Baseball, butterflies and ballet are very Montréal-like signs of spring from March 31 to April 6 – sit back and watch them all, eat at a Québécois sugar shack, take in colourful art and new films, go shopping, listen to live music and more.
Step into spring
Nothing quite says spring like a Major League Baseball game – Montréal’s got the Pittsburgh Pirates vs. the Toronto Blue Jays at Olympic Stadium on March 31 and April 1 followed by Expos Fest on April 2, featuring former Montreal Expos superstars, at Plaza Centre Ville/EvoCentre. Also near Olympic Stadium, the Botanical Garden’s Butterflies Go Free greenhouse event, a tropical oasis that’s part of the Montréal Space for Life‘s many activities. While you’re in the area, stop by one of these great places to eat in HOMA before visiting the Olympic Park. Add some spring in your step by getting up early for DayBreaker, a yoga and dance social event on April 1 at Théâtre Fairmount in Mile End. For shoppers, find designer clothing and accessories at La Braderie de Mode Québécoise, April 6-9 at Bonsecours Market. For families, the massive Parents and Kids Fair features live entertainment, innovations, fashion and much more April 6-9 at Place Bonaventure. And no matter what your vacation budget, these free things to do this Spring in Montréal are fun for all this season.
Food and drink
Let loose with friends and Montréalers alike with our guide to restaurants, bars and parties for spring break in Montréal. A delicious early spring tradition not to miss out on: a visit to a Québécois cabane à sucre sugar shack in the country or the city – fill up on tourtière, sugar pie, sausages, maple syrup candy and so much more. Mix Québécois tradition with tropical flavours at the Casino de Montréal’s lunchtime sugar-shack emulation Copacabanashak Buffet. Try maple syrup candy on snow on April 4 at the Maison du développement durable in the Quartier des Spectacles, or visit the city’s best candy shops. Explore the menus of new Montréal restaurants, warm up with a cup of tea at Montréal’s tea houses, a big bowl of pho or Japanese authentic ramen, or heat things up with a signature winter cocktail at one of Montréal’s hidden bars. And sing your heart out at Montréal’s best karaoke bars.
Chinese martial arts, acrobatics, an all-female percussion ensemble illuminate the story of a Tai-Chi master in high-energy stage show Immortal Chi at Place des Arts March 31-April 1. As part of Montréal’s winter-spring dance program, Danse Danse presents Ballet BC‘s spectacular triple bill choreographed by Emily Molnar, Crystal Pite and Sharon Eyal and Gai Behar, April 5-8 at Place des Arts, while Les Grands Ballets presents the inventive contemporary dance of Ohad Naharin’s Minus One at Place des Arts to April 1, and choreographers Andrew Tay, Stephen Thompson and guest artists perform/investigate cultural identity in Make Banana Cry, at the MAI April 6-8. In theatre: Centaur Theatre‘s thoughtful, humorous family drama You Will Remember Me, to April 2, followed April 4-30 by Clybourne Park, a neighbourhood drama tracing racial tensions in Chicago; Black Theatre Workshop and Tableau D’Hôte co-present Angélique, based on Marie-Joseph Angélique, a slave executed for allegedly set fire to Montréal in 1734, at the Segal Centre to April 2, while Acts To Grind Theatre presents melodramedy Closer at Mainline Theatre April 4-9. Popular podcast Welcome To Night Vale goes live at Théâtre Corona on April 6. And hilarious, heartfelt and truly fabulous, the Confabulation storytelling event is a must on April 1 at the Phi Centre.
Art lovers and cinema fans flock to see new films on art, music, dance, film and more at the 35th International Festival of Films on Art, at various venues until April 2, including Soirée Madonna at the SAT on March 31. The Festival du cinéma latino-américain of Montréal screens recent features from Berlin, Cannes, Toronto and Buenos Aires film fest selections, to April 9. Virtual reality gets real with the latest work by Felix & Paul Studios – see four Cirque du Soleil experiences and more at the Phi Centre‘s Virtual Reality Garden. The Phi Centre also screens films from the Venice International Film Festival, plus the Montréal premier of Terrence Malick’s Song to Song on April 4. The Cinémathèque québécoise‘s free installation Détectives de la Pataphysique showcases the awe-inspiring films of Clyde Henry Productions (known for animated short Madame Tutli-Putli among other eclectic work), while the 10 + 10 Visages du cinéma québécois features portraits of 20 Québécois directors. Immerse yourself in high-tech films Inertia and Morphogenesis in the SAT’s Satosphere surround-sound dome to April 5, followed by artists Woulg and Push 1 stop’s Indivisible and susy.technology’s Interpolate, April 6-8. And find out more about Montréal’s film community while browsing films, posters, figurines and more at CinéBazar on April 1.
Museums and galleries
The ’60s are back! At least in phenomenal fashion form at the McCord Museum‘s Fashioning Expo 67, featuring over 60 outfits and products created by Québec designers for Expo 67. Colour, light and music mingle in CHAGALL: COLOUR AND MUSIC at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, featuring 340 pieces by the Russian-French artist accompanied by music. Art reaches great illuminated heights in immersive light show Aura at beautiful Notre-Dame Basilica in Old Montréal, one of the city’s most stunning churches and other sacred sites, The Musée d’art contemporain shows work by foremost Mexican artist Teresa Margolles, as well as Québec artist Emanuel Licha’s Now Have a Look at This Machine documentary installation. Galerie de l’UQAM presents noted Scottish artist Graham Fagen‘s video and music-based installation The Slave’s Lament. And walk through Old Montréal at night to see history unfold in the beautiful tableaux projections of Cité Memoire.
On Friday, the Orchestre Métropolitan performs Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 Pastoral at Place des Arts, British singer and atmospheric songwriter Sohn is at Théâtre Fairmount, Chicago rapper SABA at Le Belmont, Jazz Amnesty Sound System hosts a dance floor throw down at La Sala Rossa, and Québécois music legend Robert Charlebois plays an intimate “rock’oustic” concert at Place des Arts’ Cinquième Salle, March 31-April 1. Saturday night sees none other than classic rock n’ rollers The Zombies perform their 1968 album Odessey and Oracle at Théâtre Impérial, singer-songwriter John Mayer at the Bell Centre, Montréal breakthrough band The Franklin Electric at Metropolis, and Tame Impala bassist Cameron Avery going solo at Divan Orange while electro producers Vicetone, SNBRN and Madison Mars party at New City Gas. Experience Mozart and de Falla’s Spain in The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal‘s Nights in the Garden of Spain concert on April 2 at Place des Arts. Roxy Music lead and distinctive solo artist Bryan Ferry plays Théâtre St-Denis with opening guest Judith Owen on Monday, while progressive metal band Periphery touches down at Théâtre Corona. The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and pianist Louis Lortie perform two complete sets of Chopin at Place des Arts on April 4, while multi-genre French singer-songwriter Jain plays Théâtre Corona. Wednesday brings “Alaska” songwriter and singer Maggie Rogers to Théâtre Corona and Kat Wright and the Indomitable Soul Band shake up Divan Orange. And Thursday’s a good time with John K. Samson‘s smart, guitar-twanging folk-rock at Théâtre Fairmount and Vancouver indie-rockers Said The Whale at Petit Campus.