The depths of winter seem to inspire Montrealers to live up to an unspoken challenge of not only making the most of the weather, but having a really good time doing it. Family-friendly outdoor adventures await this weekend, along with open-air parties, circus-infused theatre, new film, art and live music…
(happy outdoors) Bundle up the whole family for Fête des Neiges, a weekend of outdoor activities and entertainment – including tube sliding, a zip-line, ice skating, snow-shoeing and dog sledding – at Parc Jean-Drapeau. While at the park, visit Montreal’s one-of-a-kind Snow Village, featuring heated igloos, a hotel, restaurant and bar, and more. Or go rustic and sporty at the Old Port’s Ice Fishing Village, with genuine ice fishing shacks (heated!) and a well-stocked river.
(ice dancing) Pull your warmest toque on, lace up your snowboots, zip into that neon one-piece snowsuit (or not…) and join thousands of electronic music fans for the fun and spectacle that is Igloofest, a four-weekend-long outdoor electronic music festival unique to Montreal, happening at Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port. This Friday night, groove to Berlin-based duo Pan-Pot, Russia’s Nina Kraviz and Pierre De Lux. Follow that up on Saturday night with Germany’s Schlachthofbronx, TNGHT, Tronald Trump and Kaytranada.
(stage & scene) Art, theatre and circus acts come together in La Verità, a talent-packed show created by Daniele Finzi Pasca based on a captivating original Dali backdrop painting, which often features in the forefront of the show, along with trapeze artists, dancers, jugglers and more – at Place des Arts to February 3. Opéra de Montreal Johann Strauss II’s lively Die Fledermaus, featuring tenor Marc Hervieux, January 26, 29 and 31. Fall under the rock-music-inspired-by-parables spell of Beautiful City Theatre’s production of Godspell, The Musical, January 25-26 and 31 at Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal. See flamenco done in new, often experimental ways in La Otra Orilla from dancer/choreographer Myriam Allard and singer Hedi Graja, at Cinquième Salle to January 26.
(movie magic) Cozy up to some great films this week at the PHI Centre. The Old Montreal-based arts and cultural hub welcomes the public to free screenings of Peter Mettler’s The End of Time on January 25 at 5 p.m. and Michael McGowan’s Still at 7 p.m. The Centre also presents a series of films selected by Quebec filmmaker Denis Côté, with Antoine Boutet’s Le plein pays screening on January 30, along with a special screening on January 30 of György Pálfi’s Final Cut Ladies & Gentlemen, a Cannes 2012 selection.
(art inspiration) The MMFA is warm and admission to its permanent collections is free! See new acquisitions of Quebec and Canadian art from 1980-2010 (such as Kim Dorland’s Nature Painting #2, above) work by Taiwan-born Montreal photographer and video artist Chih-Chien Wang, and Iranian photographer Aydin Matlabi’s Landscape, Revolution, People. Go to DHC/ART in Old Montreal for a heady trip into German artist Thomas Demand’s multi-layered recreations of reality in still images and carefully animated film installations. See images Montreal’s past at Pointe-à-Callière – and save money on admission whenever the temperature drops below zero degrees celsius: visitors get an equal percentage off the admission price throughout January and February. Head outside again to play with colourful, illuminated outdoor music installation Iceberg, located at Place des Arts.
(live music) On Saturday night, get your ska-punk on with Reel Big Fish at the Corona Theatre, melt away to the electro-pop sounds of Ellie Goulding at Metropolis, and The Harley Show revs its engines with motorcycles and rock n’ roll at the Bell Centre. On January 27, California psych-rockers The Growlers play La Sala Rossa. On January 28, Marilyn Manson does his thing at Metropolis, punk-hardcore Hot Water Music maybe mess up L’Olympia, and Montreal musicians get together for Lettingo: The Music and Influence of Ornette Coleman at Sala Rossa. On January 29, a whole bunch of great Montreal musicians, like Plants & Animals, Galaxie and The Barr Brothers, play benefit concert Unis Contre at Cabaret du Mile End. And on January 30, The Queen Extravaganza belts its drama-rock way into the Bell Centre.