It may still officially be winter, but there’s a hint of spring in Montreal’s step, even if some of us are still stepping with snowshoes, skates and skis on – all good activities what with school still out for Spring Break this week. Plus there’s plenty of good food, exciting theatre, lively dance, interesting art and moving music…
(spring vacation) It’s still March Break and Montreal knows it, with all kinds of activities to keep kids happy. Stay active outside while enjoying the last month (fingers crossed) of snow on Mont Royal and other city parks: snowshoe, skate, go ice fishing at the Old Port, sample maple syrup at Botanical Gardens, and more. Inside, let kids literally climb the walls at Allez Up, catch circus show Mi Otro Yo to March 10 at La Tohu circus centre, or watch Mickey, Minnie, princesses and sidekicks play that rock n’ roll music and skate around the whole time in Disney on Ice’s Rockin’ Ever After at the Bell Centre, also to March 10. Also on ice, along with the NHL Senators vs Canadiens game on March 13 at the Bell Centre, Olympic players dazzle as Canadian Women’s Hockey League team Stars play two games this weekend at Aréna Étienne Desmarteau: On March 9 and a fan-appreciation game – FREE entry for all! – on March 10.
(eat well) Celebrate the slow onset of springtime by sampling new menus at great restaurants around the city. March also marks the start of sugaring-off season, when maple syrup is ready for pouring on anything and everything: eat it and much more to your heart’s content at La Cabane in the Old Port, and at Montreal’s Snow Village. The SAT’s FoodLab throws a La Grande Bouffe/Bal with a special locally sourced four-course meal followed by a DJ set from Suuns on March 9. Take a jaunt up to the posh neighbourhood of Outremont, just west of the Plateau and south of Mile End, for delicious delicacies. And find good food the new-fangled way, by perusing Montreal-friendly food apps.
(theatre & dance) Opera de Montreal tackles serious subject matter in a new production of Dead Man Walking, based on a true story and made famous in an award-winning film about a nun who connects with a prisoner on death row. The Mahalia Jackson Musical tells the astounding life story of “The Queen of Gospel” award-winning singer and civil rights activist, starring Montreal sensation Ranee Lee, at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts, to March 24. Experimental, theatrical Dutch contemporary dance troupe T.r.a.s.h. stuns the senses at Cinquième Salle, to March 9. And In Your Face Entertainment takes a bilingual approach to musical Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well And Living In Paris, featuring 25 of the songs of famed French folk writer-singer, at Mainline Theatre, starting March 14.
(city-wide art) Montreal’s underground city, connecting metro stations, office buildings and malls, is home to all kinds of innovative art work during Art Souterrain – wander through under March 17. The McCord Museum brings the realities of life in Haiti to Montreal in Benoit Aquin’s stunning exhibition Haiti: Chaos and Daily Life. Cutting-edge performance art with multiple feminist perspectives is the great stuff of Edgy Women 2013: Arts/Sports/Gender, to March 10 at various venues. And the International Festival of Films on Art begins March 14, screening documentaries, shorts and more films focused on all aspects of the arts, from painting to writing to dancing – also check out the Zon’Arts exhibition at Place des Arts starting March 9, where Diane Obomsawin’s animated films fleur (2012) and machine (2012) are being projected.
(march music) The weekend beings with the experimental indie-rock sounds of Animal Collective, with opener Dan Deacon, at Metropolis, March 8. Fans of underground music will want to check out the Montreal Underground Music & Arts Fair at St-Denis Church, March 9-10. On March 9, American metal band Soulfly rumbles into the Corona. On Sunday afternoon head down to the Old Port near the Pointe-à-Callière museum to hear the Port Symphonies, a composition created for boat whistles, horns and percussion, and later on check out Classic Album’s Live, an internationally touring show of pitch-perfect cover songs, at the Corona, or a talent-packed night of music and more at the Rialto Theatre to celebrate International Women’s Day. Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala storm Metropolis on March 11. On March 12, it’s power pop to the rescue as Pink plays the Bell Centre. On March 13, UK singer-songwriter-rocker Kate Nash comes to town at Cabaret Mile End, while Dischord records unsettles in at Il Motore with Deathfix, featuring Brendan Canty of Fugazi, Dubpixel and Modern Primitive. And in classical music, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra celebrates mid-March with Kent Nagano conducting Brahms Requiem, March 13-14.