Montréal makes the most of winter weather this week at outdoor festivals for families and party-goers alike – celebrate the city’s 375th birthday with us by dancing in the snow, tubing down ice slides, skating in the parks, drinking by the fireplace, singing along to your favourite songs and more!
Winter activities meet Montréal’s 375th anniversary head on this week, in Les Hivernales events. It’s the first weekend of free and family-friendly Fête des neiges activities at Parc Jean-Drapeau, including a massive ice-sculpted Pirate ship, snow tubing, a Ferris Wheel and live shows. And it’s the second weekend of the also free and family-friendly Barbegazi winter action sports festival downtown – try the skill-testing obstacle course, snowskating, fatbiking and more, Jan. 13-15. Electronic music festival Igloofest brings the party to the Old Port, pairing exquisite visuals with electronic music by Carl Cox, Miss Me and other electro greats on Friday and Joris Voorn, Djdeanja Schneider and more on Saturday, while MK, Will Clarke and Ardalan get weekend #2 started on Jan. 19. And you don’t have to stay out late to try Igloofest’s Nordik ice slide on Place Jacques-Cartier or visit the Nordik Village next to Quai Jacques-Cartier.
There’s nothing quite like playing outside in the snow in Montréal – as long as you’re dressed for it and know where to get good hot chocolate. Among the many free things to do this winter, take a walk through some of Montréal’s most popular neighbourhoods or go ice skating at Mount Royal Park’s Beaver Lake, Park La Fontaine or at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade’s Village Mammouth where there’s also a tube slide, food and drink, and an activity area for kids. Go for a spin on giant art-embellished zoetropes at this year’s Luminothérapie interactive art exhibition at Place des Festivals. Pro hockey plays hard this week as the Montréal Canadiens take on the Rangers on Jan. 14 and Penguins on Jan. 18 at the Bell Centre, while Les Canadiennes CWHL team plays the Calgary Inferno at Bell Sports Complex on Jan. 14 and at the Centre Civique DDO on Jan. 15.
A photo posted by Tonpetitlook (@tonpetitlook) on Jan 5, 2017 at 6:33pm PST
Old Montréal’s Happening Gourmand, offers prix-fixe meals for a steal at several restaurants, on until Feb. 5. Warm up with a meal and creative cocktails next to Montréal’s coziest fireplaces. Try out some of the city’s new bars and restaurants or the Casino de Montréal’s new L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Or go for hot comfort food Vietnamese-style – a big bowl of pho – or Japanese-style – authentic ramen. Locally-made Québec gin and chocolate are also sure to comfort this winter. And if your New Year’s Resolution is to treat yourself, then Montréal has you covered with New Year’s resolutions you’ll keep, from multi-course meals to skydiving.
The world’s premier classical Chinese dance company, Shen Yun Performing Arts, performs a beautiful new show of music and dance, complete with a live orchestra, at Place des Arts, Jan. 12-15. Danse Danse presents Tel Aviv’s Batsheva Dance Company in Last Work, a challenging piece for 18 dancers by choreographer-dancer Ohad Naharin, at Place des Arts Jan. 19-21. In Old Montréal, Centaur Theatre’s 20th annual Wildside Festival presents seven new Canadian indie theatre productions, to Jan. 5 15, from Tetsuro Shigematsu’s Empire of the Son to the drag artists of Backdoor Queens. There’s more contemporary dance at Usine C in work by Andrew Tay and Alicia Grant, while the Bouge D’Ici dance festival presents two solo contemporary shows, Sexpectations and A David Lynch Wet Dream, Jan. 18-21 at Mainline Theatre. Also at Mainline, the one-of-a-kind hilarity of the Montréal Strip Spelling Bee returns on Saturday night.
On only until Jan. 15, the BNLMTL 2016, Le Grand Balcon spans several venues, including the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and Galerie de l’UQAM. Also at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, see Focus: Perfection – Robert Mapplethorpe, Work in Progress self-portraits by Pierre Ayot and more – enjoy free entry to the Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion for Peace until Jan. 15, plus weekend family activities. Belgian artist Wim Delvoye challenges at DHC-ART. Don’t miss artist Marc Séguin’s multidisciplinary exhibition Atemporalités at Arsenal or Pointe-à-Callière’s From the Lands of Asia. The Sam and Myrna Myers Collection. Project Pangée gallery goes beyond the post-digital in the Futuristic Future exhibition. Look for art throughout the “underground city” pedestrian network or outside on art-focused walking tours. Artistry also abounds at the city’s most stunning churches and other sacred sites. The Phi Centre screens new indie and art-house films plus the Virtual Reality Garden animation series and Not Short on Talent short films installation. And in the SAT’s 360-degree surround-sound dome: immersive and colourful multimedia project tim, to Jan. 20.
While Igloofest keeps our snowboot-clad feet dancing outside on Friday and Saturday night, there’s much music going on indoors too. On Friday night, Lee Ranaldo (of Sonic Youth) and singer-songwriter Steve Gunn play an intensely awesome show at the Phi Centre, with opener Meg Baird, while Parisian producer Perturbator jams hard-electro-disco and Das Mörtal plays a DJ set at Théatre Fairmount. Saturday night’s made for the ska-punk of Reel Big Fish with openers Anti-Flag and Ballyhoo! at Metropolis or go dancing at Divan Orange’s Canicule Tropicale. On Sunday, Jan. 15, indie-rock out with Deerhunter and opening act Cindy Lee at Le National. Experience the textured introspective electro of Palmistry with opener Yāo Guài Cave at Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. on Jan. 16, or French percussionist Camille Emaille and local artists at Casa del Popolo. Composer and sound artist James O’Callaghan takes over La Sala Rossa on Jan. 18. Alt-pop-rock makers USS descend on La Sala Rossa with Repartee on Jan. 19. And the Montréal Symphony Orchestra plays a string of concerts at Place des Arts’ Maison symphonique: on Jan. 17, Kent Nagano conducts pianist Marc-André Hamelin and the orchestra in a concert of Haydn and Steve Reich; on Jan. 18, violinist Pinchas Zukerman joins the orchestra for a concert of Haydn and Philip Glass; on Jan. 19 it’s Marc-André Hamelin, Paul Merkelo on trumpet and the orchestra playing works by Haydn, Shostakovich and Arvo Pärt, as well as a concert of works by Haydn, Mozart and John Adams, again featuring Pinchas Zukerman.
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