With the sweet scent of spring blossoms in the air, Montreal begins a new season of activity and entertainment, not to mention plenty to please every mom for Mother’s Day, whether that’s being outdoors, going to the ballet or the theatre, eating fabulous food, taking in some art, or rocking out to live music…
(outdoor days) Montreal makes it easy to spend fun time outdoors with the family: on May 10, head to the Morgan Arboretum for Frog Songs: The Symphony of Spring to discover the nocturnal activities of amphibians. The waterways around Montreal are slowly warming up too and starting May 13, H2O Adventures begins its new season renting kayaks, pedal boats, canoes and other water ways to get out on the water around Montreal, including the St-Laurent River and the Lachine Canal. And even if it starts to rain, see the outdoors while inside at the Montreal Science Centre diving into the fascinating exhibition Planet Shark, with over 100 shark species including a life-size great white whale shark and two frozen specimens, or, on the lighter side of nature, seeing Flight of the Butterflies in 3D at the IMAX Theatre. Or just take mom shopping at La Virée des Ateliers, an open house event featuring the high-quality work of Montreal fashion designers, artists and artisans, May 9-12. Or go check out massive vintage boutique sale Old Wig at Bain Mathieu, May 10-11.
(dreams & drama) Les Grands Ballets presents award-winning choreographer Stephan Thoss’ latest work, Dream Away, a highly physical yet surrealistic exploration of “the origins of movement and gesture,” May 16-25 at Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. Meanwhile, the movement of horses and their riders is given the theatrical treatment in Odysseo, a new show from the makers of the highly popular Cavalia, replete with drama, circus arts, music, a light show and more – starting May 14 in Laval – just look for the custom-made white tents that are home to the show until June 9. And get deeper into mysteries of Sherlock Holmes in a new adaptation, by Greg Kramer, of the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle classic, starring Jay Baruchel, at the Segal Centre until May 28.
(art & bubbly) Why not celebrate spring with champagne? Maison Veuve Clicquot throws it’s first week-long party in Montreal: Yelloweek, May 14-19, is a series of art, food and fashion events, including: an evening of fashion and Veuve Clicquot champagne at Birks jewellery store on May 14; dinners that pair food and champagne at restaurants such as Milos, Ryu, L’auberge Saint-Gabriel, and more; a night of art and bubbly at Galerie 203 in the Old Port on May 15; and the free Yellow Picnic event, marking the opening of the terrace at New City Gas in Griffintown.
(electrifying art) Two new exhibitions at the PHI Centre alter our perceptions of reality and imagined: Cereus Queen of the Night, an interactive video system by artist Philomène Longpré explores “the subversive spirit of the Lettrism movement” by enveloping visitors in its nocturnal world; and Gabriel Coutu-Dumont’s audio-visual Wonders of a Transient Universe uses elements of the electronic arts to create a parallel world from which to look at the visual language of music. Over at artist centre Eastern Bloc, The Sight and Sound Festival is underway, showcasing installations and live performances that blend art and technology, to May 29: this weekend, see and hear works by Nicolas Maigret, Steve Bates, Melissa F. Clarke and Nat Roe, Victor Mazón Gardoqui, Erin Sexton and many more. And interactive music-art installation 21 Swings let’s you go for a swing like no other with family, friends and people you don’t even know, outdoors in the Quartier des Spectacles.
(classical & traditional) Traditional classic music and jazz combine forces at the 18th edition of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival, May 9 to June 1 at beautiful St. George’s Church in Old Montreal. Opening night brings the Boston Chamber Music Society to Montreal for the first time, followed on May 10 by Montreal jazz legend, pianist Oliver Jones, with musicians Eric Lagacé and Jim Doxas and opener, bassist Brandi Disterheft and her quartet. Master cellist Colin Carr performs on May 11, and Saint-Saëns’ chamber music comes to life in three concerts, May 14-16. Meanwhile, the Orchestre Métropolitain concludes its 32nd season with Strauss: 2 Orchestras, 1 Conductor, at the Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts on May 10. Also this weekend, Quebecois, Canadian, American, Belgian, Irish and more traditional music is in the spotlight at the 21st Festival La Grande Rencontre and at the Trad Montréal Conference, with four Grand Concerts, music showcases, workshops roundtable discussions and more at the Gésù Theatre in the Quartier des spectacles, May 9-12.
(more music) On Friday, May 10, UK indie rock band Foals tours their new album, Holy Fire, at Club Soda, while on Saturday night, see Canadian electro-pop artist Lights performing songs from her new album Siberia Acoustic, which is literally acoustic, with Sam Cash opening, at the Corona Theatre or dance hard to dubstep/electro-house producer Kill the Noise at the SAT. On Monday, May 13, Mötley Crüe return to hard-rock Montreal with Big Wreck, at the Bell Centre. Also good Monday options: the funk-soul sounds of Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires at the Corona Theatre; Stockholm, Sweden’s Shout Out Louds, along with opener Haerts, at Sala Rossa, or opt for experimental electro and hip hop with the amazing Flying Lotus at the SAT. On May 14, it’s Airbourne at the Corona Theatre, and for a real local Montreal experience, check out a live taping of indie talk show Parc Avenue Tonight, featuring music, comedy and more, May 15 at Cabaret Mile End while Montreal klezmer-hip-hop act Socalled releases his new album, The Season, at the Rialto.