We’ll never underestimate Montréal’s capacity to turn winter into a vacation-destination party – this week, it’s time to play in the snow at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Fêtes des Neiges, dance the night away at Igloofest, eat well at Happening Gourmand, and be awed by dance, theatre, film, and live music.
Winter stays bright in Montréal this weekend at family-friendly Fêtes des neiges, where you can go tube sliding, zip lining, ice skating, hot-chocolate drinking and doughnut-eating to your heart’s content at scenic Parc Jean-Drapeau. Put on your brightest and warmest toque and parka and get ready to dance at massive outdoor dance party Igloofest – this Friday it’s Scuba and Jimmy Edgar, Rone and other artists while on Saturday hear the sounds of Maceo Plex, Odd Parents, Pierre Kwenders and more along with eye-popping visuals – and it all starts again on Thursday night with Mr. Oizo, Black Tiger Sex Machine and more! – at the Jacques Cartier Pier in the Old Port. Downtown at Place des Festivals, play on the 30 illuminated see-saws of interactive art exhibition Luminothérapie or head out to the Olympic Park (also home to the Biôdome, Botanical Garden and Planetarium) to skate and slide at Village MAMMOUTH. And cheer on the Montréal Canadiens as they play the Blue Jackets at the Bell Centre on January 26.
Savour tremendous multi-course meals for surprisingly affordable prices during Old Montréal’s annual restaurant event, Happening Gourmand, featuring special prix-fixe menues at BEVO Bar + Pizzeria, Modavie, Kyo Bar Japonais, Méchant Boeuf, Taverne Gaspar, Suite 701, Vieux-Port Steakhouse and Verses Restaurant until February 7. Whether you’re in town for Mad Men weekend with the guys, a glitzy girls’ weekend or specifically because you’re a car fan, check out the slick new models, rev-worthy engines and much more at the Auto Show, to January 24 at downtown’s Palais des Congrès.
Theatre and dance
The winter dance calendar and English-language theatre scene put captivating, maybe even life-changing, performance centre stage now and in the months to come. Choreographers Myriam Allard and Hedi Graja of La Otra Orilla push the boundaries of flamenco in MoilesAutres, presented with live music by Danse Danse in the intimate setting of La Cinquième Salle January 27 to February 6. Danse cité presents the contemporary dance-meets-film of Montréal choreographer Audrey Bergeron’s Par le chas de l’aiguille at Cinquième Salle at Place des Arts, January 21 to 23. Isabelle Van Grimde creates an interactive visual environment with live music for her dancers in the interiguing Symphonie 5.1, January 27 to 30 at Agora de la Danse. Choreographer Cecilia Moisio explores sexism and “the superwoman” in Juxtapose, presented by Tangente, January 21 to 24 at Monument-National. And for theatre fans: the re-imagined history of The Secret Annex sees Anne Frank survive the war and move to New York to be a writer – both a tribute and a touching story of life, love and family, the play runs at the Segal Centre January 31 to February 21; and Imago Theatre stages Governor General’s Award winner Colleen Murphy’s Pig Girl at Centaur Theatre, January 28 to February 6.
See Fritz Lang’s 1927 expressionist sci-fi masterpiece Metropolis on the big screen accompanied on the Montréal Symphony Orchestra’s organ by Thierry Escaich, at Place des Arts on January 23. The 53rd Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour comes to Montréal, screening independent experimental, documentary, narrative and animation films January 21 to 23 at Cinémathèque Québécoise, also host to children’s films every Sunday this winter. As part of its year-round programming the Montréal International Documentary Festival screens the Québec premiere of Heddy Honigmann’s Around the World in 50 Concerts, about the Netherlands’ Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra concerts on six continents, on January 28 at Cinéma du Parc. Enter the Virtual Reality Garden at the Phi Centre to watch four outstanding virtual reality works on VR headsets. Also at the Phi Centre, on January 27 see doc She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry about the founders of the 1966 to 1971 women’s movement, and on January 28 Alain Fleischer of France’s Fresnoy National studio of contemporary arts, presents two programs of cutting-edge short films. And because it can’t all be art films all the time, Bar le Ritz P.D.B. presents Alien and Aliens on January 27.
If you’re not at Igloofest, dance indoors instead on Friday night as Californian electronic musician Candyland gets the beats going at Le Belmont. On Saturday night, electronic music producer Andrew Bayer leads the progressive house storm with Ilan Bluestone, Jason Ross and Grum at Société des Arts Technologiques, while DJ and producer Henry Fong brings his own electro-house party to New City Gas and LeMarquis plays smooth, sweet electro at Newspeak. On Sunday afternoon, introduce the kids to baroque music in performance Dame nature at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum. And on Sunday night, get deep into the heavy psych drones of legendary Sleep and excellent local noisemakers Big Brave at Théâtre Berri. From Strauss to West Side Story, soprano Raphaëlle Paquette sings, dances and storytells in her new show R, alongside pianist Jérémie Pelletier, on January 27 at Place des Arts. Hear the jazzy sounds of 1920s Montréal in an early evening concert by Streetnix at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum on January 28. Also on Thursday, high-energy avant-garde jazz group Mend Ham, led by violinist Joshua Zubot and featuring Jason Sharp, Nicolas Caloia and Isaiah Ceccarelli, plays La Vitrola, while Montréal indie rock band Young Rival convince us they’re our new faves at Le Belmont. And Jillionaire (yes, of Major Lazer), A-Rock and Shaydakiss chime in to prove that Thursday is the new Friday, turning the Newspeak dance floor into an official Mad Decent House Party.
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