It’s been said many a time and with good reason: Montreal is a romantic city. Let love, lust and good times reign this week whether you’re into outdoor adventures with the family, cozy candlelit dinners, hockey games, world-spanning theatrical and art experiences, or music and dancing…
(play outside) More snow is on the way, so why not embrace it at Montreal’s own Snow Village, featuring heated igloos, a hotel, restaurant and bar, and more over at beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau. Stay active outdoors at the Old Port of Montreal’s huge skating rink (rentals on-site) or settle in at the Old Port’s Ice Fishing Village, with genuine (heated) ice fishing shacks and a well-stocked river. Or get in on a game of pick-up hockey at one of Montreal’s bustling outdoor rinks. If the weather proves too much, duck inside for the more summery natural world of 3D IMAX film Flight of the Butterflies, an epic journey across North America and Mexico, playing at the Montreal Science Centre, also host to the fun, interactive, music-making exhibition Musik: From Sound to Emotion.
(stay warm, eat well) All that outdoor activity builds up an appetite, and while Montreal Poutine Week may officially be over, that won’t stop the gravy from flowing and the cheese curds from melting – poutine will always be a classic winter warm up food, so go for it after playing or watching outdoor sports or opt for an even more “manly meal”. Wherever you are in Montreal, from Little Italy to Plateau-centric St-Denis, good food abounds. Or warm up in the kitchen yourself at a cooking class at Les Touilleurs as Stéphanie Labelle reveals pastry secrets on February 11 or at Dante in Little Italy with Nick Hodge, chef-owner of Kitchenette on February 13.
(thrilling theatrics) Intrigue is on stage this week when a town’s peaceful ways turn tumultuous as “civilized” colonialism faces an “uncultured” tribe in Waiting for the Barbarians, based on the Nobel Prize-winning book by J.M. Coetzee, at the Segal Centre, to February 17. Drama is in full force at Centaur Theatre in the true story of murder in 1950s rural Ontario unfolds in Innocence Lost, to February 24. Colourful, comedic, Dali-inspired circus show La Verità extends its run at Place des Arts to February 9. Theatrical, emotional Indian dance show Bharati – The Wonder that is India returns with over 70 dazzling dancers, musicians, singers and acrobats, February 12-17 at Place des Arts. And for something a little different on Valentine’s Day, see cabaret variety show 25 Years of Mado, a foray into the world of famed Montreal drag queen Mado Lamotte, at Metropolis.
(Black history & culture) Montreal Black History Month continues throughout February with music, art exhibitions, workshops, film screenings and more. On February 9, see classic funk-jazz music group Tchukon come back together for a night of dancing and fun at the PHI Centre, while Melodi Muzik & Vox Sambou play Cabaret du Mile End. Political and social activism pervades the story of an African price turned slave turned revolutionary in Oroonoko, written by Aphra Behn and directed by Paul Van Dyck, playing at the MAI February 6-17, and Martin Luther King’s famous speech of 50 years ago is the inspiration behind I Have a Dream: The Exhibit, a historically insightful, thought-provoking show of photography, painting, sculpture and even fashion, at Espace Georges Emile Lapalme at Place des Arts.
(art ideas) Get a little lost in thought, space and time in Uraniborg, an amazing new multi-room exhibition from French multidisciplinary artist Laurent Grasso, showing alongside 40 captivating recent photography works by Lynne Cohen, and a film by Jonathas de Andrade, all at the Musee d’art Contemporain. Travel to Peru and discover its history and culture without leaving town: the MMFA’s’ Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and Moon features pre-Columbian masterpieces as well as modern art. Catch the last week of a mini-retrospective of Michael Snow’s photography, video and sound work at Galerie UQAM. And colourful solo work by Jason Botkin, one of the founding members of public art collective En Masse, covers the walls at at Lndmrk Gallery (550 Beaumont).
(music moves) The final weekend of Igloofest goes down this Thursday to Saturday with wintery electronic music mayhem from Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard, Ben UFO, Joy Orbison, Chris Liebing and more. Taking the beat down a few notches, Blue Rodeo celebrates 25 years of making music, February 8 at Place des Arts. Dead Kennedys prove punk ain’t dead on February 9 at Theatre Corona, while on February 10, Zappa Plays Zappa- Dweezil even teaches a guitar class to keeners earlier in the day. Lady Gaga brings her Born This Way Ball to the Bell Centre on February 11, while Yo La Tengo settles in for a sweet night at the Corona Theatre. Believe it: Ghostface Killah and Sheek Louch are at Club Soda on February 12. Meanwhile, British Mercury Prize winners The Maccabees play Cabaret Mile End. Bon Jovi bring their Because We Can Tour to the Bell Centre February 13-14, while on February 13, noise-textured, electronic pop, brain-sparking duo Matmos plays Il Motore. And for lovers, French metal band Gojira ups the intensity at Le National on February 14.