The year is already off to a bold start in Montréal with snow-bright outdoor entertainment to play with and dance to, the Happening Gourmand restaurant fest, internationally acclaimed dance, theatre and film, and live music from Tchaikovsky to Mark Farina.
With memories of 2015 fading it’s time to make some new ones. Montreal brightens up your winter with all kinds of activities and entertainment in the coming months. Play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie until January 31, with animated digital art projections throughout the Quartier des Spectacles. If you love to dance and love being outdoors, get yourself to Igloofest, Montreal’s biggest winter electronic music festival, at Jacques-Cartier Quay in the Old Port, opening January 14 with music by Bonobo, Lunice, Heron Preston and more. Go ice skating and sliding at Village MAMMOUTH at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade, or skate to music at the Old Port’s Bonsecours Basin rink, with happy hour every evening. On the ice at the Bell Centre, the Montréal Canadiens take on the Penguins on January 9 and the Blackhawks on January 14. Seek out warmth and art at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Musée d’art contemporain and Galerie UQAM, and history at Pointe-à-Callière and the McCord Museum. And if your New Year’s resolutions already feel like they’re snowing you under, pick some truly enjoyable new ones from our 10 New Year’s resolutions you’ll keep in Montréal.
Fine food at joyously affordable prices in Old Montréal becomes a reality during the ninth edition of Happening Gourmand, when 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 until February 7. Also eat well and often at excellent seafood restaurants and our picks for budget-friendly, kid-friendly, bring-your-own-wine and late-night restaurants. Say goodbye to the stress of 2015 and treat yourself to a wellness weekend at Montréal’s best hotels, spas, salons, yoga studios and health-focused restaurants. Or let loose with your best friends on a glitzy girls’ weekend or a classy Mad Men weekend with the guys.
On stage and screen
South African choreographer Dada Masilo reimagines Swan Lake as we’ve never seen it before, fusing classical ballet and African dance, complete with tutus for all, a gay prince and compelling humour, emotion and intelligence – presented by Danse Danse at Place des Arts, January 14 to 16. Laugh in two languages at comedian Sugar Sammy’s bilingual You’re Gonna Rire show at Olympia starting January 14. The Phoenix (Hua Yun) Artistic Troupe rings in Chinese New Year with music, dance, dragons and more at Place des Arts on January 10. See Off-Broadway-style theatre, dance and musicals at the Wildside Theatre Festival until January 17 at Centaur Theatre. The Bouge d’ici contemporary dance festival showcases emerging professional choreographers and dancers – see exciting boundary-pushing work by Catherine Lafleur and Liliane Moussa on January 8, experimental short works on January 9, and the Common Space showcase January 13 to 15 – plus join dance classes on January 8 ,10 and 11, at Mainline Theatre. On screen, see larger-than-life nature in IMAX films Wild Africa, Living in the Age of Airplanes and Mysteries of the Unseen World 3D at the Montréal Science Centre, immerse yourself in the high-tech art of Re-génération at the SAT 360-degree dome, watch new and classic films at the Cinémathèque Québécoise plus family films every Sunday at 1:30 pm starting January 10 with André Melançon’s Quebec classic La guerre des tuques, and the Phi Centre screens Canada’s Top Ten Film Festival.
Celebrated Russian pianist Boris Berezovsky joins the Montréal Symphony Orchestra’s Tchaikovsky Festival on January 8 at Place des Arts. On January 9, see Jeff Martin (of The Tea Party) play his bluesy rock at L’Astral, while a hip hop breakdance battle goes down at Club Soda. Saturday night is also packed with electronic music: EDM stars DVBBS play a sold-out show at New City Gas, while legendary producer Mark Farina proves why he’s still the real deal with his original mix of jazz, house and hip hop at Théâtre Fairmount, and the first of the SAT’s Dômesicle parties keeps us dancing with music by Melodule, Phil Fiction and G.O’Brien and incredible immersive visuals by Ma” and TiND, all under the 360-degree dome and on the terrasse at the SAT. Also on January 9, a benefit concert for Syrian refugees hosted by Howl Arts Collective and the Suoni Per Il Popolo Festival, featuring striking instrumental ambience by Kaie Kellough, Stefan Christoff, Jérémi Roy and many more musicians, at La Vitrola. Every night of the week see local rock and experimental bands like The Nymphets (January 8), Malcolm Goldstein, Renders and Reversing Falls at Casa del Popolo. Dance and make friends at Bar “Le Ritz” P.D.B. at January 8’s electro Slut Island night and January 9’s Gay Goth Night. On Thursday, January 14 hear artist Neyssatou aka Badiaa Bouhrizi mix electronic beats and acoustic melodies with Tunisian and Arabic music and poetry at Club Balattou, while Brooklyn-based Chrome Sparks turns his synths up to make spacey, dance-worthy techno at Newspeak.