What to Do in Montreal : December Festivals and Events 2021

The Great Montreal Christmas Market The Great Montreal Christmas Market. Photo Rachel Levine

Full capacity is back, baby. With your vaccine passport and a face mask, you can get out in the bright world again. It’s a little quiet this December in terms of festivals and events outside of those related to the holidays. Maybe next year. There are, fortunately, a good number of Christmas and holiday markets to fill your weekends.

Bach Festival

November 15 – December 5, 2021

As the church composer and hired musician extraordinaire, enjoy works by Bach in a variety of venues performed by musicians who range from classical to avant-garde. More info HERE.

The Great Montreal Christmas Market

November 20, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Quartier des Spectacles

Walk along St. Catherine Street in front of Place des Arts for booth after booth of unique boutique goods. Some are food, some are not. If you get lucky, you might catch a musical or theatre performance on the street too. The ambiance is lovely and festive. Info HERE.

Jean Talon Christmas Market

November 27 – December 23
Jean Talon Market

If you’re up near the Jean Talon Market, this year’s market is kind of a go big or go home with twice as many vendors compared to last time. Get ready for food like cider and foie gras and lots of delicious foods to buy. Oh yes, of course, there’s shopping. Info HERE.

Atwater Christmas Market

November 25 – December 19
Atwater Market

Perennial favourite in the St. Henri hood, small cabins are set up to create a little outdoor village. There’s plenty to eat, a sugar shack and fries. There are also circus performances, sledding and movie nights, and kind of general joy. For info, click HERE.

Reopening of the MAC

December 1, 2021
Place Ville Marie

I, for one, have missed the MAC’s exhibits while the building has undergone… well, whatever is going on over there. The grand opening in new digs promises to be an immersive, activist exhibition called Terror Contagion by Forensic Architecture, a London-based research collective in collaboration with Laura Poitras. The exhibit has narration by Edward Snowden and sonification by Brian Eno. If that doesn’t have you juiced up, maybe the MAC isn’t your thing. info HERE.

The SOUK

December 1 – 5, 2021
1 Place Ville Marie, Mezzanine South End (entrance Robert Bourassa)

When looking for that perfect gift, or at least just looking at cool artisan products, the SOUK is an annual fave. It has moved a few blocks over to PVM, but not to worry. There’s a new Souk Habitat, an “experiential space” that offers an intimate retail experience. Curious? You’ll have to check it out yourself. Info HERE.

Luminotherapie

December 2, 2021 – Feb 27, 2022
Quartier des Spectacles, 12:30 – 8:30 p.m. daily

In the days of darkness, it’s time to check out the light and video show near the city centre. Follow the path to check out different sound and light exhibits, including some old favorites like Entre les rangs and Impulsion. Info HERE. 

Comiccon Holiday Edition

December 3-5, 2021
Palais de Congres

Comiccon: where the cosplayers come out to play. Hours before the event starts, the line has already begun with those ready to spend time perusing books, videos, garb, and gear. There are even guests. For tickets, click HERE.

Noel dans Le Parc

December 3 – 24, 2021
Place Émile Gamelin

If you love free music, and we all love free music, check out the series of shows taking place at Place Émile Gamelin. Among those performing are Brigitte Boisjoli (Dec 3), the Auclair Ensemble (Dec 4), Socalled (Dec 9), Nulle Part Nord (Dec 10), Pepe et sa guitare (Dec 10), and Radio Radio (Dec 17). THere’s plenty more, so check out the offerings HERE.

Afrikiri

December 4
Auditorium Henry Teuscher du Jardin Botanique (4101 Sherbrooke E)

A special night of Quebec comedy with the focus on those connected to Africa. Among those performing are Dolino, Bruno Ly, Jeremy Yppet, and Sinem Kara. Get a ticket to the night of international laughs HERE.

Christmas at the Cartiers

Weekends, December 4 – 19, 2021
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.

Salon des Métiers d’Art

December 9 – 19, 2021
Palais de Congrès

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.

The Nutcracker Ballet

December 9 – 28, 2021
Salle Wilfrid Pelletier

The holiday season would be incomplete for some without Clara’s misadventures and sugarplum fairies. This annual ballet highlight is a popular event that enchants year after year. For info, click HERE. 

POP Montreal : Puces Des Neiges

December 10-12 and 17-19, 2021
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 crafts folk, 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.

Fantasia 25th Anniversary Screenings

December 11 – 19, 2021
J.A. de Sève de l’Université Concordia (1400 boulevard de Maisonneuve O)

Fantasia will bring back a series of festival faves to celebrate its 25th anniversary. The screenings are free and include Takashi Miike’s Fudoh, Ringu, Turbo Kid, Ghost World, Re Animator, and plenty more. Check out the festival site HERE for info.

Cirque de Boudoir Carnavalesque Snow Ball

December 31, 2021 – January 1, 2022
Bain Mathieu
(2915 Ontario E)

Dance is back, in crowds, with music, with lights, with… a kinky dungeon, gogo dancers, and visuals to make sure any recreational substances you’ve taken to ring in the new year have their desired effect amplified or at least… entertained. Anyway, lots of New Years events are happening, but this one is usually kinda more… well… It requires fetish or themed costumes. That’s an event, isn’t it? Info HERE.

Upcoming and Announced

Igloofest

January 2022

Wow, now this is some lineup for the annual coldest dance party around. Oldsters will be psyched to do get together with other funk soul brothers under Fatboy Slim. Ambient music maker Bonobo comes round to spin the decks. It’s 12 nights you can pull out the big parka for and work up your own heat in the crowd. Info HERE.

Wildside Festival

January 17-21, 2022
Centaur Theatre and Theatre La Chapelle

The Centaur Theatre offers four independent pieces, all clocking in under an hour, that will make you laugh, and maybe think, and maybe feel a little wild. Logic of the Worst has five performers explore the concept of “the worst”. 1, 2, Maybe 3 looks at the difficulties of co-existence in a choreographed piece. After being locked in during the pandemic, well, we all know how hard coexistence can be. HUSH explores the suicide crisis of Inuit youth, while Deer Blood is about a mythic relationship. Info and tickets HERE.

Monthly Festival Links

January
February
March
April
May
June
July
August
September
October
November
December

For Montreal Rampage’s daily events calendar, click HERE. If you have an event you would like to include, send an email to montrealrampage@gmail.com

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