Whether the snow is melting or falling this week in Montreal, it doesn’t really matter when it comes to having fun: visit the snow village, eat a meal soaked (or not) in maple syrup, see an all-star hockey game or a world-renowned dance or theatre show, an orchestra or a rock show….
(winter’s end) It’s officially spring, but there’s still some snow on the ground in Montreal, which makes this weekend perfect – and your last chance this year! – for visiting the Montreal Snow Village at Parc Jean-Drapeau, where eating, drinking and being merry are never in short supply. The same can be said of sugar shack season – yes, the maple syrup is flowing and related feasts are bountiful, whether at La Cabane in the Old Port or elsewhere in the city or a short drive off the island of Montreal. And even get a bit of an education about where maple syrup comes from and how delicious it is when boiled and poured onto snow – like candy! – at the Montreal Botanical Gardens until April 26.
(hockey greats) Hockey season continues, with doses of happiness and of woe, but all hockey fans can get behind this Sunday’s Classique des Étoiles L’Équipeur game at the Bell Centre. See NHL stars of the 80s and 90s (Lindros, Fleury, Bourque, more!) take to the ice again and face off against Montreal Canadiens Alumni, some of them Hall of Famers, all still happy to show off the skills and flare that made them great in the first place.
(stage time) Love, dancing and music are the stuff of theatre and dance this week in Montreal. Danish company Granhøj Dans blends theatre, dance and the song of Leonard Cohen together in Dance Me to the End On/Off Love, at Centaur Theatre, to April 14. Danse Danse presents The Light Between, a new work of hope and vulnerability by Governor General’s Award winning choreographer Margi Gillis, March 26-30 at Place des Arts. Contemporary ballet gets the Les Grands Ballets Canadiens spotlight in Danz + Toot, works by Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin’s Danz and Dutch choreographer Didy Veldman, to March 23. The Mahalia Jackson Musical ends its acclaimed run this Sunday, telling the true story of the Queen of Gospel and starring Montreal’s Ranee Lee, at the Segal Centre. And dance takes on a different form in Le Grand Burlesque Show, as burlesque performers from Montreal and across North America get sexy, silly and scandalous, March 21-23 at Club Soda. Meanwhile, the super fun musical-comedy Jesus Christ Super Band plays it up at Théâtre Ste. Catherine, March 21-23.
(art on screen) See documentaries, shorts and experimental films about art, from painting to architecture, writing to dancing, music and more at The International Festival of Films on Art, to March 24, when the fest closes with Road Movie, A Portrait of John Adams. This year, special attention goes to Gerald Fox’s multimedia work, Ed Pien’s video installations, and the work of Jan Peacock. Check out films at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum, the MACM, the PHI Centre and Cinémathèque Québécoise, as well as free events like the Zon’Arts exhibition at Place des Arts to see Diane Obomsawin’s animated films Fleur and Machine. For the full FIFA schedule and to buy tickets online, see the FIFA site. There’s more art to see on screen at the Society for Art and Technology, where experimental, immersive audio-visual show Chaos and Order continues to wow until March 29.
(week of music) The weekend starts with Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, with Sharon Van Etten opening, on Friday night at Metropolis, and with Trust, Eraas and more getting our electro-dance on at the SAT – followed on Saturday night by Birdy Nam Nam. Saturday night also brings the fabulous and lovely Leif Vollebekk and Jennifer Castle to Cabaret Mile End and Brit Floyd’s three-hour show P-U-L-S-E 2013 to Place des Arts. And Sunday afternoon is just right for the Orchestre Métropolitan’s rendition of Verdi’s Requiem, at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal. On Monday, March 25, none other than Heart appear in all their glory at the Bell Centre, while American hard-pop singer-songwriter Sky Ferreira and How To Dress Well keep the cool-factor high at Sala Rossa (4848 St-Laurent), and British indie-rockers Alt-J are at Theatre Corona. On March 27, inventive Icelandic post-rock band Sigur Rós fills the Bell Centre with big-time sound and light, while Garbage comes back from the 90s with new material and plenty of energy, at Metropolis, and Little Green Cars drive into Il Motore. And popular French singer Michel Sardou sings about love, life and politics on March 28 at the Bell Centre.