This week we’re looking at a contest to name a planet; lots of live music, comedy, storytelling and art shows; spots to try out winter dining inside of heated domes; and polar plunges into the Saint-Lawrence—that is, if you’re not only brave enough, but plenty conditioned to the cold.
As usual, we'll start things off with a long list of upcoming events before moving into a round-up of the latest local news. Keep scrolling!
Weekend events you don’t want to miss
Friends or family visiting from out of town? Or just looking for a good time? We've got you covered.
- Let it all out at Bar Le Ritz PDB’s 100% vinyl rave with acid, house, electro, and techno music. We’re not kidding; you will sweat at this one.
- Montreal’s equivalent of the New York storytelling series The Moth, Confabulation, is organizing an evening of raconteurs around true-life two-minute tales: ‘The Shortest Story’. Hosted at the Centaur Theatre.
- Old Port’s skating rink continues its weekly series of DJ ON ICE, which turns its skating rink below the Grand Roue de Montréal into a dance floor with a musical mash of energy, rhythms, and sounds.
- Start the weekend off strong with a 60-minute marathon of improv scenes based on audience suggestions. It’s a fast-paced hour of spontaneous comedy from Montreal Improv!
- Roller Disco in Hochelaga? You bet. Strap on some quad or inline skates and dance all night long at a local community centre fuelled by wholesome fun and a live DJ.
- The NDG’s infamous Wheel Club has brought back its rock 'n roll dance parties, featuring music from the early days of the genre. If you’ve never been here before, you need to try it at least once.
- Only a spot like Turbo Haüs could fully embrace Friday the 13th with a monster mash of a show featuring artists Gutser, Spite House and Pnoom. Rock on.
- It's about damn time: There’s a Burlesque show going on at Café Cleopatra downtown where six performers will pay homage to the music of Lizzo.
- The SAT is kicking off its first show of 2023 in its dome with Dômesicle and the RE:UNION collective, a dance party event featuring the artists Weekend Logic, Daura and Moaad BKR.
- Try out some bubble-based dining—the giant dome kind, not the pandemic kind—with unique winter dining experiences that have recently launched at spots like Bivouac and Terrasse William Gray.
- Cinéma Moderne is screening some intriguing titles this weekend like David Lynch’s Lost Highway, Park Chan-wook’s Decision to Leave, and the French volcanologist love story title Fire of Love. Get the full weekend listings here.
- Take a shot on some serious shredding care of the band Sword at Théâtre Corona, a heavy metal band from Quebec that’s been playing together since 1981. Listen to a track here.
- It’s a night of live music and torch-lit paths that’s (arguably) the perfect off-island date spot: Récréoparc polar rendezvous and boreal soirées are here and they’re exceptional.
- There’s a contest over at the Planétarium Rio Tinto Alcan to name a PLANET. There are some requirements, so maybe heading over to look up at the heavens will give you some inspo.
- Over at La Sala Rossa, the award winning Turkish Canadian world music group Minor Empire is putting on an airy psychedelic show that’s sure to provide some winter escapism.
- Discover this film shot in 1980-81 as part of the ongoing exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts starring the legendary American artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.
- Over at Cabaret Mado, they’re ending the week with a ‘non-cabaret’ with a show talking friendship with circus artists, all set to absurd, poetic, caustic and spectacular numbers.
- Authors and Pulitzer-finalist reporters Tom Wright and Bradley Hope are headed to McKibbins to present their book Billion Dollar Whale on one of the biggest financial heists in history.
- See the work of Melanie Janisse-Barlow with her solo exhibition at Galerie Youn, where a new series of paintings based on important everyday scenes and cellphone shots are shown.
- After performing over 200 works encompassing an extraordinary diversity of expression and feeling from J.S. Bach, the Arion Baroque Orchestra is bringing a weekend show to Bourgie Hall.
- Last but not least, if you’re into the idea of jumping into frigid rivers, the Montréal Polar Plunge Meetup Group is hosting a polar plunge into the Saint-Lawrence this weekend.
All of Montreal: What you need to know
A weekly round-up of the latest local news, from food and entertainment to current affairs.
Montreal’s iconic bagels get a hypebeast treatment with Nike
If there’s one big lighthearted story going around this week, it’s how Nike is releasing sneakerware dedicated to the city’s most iconic food: The Dunk Low Montréal Bagel sneaker. We went out and found the best story that tells you where they come from, and how you might nab a pair. (Tourisme MTL)
Sights and sounds of Montreal with a 1930s film
In historical footage that was digitally restored with colour and sound design treatment, this video takes viewers on a tour of Old Montreal, the downtown core, McGill University’s campus, Parc Lafontaine, and the summit of Mount Royal. Time for a time warp. (YouTube)
Civil disobedience leads to a new Mile-Ex park
Back around 2013, a swath of overgrown land belonging to Canadian Pacific in Mile-Ex was purchased by a development firm. In true Lorax fashion, a ‘guerilla’ group of resistance fighters blocked until the city could step in with a new vision for a neighbourhood lacking in greenspace. (La Presse)
Urban planners take aim at vacant spaces along Saint-Laurent Boulevard
For all of the notoriety that one of Montreal’s greatest and longest thoroughfares gets, Saint-Laurent Boulevard has an excess of vacant storefronts. That’s caused the city to plan to introduce a new bylaw in that would pressure owners to use their properties—and they’re doing it soon. (CTV News)
Cinemas are far from dead thanks to a big movie-goer comeback
Movie theatres were in big trouble in the last two years, and as so many people started to accumulate more than two or three home viewing subscriptions at a time, some started to think they wouldn’t survive. Turns out that’s not true, however, as Quebecers flock back to the silver screen. (Le Devoir)
This Pointe-Saint-Charles house for sale has its own diner inside of it
Swimming pools? Nah. Gym access, pool tables? Forget about it. This $3.6-million Montreal property has 13 rooms, 1 bedroom and a diner. Visually intact, it’s been used as a filming location, and as greasy as it might sound to have a diner in your home, this place is surprisingly gorgeous. (Montreal Gazette)
Take a look inside a Montreal museum’s vaults
According to Christian Vachon, curator at the McCord Stewart Museum in Montreal, 99% of what museums have to display are hidden in their vaults. At his museums, he’s got a lot to show, from paintings that depict the city from before photography, New France pottery, and more. (CBC Montreal)
The cheap wine at the SAQ is getting anything but cheap
Those nights of popping in to grab an inexpensive bottle for a dinner party seem to be fading. In the last year, the supply of wines under $10 at the SAQ has fallen by 44%. This isn’t because they’re flying off the shelves, but because of a myriad of factors that probably aren’t going away. (Journal de Montréal)
Solar powered homes, or, how to dodge another ice storm
News cycles have been bringing up the province's huge ice storm as its 25th anniversary just came and went. In early 1998, 4 million people lost power and 34 died over the six days of mayhem it caused. Most have discussed its fallout and what Quebec is preventatively doing for future storms, but one family in Mascouche says they have a reasonable solution to future threats. (CTV News)
What happens when you ask AI to select the best restaurants in Montreal?
A lot of people are wondering what role AI programs have to play in our present and future. So, what happens if we ask it to recommend the best places to eat in the city? Turns out that while there are a lot of the usual suspects, there’s a curveball in there, too. (Daily Hive)
Where farmland became a luxury spa
The ‘thermal city’ of Forena on the South Shore opened right before the pandemic began. And while the expansive 60,000-square meter spa that transformed the surrounding landscape has only just started to gain a footing, its design is jaw-droppingly stunning. (Loop Net)
What did Montreal’s COP15 summit deliver for the natural world, anyway?
After taking over the city with redirected traffic, a shuttered metro station, protests, and an intense security presence around the Palais de congrès, this retrospective piece asks what COP15—a summit to significantly reduce the extinction risk of the world’s biodiversity by 2030—was all for, and what it achieved. (The Guardian)
To those that asked Santa for a place to party until sunrise
Lastly, your moment of not-so-zen goes out to all you nighthawks: Montreal is continuing its all-night party projects with an upcoming event where music and bar service at Club Soda won’t stop until 8 a.m. (MTL Blog)
So there you have it, folks. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week. Stay tuned!
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