As the weather warms, Montréal begins its transformation into an outdoor playground, starting with some music-making swings, alongside Québécois sugar shack meals, new art and film, spring shopping, live music, quirky activities and more.
Hop on a swing and make some music at the excellent interactive 21 Swings outside Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles starting April 10. Spring is also in the air at the Botanical Garden where the Butterflies Go Free greenhouse turns into a tropical, butterfly-filled oasis, part of the Montréal Space for Life‘s many activities. 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. In a final home game of the regular NHL season, the Montréal Canadiens take on the Lightning at the Bell Centre on April 7. Cheer for car crushing and mud slinging at the Monster Spectacular XXIII at Olympic Stadium on April 8. Watch the Black Watch Military Tattoo commemorate the 100th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge at the Bell Centre on April 8, and The Harlem Globetrotters play on April 9. Tread off the beaten path to find these welcoming and wonderful quirky spots in Montréal, from urban caves to arcade bars. And have fun for zero dollars with these free things this Spring in Montréal.
If you’re in leisurely vacation mode then Montréal’s best weekday brunches are for you, from quaint neighbourhood café creations to classics with a gourmet twist. Have some fun this week friends and Montréalers alike with our guide to restaurants, bars and parties for spring break in Montréal. Catch the yearly end of a Québécois tradition: cabane à sucre sugar shack season in the city (check out Chef à l’Érable in the Old Port) or the country – fill up on tourtière, sugar pie, sausages, maple syrup candy and so much more. Add more sweetness to your day at the city’s best candy shops. Explore great places to eat in the HOMA neighbourhood or 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. Try a signature winter cocktail at one of Montréal’s hidden bars, sing your heart out at Montréal’s best karaoke bars, or sing even louder at Punk Rock Karaoke at Foufounes Électriques on April 12. And plan your next visit around Montréal’s food festivals – right now it’s Mac n’ Cheese Week!
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; Sylvain Émard is back onstage with new solo work at Agora de la Danse; choreographers Andrew Tay, Stephen Thompson and guest artists perform/investigate cultural identity in Make Banana Cry at the MAI April 6-8, followed on April 12-13 by Austrian choreographer Doris Uhlich and Michael Turinsky’s Ravemachine. In theatre: Centaur Theatre‘s Clybourne Park, a neighbourhood drama tracing racial tensions in Chicago; and Acts To Grind Theatre’s melodramedy Closer at Mainline Theatre April 4-9. And great humour writer and all-about wit David Sedaris takes the stage April 10 at Place des Arts.
The Festival du cinéma latino-américain of Montréal screens recent features from Berlin, Cannes and more film fest selections, to April 9. Film festival Vues d’Afrique screens African and Créole films and hosts social events April 14-23 at the Cinémathèque québécoise – while there see 10 + 10 Visages du cinéma québécois, portraits of 20 Québécois directors. See amazing virtual reality work by Felix Paul Studios at the Phi Centre‘s Virtual Reality Garden. The Phi Centre also screens Venice International Film Festival picks, plus Nacho Vigalondo’s comedy Colossal on April 8 and a 35th anniversary screening of The Thing on April 11. Immerse yourself in high-tech films Indivisible by Woulg and Push 1 stop and Interpolate by susy.technology, April 6-8, and Résonances Boréales, live piano performancess by Roman Zavada accompanied by visuals, plus the global
Music Legacy Project, April 11-29, all in the Satosphere dome. Film meets concert in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone In Concert with an 84-piece symphony orchestra playing in sync with the original film, at Place des Arts April 8-9. And play experimental video games at DATA: SALON XXX / ARCADE, an all ages event April 13 at Eastern Bloc.
Art reaches wonderous 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. Later, walk through Old Montréal at night to see history unfold in the beautiful tableaux projections of Cité Memoire. 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 – also at the museum, the exhibition Mnemosyne constrasts works by contemporary Quebec and Canadian artists with Old Master paintings. The ’60s make a comeback at the McCord Museum‘s Fashioning Expo 67, featuring colourful outfits and products created by Québec designers for Expo 67. 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.
On Friday night, hear a slice of Québécois indie rock as singer-songwriter Louis-Jean Cormier (formerly of award-winning band Karkwa) plays Théâtre Fairmount, while Speedy Johnson debuts album Before It’s Dark with openers Bad Uncle at Divan Orange, and Finnish deep house producer Yotto plays Newspeak. British conductor Sir Andrew Davis directs pianist Louis Lortie and the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal at Place des Arts on April 8. Saturday night’s made for dancing: British label Anjunabeats presents a night of pop-electronic and EDM beats with Andrew Bayer, Ilan Bluestone, Jason Ross and more at Metropolis, and electro producers Elephante and Benson shake New City Gas. On April 9, it’s time for major metal with Despised Icon, Enterprise Earth and more at Théâtre Corona, while Scottish rockers Biffy Clyro party at Café Campus. On April 10, new wave glam metalists Def Leppard return from the 80s to play the Bell Centre – funnily enough, April 11 brings L.A. glam metal rockers/satirists Steel Panther to Metropolis. Also on April 10, gritty pop-punk duo Diet Cig tears it up at Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. Celebrated Ukrainian world music band DakhaBrakha enrapture at Place des Arts on April 12, while eclectic electronic artist Floating Points blows minds at Théâtre Fairmount and neo-punk duo The Garden hit up Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. On April 13, Grammy-winning hypnotic Saharan blues band Tinariwen comes to Place des Arts, Montréal folk quintet Mentana plays the Phi Centre with opening act The Great Novel, and Casper Skulls rocks Bar Le Ritz P.D.B.
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