time) Spring Break, known in Quebec as March Break, means that until March 9, the city caters to keeping kids as happy and entertained as possible. Visit the Space for Life, next door to the Olympic Park and home to the Biodome, Planetarium, Insectarium and Botanical Garden, where special activities are scheduled throughout the week. Get educated in creative new ways at Montreal’s big museums and galleries, including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Pointe-à-Callière history museum. Indulge in the magic of Disney at Disney on Ice’s Let’s Party! show at the Bell Centre March 5-9. And stop by Montreal’s circus centre, La Tohu to see circus demonstrations, take part in hands-on workshops and outdoor winter activities, and stay into the evening to see Australian circus troupe Circus Oz’s captivating show From the Ground Up!, to March 9.
(fab food & drink) The first Saturday of every winter month sees some of Montreal’s best food trucks roll into Olympic Park – on March 1, from noon until 6 p.m., have your fill of gourmet eats and California wine while having fun in the park’s Winter Village, all decked out for San Francisco-Inspired Nuit Blanche activities until 3 a.m. Really get to know Quebec’s hopping microbrewery and micro-distillery scene at the second edition of La Cuvée, held at Église St-Enfant-Jésus in the Plateau neighbourhood, February 28 to March 1, starting at 4 p.m. and open late for drinking, eating and dancing. And for fast, delicious food, check out any restaurant on one of our “Best of” lists, from Montreal’s 10 best sandwiches to the best Asian noodle dishes to warm up winter.
(stage & screen) Urban, modern and classic dance combine in NYC choreographer Kyle Abraham’s invigorating new dance show, Pavement, at Théâtre Maisonneuve March 6-8. Just For Laughs Festival alumni Bill Burr brings his strange, much-loved brand of comedy to Metropolis on March 5. China takes the spotlight at Place des Arts until March 1 as the Shanghai Jingju Company stages The Revenge of Prince Zidan, a Peking opera interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet. See the Roman Empire differently in Caligula_Remix, Marc Beaupré’s mix of storytelling, choral music, opera and drama, at Usine C. Don’t miss the newest work by politically-inclined, award-winning playwright David Fennario – Motherhouse, a drama set in Montreal during World War I, plays at Centaur Theatre. Black Theatre Workshop presents The Meeting, a fictional encounter between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, at the Segal Centre, to March 1, part of Black History Month. Catch the final few days of Quebec film festival Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois, to March 1. And visit the Musée d’art contemporain to see artist Christian Marclay’s remix masterpiece The Clock.
(music magic) Friday night features none other than Paul Simon and Sting performing their classic songs together at the Bell Centre. Classical music meets ambient electronic experimentation as Richard Dorfmeister and Rupert Huber play as Tosca, with visuals by Ars Electronica Future Lab, at Le National, while one of Quebec’s favourite bilingual singer-songwriters, Kevin Parent, delights at Club Soda, and Red Bull Music Academy brings hip hop with Killer Mike, Araabmuzik and NWA’s DJ Yella, at the SAT. As part of Nuit Blanche, electronic music and arts fest Mutek commits to 15 hours of free music performances – until past 8 a.m. – by DJs and live musicians at Coeur des Sciences in the Place des Festivals. Canadian country-rock stalwarts Blue Rodeo perform at Place des Arts on March 2, while the World Kora Trio joins cello, kora, percussion and vocals in harmony at L’Astral. On March 3, Las Vegas alt-rock band Imagine Dragons swoops into town with the Naked and Famous, at the Bell Centre. Brian Burton of Danger Mouse and James Mercer of The Shins collaborate as Broken Bells to play Metropolis on March 4. Soulful art-pop-Americana band Wakey!Wakey! comes to Cabaret Mile-End on March 5, while underground hip-hop label Stones Throw Records blows minds with music at the SAT, featuring label founder DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, along with J. Rocc, Jonwayne and Knxwledge. And California’s Young the Giant get loose at Metropolis on March 6.
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