Stay warm and entertained this week with quintessential winter activities, world-class music, film, dance, theatre and art – and comfort food to match! Not only is it Poutine Week, but Montreal’s food trucks make a winter appearance too…
(winter celebration) Stay warm and have fun with friends and the family at Fête des Neiges de Montréal, a weekend of winter activities – from tobogganing to dogsledding – at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Or throughout the week, go ice skating to music at the Old Port or at the Olympic Parc’s Winter Village, featuring the added bonus of an array of edibles courtesy of Montreal’s food trucks on February 1. And party outside all weekend at Igloofest’s third weekend, with music from Sharam, Hot Since 82, Scuba and other top international DJs – come back on Thursday, February 6 to kick of the fest’s final weekend with Just Blaze, RL Grime and more.
(poutine passion) Don’t just give Quebec signature dish poutine a try during your stay in the city but indulge in its many incarnations during the second edition of Montreal’s Poutine Week, February 1-7. Dozens of the city’s restaurants go to creative new lengths with fries, cheese, gravy and much more, all with dishes priced at $10 or less. Check out poutine mainstays like La Banquise and Poutineville, donuts and breakfast options at Icehouse, Chez Boris and Régine Café, Lola Rosa‘s hearty vegetarian dish, a fusion taste explosion at Japanese resto Imadake Izakaya, and more – and vote for your favourites online!
(stars of stage) Contemporary ballet star choreographer-dancer Wayne McGregor brings his sensual yet intellectual style to Montreal in FAR, an exploration of bodies – from neuroscience to almost elastic movement – performed by 10 dancers, presented by Danse Danse, February 6-9 at Place des Arts. Opéra de Montreal teams up with The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir for an enthralling performance of Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess, February 1-3 at Places des Arts. The Opéra also presents German tenor Jonas Kaufmann in an afternoon concert of opera arias on February 2 at Place des Arts. See the world premier of Arthur Holden’s witty play The Book of Bob, a contemporary retelling of the Book of Job, February 4 to March 2 at Centaur Theatre. Terrence McNally’s Tony-nominated Broadway musical The Full Monty, also comes to the Centaur courtesy of Beautiful City Theatre, January 30 to February 1. And Chekov’s classic tale The Seagull adds a splash of summer to the winter mix at the Segal Centre, to February 16.
(artistic happenings) Immerse yourself in the colourful world of artist Peter Doig, captured beautifully in new painting exhibition No Foreign Lands, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Immersive in a different way is ObE, a 360-degree, surround-sound multimedia project French artists Maotik and Fraction, at the SAT’s Satosphere dome. Montreal’s Chinatown lights up for Chinese New Year on January 31, while contemporary Chinese art can be seen at Place des Arts. On Saturday, February 1, Montreal artists rally against austerity measures at Cabaret Tollé, a wild evening of performance, video art, comedic moments, frivolous fun and a silent auction (including tickets to the almost-sold-out Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch dance show in November), at Sala Rossa. And on February 5, the Phi Centre screens Watermark, the stunning new environmental doc from photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal, and Denis Villeneuve’s newest film, Enemy – free entry for both!
(live music) Las Vegas alt-rock band Panic! At the Disco waltzes into Metropolis on January 31. Haitian-born, Miami-based electronic music maker Michael Brun owns the Saturday night party at New City Gas, while Saskatchewan’s Northcote fuses classic country and hardcore punk at Cabaret Underworld. Mississippi garage-rock band Bass Drum of Death keep Casa del Popolo cool, as always, on February 2, while Los Angeles indie-folk band Lord Huron visits Cabaret Mile-End. Also that day, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Pro Music present pianist Louis Lortie playing Liszt’s Années de pèlerinage, while on February 5 and 6, Kent Nagano conducts the orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 Song of the Night. On February 3, the UK’s Lanterns on the Lake charms with their shoegaze-like indie-rock at Divan Orange. And none other than Elton John and his band come to town to add sparkle and style to the Bell Centre on February 5. And on Thursday, February 6, hear the sweet pop-rock sounds of The Belle Game, The Darcys and Mori at Il Motore and the orchestral highs and emotional depths of Thee Silver Mt. Zion at the Rialto, or listen to the electronic creations of Boundary (Montreal producer Ghislain Poirier) and Montag at the Phi Centre, while Spanish electronic musician and producer John Talabot (a hit at last year’s Mutek festival) fills the dance floor at the SAT.
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