Things to Do in Montreal: February 21-27
With a winter festival in full swing downtown, feats of outdoor athleticism in the Old Port, and an array of theatrical and music performances at dozens of venues, this week keeps winter brighter than ever…
Winter festival Montreal en Lumière officially begins this Friday, turning downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles into one big venue – indoors and outside – for music, film, art, family activities and all kinds of food and drink. On February 22, free outdoor event 185 Bravos turns the Place des Arts Esplanade into a spectacle of music and light celebrating the festival’s 15th year, the 40th anniversary of the Duceppe theatre, the 50th anniversary of Place des Arts and the 80th anniversary of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal. Also that night, Kanaval Kanpe highlights the festival’s spotlight on Haiti with a carnival-inspired night of music from Grammy-nominated rock and reggae legends Boukman Eksperyans, Doody Kami, Young Paris and Poirier, at Société des arts technologiques – Boukman Eksperyans also plays L’Astral on February 21.
(outdoor fun) Watch this year’s athletic contenders race against the weather and winter currents in the Bota Bota Montreal Ice Canoe Challenge, February 22 in the Old Port of Montreal. Over on St-Denis Street, between Roy and Gilford Streets, see live ice sculpting throughout the weekend. The Olympic Parc’s Winter Village and Parc Jean-Drapeau always stay open during snow season for ice skating, snowshoeing, snowboarding and more winter activities. And while indoors at Place Bonaventure, the massive Montreal Hunting, Fishing and Camping Show features some of the best outdoor adventures and services the city and province has to offer, to February 23.
(on stage) Multi-show entertainment event Spectacular China continues to March 1 at Place des Arts, featuring the Shanghai Jingju Company’s The Revenge of Prince Zidan, a Peking opera interpretation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, as well as contemporary dance performance Fault Lines by Leshan Song Dance Troupe and New Zealand choreographer Sara Brodie, and more. Also at Place des Arts, Les Grands Ballets presents the National Ballet of Ukraine’s opulent epic Indian love story La Bayadère for the first time in Montreal, to February 22. Arthur Holden’s dark comedy The Book of Bob plays out at Centaur Theatre to March 2, while Black Theatre Workshop presents The Meeting, a fictional encounter between Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, at the Segal Centre, February 22 to March 1, part of Black History Month. And on February 27, Australian circus company Circus Oz enlivens winter with acrobatic, family-friendly show From the Ground Up, at Tohu circus centre to March 9.
(classical gospel) Soprano Barbara Hendricks performs works by Fauré, Schönberg, Brahms and Kurt Weill, accompanied by Swedish pianist Love Derwinger February 21 at Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts. And, as part of Black History Month, Fièvre Gospel Praise and Worship Crew sings at Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours Chapel in Old Montreal on February 21. The Rialto Theatre presents the first edition of the Bel Canto Festival, February 21-28, featuring classical music that showcases the singing voice, including performances of Jules Massenet’s Cendrillon. Boats and trains chime in for the Pointe-à-Callière museum’s Port Symphonies event outdoors in the Old Port on February 23. Violin star Joshua Bell performs Tartini, Beethoven and Stravinsky at Maison Symphonic at Place des Arts on February 25. And February 26-27, Long Yu conducts the Fifth Symphony of Shostakovich with Chinese cellist Jian Wang, musicians on Chinese bamboo flutes, and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra.
(film music) See new Quebec film at the 32nd edition of film festival Rendez-vous du Cinéma Québécois, February 20 to March 1, opening with Miraculum, the newest feature from Quebec director Podz, and screenings award-winning features, shorts and documentaries. Become absorbed in immersive musical film Harmonielehre, starring the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the music of composer John Adams, screens at the a 360-degree surround-sound Satosphere dome. On February 21, stay put for the first 24-hour presentation of artist Christian Marclay’s The Clock, at the Musee d’art contemporain. Also on February 21, the Phi Centre shows the results of a Pop Montreal collaboration between filmmakers and local bands: the five new films feature music from Solar Year, AroarA, Freelove Fenner, Cedric Laurenty, Ira Lee and members of Yamantaka//Sonic Titan, all of whom will perform at the event.
(jazz, rock ‘n’ roll) On Saturday night, Montreal en Lumière’s music program brings Florence K to Metropolis, Malian singer-songwriter Fatoumata Diawara to L’Astral, and Chapel Hill orchestral folk-pop Lost in the Trees plays Il Motore on February 22, though Friday night starts the weekend with the danceable electro-indie-rock of Spain’s Delorean at Il Motore. Vintage soul and Memphis blues style come to town as Nick Waterhouse plays Club Soda on February 23, while Stephen Malkmus The Jicks give fans old-school indie-rock thrills, with psych-rock opener Disappears, at Cafe Campus. Kings of Leon rock out with opener Gary Clark Jr. at the Bell Centre on February 24, and Asaf Avidan lets his captivating, soulful voice loose at Club Soda. On February 26, Montreal en Lumière presents soft-rock superstars Chicago at Place des Arts, Dan Bigras in a show of bar-rockin’ American classics at Metropolis and local good-time pop-hip-hop band Random Recipe with opener Mozart’s Sister at Club Soda, while metal reigns as The Sword descends on Foufounes. On February 27, Brooklyn’s American Authors whip up a rollicking good time at Théâtre Corona, singer-songwriter Basia Bulat runs the emotional gamut at Club Soda, and the UK’s Bear Den strum and sing away with Joe Grass at Petit Campus.
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