Now that it’s officially spring, Montreal is warming up to the idea with seasonal sugar shack menus, a few final ice skates and snowshoe adventures, hints of new life at Botanical Garden, fresh theatre, dance, art and film and enlivening music…
(family activities) There’s still some snow and ice to take advantage of this week, especially at the city’s large parks: Mount-Royal, Parc Jean-Drapeau and Park Lafontaine, or try your hand at ice fishing in the Old Port. Spend time indoors and outside at Montreal’s Space For Life, home to the Biodôme, Botanical Garden, Planetarium and Insectarium, where the butterflies fly free until April 27. Budding scientists can stop by the Science Expo competition at Tohu, March 20-22 – while there see Stock Photo Agency founder Jean-François Leblanc’s photo exhibition of Buddhist culture in Burma and the Myanmar. And learn how to Gogo and dance the Twist for free at Bal du Dimanche, March 23 at Place des Arts. On March 27, celebrate World Theatre Day by watching plays and puppetry at Place des Arts at noon and 4 pm. After all that activity, eat well at one of the city’s best family-friendly restaurants.
(spring sugar hit) Take part in one of the sweetest Quebec traditions: sugaring off season, when the maple syrup flows and local sugar shacks indulge our taste buds and fill our bellies. In the city, feast on sweet and savoury sugar-shack mainstays at La Cabane, Scena with chef Laurent Godbout, and Sparrow, among other restaurants, or take a brief drive outside the city for a rustic, traditional experience. For lighter fare and refined good times, check out the city’s tea rooms. Or pair great wine with great food at a top. If you’re still thirsty and pondering what drinking holes to hit in the city, look no further than our Where to Go Drink in Montreal infographic.
(theatre dance) Get lost in a new production of Hänsel Und Gretel, a sparkling collaboration between Opéra de Montréal, the National Circus School and the National Theatre School of Canada – March 22, 25, 27 and 29 at Place des Arts. Meanwhile, Les Grands Ballets completes its successful run of Peter Quanz’s contemporary work Rodin/Claudel, a tale of tragic romance between French sculptors Auguste Rodin and Camille Claudel, to March 22 at Théâtre Maisonneuve. Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan wows with Songs of the Wanderers, inspired by Herman Hesse’s novel Siddhartha and featuring 24 dancers, Georgian songs and 3.5 tonnes of rize on stage, at Place des Arts, March 27-29. And dancer and choregorapher Peter Trosztmer merges body and moving images in an hommage to filmmaker Norman McLaren, March 27 to April 12 at PDA. In theatre, the whip-smart, scathing dialogue of David Mamet comes to the Segal Centre stage in drama Glengarry Glen Ross, to March 30 – and the Segal also hosts The Laugh Pack Late Show, a night of stand-up comedy on March 27 with Mike Paterson. Centaur Theatre in Old Montreal sheds light on everyday, working class life in Montreal during World World I in David Fennario’s politicized drama Motherhouse.
(art film) The 32nd edition of the International Festival of Films on Art continues to March 30 at several venues in the city, featuring screenings of 270 films from 34 countries on a diversity of creative subjects, from painting to dance, music to comic books, including six-screen documentary Kraftwerk: Pop Art at the SAT on March 27. The inaugural edition of Montreal Digital Spring runs March 21 to June 21, featuring over 70 artistic activities at venues across the city, including interactive media art, performances, round-table discussions, and more. Christian Marclay’s film-collage The Clock screens at Musée d’art contemporain, while the Musée and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts team up on a joint exhibition of contemporary art, 1+1=1. Wander through Old Montreal over to the Darling Foundry to see Nicolas Lachance’s painting exhibition Framing Smoke and Thomas Bégin’s immersive sound installation of recycled musical equipment, Byte by Byte, in the main hall, a reclaimed factory space.
(live music) Prog-rock metal band Dream Theatre makes sure to be high-spectacle stop at Montreal’s Bell Centre on March 21, while American alt-rock band The Neighbourhood gathers fans at Metropolis and Irish rockers The Strypes and Stars Sighs play Sala Rossa. Saturday night welcomes internationally recognized Canadian pianist Eve Egoyan to perform Michael Finnissy’s “Folklore” and more in a March 22 concert at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur, while New Jersey indie-rockers Real Estate visit Il Motore, Dance Laury Dance shakes up Petit Campus, and Archive Montreal hosts its 15th anniversary benefit gala at Sala Rossa, featuring music by Jef Barbara, Pyongyang and Tony Ezzy. Get heavy on March 24 with guitarist Stephen O’Malley at Sala Rossa, or opt for the electronic pop of Australia’s Cut Copy at Théâtre Corona. On March 25, legendary British musician Gary Numan brings his guitar and synth heaviness to Café Campus. On Wednesday, March 26, none other than party master Andrew W.K. gets crazy at Foufounes Electriques, while hip-hop artist Childish Gambino (also known as actor Donald Glover) brings his Deep Web tour to Metropolis, and awesome Vancouver garage-rock duo The Pack AD and Alexei Martov play Casa Del Popolo. On March 27, RAC remixes popular indie-rock songs to our heart’s content at Théâtre Corona while Seattle singer-songwriter Noah Gundersen shares a lifetime of music making at Petit Campus.
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