Dance, Theater, and Music

I Musici Chamber Orchestra
“Founded in 1983 by Russian cellist Yuli Turovsky; a varied, impressive, changing roster of players that appeals to seasoned music-lovers.”—Jean-Pierre Leduc, repertoire manager, Justin Time Records. Favorite orchestra for locals; divides its residence between Théâtre Maisonneuve (the second-largest venue in Place des Arts) and beautiful Pollack Hall at McGill University. 279 Rue Sherbrooke O.; tel. +1 514 982 6037.

Théâtre Espace Go
“Truly modern, multidimensional performing arts space; doubles as a surprisingly friendly place for post-show hanging-out.”—Jamie O’Meara, editor-in-chief, Hour Magazine. Several of Montreal’s world-class modern dance troupes perform here regularly. Tickets from $25. 4890 Boulevard St.-Laurent; tel. +1 514 845 5455.

Oscar Peterson Concert Hall
“Comfortable seating, acoustics are flawless; student venue means ticket prices tend to be affordable.”—Rupert Bottenberg, music editor, Montreal Mirror. Classical, jazz, and world music; on leafy Loyola campus of Concordia University. 7141 Rue Sherbrooke O.; tel. +1 514 848 4848.

MainLine Theatre
“An offshoot of longstanding Fringe Festival, it has plenty of edgy talent to draw on.”—Rupert Bottenberg. Small, vanguard venue for politically conscious, fun, locally produced, mainly English theater, on the hip stretch of Boulevard St.-Laurent. 3997 Boulevard St.-Laurent; tel. +1 514 849 3378.

Eglise St-Jean-Baptiste
“One of the most wonderful venues in Montreal, the acoustics are really special.”—Jean-Pierre Leduc. Huge, beautiful church that hires out to rock concerts (Cocteau Twins to Patti Smith) and symphony performances. 4237 Avenue Henri-Julien.

Upstairs Jazz Club
“Great local and international cuisine; get there early for the amazing food.”—Jean-Pierre Leduc. Well-known vanguard jazz club with program split between local jazz luminaries (brothers Chet and Jim Doxas, Yannick Rieu) and guests on tour (Sheila Jordan). 1254 Rue Mackay; tel. +1 514 931 6808.


Magnan’s Tavern
“For when, like most locals, you can’t get tickets to the hockey game; screens so big you feel like you’re inside the stadium.”—Bill Brownstein, city columnist, the Gazette. Seventy-five-year-old tavern in working-class Pointe St. Charles neighborhood. 2602 Rue St. Patrick; +1 514 935 9647.

Les Deux Pierrots
Well-known club that showcases Québécois chansonniers (singer-songwriter) traditions in the old port; mostly frequented by locals and visitors from other parts of the province. Cover charge. 104 Rue St. Paul E.; tel. +1 514 861 1270.

Bily Kun
“Modern tavern for an artsy (but employed) crowd—upscale and stylish, not pretentious.”—T’Cha Dunlevy, music columnist, the Gazette. Local DJs mix up-to-the-minute tunes in a converted bathhouse with ostrich heads mounted on the walls; mixed French/English clientele. 354 Mont-Royal E.; tel. +1 514 845 5392.

A GoGo Lounge
“Hopping lounge/club right on the strip; expansive mainstream musical repertoire, from the Stones to the Strokes.”—Evelyne Côté, music editor, ICI Montreal. Friendly hotspot with 1960s-inspired decor and relaxed, fun vibe; expect lineups. 3682 Boulevard St. Laurent; tel. +1 514 286 0882.

La Sala Rossa
Funky, homey indie cultural center features musical performances of all kinds, both local (Arcade Fire to Kate and Anna McGarrigle) and international (Sharon Jones, Do Make Say Think). Tip: Repurposed Spanish social club downstairs is a popular local hangout with excellent tapas. Tickets about $10. 4848 Boulevard St. Laurent; tel. +1 514 284 0122.

La Tulipe
“Refashioned vaudeville theatre; gives indie chic an authenticity it never dreamed of.”—Jamie O’Meara, editor-in-chief, Hour Magazine. Functional, comfortable venue for French and English music of all kinds—emphasis on local acts about to make it big. Tickets from $8. 4530 Rue Papineau; tel. +1 514 529 5000.

Throbbing downtown restaurant/nightclub/bar/lounge/patio; owned by hometown Formula One racecar driver turned pop star Jacques Villeneuve. 1476 Rue Crescent; tel. +1 514 284 6555.


Montreal International Jazz Festival
Last week in June-first week in July. One of the world's biggest and most successful jazz festivals. A plethora of outdoor free shows take over a large part of downtown, as well as indoor shows in small and large venues, including Place des Arts.

Just for Laughs
Mid-July. Largest comedy festival in the world, a public and industry event with lots of small and large standup and theatrical shows catering to all ages and tastes. Also street comedy and many family activities around Rue St.-Denis grow every year.

POP Montreal
Late September/early October. Growing festival of indie pop music, with inventive programming and special events all year long.

Les Francofolies de Montréal
Late July. Largest festival of Francophone music outside of France, with acts from all French-speaking nations of the world. Staged by Spectra, which also produces the Jazz Fest. Big and small shows, many free concerts.

Montreal High Lights
Midwinter festival of art, food, music, and midwinter cheers sponsored, appropriately, by Hydro-Quebec.

St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Mid-June. One of the largest independent theater festivals in the world; wild and crazy theater arts from the margins.


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