It’s a rollicking winter wonderland here in Montreal this week: snow in the right places (not on the sidewalks and roads), temperatures that won’t freeze your toes, and all kinds of happy-making entertainment…
(get outside) Picturesque Parc Jean-Drapeau is turned into a one-of-a-kind Snow Village this winter, complete with outdoor activities – giant snow slide! – as well as restaurants, bars, a hotel, hot tubs, a gorgeous view of the city from across the frozen St-Lawrence River, and more. More winter activities are on hand over at the Olympic Park Winter Village, where ice skating and snow slides entertain kids for hours – and for free. And everyone’s favourite outdoor winter dance party, Igloofest starts up on January 17 with a new opening-night headliners Misstress Barbara and Wolf + Lamb – for all the up-to-date info, see the Igloofest website.
(theatre dreams) Tony Award-winning family-friendly musical Billy Elliot, based on the film about a young boy and his dream of being a dancer, sings and dances up a storm at Place des Arts, to January 13. The life and art of Salvador Dali gets even more theatrical in La Verità, created by Daniele Finzi Pasca, playing at Place des Arts, January 17 to February 3. And Centaur Theatre hosts the Wildside Festival, an off-the-beaten track series of shows that runs the gamut from mini-musicals to family drama to Japanese clowns, ongoing to January 13. And a tale of treeplanters in Northern Ontario brings the laughs in Ogoki Nights III at Theatre Ste-Catherine.
(dance life) Flamenco dance gets a contemporary creative treatment in La Otra Orilla, a brilliant new show from dancer/choreographer Myriam Allard and singer Hedi Graja, at Cinquième Salle January 16-26, presented by Danse Danse. Montreal dance institution L’Agora de la danse celebrates the 10th anniversary of contemporary choreographer-dancer Andrew de Lotbinière Harwood’s Discovery bal January 11-12. And new and exciting contemporary dance is on the Bouge d’ici Festival program, with shows by up-and-comers and workshops for dancers and non-dancers alike – the festival opens January 11 at Mainline Theatre and runs until January 19.
(urban family time) Walk, run and just plain play around in art-and-music installation Iceberg, a series of metal structures that acts and sounds like an iceberg, an instrument and, in some cases, a kind of playground – part of the outdoor Luminothérapie exhibition in downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles. Make more music and learn about the science behind it at the Montreal Science Centre’s interactive Musik exhibition. And learn more about the history and architecture of Montreal at the Pointe-à-Callière Museum of Archaeology and History and at ABC: MTL, the newest exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.
(film and art) Some of the best, most recent Canadian film offerings entertain and possibly even educate at the PHI Centre this week – for free! From January 14-27, head to the Old Montreal-based arts and cultural centre to see screenings of Xavier Dolan’s Lawrence Anyways (January 14), Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell (January 15), and more – admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Add more colour to the winter at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, where an extensive Impressionism exhibition, featuring paintings by Renoir, Monet, Pissarro, Toulouse-Lautrec and many more, continues until January 20, and Iranian-Canadian photographer Aydin Matlabi’s Landscape, Revolution, People explores cultural identity through arresting images of humanity, until March 17.
(live music) Californian rapper Hopsin lays it down at Club Soda on Friday night while on Saturday, Sweet Mother Logic causes a pleasant ruckus at Sala Rossa. On Tuesday, January 15, see The Walkmen and Father John Misty at the Corona Theatre, while Swedish electronic-pop duo Niki and the Dove get the crowd dancing at Le Belmont. On Wednesday, American pop-punk boy-band All Time Low rolls into town with Yellowcard, at Metropolis. Alternatively, ride the sound waves with Freelance Whales at La Sala Rossa, or drift along to the dreamy sounds of Sea Oleena at Casa del Popolo. On Thursday night, sample a slew of great Montreal bands at Un Peu de Lumière en Janvier, with Les Cowboys Fringants, Karkwa, The Barr Brothers, Plants and Animals and many more at La Tulipe, or see what Gentleman Reg has been up to lately as he plays Casa del Popolo. For something completely different and super entertaining: Hip Hop Karaoke is back at Le Belmont.