Travel Blog

19 Oct

Things to Do in Montreal: October 18-24

Things to do in Montreal photo by Susan Moss

Montreal finds itself at the height of autumnal glory this week, not only in its colourful falling leaves, breezy days and Halloween preparations, but with the onset of hockey season, complemented by an NBA basketball game and all kinds of film screenings, live music, and world-class dance and theatre productions…

(early Halloween for all) The scary stuff starts this weekend at the Pointe-à-Callière history museum’s Jack O’Lantern Tour: tour an authentic archaeological site, hear ghost stories, learn more about the cultural origins of Halloween, October 19-20 starting at 12:30 p.m. Also at the museum, beginning October 23, the Lives and Times of the Plateau exhibition offers a peek into one of the city’s most picturesque and story-filled neighbourhoods. The Montreal Symphony Orchestra gets in on the ghost act too with its Children’s Corner: Phantoms of the Orchestra show, featuring a show by Magic Circle Mime artists and spooky music by Bach, Kodaly, and more, at the Maison Symphonique on October 20 at 1:30 p.m.

(film life) International film festival Festival du Nouveau Cinema ends this weekend in a flurry of films, including La Danza de la Realidad the long-awaited new feature from Alejandro Jodorowsky (El Topo, The Holy Mountain), Jia Zhang Ke’s Cannes winner A Touch of Sin, ocean adventure-thriller All in Lost, starring Robert Redford, Canadian doc From Neurons To Nirvana: The Great Medicines, and Taiwan-based filmmaker Tsai Ming-Liang’s meditative Stray Dogs, plus a special presentation of the films of Jonas Mekas, and a number of experimental short films and multimedia events. For the full schedule see FNC’s site. As well, Montreal’s own Stop-Motion Animation Festival shows films that celebrate the art form, from Gumby to A Nightmare Before Christmas, and invites experts in the field to talk about their work, October 18-20.

(game on) Hockey season is once again in full force in Montreal, with the Montreal Canadiens taking on the Nashville Predators on October 19, the Edmonton Oilers on October 22, and the Anaheim Ducks on October 24, at home at the Bell Centre. But there’s something in store this weekend for basketball fans too: the NBA Canada Series welcomes the Minnesota Timberwolves and Boston Celtics in a pre-season game on October 20 at the Bell Centre, preceded by a meet-and-greet with players before the game, an NBA FIT Clinic with Robert Parish at Sun Youth Organization on Friday, and basketball activities for all during the NBA BIG Tour at Promenades St-Bruno on Saturday.

(dance tales) Fairytales find themselves retold and rearranged this week: Sleeping Beauty is retold in contemporary ballet by Swedish choreographer Mats Ek and danced by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, on until October 26. And Local dance troupe Manon fait de la danse presents free performances of Où est Blanche-Neige? featuring eight different dancers as Snow White, tip-toeing through their urban environment as if in a dream and becoming much more than fairytale women – at Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme in Place des Arts, October 18, 23-25 at 7 p.m. And do some dancing of your own at Place des Arts’ Le Bal du Dimanche on October 20 as Chantal Dauphinais teaches a free swing dance class at 2 p.m.

(theatre stories) Montreal’s Imago Theatre impressively takes on Greek tragedy to show sides of the global epidemic of violence against women in Governor General’s award-winning play If We Were Birds, at Centaur Theatre to October 19. In lighter fare, Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show sings and dances the night away at the Segal Centre, while comedy The St. Leonard Chronicles laughs it up with Montreal’s Italian community at the Centaur Theatre to October 27. A true made-in-Montreal production, Black Theatre Workshop‘s Sal Capone: The Lamentable Tragedy of blends theatre and hip hop, inspired by the tragic police shooting of Fredy Villanueva, playing at the MAI. And the fabulously entertaining and experimental Phenomena Festival takes over an abandoned swimming pool and several other Mile End neighbourhood venues with music, dance, theatre, puppetry and performance art, October 18-29.

(live music) Friday night starts out with Canadian punk-pop band Billy Talent at Metropolis, and rad rock n’ rollers Hollerado at Cabaret Mile End, while over at Place des Arts, Supertramp co-founder Roger Hodgson stops in with a new band and the Orchestre Métropolitain takes us back to the year 1913 with Debussy, Prokofiev, and Stravinski at the Maison Symphonique. On October 19, French singer, actress and model Lou Doillon brings her romantic songs to L’Olympia, with opening act Kandle, the Montreal Ska Festival hosts a 5th anniversary party at Club Soda, Philadelphia’s Man Man experiments with rock at Il Motore, and the Queen of Fado, Mariza, performs traditional and original songs in her soulful style, at Place des Arts. On October 21, none other than hip hop megastar Drake makes the Bell Centre shake, while the Montreal Jazz Fest presents actor-musician Hugh Laurie performing songs from new blues-influenced album Didn’t It Rain, at the Maison Symphonique, and Simple Minds returns on a Greatest Hits Tour at Metropolis. October 23 sees Franz Ferdinand return with new material from the album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions, at Metropolis. On October 24, Montreal musician Betty Bonifassi, one half of the duo Beast, performs solo in concert Tribute to Slave Songs, applying her signature electro-folk style to black music of 1920s America, at the Phi Centre. Meanwhile, Disappears gets loud and psychedelic at Il Motore, and legendary British electronic band The Orb shifts the cosmos with their classic ambient-house sound, at the SAT.


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