An international film festival, free entry to the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, a concert by Brit band Bastille, and a play on the importance of women in science are all in a weekend’s work in Montreal.
In addition, sugar shack celebrations abound this weekend, with two urban sugar shacks popping up in the city, as well as a sugar shack-themed brunch going down at Griffintown’s Le Richmond.
Check out 19 things to do in Montreal this weekend: March 24 – 26.
Friday, March 24
A cabane a sucre right in the middle of the city! Montreal’s own urban sugar shack/maple syrup festival is back for the 7th year in a row. Officially called Cabane Panache Et Bois Rond, all the sugary goodness of a Quebec cabane a sucre will be coming to Promenade Wellington between March 23rd and March 26th, 2017. Last year, more than 55,000 people from all over Montreal converged on Promenade Wellington for four days of maple syrup and wood cabin glory, and this year will likely be no different. The traditional event will feature square dancing, log-throwing, two-man saws, six francophone concerts, and of course a maple syrup feast. We’re talking about maple taffy, sugar pie, pancakes with syrup, and even maple cocktails.
When: March 23-24, 5 pm-9 pm, March 25-26 11 am-5 pm
Where: Promenade Wellington, 266 Rue Hickson, Verdun
Taking art out of artistic institutions and integrating them into daily life, Art Souterrain is hands down one of the coolest art festivals Montreal has ever hosted. Art Souterrain is a non-profit organized founded in 2009 that is dedicated to showcasing contemporary art, artists, and the “cultural heritage of Montreal’s underground city.” Thus, we can expect art installations to centre on concepts of pleasure, relaxation, sharing, and leisure. Specific forms of play mentioned include video games, theme parks, game rooms, sports, television, and the internet. The best part? Each installation will be set in a different underground tunnel in Montreal.
When: March 4-26, 2017
You can play the hottest new recreational game right here in Montreal. Known as Archery Tag (or Arc Tag for short), Combat d’Archers is the place to spend a Saturday afternoon in Montreal. This new, hybrid sport is a mix of paintball and archery. It sees players running around a room of over 10,000 square feet, using airsoft weapons to tag their opponents. Each session is one hour in length, excluding 20 minutes of training which is required before every game.
When: Monday to Friday 12pm-11pm, Saturday and Sunday 9 am-11 pm
Where: 3955 Rue de Rouen
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
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
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
Saturday, March 25
Titled Expo Manger Sante et Vivre Vert, this three day exhibition is a healthy eater’s paradise.Partnering with several businesses in Quebec including Aux Vivres, Rachelle Bery, Clef des Champs, Druide, and more, the event’s aim is to “increase awareness about the importance of our eating habits and lifestyles in relation to our health and the environment.” Happening at Palais des Congres between March 24th and March 26th, 2017, the festival will feature over 280 exhibitors, 80 demos and conferences, and a myriad of activities and contests for all ages.
When: March 24-26, 2017
Where: Palais des Congres
Quebec eco-entrepreneur permaculture community, Terra Perma, has just announced they will be hosting a popup sugar shack in Montreal between March 18th and April 30th. Sirop Urban Shack will be set up in Montreal neighbourhood, St. Henri, and will feature an all-you-can-eat menu filled with maple goodies courtesy of Terra Perma’s artisanal small batch syrup. Dishes include pea soup, home-style potatoes, smoked bacon, pancakes, sugar pie, and more. Plus, the atmosphere is said to be both fun and enchanting, with a mixture of laid back and gourmet vibes. Tickets cost $20 each so be sure to get yours before they’re gone! This is one of the best opportunities you’ll get to experience a sugar shack without leaving the city.
When: March 18-April 30
Where: 3580 Notre-Dame W
Montreal is hosting yet another exciting art festival this film, the International Festival of Films on Art. The 2017 theme of the festival is Play & Distraction, and will explore the connection between fun and human nature. A unique festival that recognizes the films created on art and media arts, the International Festival of Films on Art (or FIFA) seeks to promote the work of artists, increase knowledge of this art among the public, and encourage the film community to produce more films based on art. 2017 marks the 35th year of the event and in the past, over 200 films have been shown from over 25 countries around the world. The festival has even toured other cities, including New York, London, Brussels, Boston, Helsinki, and Paris.
When: March 23-April 2, 2017
One of Griffintown’s trendiest restaurants, Le Richmond, has just announced that they will be hosting a special sugar shack-themed brunch for the three weekends only. Trading their typical Italian cuisine for maple syrup-covered goodness, this unique brunch will consist of green pea soup, burrata, thousand leaf cake, a porchetta salad, vol-au-vent, smoked bacon, braised pork cheek, braised beef ribs, strata, beans, and bone marrow potato puree. Dessert options also include the likes of a maple crepe, a candied apple, and caramelized pecans with pancetta and vanilla mascarpone. The specialty brunch service costs a flat fee of $45 per person, and there are only two weekends left to get a taste of a sugar shack without leaving the city!
When: March 25 and 26, April 1 and 2
Where: 377 Ave Richmond
The McCord Museum has announced a temporary exhibition on fashion from the Expo 67 era. The exhibit, titled Fashioning Expo 67, explores the “effervescence of Montreal’s fashion moment.” Over 60 outfits will make up the exhibition, ranging from hostess uniforms to paper dresses, all of which have been created by Quebec designers. Further, Fashioning Expo 67 will feature accessories like hats, gloves, umbrellas, purses, and jewellry, as well as drawings, photographs, documents, and film footage of the fashion at Expo 67.
When: March 17 – October 1
Where: McCord Museum, 690 Sherbrooke St W
Defy gravity and scale a building like Spiderman courtesy of Old Port’s ultra fun adventure, Decalade. The Decalade challenge is happening at the Conveyer Key Tower in Old Port right now! Participants can choose from a variety of challenges, from the 1-hour “dizzying trip”, to the 3-hour “controlled vertical descent facing the ground like Mission Impossible.” This activity is sure to get your blood pumping as you put yourself in the shoes of all the action hero greats. Sessions are by appointment only and range from $89.99 to $149.00. You can also pay $39.99 for a panoramic selfie as you descend from the roof.
When: By appointment only
Where: Conveyer Key Tower
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, March 26
In the wake of the Women’s March and International Women’s Day comes a short play about important women in the realm of arts and sciences. Put on by McGill’s Redpath Museum, Science On Stage: Women’s Work is a “theatrical celebration of working women in the arts and sciences.” More specifically, the play will tell the stories of important working woman in Montreal’s history, such as Carrie Derick (McGill’s first female professor), Maude Abbott, Emily Carr, Anne Savage, and Emily Coonan. The play will be performed on March 26th at 2pm in the Redpath Museum Auditorium, and is led by an all-star cast that includes Mary Burns, Colleen Curran, Sylvia Cymbalista, and Jane Hackett. Admission is free and tickets are not required, however there is a suggested donation of $5 for adults and $3 for students.
When: March 26, 2 pm
Where: Redpath Museum, 859 Sherbrooke St W
Roger Waters and the Montreal Opera Company have come together to produce one of the most unique shows of the season: a Pink Floyd-themed opera. Titled “Another Brick In The Wall,” this brand new opera is based on the lyrics and music of Roger Waters’ The Wall. The operative version is composed by Julien Bilodeau, stage direction is by Dominic Champagne, and the show features an all-Canadian cast of talented singers and actors. It is only in town for a limited engagement so be sure to check it out before it wraps up on March 26th.
When: March 24 and 26
Where: Salle Wilfrid Pelletier, Place des Arts
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: March 26
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Brit band Bastille is back on the road and return to Montreal’s Bell Centre on their “Wild Wild World Tour” on March 26. The tour takes the Grammy nominated band across arenas and theatres all over the US and Canada, with stops in Toronto and Vancouver. The new concert announcement comes on the heels of Bastille’s “The Born To Be Wild World North American Mini Tour” tour, a short run of intimate venues that sold out in minutes.
When: March 26 at 6:30 pm
Where: Bell Centre, 1909 avenue des Canadiens-de-Montréal
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
Concordia is back at it again. Montreal is undoubtedly an artsy city. We love public art, fine art, and even underground art. Thus, it’s no surprise that 2017 is welcoming yet another art festival. Art Matters is unique in that it is a student-run festival, organized entirely by Concordia University students. The event is the largest of its kind in North America and has taken place annually every March since its inception in 2000. Just like previous years, the 2017 edition will showcase 10 exhibitions created by students, spread out over 3 weeks. There will also be parties and special events. In the past, the festival has incorporated different art workshops and all types of art installations including contemporary art exhibits, audiovisual components, and even live music.
When: March 4-27, 2017
Where: Various spots