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La Fête des Neiges (Snow Festival), Montréal: features outdoor events such as harness racing, barrel jumping, racing beds on ice, canoe races, snowshoeing, snow sculptures, skating, and cross-country skiing. The event, the first 2 weeks of February, takes place mostly on Ile Notre-Dame, in the Port and Vieux-Montréal, and in Parc Maisonneuve. 514/872-4537 for details.


Three weekends in February.

Festival Montréal en Lumière

Filling a hole in the yearly schedule, the self-dubbed City of Festivals has created this "High Lights" celebration. It brings together a somewhat disparate collection of creative and performing events, from culinary competitions and special museum exhibitions to multimedia light shows and classical and pop concerts by international musical greats. Call tel. 888/515-0515 for information.



Late May to early June.

Festival de Théâtre des Amériques, Montréal: Two weeks of contemporary theater works from artists throughout the Americas, many on the cutting edge of creativity. Screenings are held at theaters throughout the city. 514/842-0704 for details.


First Sunday in June.

Montréal Bike Fest: Early in June, more than 45,000 cyclists arrive in Montréal to participate in a variety of cycling competitions, including a nocturnal bike ride, a 16-mile outing for up to 10,000 children, and the grueling Tour de l'Ile, a day-long 66-kilometer race around the rim of the island before more than 120,000 spectators. The Tour de l'Ile, which began in 1984, attracts 30,000 participants, almost as many of them women as men. Call tel. 514/521-8356 for details.


Second weekend in June.

Grand Prix Air Canada, Montréal: international drivers compete for 70 laps around the Gilles-Villeneuve racetrack on Ile Notre-Dame. It's the only Formula I race in the country and is complete with celebrities and models visiting the pits. 514/457-5754 for details.


10 days starting in mid-June.

Montréal Fringe Festival: In performance spaces clustered along or near bd. St-Laurent, about 60 theater groups perform 514/849-3378



Festival Mondial de la Bière, Montréal: This is a 10-day festival celebrating beer. From world brands to boutique microbreweries, over 250 companies showcase their wares at the Old Port, employing workshops, cooking demos, musical performances, and pub food and tastings. 514/722-9640.


Late June to early October.

Mosaïcultures Internationales Montréal: A major horticultural event in which gardeners and floral designers create three-dimensional sculptures and carpets from up to 50 countries and cities in prize competitions in several categories. The Vieux-Port (Old Port) is the venue. 514/868-4000


June 24.

Jean-Baptiste Day: Honoring Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of French Canadians, this fête nationale is marked by many festivities and much enthusiasm throughout Québec province. The parade is held along the streets of Vieux-Montréal the night before, June 23. 418/849-2560 for details.


June- July.

International Competition d'Art Pyrotechnique (International Fireworks Competition), Montréal: The open-air theater in La Ronde amusement park on Ile Ste-Hélène is the best place to view the fireworks extravaganzas, although they can be enjoyed from almost any point overlooking the river. Tickets to the show also provide entrance to the amusement park. The 90-minute shows are staged by companies from several countries. Because parking is limited, it's best to use the Métro. 514/872-4537 for details.



Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

514/871-1881; 888/515-0515; to charge tickets by phone: 514/790-1245; 800/678-5440; 800/361-4595 in Canada

The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, the world's biggest jazz festival, runs for 11 days, from the end of June to the beginning of July.



10 days in mid-July.

Festival d'Eté International (International Summer Festival), Québec City: The largest cultural event in the French-speaking world, this festival has attracted artists from Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America since it began in 1967. There are more than 250 events showcasing theater, music, and dance, with 600 performers from 20 countries. One million people come to watch and listen. Jazz and folk combos perform free in an open-air theater next to City Hall; visiting dance and folklore troupes put on shows; and concerts, theatrical productions, and related events fill the days and evenings. 418/532-4540.


10 days in mid-July.

Festival International Nuits d'Afrique, Montréal: This musical event showcases nearly 300 musicians from the Caribbean, the Americas, and Africa. Performances take place in Club Soda, Club Balattou, and Place Berri. 514/499-9239


Last 2 weeks of July.

Festival Juste pour Rire (Just for Laughs Festival), Montréal: Comics perform in many venues, some free, some for a fee. Both Francophone and Anglophone comics from many countries participate. It's held along rue St-Denis and elsewhere in the Latin Quarter. 514/790-4242 for details.



Late August to early September.

Festival des Films du Monde (World Film Festival), Montréal: An international film event since 1976. Some 500 screenings take place over 12 days, including 200 feature films from more than 50 countries.Various movie theaters host the event. 514/848-3883



Mid- to late September.

Fall Foliage: The maple trees blaze with color and a walk in the parks and squares of Montréal is a popular pastime.



Early October.

Festival International de la Nouvelle Danse, Montréal: This 12-day showcase, held every 2 years (on odd years), invites troupes and choreographers from Canada, the United States, and Europe to various performance spaces. 514/287-1423.


10 days in mid-October.

Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Montréal: Screenings of new and experimental films along with forums on the latest trends in film and video at halls and cinemas throughout the city. 514/843-4725 for details.


Arts and Entertainment


Casino De Montréal

1 av. du Casino, Île Notre-Dame, Montréal, Québec, Canada

514/392-2746 or 800/665-2274

The Casino de Montréal, on Ile Notre-Dame in the St. Lawrence River, is one of the world's 10 biggest. Take a cab ride from downtown or take the Métro to the Ile Ste-Hélène station and transfer to Bus 167 Daily: 9-5.


Cirque Du Soleil

Montréal, Québec, Canada


The Cirque du Soleil is one of Montréal's most popular venues. The company revolutionized the art of the circus when, in 1984, it began commingling dance, acrobatics, and dramatic presentation in a single show. Now it's an internationally known and packs theaters worldwide. (There are no animals featured in this circus. All of the spectacular dance and acrobatic arrangements are performed by people. ) Every second summer (in odd-numbered years), the circus performs in Montréal.


L'opéra De Montréal

260 blvd. de Maisonneuve Ouest


L'Opéra de Montréal stages four productions a year at Place des Arts.


Centaur Theatre

453 rue St-François-Xavier, Vieux-Montréal


The Centaur Theatre, the best-known English theatrical company, stages everything from musical revues to Eugène Ionesco works in the former stock-exchange building in Vieux-Montréal.


Place des Artes

Touring Broadway productions are staged at the Place des Arts.


Saidye Bronfman Centre

5170 chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine, Côte-des-Neiges,

514/739-2301 or 514/739-7944

English-language plays can be seen at the Saidye Bronfman Centre. The center is home to the Yiddish Theatre Group.


Théâtre De Quat'sous

100 av. des Pins Est


Théâtre de Quat'Sous performs experimental plays.


Théâtre Denise Pelletier

4353 rue Ste-Catherine Est, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve


The Théâtre Denise Pelletier stages productions in a beautifully restored hall.


Théâtre Du Nouveau Monde

84 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Downtown


Théâtre du Nouveau Monde is the North American temple of French classics.


Théâtre Du Rideau Vert

Théâtre du Rideau Vert specializes in modern French repertoire.


Théâtre Jean Duceppe

260 blvd. de Maisonneuve Ouest


Named for one of Québec's best loved actors, the Théâtre Jean Duceppe stages major productions in Place des Arts.


Théâtre St-Denis

1594 rue St-Denis, Quartier Latin


The 2,500-seat Théâtre St-Denis stages pop-music concerts.




The annual FrancoFolies festival celebrates the art of French songwriting. In all, more than 1,000 musicians perform in dozens of different styles, including rock, hip-hop, funk, and Latin.


I Musici De Montréal

934 rue Sainte-Catherine Est,


I Musici de Montréal is one of the best chamber orchestras in Canada.


Orchestre Métropolitain De Montréal


The Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal stars at Place des Arts most weeks during the October-April season.


Orchestre Symphonique De Montréal

260 blvd. de Maisonneuve Ouest


The Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal has gained recognition under the baton of Charles Dutoit. Its regular venue is the Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at the Place des Arts.


Pollack Concert Hall


McGill University's Pollack Concert Hall presents concerts, notably by the McGill Chamber Orchestra.



318 rue Ste-Catherine Ouest, Downtown, Montréal, Québec, Canada


The most popular performance venue for rock bands is Spectrum.


Stade Olympique

Olympic Park, 4141 av. Pierre-de-Coubertin, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve


Stade Olympique hosts rock and pop concerts.


Théâtre St-Denis

1594 rue St-Denis, Quartier Latin


The 2,500-seat Théâtre St-Denis stages pop-music concerts.




Montréal Alouettes

McGill University's Molson Stadium


Canadian professional football returned to Montréal after an experimental 3-year league with U.S. teams. The team that was briefly the Baltimore Colts is now The Montreal Alouettes (Larks) and has enjoyed considerable success since its return, frequently appearing in the Grey Cup, the CFL's Super Bowl. They play on a schedule that runs from June into October.


NHL Montréal Canadiens

1260 rue de la Gauchetière

Ticket and schedule information


Métro: Bonaventure.

The Canadiens play at the new Centre Molson, which opened in 1996. replacing the beloved old Forum. The team has won 24 Stanley Cup championships since 1929. The season runs from October into April, with playoffs continuing to mid-June.


Blue Bonnets Racetrack (Hippodrome de Montréal)

7440 bd. Décarie, in Jean-Talon


Métro: Namur, and then take the shuttle bus.

This is the host facility for international harness-racing events, including the Coupe des Elevers (Breeders Cup).

Restaurants, bars, a snack bar, and pari-mutuel betting can make for a satisfying evening or Sunday-afternoon outing. There are no races on Tuesday and Thursday. General admission is free. Races begin at 7:30pm on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday; on Sunday at 1:30pm.


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