December 19 – March 2016
Olympic Park (4141 Avenue Pierre-de Coubertin)
free access to site; some activities are extra
Now that the weather has decided to be more wintry, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium’s winter village is a place to take on your outdoor winter activities from Thursday to Sundays. There is an 18 meter long slide, a hockey/ice-skating rink, and a variety of other activities. DJs are on hand to keep the beat alive and there is also a cocktail bar open after 4 p.m. See HERE for more info.
Le Happening Gourmand
January 7 – February 7
If trying new and old restaurants is on your 2016 bucket list, you might want to take advantage of this mini-restaurant week happening in Old Montreal. Eight of the city’s best restaurants are offering lunch and dinner menus at costs of $22, $25, and $29. After eating, you can get a discount ticket to Igloofest and dance off the dessert. A few of the participating restaurants are Verses, Méchant Boeuf, and Kyo Bar Japonais. For more information and to book a space, click HERE.
January 14 to 16, 21 to 23, 28 to 30, and February 4 to 6
Old Port Quai Jacques Cartier
It’s the last weekend of Igloofest but don’t let that bring you down. Modeselektor and Benjamin Damage come in from Europe on February 4, Tale of Us and Michael Mayer on Feburary 5, and the last big night brings Brodinski, Traumer, and Swindle. Great light snows. Cool activities. Tickets are here and all information is HERE.
January 29-February 27
L’Escogriffe (4467 St. denis)
The grungy little bar beneath the street of St. Dennis is one of the best places to catch music at its rippin’ rawest. Punk, indie, alternative, thrash, metal, hip hop, all kinds of bands come through its doors. Every February, l’Esco hosts Buckfest, with multiple bands playing each night. It’s one of the best ways to engage with the local scene and experience the power of live music just five feet in front of you. Schedule HERE. Most shows are $5-10.
February 1 – 7
Poutine is fries, gravy, cheese curds. Full stop. But experimental chefs are never happy to stick with the classic. Over 60 restaurants are asked to prepare a special poutine just for this week. Get the app or check the website and join in the madness to sample and rate. Some ones to check out are the ones at Lola Rosa, Le Smoking BBQ, Imadake, Ha, Chez boris, Burger Royal, and the Burgundy Lion. For full list, click HERE. The passe poutine gives you 15% special La Poutine Week poutines.
February 4-6, Rue Mt. Royal
No reason to let the winter blues keep you inside. Bars and clubs along Mt. Royal are hosting three days of music to get you out of your house and into a nice warm pub. Check out Galaxie, Les DeuxLuxes, Prieur&Landry, Les Marinellis, and more at the partner taverns: le Bar inc, La Taverne Sant Sacrement, Chez Baptiste Mt Royal, Le Barraca, Le Taverne Normand, le Pub West Shefford, Le Verre Bouteille, le Jono Bar, and Le Matahari Bar Salon. Info HERE.
Montreal Boat and Water Sports Show
If you want to think of warmer, wetter times, the Montreal Boat and Water show reminds you that there’s plenty of times for you water babies ahead. The boat show has over 450 different boats for you to admire and 275 exhibitors who will showcase everything from paddle boards to canoes to trips you can take. Meet wakesurf champion Dominic Lagacé or check out Canadian angler hall of famer Patrick Campeau’s sessions on fishing techniques. Most fun might be the boating skills virtual trainer presented by the Canadian Power and Sail Squadrons. Tickets are $15/12/free under 12. Info HERE.
Le Salon Je t’aime en chocolat
Marche Bonsecours (350 St Paul E)
Chocolate is the food of champions. Those who love the stuff should head out to the annual festival now in its fifth edition. L’Académie du Chocolate has lessons on making chocolate deserts, there’s a fashion show, and, let’s face it, plenty of the dark brown stuff to eat. For all info, click HERE. Free.
Montréal en Lumière
Feburary 18 to March 5
The lights stay bright in the Quartier Des Spectacles at Place des Arts. With plenty of cool visual displays, performing arts like Flamenco dancing, outdoor activities, and special foodie events with a special focus on local cheese and both local and international chefs, this is worth walking through. Performers include Elliot Maginot, Tanya Tagaq, Emile and Ogden, Ron Sexsmith and Basia Bulat. Some events are free. Click HERE for more details.
Feburary 15 – May 9
Only one can be the best, but over the next few months let your ears decide which of these artists deserves to advance to the next round: Nicolet, Éric Charland, Vincent Appelby (February 15), Miss Sassoeur & Les Sassys, Sarahmée, Guillaume Mansour Expérience (February 22), Mclean, Les Passagers, Édwar 7 (February 29), Dans l’Shed, La Famille Ouellette, Caltâr-Bateau (March 7), Cy, Mon Doux Saigneur, Marie-Claire (March 14), Simon Daniel, Perdrix, La Valérie (March 21), VULGAIRE, PONTEIX, Fudge (March 28). For mroe info, click HERE.
The little theatre festival in the littlest space presents its third annual showcase of little pieces. Each show is about 10-30 minutes long, and each night features around six different performances. There are three different line ups prepared over the festival, and a few shows that will only appear once. Tickets are $18/15 with packages for two and three nights. For more information check out Espace Freestanding (4324 ST Laurent #300) HERE.
Les Rendezvous de Cinema Quebecois
February 18 – 27
When Quebec’s film community gets together, you can bet there’s some talent in the room. Come celebrate Quebec’s vibrant cinema scene with this annual festival. Everyone from the director to the extra can find something of interest. The highlight are the juried film screenings, held nightly. Schedule is announced on February 3 HERE. Tickets for most shows are $11.50 with a full range of packages HERE.
Le Mondial des Cidres
Grande Place du complexe Desjardins (150 St Catherine W)
Le Monidal des cidres brings together local producers in one place. You’ve probably seen Michel Jodin and Domaine Pinnacle, but there are at least two dozen more producers! Ok, there’s also cheese and bread, but the event is intended to let you sample the varieties of cider that can be made. It’s not just apple. Seriously. $20 gets you entrance to the event, a glass to taste, and 10 tasting coupons. 18+, mais oui! Info HERE.
Montreal’s all-night arts party is a not-miss event. Various neighbourhoods host events and many venues remain open well past the midnight hour (usually until the next morning). The MAC is a favorite place to visit, but check the schedule to find out the full sampler. Dress warm and have a blast.
Festival International du Film Pour Enfants de Montréal (FIFEM)
February 27 to March 6
You’re never too young to enjoy a children’s film. This annual festival celebrates films that the under 12s will enjoy… as well as the adults who accompany them. A children’s jury picks the best of the film. More info HERE.
ART SOUTERRAIN: Must Art Be Appealing?
February 27-March 20
Montreal Underground + Satellite Locations
Get ready to go underground with a festival that puts art where the people are. Art Souterrain works with international art institutions to make visual art more accessible by putting it in the tunnels of the underground city. This year’s theme focuses on the diversity of art beyond aesthetic considerations. In other words, art can be provocative, ugly, a tool, a way to further thinking, challenging… not just seductive and appealing. 70 artists and collectives are participating in 7 km worth of pathways under 13 buildings. As an example, you can see the work of Dina Goldstein, Israeli artist and pop surrealist photographer who lives in Canada and Zhang Kechum, a celebrated international photographer. For those wanting a tour, there are guided tours available. There are also cinq a septs, workshops, and even audio downloads to go with the event. More info can be found HERE.