Travel Blog

8 Nov

Things to Do in Montreal: November 8-14


As the city recovers from over a week of Halloween activities, entertainment options pop up everywhere. Eat, drink and be merry during the TASTE MTL restaurant event, see new films at two international film festivals, run away with world-class circus and theatre, and rock out to live music…

(gourmand travels) Sample some of the city’s best restaurants during TASTE MTL, to November 11. During Montreal’s version of restaurant week, over 100 restaurants not only offer special 3-course menus at affordable prices, but contribute to culinary tours around the city and offer wine tastings, cooking classes and workshops with master chefs and gastronomy experts. Before stopping in at one of many restaurants along Mont-Royal Avenue on the evenings of November 8-9, see hundred candles of light up in an art installation outside Mont-Royal metro station. See TASTE MTL for the full list of restaurants and events.

(film fests) The newest in French-language film from around the world comes to Montreal courtesy of the Cinemania film festival, November 7-17. The festival opens with Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes 2013 entry Le Passé (The Past) and closes with Rebecca Zlotowski’s Grand Central, starring Tahar Rahim (The Prophet) – in between see the new film by Martin Provost and a retrospective of actor Anouk Aimée, who also gives a free master class during the festival. Another film fest begins on November 13: the 16th annual Montreal International Documentary Festival, screening over 135 films, beginning with Egyptian filmmaker Jehane Noujaim’s The Square and following up until November 24 with documentaries that traverse the globe to tell true stories, big and small.

(circus opera) Cirque Éloize treats us to Cirkopolis, a new, high-flying circus show where an urban factory is transformed into a fantasy world populated by acrobats, dancers, clowns, and multidisciplinary performers, complete with original musical score and video projections – November 13-30 at Place des Arts. Also at Place des Arts, Opéra de Montréal opts for a comedic touch this month with Verdi’s rollicking Falstaff, playing select evenings November 9-16.

(life on stage) All the drama of a real-life court battle against genetically-modified crops comes to the stage in playwright Annabel Soutar’s Seeds, a social satire based on Saskatchewan farmer Percy Schmeiser’s fight against the Monsanto corporation, at Centaur Theatre to November 24. Based on Franz Kafka’s short story Report to an Academy, satirical drama Kafka’s Ape critiques the corporate world and more as an ape adopts the appearance of a man and makes his way into the civilized world, playing at Infinitheatre to November 24 at Bain St-Michel. Solo works surprise at the Solos Festival, featuring one-person comedy and drama, including Andrea Stanford’s Verbal Diary-Ah: Confessions of an awkward teenager and Kirsten Rasmussen’s UnLOVEable, at Mainline Theatre, to November 9. Also until November 9, the Festival du Monde Arabe spans the sounds and art forms of the Arab world, including Andalusian music, Montreal’s oud masters, a tribute to the “Arab Spring,” an original production of Bedouin, Arab and Berber traditions called “Tribales,” film screenings and several free events at Espace Georges-Emile Lapalme in Place Des Arts.

Plateau musicians

(hikes history) Take advantage of the wavering weather trends of November by seeing Montreal’s urban and more pastoral sites on foot. Walk up Mount Royal to see the whole city as it transitions from fall to winter, take the metro over to Parc Jean-Drapeau to gaze out at the St-Lawrence River while surrounded by nature, or amble through the Plateau after learning more about the neighbourhood’s history at the Pointe-à-Callière museum’s Lives and Times of the Plateau exhibition, packed with facts and figures about Montreal’s cultural history.

(live music) The weekend starts with hit-makers Bon Jovi at the Bell Centre, while NYC hard-rock band The Pretty Reckless show their metal edge at Théâtre Corona. Mercury-prize-winning James Blake entrances at Metropolis on November 9 and Nashville indie-rock band Leagues comes to Montreal’s Il Motore to play catchy tunes with an electro vibe. The next night, Hanson proves they’re all grown up and playing radio-friendly pop of a groovier sort at Corona. November 11 brings the psychedelic guitars of Wooden Shjips to Casa del Popolo and British electro-pop singer-songwriter Charli XCX whips up some dance-floor action at Sala Rossa, while the same venue welcomes Vancouver’s Said the Whale on Tuesday night. November 13, at Sala Rossa, Montreal arts collective Howl! Launches a compilation record of live recordings, featuring performances by cellist Norsola Johnson, harp player Sarah Pagé (of The Barr Brothers), trumpet player Jason “Blackbird” Selman, and more. On Thursday, November 14, the ever-wonderful Bonnie Raitt delights fans once more at Theatre St-Denis, while Dan Bejar plays a solo Destroyer set with openers Pink Mountaintops at Il Motore, and Pierre Lapointe plays a solo piano concert as part of fashion designer Rad Hourani’s exhibition at the Phi Centre.

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