The Easter long weekend sees Montreal relaxing as much as gearing up for springtime with plenty of things to keep everyone happy, whether you’re looking for delicious meals, kids’ entertainment, or the latest in arts and cultural happenings…
(easter time) Celebrate spring in Montreal by spending some time in nature, indoors and out. Take the kids on a different kind of easter egg hunt at the Ecomuseum zoo or hunt for butterflies (with your eyes only) at the Montreal Botanical Gardens’s Butterflies Go Free special exhibition. Learn more about the environment and biodiversity at the Botanical Garden’s Base Camp and at the Montreal Biodome, where kids can discover live animals and plants from around the world, there’s even a (non-chocolate) egg exhibition in the lobby. And see even more butterflies at the Montreal Science Centre’s IMAX screening of Flight of the Butterflies in 3D.
(easter eats) Quebec’s famed sugar shack season happens to be in full form this Easter weekend too – try out La Cabane in the Old Port, restaurants with maple-syrup themed menus, or take a short drive out of town to experience the complete sugar shack experience. Visit the Montreal Botanical Gardens to learn more about where maple syrup comes from and try out the candy-like concoction of maple syrup on snow, until April 26. For even more sweet treats – and several savoury ones too – peruse Montreal’s excellent Italian delis, the Jean Talon Market or simply go for the classic Easter brunch at one of many Montreal brunch spots, from Old Montreal to Mile End, and pick up some chocolate along the way.
(dance & theatre) Danse Danse presents The Light Between, a new work of hope and vulnerability by Governor General’s Award winning choreographer Margi Gillis, to March 30 at Place des Arts, and, beginning April 4, the astounding Spanish flamenco of María Pagés as the star dances a show called Autorretrato, “a self-portrait created at Mikhaïl Baryshnikov’s instigation.” More dance takes the stage at the Centaur Theatre, where Danish dance-theatre troupe Granhøj Dans celebrates the music of Leonard Cohen – in intriguing, funny and surprising ways – in Dance Me to the End On/Off Love, to April 14.
(immersive art) Artistic visions of spring are beginning to show themselves this week too. New exhibitions at the MACM captivate with colour and intrigue with interactivity and every Sunday afternoon, kids and adults alike can participate in hands-on art-making workshops. Experimental, immersive, digital video art amazes at the SAT’s 360º Satosphere dome: audio-visual show Chaos and Order continues until March 29, followed up starting April 2 with P3rception, a program of three exploratory works that might just cause sensory overload: Diana Reichenbach’s animated film ||0.1.||, Eric Hanson and Charles Lindsay’s Carbon-X, and Ulf Langheinrich’s Hemisphere. And outdoors, projected on the face of UQAM’s Président-Kennedy building in the heart of the Quartier des Spectales, see animated film Le cycle de l’eau.
(live music) One of hip-hop’s best starts the weekend right on Friday night: Brooklyn-based rapper Talib Kweli gets lyrical with Koriass, Ceas Rock and Dj Manifest at Club Soda – the show is one of many at the Montreal Hip Hop Festival, happening all weekend. Also on Friday, Los Angeles indie-rock band Local Natives comes to town with Superhumanoids at Le National, and Saturday night is nothing but old-school LA punk with Bad Religion at Metropolis. On April 1, The Dear Hunter tour their new album Migrant, at Sala Rossa. Turn Tuesday night into a sweaty electronic music dance party with Chicago DJ duo Flosstradamus at the SAT or British electro-rock band Modestep at the Corona Theatre. On April 3, Alicia Keys and Miguel (!) put a spell on the Bell Centre and K-OS and Rich Aucoin shake up the Corona. And on Thursday, April 4, much-loved Francophone singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Damien Robitaille plays Metropolis and Montreal’s Suuns brighten up Sala.