Things to do in Montréal November 10 to 16

Robyn Fadden

In Montréal this week, Montréal's Restaurant Week satisfies every culinary craving, the music of Leonard Cohen merges with inspired art, festivals of French films and documentaries open our eyes alongside new theatre and dance, and classical and contemporary music evoke rhythms of the world.

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Restaurant Week and more

From gourmet table d’hôte dinners to cozy weekend brunches and special events, MTLàTable Montréal restaurant week features 175 restaurants offering multi-course meals at fantastic prices ($21, $31 or $41) and more November 2-16, including classic Montréal restaurants, hotel restaurants, pubs and supper clubs, neighbourhood faves and a chocolate competition and wine events. Autumn also brings a variety of harvest activities for all ages. Drop by the city's public markets to see what's in season and discover creative new cuisine from Québec at our Montréal restaurant picks for fall. If you're looking for tried-and-true Québécois classic dishes, we've got the goods on where to find the best poutine and more musts for foodies visiting Montréal – plus where to go shopping for foodies too. Explore some of Montréal's liveliest neighbourhoods through their great restaurants. Caffeinate in style at Montréal's indie coffee shops or with the city's best iced coffee. Relax with weekend brunch or a creative cocktail. And there's plenty of genuinely delicious health-conscious food to be found in Montréal.


Leonard Cohen's Montréal

As part of Montréal's 375th anniversary and in honour of his artistic impact on the city and the world, Montréal celebrates Leonard Cohen. International exhibition Leonard Cohen – A Crack in Everything at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal opens November 9, featuring work by 40 artists from 10 countries, inspired by Leonard Cohen's life, music and writing – as well, hear the author of biography I'm Your Man on November 6 and attend an artists roundtable on November 8. Outside the museum's walls, see Jenny Holzer: For Leonard Cohen, a one-of-a-kind outdoor exhibition by the renowned artist at Silo No. 5 (McGill Street at de la Commune Street, near Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port), November 7-11, from 6 to 11 pm. And see building-sized murals of Leonard Cohen on Crescent Street downtown and on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in the Plateau.


City sights and sounds

Among the many free things to do this fall in Montréal, learn more about the Saint-Lawrence River's history with self-guided tour Montréal, toute une histoire, or download Projet EVA art collective's Cortège to your phone and take an immersive tour along the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne. In Old Montréal to see the historic tableaux projections of Cité Memoire and multimedia wonder AURA at Notre-Dame Basilica. Explore the Plateau neighbourhood through the eyes of Paul à Montréal. See the city anew in Planète MTL and travel back 50 years in Écho 67, both at the Buckminster Fuller-designed Biosphère. Nearby, Santas Are Taking Over The Museum at the Stewart Museum's annual holiday exhibition of Santa through the ages – get into the holiday mood starting November 15. On that note, begin your holiday shopping in Montréal: the city's Christmas markets start up this week. An international gathering for the creative industries, HUB Montréal continues to November 18 with conferences, high-tech multimedia events and more. Cheer for NHL greats the Montréal Canadiens as they take to home ice against the Sabres on November 11, Blue Jackets on November 14 and Coyotes on November 16 at the Bell Centre. In major CWHL action, Les Canadiennes face China's Kunlun Red Star in a matinee game at the Bell Centre on November 11 – tickets start at onlyt $15. And we've got all kinds of ways to genuinely face your fears in Montréal, including on La Grande Roue de Montréal, the tallest observation wheel in the country, from the Observatoire Place Ville Marie downtown or the Montréal Tower at Olympic Stadium.


Art inspires

Once Upon A Time… The Western gives the Western film genre new artistic life at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts – while there also see installation Kushapetshekan / Kosapitcikan – A Glimpse Into the Other World by Atikamekw artists Eruoma Awashish and Meky Ottawa and Innu artist Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush, Nadia Myre's new exhibition Tout ce qui reste – Scattered Remains and WOOL WAR ONE, composed of a battalion of 780 small soldiers knitted by a five hundred volunteers. Renowned art foundation DHC/ART in Old Montréal celebrates its 10th anniversary with L'Offre a dynamic group exhibition exploring concepts of "the gift," as well as the pioneering video art and installation work of Bill Viola: Naissance à rebours. See Montréal painter Melanie Authier's first solo show, Contrarieties & Counterpoints, and new photography work by Carolyne Scenna at Galerie de l’UQAM. The Montréal Science Centre presents Indigenous Ingenuity: Timeless Inventions, from the essentials of First Peoples’ scientific principles to how to build an igloo, alongside photo exhibition Regalia: Native Pride featuring 30 Indigenous portraits. The Phi Centre pays homage to American artist, designer and illustrator Barbara Nessim in exhibition Conditions de fluidité, featuring over 50 works. ATSA, When Art Takes Action presents the return the interdisciplinary art and performances of l’État d’Urgence November 16-19 outdoors at Place Émilie-Gamelin downtown, critically focused on both homelessness and the problem of tax havens. Explore the golden age of magicians in the McCord Museum's Illusions: The Art of Magic. In the Mile Ex neighbourhood near Little Italy and the Jean Talon Market, stop by gallery Never Apart. Hannah Claus and Peter Morin address the fluidity of culture, body and land in there are so many stars at OBORO opening November 11, also presenting a special 375th outdoor event Forbidden to Swim by Caroline Monnet on November 16. And if you're driving to or from the airport along Highway 20, keep an eye out for Alain Paiement's art work Bleu de Bleu.

On stage

Indulge in the Opéra de Montréal's production of Rossini’s La Cenerentola, starring Italian baritones Pietro Spagnoli and Vito Priante and Canadian mezzo-soprano Julie Boulianne in a Cinderella story crafted in the early 19th century, November 11-18 at Place des Arts. On the other hand, you could see Marvel Universe Live on stage at Place Bell Laval, shows in English on November 11 and 12. On the English-language theatre scene this fall, see family-friendly classic winter tale The Hockey Sweater: A Musical at the Segal Centre or smash comedy hit Bad Jews  November 8-26, while Alfred Hitchcock murder-mystery spy story The 39 Steps intrigues at Centaur Theatre, and Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company counters bullying and addresses homophobia, mental health and teen suicide, to November 19 at Mainline Theatre – also where Broadway songs entertain in Doors: A Musical Revue on Saturday, November 11.  Multidisciplinary creative circus company Nord Nord Est presents the raw energy of Une Chambre de Verre starring acrobat Valérie Doucet, at La Tohu November 14-18. Montréal's fall dance scene promises thrilling, contemplative, boundary-pushing shows: Danse Danse presents BC-based Indigenous dance company Dancers of Damelahamid in supernatural story and multimedia performance Flicker, at Place des Arts November 14-18; Tangente's double bill Gender Fluidity by Sébastien Provencher and Manuel Shink looks at queerness, femininity, masculinity and androgyny, at the Wilder November 16-19; Agora de la danse presents classic cinema-inspired Major Motion Picture by Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, to November 11, and love forms the core of theatrical, musical and audiovisual experience MYTHOMANIA, opening November 16 at La Chapelle.


On screen

The CINEMANIA festival of Francophone film (with English subtitles!) features new French comedy Le Sens de la Fête, Le Redoutable by Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Claude Lelouch's Everyone's Life and dozens more anticipated feature films, shorts, talks and events to November 12. Meanwhile, the 20th annual Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) features 142 films from 47 countries, including world and Quebec premiers, retrospectives, special events, free performances and more to November 19. Put on a VR headset to see a roster of short films and immersive VR work in Lucid Realities or watch the short films of the Not Short on Talent showcase at the Phi Centre. Explore space in double feature KYMA – Power of Waves and Edge of Darkness at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, see Amazon 3D in IMAX at the Montréal Science Centre or immerse yourself in high-tech audiovisual spectacle Liquid Architecture by Wiklow, Diagraf and EWERX and Hyperforme by Max Cooper and maotik, at the SAT.

Classical and cultural

The 18th Arab World Festival of Montréal continues with Oud À L’ouest – Naseer Shamma and the Orchestre Métropolitain conducted by Airat Ichmouratov on November 10 at Maison Symphonique at Place des Arts, plus free concert Sur Un Air De Raï that night at Patro Vys with Chakib Kouidri. On November 11, see the incredible music and dance of Alep Ya-La-Lal-Li, La Ville à Mille Temps at Place des Arts. And closing out the festival on November 11, the Khalil Gibran-inspired show Les 7 Cités De L’amour, featuring the NDU Choir, singer Fadia Tomb El-Hage and virtuoso musicians, at Place des Arts. In other classical music this fall, Valery Gergiev conducts the Orchestre Mariinsky de Saint-Pétersbourg with pianist Denis Matsuev, November 11 at the Maison symphonique; Musica Camerata Montréal presents concert Viva Espana, November 11 at Chapelle historique du Bon Pasteur; Nikolaj Znaider conducts the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal in Les Amours de Tchaïkovski at the Maison symphonique November 15-16. Or take a Journey to Eastern Europe with the OSM, conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson and violinist Karen Gomyo at the Maison symphonique, November 9-12. Opera McGill features top McGill University students in opera seria Ariodante by George Frideric Handel, at Pollack Hall November 9-11. And on November 14, Jordi Savall performs the North American premiere of emotional musical journey The Routes of Slavery 1444–1888, at the Maison symphonique.

More live music

Get musically nostalgic with David Crosby & Friends at Place des Arts on Friday evening. It's a high-energy Friday night with Alaclair Ensemble, Eman X Vlooper, Columbine and Mike Shabb at the SAT, electro with RL Grime at Théâtre Corona and Bully at Bar le Ritz PDB, or soulful sounds with Kelela at Le Belmont, folk-rock with All Them Witches at Théâtre Fairmount and a night of musical explorations with Colleen, Khora and Ylang Ylang at La Sala Rossa. On Saturday: Silversun Pickups and Minus The Bear rock at MTelus; POP Montréal presents Lemon Bucket Orkestra and Boogát at Théâtre Fairmount; instrumental avant soundmakers Do Make Say Think at Le National; Never Apart gallery presents the experimental sound and vision of, softcoresoft and more at Eastern Bloc; and it's a night of non-stop dancing at NY Night Train Soul Clap & Dance-Off at Bar le Ritz PDB and electro with San Holo and more at New City Gas. Sunday brings the complexity of Circuit Des Yeux and Ka Baird to Bar le Ritz PDB. Beloved alt-pop band Stars play L’Escogriffe on November 13. Angus & Julia Stone strum up a good time at the Bell Centre on November 14, while Grammy-winning banjoist Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn perform at L'Astral, The Zolas play Bar le Ritz PDB, Ema & The Blow and Petra Glynt wow at Le Belmont, and A Perfect Circle and The Beta Machine get loud at Place Bell. And on Wednesday, November 15, singer-songwriter-rapper 6LACK and Sabrina Claudio come to Théâtre Corona.

Also starting this week, music festival Mundial Montréal, an international world music forum with a professional track plus spectacular performances November 14-17 –  opening night welcomes Inuk singer and her band Nive & The Deer Children from Greenland and more artists, plus free afternoon shows ,Thursday's Back and Forth Showcase and more. Follow that up with the M for Montréal music festival, November 15-18, kicking off on Thursday with Men I Trust, Cadence Weapon, Un Blonde and more bands, followed by a free show on Thursday afternoon and Koriass, Lary Kidd and Pierre Kwenders Thursday night at Club Soda.

Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

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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