Montréal makes the most of every snowfall with the incredible winter activities of Fêtes des Neiges, outdoor dance party Igloofest, restaurant event Happening Gourmand, international dance, theatre and film, and all kinds of live music.
Montréal is well known for brightening up winter and helping you keep your most fun New Year’s resolutions – this week get happy in the snow at Fêtes des Neiges, a family-friendly weekend of activities, from giant ice slides to zip lines, and entertainment at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Keep your parka on for the nighttime entertainment of massive outdoor dance party Igloofest, now in its 10th year – this Friday go for Paul Kalkbrenner, Kim Ann Foxman, Alicia Hush and more, while on Saturday it’s Dave Clarke, Misstress Barbara, Debbie Døe and more, along with eye-popping visuals, at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Outdoors at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, and cheer as the Montréal Canadiens play the Boston Bruins at the Bell Centre on January 19.
See Swan Lake as never before in South African choreographer Dada Masilo’s beautiful and intelligent re-staging of the classic ballet, altered by African dance, a male black swan, tutus for all – presented by Danse Danse at Place des Arts, January 14 to 16. Danse Danse also presents new work by dancer and choreographer Caroline Gravel, in residence at Arsenal Gallery and with a performance on Tuesday, January 19. Taiko drumming meets athletic choreography in the explosive TAO: Seventeen Samurai at Place des Arts on January 20. Unique Berlin choreographers Jared Gradinger and Angela Schubot perform on January 16 at downtown’s Goethe-Institut. See Off-Broadway-style theatre, dance and musicals at the Wildside Theatre Festival until January 17 at Centaur Theatre. Montreal Improv Theatre presents mafia tale Vicegrip: An Improvised Crime Family Drama on January 21 at 7 pm. The Bouge d’ici contemporary dance festival of emerging professional choreographers and dancers holds its final Common Space showcase on January 15 at Mainline Theatre. And famed Montréal comedian Sugar Sammy’s has us laughing in French and English at his bilingual show You’re Gonna Rire at Olympia.
Old Montréal’s annual restaurant event, Happening Gourmand, is a must for lovers of fine food – BEVO Bar + Pizzeria, Modavie, Kyo Bar Japonais, Méchant Boeuf, Taverne Gaspar, Suite 701, Vieux-Port Steakhouse and Verses Restaurant all offer special prix-fixe menus at affordable prices until February 7. Future-geared car fans will love the Auto Show, unveiling new car models and much more, January 15 to 24 at downtown’s Palais des Congres – an engine-revving addition to your Mad Men weekend with the guys or glitzy girls’ weekend. And if you’re looking to spice up your romantic life, slink on over to the Salon de l’amour et de la Séduction, featuring over 100 romance-related exhibitor booths to shop at, stage shows, educational seminars, erotic art performances, a “playroom” at Place Bonaventure January 15 to 17.
Family weekends start up again at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts with workshops and tours on January 16 and 17, and at the Musée d’art contemporain’s Family Sundays on January 17 with art workshops inspired by Jean-Paul Riopelle’s abstract, colourful painting Composition. Curator Hans Ulrich Obrist transforms his Do it exhibition for Montréal, featuring over 80 Québécois and international artists at Galerie UQAM. Among the many galleries in the Belgo Building with new art this week, see paintings by Daniel Horowitz, collage by Andrea Szilasi and video by Julie Tremble at Galerie Joyce Yahouda, opening January 16. Filmmaker Hangjun Lee presents his multiple-projection films incorporate live performance, this time including a special guest performance by Montréal musician Martin Tétreault, on January 19 at La Sala Rossa. The Cinémathèque Québécoise continues its family films series every Sunday at 1:30 pm, this week with Ernest et Célestine. And Old Montréal art hub the Phi Centre screens new Canadian and international films, including the Montréal premiere of Pema Tseden’s story of a Tibetan shepherd, Tharlo, January 15 and 16, and documentary Guantanamo’s Child: Omar Khadr on January 15, Cannes favourite Hsiao-Hsien Hou’s The Assassin on January 18, and Jason Banker’s Felt on January 19 and 20.
Def Jam recording artist Alessia Cara sings up a pop storm on Friday, January 15 at Théâtre Corona, while London hip hop duo Stööki Sound is at Théâtre Fairmount and Montréal Symphony Orchestra musicians play a concert of Transatlantic Music at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum’s Bourgie Hall. Also on Friday, the Suoni per il Popolo music festival holds a benefit show for Syrian refugees, featuring artist Stephanie Creaghan’s three-screen video installation Heurtmas, music from Essaie Pas and more at La Sala Rossa. Meanwhile, one of the city’s best-loved community radio stations, CKUT 90.3FM, celebrates the birth of art at La Vitrola, with music by Avec le soleil sortant de sa bouche and more. On Saturday night, French electronic music producer Madeon delivers a DJ set, with opener Robotaki, at New City Gas. On January 17, hear exciting new percussion quartet Architek in concert with vocal ensemble VivaVoce at Bourgie Hall, and critically acclaimed musician Gabi at Casa del Popolo. Pianist Stephen Hough plays Beethoven with the Montréal Symphony Orchestra January 19 to 21 at Place des Arts. Now-legendary British rockers Muse play to fans for two arena-rock nights at the Bell Centre, January 20 and 21. Electronic music duo The Knocks play Thursday, January 21 at Belmont sur le Boulevard. Must-see world music punks Orkestar Kriminal release their new album with a celebratory show at La Vitrola on January 21, while concert Erik Satie the Visionary features pianist Alexandre Tharaud, dancer Dave St-Pierre and more artists at Bourgie Hall, and German electronic producer Dominik Eulberg plays Newspeak.