Have we almost endured a whole year of dispiriting news from our friends south of the border about the antics of President He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named? Almost a year ago, I donned a home-knit pink hat, flew to DC, and protested with hundreds of thousands of others. Just three more years of this, eh? But now, with the slightly safe distance of a border and some farms and country towns between us, we’ve witnessed our city change hands to Projet Montreal with it promise of a pink public transit line (pink pigs fly?) and the repeal of some unpopular anti-canine legislation. While we can congratulate ourselves on our local commitment to anti-corruption and avoiding construction as much as possible, the month of December allows Montrealers do one of the things they do best. No, it’s not eating poutine. Is it shopping? No, that’s not it. Instead, it’s party. Maybe shop and party? We buy local, right? Montreal compensates for the early sunsets by keeping the spirit alive every day with a different festival, holiday market, or event.
For a list of bazaars and markets, click HERE.
November 29 – December 3, 2017
SAT (1201 St Laurent)
The annual Christmas market at the SOUK is a not to be missed event where you can get one-of-a-kind gifts from local artisans who produce high quality stuff. It has a real designer flair. Keep an eye HERE for more info.
November 30-December 10, 2017
Mall of Palais de Congrès de Montréal (1001 place Jean Paul Riopelle)
Enjoy shopping for all kinds of goods in this Austrian style Christmas market. The market raises money to allow disadvantaged children to attend a free performance of the Nutcracker as well as participate in educational workshops. Info HERE.
November 30 – January 2, 2017
Quatier des Spectacles
As days get shorter and there is less light, Luminothérapie puts on an annual light show in Place des Arts. Impulse, in particular, has seesaws of different sizes with lighting and sound. Information HERE.
December 12-13 2017
Palais de Congès (1001 place Jean Paul Riopelle)
The Montreal International Game Summit is the largest technical conference on the East Coast. It brings together developers and industry professionals, with exhibitors including indie gaming studios and the big guns like EA and Ubisoft. More info HERE.
November 17-December 3, 2017
As the church composer extraordinaire, enjoy works by Bach in a variety of venues performed by musicians who range from classical to avant-garde. 193 concerts and Yo Yo Ma. More info HERE.
Saturdays and Sundays, December 2-24, 2017
Daily, December 26-31
Sir George-Étienne Cartier National Historic Site (458 Rue Notre-Dame E)
Parks Canada transforms the George-Étienne Cartier residence with all the charm of the 19th century. Drink some wassail punch and revisit Christmas past. No ghosts. I hope. More info HERE.
November 23-December 3, 2017
Montreal’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Trans film festival knows that the dreary end of November is a good time to celebrate your identity, no matter what your sexual preference. The line-up includes feature-length films intended for wide release and other films that only appear on the festival circuit. More information can be found HERE
November 27 – December 7, 2017
Montreal celebrates the richness of Sephardic culture with this festival. Artists from around the world perform. Beyond music, the festival looks at history, community, philosophy and tradition. More info HERE.
November 18 – December 24, 2017
There are fountains that spew lots of light and water to the sound of music. Trains, rides, Santa, performances, and more are in the mall. Info HERE.
December 1, 2017, 5 p.m. – 2 a.m.
Place des Arts
Leonard Cohen exhibit, music, art, a dance performance, art making workshops, drinks, and a fantastic celebration The MAC nocturnes are always a pleasure to attend. For details click HERE.
Old Port and Old Montreal
December 21 – January 1, 2017
In an attempt to brighten spirits and keep everyone moving, the Old Port hosts a range of events, with things ending in a massive New Years party as part of the 375 celebrations. Some things to check out include outdoor holiday films, karaoke, an outdoor market on Thursdays to Sundays. Everything culminates in a New Year’s Even ball. More info HERE.
December 1 – 25, 2017
Berri and St. Catherine
Place Émilie Gamelin has become a must stop place when it comes to checking out free events daily. Noel dans le Parc is an outdoor festival that has music and multicultural activities. For details on what’s happening, click HERE.
December 1-24, 2017 but closed December 4-6 and 11-13
Place des Arts
Looking for that perfect gift? Want something one of a kind or something that will support a local artist instead of a big box store. Check out Montreal’s christmas market at Place des Arts. Different artists will be offering their wares at different times, so make sure to check the schedule HERE.
Noel sur L’Avenue (du Mt. Royal)
Focal point is Parc des Compagnons at Mt. Royal and Cartier
December 9, 2017, starting 5 p.m.
Many events take place on Rue Mt. Royal, including music and fireworks. At 7 p.m., you can join the massive candle lighting at Parc des Compagnons at Mt. Royal and Cartier. Carry a candle and join the beautiful passing of the light around the park. After exchanging the flame, enjoy the party. Info HERE.
Centaur Theatre, St. Francois Xavier
December 7-16, 2017, 8 p.m.
Stories are so much better when you add the spice and nothing nice. Short works by different writers feature local talent in what feels like a family party of theatre. More info HERE.
Mainline Theatre, 3997 St Laurent
December 12, 2017
Singing with friends is fun. Singing Christmas carols with friends for a record is even funner. Join in the bash with Montreal’s quirky event king, Sherwin Sullivan Tjia (he hosts those Slowdances and Strip Spelling Bees). More info HERE.
December 8-10, 15-17, 2017
Eglise St. Denis (5075 Rivard, at Laurier Metro)
As fans of things you can buy that come from local artists, we adore the Puces POP events. With a room full of craftsfolk, you’re bound to find something. True to the POP team, things begin with an opening party and continue on for two weekends of solid POP Shopping. For more information, click HERE.
December 9 – 10, 2017
Palais de Congrès
If you are pining for the costumes, the guests, and the goods, check out the Mini-Comiccon, a pop-culture pop-up. Shopping is at the fore, but it’s a chance to squeeze into those tights one last time before it gets too cold. Admission is free, so make a point of getting their for that perfect statue-toy-t-shirt-comic-dvd-poster you must have or must give. More info HERE.
Place des Arts
December 14-30, 2017
The holiday season would be incomplete without Clara’s misadventures and sugarplum fairies. This annual ballet highlight is a popular event that enchants year after year. For info, click HERE.
December 7-17, 2017
More incredible one of a kind goods of high quality can be found at this annual shopping event. Whether its ceramic, food, wool, wood, or stone, chances are you can find an artisan here that has what you need. Bring a credit card! Information HERE.