The weekend is finally here, and what does Montreal have to show for it? As always, there are a ton of exciting events happening, from the opening weekend of Montreal en Lumiere (which includes a free cheese festival) and Maroon 5’s rescheduled show, to free admission at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the MAC’s first Nocturnes of 2017.
For more info on how to spend these final days of February, check out 26 things to do in Montreal this weekend: February 24-26.
Friday, February 24
Calling all cheese lovers! You are finally getting a festival dedicated to your love of cheese – and it’s happening right here in Montreal. It has just been announced that an event entitled, “The Festival of Our Cheeses” will be taking place this February as part of Montreal En Lumiere. The three day cheese extravaganza will be going down at Complexe Desjardins starting at 11:30 am on February 23, 24, and 25, 2017. During the festival, Montrealers will be offered the chance to try free samples of some of Quebec’s premiere cheeses. In addition, there will be cheese makers in attendance to answer questions and discuss the factors that contribute to their products’ unique flavour and wine and beer to taste along with the cheese.
When: February 23-25, 2017
Where: Complexe Desjardins Grand-Place
Due to Maroon 5 front runner Adam Levine’s wife announcing her pregnancy, the band had to cancel several of their 2016 tour dates for their Maroon V tour. However, it just gives us one more thing to look forward to in 2017. The band, who was scheduled to perform at the Bell Centre on September 23, have postponed their Montreal tour date to February 24, 2017.
When: February 24, 2017
Where: Bell Centre, 1909 avenue des Canadiens-de-Montreal
Friday Nocturnes are back and better than ever. While the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Nocturnes of the past have been pretty great, they are seriously stepping it up for 2017.
Introducing a brand new concept for their Nocturne evenings, MAC will be open past midnight, during which time visitors are invited to stroll through exhibitions, watch a live performance or attend a gallery talk, and indulge in some appetizers and drinks. Artists and curators will be in attendance, as well as DJs, churning out music until the early hours of the morning. There will be four Nocturnes held in 2017: February 24, May 5, September 15, and November 17.
When: February 24, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art
The giant Air France Ferris Wheel will be taking up residence in Place des Festivals between February 23rd and March 11th.In addition, the Air France Ferris Wheel is by no means your typical ferris wheel. While it does go round and round and will offer great views of downtown Montreal, it also happens to be illuminated making it that much more magical. Lit up with all sorts of neon colours and designs, it is guaranteed to be nothing short of mesmerizing. Even better, it will be completely free to ride so grab your partner, family, and friends, and enjoy an exhilarating trip on Montreal’s own urban ferris wheel.
When: Thursdays and Fridays from 5pm and Saturdays and Sundays from 12pm between February 23 and March 11
Where: Place des Festivals
Discover the secrets of Montreal by snowshoe on one of Les Amis de la Montagne’s City Lights Snowshoeing Excursions. Happening at nightfall every Friday and Saturday evening between January 6th and March 4th, tour guides will lead brave snowshoers on a 90-minute expedition through Mount Royal. There will also be hot chocolate along the way!
When: Fridays and Saturday between January 6 and March 4, 2017 at 6pm
Where: Meeting place is the Beaver Lake Pavilion
This winter festival right in the heart of the Olympic Village is one of the biggest attractions in the city. Featuring ice skating, snow tubing, an outdoor bar, and plenty of restaurants, there is tons of fun to be had at this snow-filled paradise.
When: Until March 12
Where: Olympic Park
Looks like you don’t have to visit a cabane a sucre to get a taste of the maple syrup taffy we all know and love! Located right in downtown Montreal lies Stephanie Voghell, a maple-themed hut that sets up shop in Phillips Square each winter, selling an array of maple goodies. We’re talking about maple syrup, maple butter, maple sugar, maple lollipops, maple fudge, and of course, maple syrup snow taffy. Caught in the act earlier this week, Stephanie Voghell has a small snow-covered surface that they pour maple syrup onto, and allow customers to roll onto a popsicle stick. They are $2.50 a pop, and worth every penny.
When: Daily (weather permitting)
Where: Phillips Square (across from the Bay, at the corner of Sainte Catherine Street West and Union Avenue)
Saturday, February 25
It appears Marche Jean Talon is enthusiastically embracing the city’s annual Montreal En Lumiere festival, by hosting a day of free tastings and cooking demos. Taking place during the first weekend of the festival, February 25th and 26th, Marche Jean Talon will be transformed into the site of a giant culinary expo. There will be a myriad of vendors on site to teach Montrealers how to cook and to give away free samples. All we know about this year’s event is that it will focus on food from the “Greater Montreal Area” and will feature “agri-food products” and “discovery workshops”.
When: February 25-26, 2017 10:30 am-4 pm
Where: Marche Jean Talon, 7070 Henri-Julien Avenue
Montreal en Lumiere is hosting an All-Day Black Truffle Brunch. Taking place February 25th from 10:30am until 5:30pm, chef Normand Laprise of Quebecois restaurant, Toque!, will be serving a four-course menu filled with black truffles from Perigord, France. Though the exact dishes have not yet been released, it’s fair to say that Montrealers are sure going to enjoy “this rare gourmet treasure.” Tickets to this one-of-a-kind event cost $95 so you better grab them before they’re gone!
When: February 25, 10:30 am-5:30 pm
Where: Toque!, 900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle
Although the bustling urban city of Montreal is not home to any sugar shacks, you won’t have to travel far to get an authentic Quebec experience. Whether you love the horse-drawn carriage rides or the plethora of maple treats, there are plenty of reasons to visit a sugar shack this winter. Typically open from late February to April, some of the best (and closest) sugar shacks to Montreal include Sucrerie de la Montagne, Cabane à Sucre Au Pied Cochon, and Cabane à Sucre Bouvrette.
When: End of February to mid April
Where: Various locations
Screening a selection of “immersive short films,” this is SAT Fest’s fourth year in a row. On now until March 3rd, Montrealers have the chance to watch a wide range of international short films in 360 degrees thanks to SAT’s unique Satosphere venue. This domed projection room will make everything you watch seriously mesmerizing. Seven films have been selected in total, all with their own innovative audiovisual components and narrations. A few favourites from this year’s festival? Escape, Isometric, and Transparent Machine.
When: Until March 3, 2017
Where: SAT, 1201 Boul St-Laurent
Starting January 28th, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will open a brand new special exhibition on world-renowned painter, Marc Chagall. The exhibit, titled “Chagall: Colour and Music,” explores the importance of music in Chagall’s life. It will be multidisciplinary, featuring over 400 works ranging from sculptures and paintings to photographs and films. In addition, puppets, costumes, stained glass windows, maquettes, and gouaches will be on display. According to the official site, “Music was a constant source of inspiration” for the Russian-French artist. “A favourite subject for his creations, it served as an internal rhythm and driving force for his compositions, and a key to the intensity and range of colour in his work.”
When: January 28-June 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Cinema du Parc are the proud hosts of an Oscar-nominated film festival happening this February. Starting February 10, 2017, Cinema du Parc will be screening all of the Oscar-nominated movies in the following categories: Best Animated Short and Best Live Action Short. Ten films will receive a prestigious Academy Award nomination in 2017, and we can’t wait to find out more so we can grab our tickets to this awesome local film fest!
When: February 10, 2017
Where: Cinema du Parc, 3575 Av du Parc
Attention Montrealers! Your beloved Friday Fridays (aka food truck Fridays) are returning to Olympic Stadium, this time in the form of SnowFood Saturday. As part of Village Mammouth, Montreal’s awesome wintertime festival, Olympic Stadium will be home to a plethora of food trucks every Saturday afternoon between January 28th and March 4th, 2017. Between 3 pm and 10 pm each Saturday, you can expect to see tons of yummy food trucks lining the perimeter of Olympic Village. The official description reads, “You’ll find all the delicious fun of street food during our amazing evenings.” These “amazing evenings” also include live music and DJs, as well as snow sports like ice skating and snow tubing.
When: Saturdays 3 pm-10 pm between January 28 and March 4, 2017
Where: Olympic Village
In an effort to revitalize vacant land along the Mile End railway, a hangout spot in an abandoned parking lot has popped up in recent weeks. Featuring a school bus-turned-cafe, picnic tables, lights, and a skating rink, this newest late night joint is called La Petite Floride. Open every Saturday night from December 2nd until the end of March, this is the place to be in winter. Grab some mulled wine, sit by the fire, skate around the manmade rink (featuring paintings by local artists), and enjoy a relaxing night in this urban oasis.
When: Saturdays 9 pm-1 am, from December 2nd until the end of March 2017
Where: 5705 avenue de Gaspé
Old Port has decided that they will be opening the MTL Zipline all winter long, which means you can soar through the air any weekend you like. This is the first time ever that MTL Zipline has opened during the winter and we can’t wait to take advantage of this momentous occasion! One trip on the MTL Zipline costs $19.99 for adults or $16.99 for children. Located at the Clock Tower in the heart of Old Port, don’t miss your chance to fly like Superman and marvel at the scenic wintery landscape beneath you.
When: Every weekend this winter, 11 am-5 pm
Where: Clock Tower, Old Port
Sunday, February 26
The Montreal Botanical Garden’s annual “Butterflies Go Free” exhibit is back for another year. Taking over the Main Exhibition Greenhouse from February 23rd until April 30th, 2017, visitors can step into a humid tropical oasis that will make you forget all about winter. As you take in the fragrant flowers and diverse greenery, hundreds of stunning butterflies will fly around you. Feel them as they lightly brush your arm mid-air or examine them up close while perched on a flower.
When: February 23-April 30, 2017
Where: The Montreal Botanical Garden
Pointe-A-Calliere is hosting their annual Port Symphonies event this winter. The event is comprised of a series of special musical shows that utilize urban sounds such as those by the ships and locomotives in Old Port. 2017 marks not only the 23rd edition of Port Symphonies but also the 375th anniversary of Montreal. As such, the performance will be inspired by Jeanne-Mance et Paul de Chomedey, Sieur de Maisonneuve’s arrival in Montreal back in 1642. Composed by Quebecoise-European singer and songwriter, Sonia Paço-Rocchia, this is sure to be one for the ages.
When: Sundays at 1:30 pm, February 26-March 12, 2017
Where: Pointe-a-Calliere, Old Port
Retro Expo 2017, otherwise known as Montreal’s own pop culture convention, is coming to Montreal this month. Taking place on Sunday, February 26th from 10am to 5pm at the Delta hotel downtown, Retro Expo 2017 will feature nearly 100 tables of awesome goodies. Larger than ever before, vendors will be selling everything from toys, action figures, and comic books, to posters, video games, and anime. Plus, cosplay is welcome and encouraged so you’re likely to see some pretty great get-ups. There will even be a special conference entitled, “Jedis, Marvel, and Lego Batman.” Admission is $5 and can be purchased in advance or at the door.
When: Sunday, February 26, 10 am-5 pm
Where: Delta Montreal Hotel and Resort, 475 Avenue Président Kennedy, (2nd floor)
One of the largest winter festivals in the world, 2017 marks the 18th edition of Montreal En Lumiere. The festival showcases everything that a Montreal wintertime has to offer, from the performing arts to gastronomy to outdoor activities.
When: February 23-March 12, 2017
Where: Various Locations
Free on the last Sunday of each month, don’t miss the opportunity to explore the city’s top museum completely free of charge. With everything from graphic and contemporary art to Latin American and First Nations art, there is plenty to see at this gorgeous museum.
When: February 26
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Phi Centre has yet another cool exhibit happening right now. Titled Virtual Reality Garden: Animation Series, the exhibition showcases a collection of internationally-acclaimed short films including Henry, Eagle Flight, and Minotaur. The programme “juxtaposes animated film and virtual reality,” thus making it one of the most innovative and exploratory art exhibits on display in Montreal.
When: Until March 12
Where: Phi Centre
In honour of Black History Month, Montreal is hosting a unique photographic exhibit titled Women of Haiti. The art exhibition will take visitors on a “photographic journey through spectacular pictures where sand dunes meet the ocean, sensuality and warmth of Africa and the Caribbean.” In addition to stunning scenery, the photos will depict the daily lives of Haitian women to increase cultural understanding of the island’s population. 10 artists are participating including Radu Juster, Clode de Guise, Patric Saad, Magdoline Youcef, Laetitia Jourdan, and more. The event is free of charge and will take place in Espace Vego Saint Denis (between Rue Ontario and Blvd Maisonneuve E).
When: February 1-28, 2017
Where: Espace Vego St-Denis, 1720 Rue Saint-Denis
The Montreal Science Centre is currently hosting an insane exhibition that allows the public to see exactly what lies inside the body of an animal. The Body Worlds exhibit, aptly titled Animals Inside Out, “sheds light on what lies beneath the skin of more than 50 animals.” Through a technique called plastination, experts have removed the skin from various animals, providing a never-before-seen glimpse of the muscular, skeletal, nervous, and digestive systems, as well as the blood vessels and internal organs of different animals.
When: Until March 12, 2017
Where: Montreal Science Centre, 2 Rue de la Commune O
In case you hadn’t heard, Montreal is currently home to the Barbie Expo, the largest permanent collection of Barbie dolls in the world. Montrealers have the chance to see and Instagram over 1,000 one-of-a-kind Barbie dolls. The Barbie dolls on display are not your average Barbie dolls, however. Rather, Barbie Expo is an exhibition of haute couture with Barbie as the model. As the website states, “This is Barbie seen at her fashionable best, a stunningly beautiful collection chicly modeled by the 11½-inch fashion icon.”
When: Open Monday to Wednesday from 10 am to 6 pm, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 pm to 9 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, Sundays from noon to 5 pm.
Where: 1455 Rue Peel
Montreal-based fitness company, POP Spirit, is hosting a series of outdoor yoga sessions this winter. Aptly titled POP Yoga Neige, classes will take place between January 7th and March 12th in Parc Lafontaine and Parc Wilfrid Laurier. All classes are free to the public and boast top-notch instructors. All you have to do is bring your own mat and dress warmly (and we mean, really warm). Happening every weekend until March 12th, classes start at 10:30am sharp and last for roughly 40 minutes. Saturday mornings sessions will be held at Parc Lafontaine and Sunday mornings they will be held at Parc Laurier. Time to start practicing your downward dog in sub-zero temperatures!
When: Sundays between January 7 and March 12, 10:30 am
Where: Parc Laurier and Parc Lafontaine