The days may be chilly, but Montreal’s penchant for entertainment and lively activities never freezes: celebrate snowy sports with the family, settle in at the opera, see the light in new art at the museums and outside, and rock ‘n’ roll or dance late into the night…
(outdoor adventures) Spend the weekend with the family at Fête des Neiges de Montréal, an activity-packed celebration of winter at Parc Jean-Drapeau, with tobogganing, skating, skiing, dogsledding, a zip line and more. The public art of Luminothérapie illuminates downtown’s Quartiers des Spectacles with a reflective “wheat field” and an animated video game playing on the side of seven buildings, while in the Latin Quarter, along St-Denis from Sherbrooke to de Maisonneuve, have some fun with your cell phone and Spheerie, a new interactive exhibition that lets you change the colour of trees along the street. Enjoy ice skating and more winter activities at the Olympic Parc’s Winter Village, and right next door see the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium’s galactic new public art exhibition Choreographies for Humans and Stars by artists Mouna Andraos and Melissa Mongiat.
(on stage) The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir joins Opera de Montreal, featuring the spectacular voices of Measha Brueggergosman and Marie-Josée Lord, for a new production of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, January 25, 28 and 30 at Places des Arts. See the four-part Jeux de Cartes project from Robert Lepage and his company Ex Machina, made specifically for a circular stage and beginning with provocative theatrical show Pique, to January 25, followed by multigenerational story Coeur starting January 30, at circus centre Tohu. In contemporary dance, Tangente presents GENESIS, Montreal dancer-choreographer Thierry Huard’s work exploring gender and androgyny, to January 26, and choreographer Maria Kefirova’s new creation The Nutcracker on January 30 at Monument National, while Agora de la Danse presents Danièle Desnoyers’s dance-meets-music Duos pour corps et instruments, une [re]création, to January 25, and experimental dance company dance company La 2e Porte à Gauche takes over four hotel rooms for 2050 Mansfield-Rendez-vous à l’hôtel, January 25 and 27.
(look and see) The brilliant, colourful work of painter Peter Doig comes to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts in new exhibition No Foreign Lands, previously installed at the Tate Modern in London and the Musée d’art moderne of Paris. French artists Maotik and Fraction immerse viewers in their multimedia creation ObE, in all its 360-degree glory at the SAT’s Satosphere dome. On January 24, the Phi Centre screens Godfrey Reggio’s Visitors, an exploration of our emotional relationship with technology. And another kind of visual extravagance unfolds at the Montreal International Auto Show at the Palais des Congres to January 26.
(live music) Follow the trail of fame and fortune to the Bell Centre on January 24 as Jay Z brings the house/stadium down. Meanwhile, Igloofest’s second weekend continues outdoors at the Old Port with music from Misstress Barbara and Stephan Bodzin on Friday, and Claude Vonstroke, Justin Martin and more on Saturday. On Friday night, Montreal drone-meets-harmony masters Maica Mia release a new album at Sala Rossa. Rest up on Saturday and Sunday afternoon at the Phi Centre’s Les Siestes Acoustiques, featuring music by JP Nataf, Jeanne Cherhal and many more musicians. Bliss out on Saturday night to the many sounds of Esmerine and Michael Feuerstack at Sala Rossa, and rock out with former members of Le Tigre, JD Samson and Men, with Diamond Bones, at Il Motore. On Sunday, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Cristian Macelaru leads the Orchestre Métropolitain in their Latin Impressions performance of Latin and Spanish music. French musician Arthur H takes up residency at the Phi Centre January 29 to February 2, with project La construction d’un rêve, featuring free performances with Quebec musicians every day from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Dr Dog plays indie-rock with a 60s-psychedelic twist at Cabaret Mile End on January 29, or catch of preview of the Festival of New Trumpet Music Canada (coming this March) as nine trumpet players take the cozy Résonance Café stage on January 29. And Igloofest gets its third weekend underway on January 30 with Foreign Beggers, Mimosa and more.