With December officially here this week, there’s something seasonally appropriate and festive to do every day of the week: see Santa and sip hot chocolate, go to a hockey game, shop and shop some more, see a show or a film or a choir, and drink wine and eat well.
The city’s biggest Santa Claus parade was last weekend, but if you missed it there’s still more Santa to see at the Plaza St-Hubert Santa Claus Parade on November 27 at 7 p.m. on St-Hubert Street between Bellechasse and Jean-Talon. Also find Santa at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Stewart Museum, packed with handmade Santa figurines and free all month, while toys old and new delight at Mister Rabbit’s Circus at the McCord Museum. Whether it snows this week or not, Merry Montréal makes Old Montréal feel like a winter wonderland – warm up around fires, drink hot chocolate, bring the kids to see Santa at the Christmas market at Place Jacques-Cartier, watch Christmas-themed films and more, starting December 3. And, of course, there’s plenty of hockey: The Canadiens play on home ice at the Bell Centre three times this week, taking on the Devils, the Blue Jackets and the Capitals; and the newly named Les Canadiennes of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League play fast and hard at home against Toronto on November 28 at 6:30 p.m. and November 29 at 1:30 p.m. – see Olympic athletes in action for only $15, $50 for a family and free for kids under 6.
The Marché Casse Noisette, also known as the Nutcracker Market, adds classic holiday sparkle to downtown’s Palais des congrès November 26 to December 6, featuring locally made home decor, art, toys, clothing and accessories, food and drink and more. If you’re into minimalist design and artisanally hip wares, seek out the Souk@SAT designer craft fair downtown, November 25 to 29. Festive Marché de Noël Prince Arthur lights up Rue Prince Arthur at the corner of Boulevard St-Laurent, beginning December 2, with local artisans selling handmade items, tree ornaments and more along with snacks, mulled wine and hot cider accompanied by carolling and films. Shop local for even more one-of-a-kind items at Montréal’s best indie markets and traditional holiday shopping fairs. And American Thanksgiving extends its reach into Canada this week too – find out where the Black Friday sales are in our Black Friday shopping guide.
A must for wine lovers and part of the Happy November celebration of great food and drink, La Fête des Vins du Québec showcases the terroir of Québec, bringing together local wineries, cheesemakers and other artisans to pair wine with local gourmet food creations, November 27 to 29 at Old Montréal’s Marché Bonsecours. Find even more excellent wine in our guide to 11 places to drink wine in Montréal. And trust the maxim “Never drink on an empty stomach: check out these must-try meaty burgers or veggie burgers for simple sustenance, or let your eyes choose the meal from our photos of recent MTL à TABLE restaurant week.
Emotions run high in Opéra de Montréal’s Elektra, Richard Strauss’s tale of vengeance and murder, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, to November 28 at Place des Arts. See three new original works of breathtaking contemporary dance from BJM – Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal: Rodrigo Pederneiras’s Rouge, Itzik Galili’s Mono Lisa, and Andonis Foniadakis’s Kosmos, December 2 to 5 at Place des Arts. Montréal dancer-choreographer José Navas performs his powerful solo work, Rites, an audacious version of the Rite of Spring, at Place des Arts to November 28. Star Montréal comedian Sugar Sammy performs his hit bilingual stand-up show You’re Gonna Rire at Olympia, November 27 and 28. Tribes, a love story about a deaf man from an eccentric, intellectual family, plays November 29 to December 20 at the Segal Centre. Mainline Theatre’s SOLOS Festival of one-person shows is funny and thoughtful November 25 to 28, while Centaur Theatre’s Butcher unravels a war crimes mystery, to December 5, and children’s comedy Wake Up Sleeping Beauty plays November 28 at 10:30 a.m. And Canada’s favourite environmentalist David Suzuki lays down some science on climate change at Palais des Congrès on November 30, part of the Montréal Summit on Innovation.
Canada’s longest-running LGBT film festival IMAGE+NATION enters its 28th year with American feature That’s Not Us by director William Sullivan (opening November 27 with a cocktail party at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts), a “Generation Q” young and queer series, The Girl King about Sweden’s Queen Kristina, Bruno Baretto’s Reaching for the Moon about poet Elizabeth Bishop, South African feature While You Weren’t Looking and many more films November 26 to December 6. The Sommets du cinéma d’animation festival celebrates new and classic animation films for both kids and adults, to November 29. The Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium at the Space for Life immerses us in the Northern Lights in 360° film aurōrae, set to music by DJ Champion. Art and cultural hub the Phi Centre presents Michael Rowe’s new drama Early Winter. Meanwhile, see more enlightening art at the city’s galleries and museums, including at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts where French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot’s from here to ear v.19 fills a gallery space with song birds and instruments – a bonus: museum entry is free on November 29.
Classical and choirs
‘Tis the season for traditional song and the Montréal Bach Festival delivers. The festival continues to December 5, featuring Studio de Musique Ancienne de Montréal and Ensemble Caprice at Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts on November 27, pianist Yulianna Avdeeva in her Montréal debut with conductor Kent Nagano and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra at Place des Arts, plus children’s concert Bach Undercover and an evening of choirs at St. Andrew and St. Paul’s Church on November 28, pianist Zhu Xiao-Mei playing The Goldberg Variations on December 1, and more. The OSJM Montreal Youth Symphony Orchestra opens its 40th season at Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts on November 29, gathering over 200 musicians and choral singers on stage. On December 2 and 3, violinist and conductor Nikolaj Znaider leads the Montréal Symphony Orchestra in the Concerto for Violin no. 1 by Mozart, Symphony no. 7 by Dvořák and more. And The Lyric Singers delight with their annual Candlelight Christmas concert, starting December 3 at Loyola Chapel. Seasonal music also fills the halls of Montréal’s Catholic and religious landmarks.
Friday night brings electro-pop fun-makers Dragonette to Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile, and country rockers The Glorious Sons to Petit Campus. Saturday night is massive: electro-rap artist Cakes Da Killa and opener Wasiu turn the Phi Centre into a queer hip hop party zone; Matthew Good strums up sweet times at Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile; electro producer Hunter Siegel gets the crowd dancing at Newspeak; British rock band with a Bowie-meets-The-Strokes vibe The Struts rolls into Théâtre Fairmount; and brilliant Montréal singer-songwriter L.A. FOSTER, a collaborator of Karneef and Mozart’s Sister, launches her new EP at L’Emerald (5295 Avenue du Parc). On November 29, rock out with Buckcherry at Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile and American alt-rockers X Ambassadors at Olympia. Blues, country and soul are all in the mix as Nathaniel Rateliff The Night Sweats play Théâtre Corona Virgin Mobile on November 30. The Wainwright Sisters (Martha Wainwright and Lucy Wainwright Roche) perform music from Songs in the Dark on December 1 at the Phi Centre, while pop-punk band Marianas Trench hops around at Olympia. On December 2, Australian indie band The Paper Kites might make you cry at Théâtre Fairmount and the lo-fi indie-rock of Car Seat Headrest might get you dancing at Bar Le Ritz PDB. On December 3, prolific Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur plays fan favourites and generally charms at Club Soda and British electronic producers Maribou State play techno-tinged soulful house at Newspeak. Former Supertramp prog-rocker, singer-songwriter Roger Hodgson plays his legendary songs and more at Place des Arts, December 3 and 4. And find nightly jazz at the city’s best jazz and blues clubs.
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