Creative sparks fly all spring in Montréal

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

A one-of-a-kind city throughout the year, Montréal proves itself a true original in spring. The season arrives in Montréal as much more than a breath of fresh air: creative forces transform the streets, galleries and museums, restaurants and bars into spaces full of bright ideas and enthusiastic energy. Festivals, high-tech exhibitions, incredible meals and more infuse Montréal with the creative spirit throughout the season.

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Springtime stimulates the senses

Outside Place des Arts, the musical sounds of 21 Balançoires (21 Swings) reverberate as people of all ages hop on the art installation's colourful swings. Meanwhile, acrobats swing from the rafters, clowns delight and music soars at Cirque du Soleil’s brand new Under the same sky show in the Old Port of Montréal. Colourful public art event Aires Libres turns Sainte-Catherine Street in the LGBTQ-friendly Village into a vibrant pedestrian-only zone. Downtown oasis Jardins Gamelin opens, serving food and drink in an urban green space animated by live music, performances, yoga classes and other events.

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Festivals and events energize

Montréal's packed spring cultural calendar features something for everyone. Boundary-pushing world-class dance and theatre impress at the Festival TransAmériques. Festival Accès Asie features performances exploring the cultural richness of Canadians of Asian origin. Exciting urban art takes the spotlight at the Chromatic Festival's exhibitions, parties, kids activities and more. Massive festival-like event Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada revs its engines on the racetrack and downtown at free outdoor stages, driver appearances, parties and more.

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Food and drink delights, night or day

In early spring, Montréal and the nearby countryside celebrate a Quééecois tradition, the sugar shack, also known as a cabane à sucre, where multi-dish meals and tire d’érable (maple syrup twirled into candy on fresh snow) herald maple syrup season. A city of creative food, Montréal expands its gourmet flare to hopping downtown food halls. As the weather warms, restaurant and bar terrasses spring into action, with friends gathering at bustling street-side patios, gorgeous green hideaways, open-air nightclub dance floors and at outdoor dance party Piknic Électronik.

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High-tech experiences transform

Technological creativity shines its light in museums, galleries and even in the streets during arts event Montréal Digital Spring. Inside Notre-Dame Basilica of Montréal beautiful multimedia show AURA alters the famed architecture. By night in Old Montréal, the projections of Cité Mémoire illuminate history on building facades. 

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International art inspires

Montréal celebrates Scotland during Printemps écossais, with Scottish art and cultural events and family activities. The Belle Époque style of 19th and 20th century Paris comes to life at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts exhibition Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism, one of Montréal's must-see museum exhibitions this spring. Dozens of art galleries show work at Papier Contemporary Art Fair at the Grand Quai du Port de Montréal. And Indigenous contemporary art elucidates at the Contemporary Native Art Biennial (BACA).

Check the city's cultural calendar at La Vitrine, pick up the Passeport MTL to visit up to 28 must-see Montréal attractions, plan your visit with My Official Montréal City Guide and save on your stay with the MTL Sweet Deal!

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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