As much as Montréal loves its winter festivals and snow sports, the city welcomes spring with open arms – we’re feeling a hint of it this week as restaurants roll out new dishes, film festivals and art events open our eyes on the world, our sports teams fight to the finish, and dance, theatre and live music keep us inspired.
Spring sights and sports
With winter festivals over and the city starting to thaw out, thoughts of spring are in the air – see our Guide to Spring Break Montréal Style for high-energy nightlife and restaurant ideas or find all kinds of things to do with kids of all ages in our Spring Break for families in Montréal guide. Downtown’s underground city welcomes art lovers to do some shopping and see excellent contemporary art in expansive exhibition Art Souterrain. Celebrate the luck of the Irish on on March 17 at the city’s best Irish pubs, see the Olympic Stadium tower lit up in green, and stick around for Montréal’s legendary St-Patrick’s Day Parade on March 20. In sports action, the hockey season isn’t over for the Montréal Canadiens – they play the Wild on March 11 and the Panthers on March 15 at the Bell Centre. Meanwhile, in the ring at the Bell Centre on March 11 it’s WWE LIVE! Road to Wrestlemania with Brock Lesner, Kevin Owens and more wrestling stars. There’s more action in the ring at the David Lemieux Vs James De La Rosa Boxing Gala at Olympia on March 12. And our winning Minor League Soccer team the Impact play the New York Red Bulls at the Olympic Stadium on March 12.
Experience the rural Québec tradition of the sugar shack right here in the city – the sugar shack meal is all about abundance and maple syrup, whether the chefs have crafted gourmet dishes or caloric classics – you won’t soon forget it. More special meals are in store at Relâche Gourmande, a restaurant event featuring table d’hôte menus at reduced prices – with a bonus 50% off for kids under 12 – at Old Montreal restaurants Les 400 Coupes, Helena, Tapas 24, Nolana and Portus Calle, until March 13. Whether it’s spring-like or not out there, feel the heat of Montréal’s hottest new restaurants and wicked winter bars. If you’re in the mood to splurge, try one of Canada’s Best 100 Restaurants for 2016 and explore the exquisite tastes of Montréal’s best women chefs at several restaurants in the city. And if healthy eating is on your mind, head to the 19th edition of the Expo Manger Santé et Vivre Vert to see the latest in health food products, recipe demos and nutrition workshops (and free samples too), March 11 to 13 at the Palais des Congres.
Art on film
Art meets the big screen at the FIFA International Festival of Films on Art – the 34th edition of the ever-enlightening festival runs to March 20 at various locations, screening new shorts and feature films on visual art, architecture, music, dance, fashion, literature and more artistic disciplines – get a taste of what it’s all about in our list of five films to watch at FIFA 2016. Meanwhile, see the intriguing performance art of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson in large-scale video works at the Musée d’art Contemporain de Montréal. Also on screen, this time in 360-degree audiovisual intensity, see the Northern Lights accompanied by pianist Roman Zavada in Résonances Boréales at the SAT. And the future is real at the Phi Centre’s Virtual Reality Garden, an array of VR headsets showing new artistic work that uses the technology. This week the Phi Centre also presents films from the Venice Days Film Festival, including Mariage à l’italienne by Vittorio De Sica, La memoria del agua by Matías Bize, Underground Fragrance by Peng Fei Song and more.
Contemporary ballet is no stranger to Montréal stages – this week Les Grands Ballets presents double program Préludes, featuring Dim Light of Dawn, a tribute to Sergei Rachmaninoff by choreographer Ken Ossolaand, and choreographer Shen Wei’s RE-(II), figuratively located at the Cambodian temple of Angkor Wat, to March 19 at Place des Arts. Also in dance, television cooking shows come to the stage in Audrey Rochette’s humorous satire CAKE at La Chapelle to March 12; choreographer Lucie Grégoire finds inspiration in a novel by Paul Auster for her Les choses dernières, to March 12 at Agora de la danse; and Maïgwenn Desbois shatters taboos surrounding disabled people and sexuality in Avec Pas d’cœur, March 16 to 19 at Monument-National. In English-language theatre, see the English-language world premiere of Marilyn Perreault’s Bus Stops at Centaur Theatre, Panadream Theatre’s fantastical kids puppetry show The Giant Magician on Saturday, March 12 at Centaur Theatre, and Scapegoat Carnivale Theatre’s tale of revenge and forgiveness among the animals, Bar Kapra the Squirrel Hunter, to March 13.
The Montréal Symphony Orchestra welcomes spring to its 82nd season with a visit from the Vienna Mozart Orchestra, performing Mozart’s most celebrated works at the Maison symphonique at Place des Arts on March 11. Italian tenor Marco Beasley sings Neapolitan songs and more on March 12 at the Montreal Fine Arts Museum’s Bourgie Hall. On March 13, the Chamber Music Society of Montreal presents celebrated violinist Maxim Vengerov and pianist Patrice Laré in a program of Brahms, Ysaÿe, Franck and Paganini, at the Maison symphonique at Place des Arts. Montreal Symphony Orchestra chorus master Andrew Megill leads the OSM chorus and organist Vincent Boucher in a concert of French vocal music from the Renaissance to the 20th century, on March 15, at the Maison symphonique at Place des Arts. And on March 17, Société Pro Musica presents mezzo-soprano Ariane Girard and Les Mélodînes in concert The Mysteries of the Mezzo: Voice, Viola and Piano, at Place des Arts.
Go wild with two of Montréal’s electro scene makers Beat Market and Hologramme at the Phi Centre on March 11, while Leonard Cohen protegée NEeMA launches her third album at La Sala Rossa, eclectic producer Christian Löffler has heads nodding at Newspeak and electronic psychedelic experimenter Technical Kidman releases a new album at Casa del Popolo. On Saturday night, Canadian rapper Classified brings down the house with openers SonReal at Théâtre Corona, prolific British musician, producer and DJ Quantic plays soulful electronic warmed by Caribbean rhythms perfect for early spring at Théâtre Fairmount, electro trance-progressive producer Markus Schulz presents a big Coldharbour Recordings club night at New City Gas, and Paris x Simo warm up the dance floor at Le Cinq. Frank Turner The Sleeping Souls ramble into Théâtre Corona for a good folk-rock-country time on March 13, post-rock legends Tortoise return with songs old and new at Théâtre Fairmount, and Jamaican dancehall reggae hip hop star Sean Paul makes a night of it at Olympia. Genre-bending Montréal musician Karneef fuses jazz, rock and experimental sounds in a double bill with Naytronix at the Phi Centre on March 14. San Diego power rock band Earthless hits the ground at Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. on March 15. Former Backstreet Boy singer Nick Carter comes to town with new tunes to swoon to on March 16 at Metropolis. Don’t miss North Carolina American alt-country rock band Mount Moriah with openers Alpenglow on March 16 at Divan Orange. And France’s Philippe Villa Trio along with Italian saxophonist Fulvio Albano and American trumpet player Phil Harper bring a whole lotta jazz to l’Astral.
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