Holly jolly, joy and folly. It’s holiday season and with the daily dusting of snow, Montreal might resemble a winter wonderland. Well, sometimes. The colder temperatures usually hit in January and February, so take advantage of December’s usually milder chill to shed a layer or two and enjoy the city.
November 17 – December 9, 2022
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. There’s also an Off-Bach Festival! More info HERE.
The Great Montreal Christmas Market
November 19 – December 31, 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.
Amnesty International Marathon of Writing
November 20 and 30, December 10-11, 2022
Bibliothèque interculturelle de Côte-des-Neiges (Nov 20), 2 p.m.
Maison des jeunes d’Outremont (Nov 30), 4 p.m.
Esplanade Tranquille at Place des Arts (Dec 11), 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Stand up for human rights, especially political prisoners and the wrongfully detained by writing letters to governments and political leaders as part of Amnesty International’s writing marathons. Use a prepared letter or write one from your own heart. Info and details HERE.
Atwater Christmas Market
November 24 – December 18, 2022
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.
Jean Talon Christmas Market
November 26 – December 18, 2022
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.
November 28 – December 4, 2022
L’Espace Sans Luxe
6502 avenue du Parc
Street dancing for all, with five free events at L’Espace Sans Luxe at 7 p.m. each night and two other ticketed events indoors at Theatre Fairmount. Check it out and find out what Montreal’s street dance community is up to. Info HERE.
December 1, 2022 – March 5, 2023
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. A massive skating rink is featured at the Esplanade Tranquille. Info HERE.
Marché des Fêtes à la Japonaise
December 2-3, 2022
Centre Communitaire de Loisirs Saint Catherine d’Alexandrie
1700 Rue Akenaten
Two days with over 15 vendors each day of goodies related to Japan. If you know a Japanophile or just love all things Japan yourself, don’t miss this annual market. Info HERE.
Brazilian Film Festival
December 2- 8, 2022
Cinema Du Parc
A week of films from South America’s biggest melting pot. Info HERE.
Noel dans Le Parc
December 3 – 31, 2022
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 Maryse Letarte (Dec 3), Laura Scavo (Dec 4), Jesse Mac Cormack (Dec 9), Élémât and Naya Ai (Dec 10), St Laurent (Dec 11), Canicule Tropicale (Dec 15), and Lumière and Valence (Dec 16), and plenty more. Check out the offerings HERE.
Noel sur l’Avenue
December 3 – 19, 2022
Rue Mt. Royal
Choirs, concerts, poetry, and wood burning barrels line Rue Mt. Royal. Take a stroll up and down this long, restaurant lined road, and take in the holiday spirit Plateau style.
Christmas at the Cartiers
Weekends, December 3 – 18, 2022
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.
December 9 – 17, 2022
Palais des Congrès
The 15th meeting to address the urgent situation of biodiversity loss on planet earth. A framework to protect 30% of land and sea resources by 2030 is on the table. Thousands will be present in Montreal whether as participants, support staff, or protestors. Information HERE.
The Nutcracker Ballet
December 9 – 30, 2022
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.
Grande marche pour le vivant / Biodiversity and Human Rights
December 10, 2022 1 p.m.
Statue Mt. Royal
In conjunction with COP15, there are many events taking place in Montreal the weekend of December 10-11. In particular, there is a march in support of biodiversity and human rights taking place. While it is unlikely to draw the same crowds as the Climate March of several years ago, the protection of biodiversity is as critical for the survival of life on earth. Just saying. Info on the march is HERE. Many other events arranged by collectif cop15 can be found HERE.
Marche de Noel Végane
December 10 – 11, 2022
Maison du Developpement Durable
50 Rue St Catherine Ouest
Think plant based and sustainable. Yes, there’s food, but also gifts. Go green. Save the planet. Eat kale. No single use plastics here. Info HERE.
December 27 – 29, 2022
New City Gas
950 Ottawa St
DJs, including deadmau5, Louis the Child, and Loud Luxury are part of a massive dance event at New City Gas. The light show should be on point. Details and tickets HERE.
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
January 21, 2023
Cégep du Vieux Montreal
255 Rue Ontario E
11 AM- 7 PM
K-Pop or J-Pop? If you go K, this festival is for you. Eklipse MTL is helping to organize a convention for K-Pop that includes a dance off, merchandise, a show, and other surprises. For details, watch HERE.
January 19 – February 11, 2023
Wow, now this is some lineup for the annual coldest dance party around. Tiesto, the Boiler Room, and Flume are among the guest DJs. Pull out the big parka and work up your own heat in the crowd. Info HERE.
Monthly Festival Links