If you’re in Montreal this weekend, you’ve probably done something right, like, cosmically. Because this weekend rules. You are at the epicenter of winter fun times, whether that means jubilant crowds, dancing and fireworks or a quiet stroll through art-filled corridors and a hot cup of hot chocolate served at a bar sculpted out of ice. But wait, there’s more! In Montreal, there always is, even in the depths of winter…
[night music] Stay cool in more ways than one at Pop Montreal’s Nuit Blanche (Feb. 26) showcase at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, with indie-electro musician Grimes and DJ Annie Q, tours of the CCA’s awesome exhibitions – and an ice bar serving hot chocolate! Dance the night away in high-tech style at the SAT, with a slew of DJs spinning electronic music while new media artists immerse our minds in kaleidoscopic creations. Of course, if you came to party non-stop all night, we’ve got that sussed out for you too.
[dark arts] Head below the streets for a visual feast (and warmth) – Art Souterrain runs the length of Montreal’s famed “underground city,” with creative surprises around every corner. Also, it’s just cool wandering around office-tower corridors and the mall late at night. For families and night owls alike, the Musée d’art contemporain not only opens its exhibition space until the wee hours of the night (take a long wander through the Anri Sala show), but puts on a show too! Harpist M’Michèle adds reverberations to the museum’s white-walled corridors and WWKA (Women With Kitchen Appliances) finds the beat with unconventional instruments. Plus art workshops for kids and Geneviève Grandbois hot chocolate! Inspired by their current exhibition by Ceal Floyer, DHC/ART invites public participation until 2 a.m. on Nuit Blanche – simply give a pithy title to any old receipt, business card or shopping list you’ve got on you, and voila, conceptual art!
[defiant dance] The Montreal New Music Festival collaborates with Agora de la Danse and Bordeaux, France company The Éclats on Songs, fusing Eastern and Western music and movement, traditional arts and electronic innovations. Featuring music by John Cage, Christian Fennesz and Eddie Ladoire, choreography by Stéphane Guignard and performance by singer Nadine Gabard, Japanese musician Mieko Miyazaki and dancer Patricia Borges Henriques – at Agora de la danse (840 Cherrier), Feb. 25 and 26 at 7 p.m.
[act out] Montreal has a long history of circus action, but there’s always room for more: new(ish) kid on the block indie-circus Circo Hiverno returns for a fourth run of their winter-themed show, featuring mildly eccentric (and friendly! But not too friendly) clowns of many shapes and sizes, aerialists and acrobats, and a jazz singer to boot! Feb. 24–26 at 8 p.m., with family matinees Saturday and Sunday at 3 p.m., at Theatre Ste-Catherine (264 Ste-Catherine E.).
[moving images] While known as a premier institution for English-language theatre, the Segal Centre is stepping up its cinema game via their new CinemaSpace series Lightstruck, kicking off with the 48th Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF): 28 short films from 23 different cities in 9 different countries, all in high-quality digital and in 16mm. The experimental, avant-garde program runs Feb. 24 and 26 at 7:30 p.m. Of course, Nuit blanche doesn’t skimp on the filmic arts either: the National Film Board’s CinéRobothèque gives all-night access to their 10,000 films, and screens Fantasia Festival fave, The Socalled Movie, at 9 p.m.
[deep listening] Getting all kinds of snazzy press and awards lately, Canadian songstress Jenn Grant charms with local hot-shot-in-a-hat David Martel at Divan Orange (4234 St-Laurent) on Thursday night. On Friday, Nicole Atkins & The Black Sea croon to the crowds at La Sala Rossa. And again, because it fascinates me so and is, like it or not, a part of Quebec culture: the metal show. This Sunday it’s Cradle of Filth, with Nachtmystium, Daniel Lioneye and Turisas – experience the hellfire! at Metropolis. On the other hand, a little sweetness and light and indie-rock might be more your Sunday speed: Dum Dum Girls (pictured above) play with MINKS and Dirty Beaches at Il Motore.
Photo Credit: © Old Montreal, © Ann Dang