Things to do in Montréal November 3 to 9

Robyn Fadden

This week in Montréal, the music of Leonard Cohen merges with inspired art, Montréal's restaurant week fills our plates, film festivals, theatre and dance entertain and enlighten, and  classical and contemporary music keep the beat alive.

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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. Major benefit concert Tower of Song: A Memorial Tribute to Leonard Cohen transports our hearts and minds on November 6, with music by Elvis Costello, k.d. lang, Lana Del Rey, Feist, Philip Glass, Sting, Ron Sexsmith, Patrick Watson, Adam Cohen and more incredible artists. 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.


Fall food and drink

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 such as this weekend's La Grande Degustation de Montréal. 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 – and even more than usual at the popular Montréal Vegan Festival this weekend, featuring local delicacies, culinary demos, food-related talks (among them the Vegan Zombie and local triathlete Antoine Jolicoeur Desroches), films and more at Marché Bonsecours in Old Montréal.


Explore the city

Among the many free things to do this fall in Montréal, walk along McGill College Avenue to see the photographs of Expo 67: The Place to Be, along Sherbrooke Street in the Golden Square Mile for La Balade pour la Paix: An Open-Air Museum, download Projet EVA art collective's Cortège to your phone and take an immersive tour along the Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, and in Old Montréal to see the historic tableaux projections of Cité Memoire. While there, see Notre-Dame Basilica and multimedia wonder AURA. Explore the Plateau neighbourhood through the eyes of Paul à Montréal, a self-guided tour based on the beloved comic art of Michel Rabagliati. A new international gathering for the creative industries, HUB Montréal, presented by Guy Laliberté's visionary Lune Rouge, kicks off November 8 with conferences, high-tech multimedia events and more. Cheer for NHL greats the Montréal Canadiens as they take to home ice against the Golden Knights on November 7 and the Wild on November 9 at the Bell Centre. 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.


Art inspires

Multidisciplinary exhibition Once Upon A Time… The Western gives the Western film genre new artistic life at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts while immersive installation Kushapetshekan / Kosapitcikan – A Glimpse Into the Other World by Atikamekw artists Eruoma Awashish and Meky Ottawa and Innu artist Jani Bellefleur-Kaltush evokes the sacred. 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. The Montréal Science Centre presents interactive new exhibition 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. See Montréal painter Melanie Authier's first solo show, Contrarieties & Counterpoints, and new photography work by Carolyne Scenna at Galerie de l’UQAM. Explore the golden age of magicians in the McCord Museum's Illusions: The Art of Magic. Explore the Mile Ex neighbourhood near Little Italy and the Jean Talon Market and stop by gallery Never Apart to see its fall exhibitions. 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

Hit comedy gold with Carol Burnett: An Evening of Laughter and Reflection as the legendary actress, singer and writer performs at Théâtre St-Denis on November 4. 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 opening November 8 at the Segal, while Canadian playwright Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company counters bullying and addresses homophobia, mental health and teen suicide, November 8-19 at Mainline Theatre. Montréal's fall dance scene promises thrilling, contemplative, boundary-pushing shows: Danse Danse presents the amazing, life-affirming Hofesh Shechter Company's Grand Finale at Théâtre Maisonneuve November 1-4; Agora de la danse presents classic cinema-inspired Major Motion Picture by Out Innerspace Dance Theatre, November 8-11, and dance meets theatre in Nina, c'est autre Chose to November 5 at La Chapelle. French music and dance combine in Corps Amour Anarchie - Léo Ferré, featuring singers Bïa, Philippe B, Alexandre Désilets, Michel Faubert and Catherine Major and dancers of PPS Danse, at Place des Arts November 8-9.


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 (including a free November 4 talk with director Michel Hazanavicius at the Phi Centre). 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, while in the Phi loves Don Hahn series on November 4 see Waking Sleeping Beauty, the true story of how Disney regained its magic. 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. And the 20th annual Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) opens November 9 with the world premiere of 24 Davids by Céline Baril, and features 142 films from 47 countries, including world and Quebec premiers, retrospectives, special events and more to November 19.

Classical and cultural

The 18th Arab World Festival of Montréal continues as Les Violons du Roy pairs with ney player Rachid Zeroual, the Oktoecho band and Leïla Gouchi for an evening of Arab classical music on November 3 while it's a night of Persian Flamenco on November 4, Henry Abittan and his big band The Immortals on November 5, all at Cinquième Salle. In other classical music this fall, Kent Nagano conducts an Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal concert of Rachmaninoff and Adams at the Maison symphonique November 1-4, 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 dim the lights because classical tenor Mario Frangoulis returns to Place des Arts on November 9.

More live music

On Friday night: revel in the spectacular stage show and sounds of Lady Gaga and her Joanne world tour at the Bell Centre; Louis The Child's Last to Leave Tour rolls into Théâtre Corona with opener Joey Purp; don't miss acclaimed Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer Susanne Sundfør at the Phi Centre; alt-rock out with British band The Sherlocks and We Are Monroe at Bar le Ritz PDB and hear pop makers Great Good Fine OK at Petit Campus. On Saturday, November 4, hear the pop-Mediterranean sounds of guitarist Pavlo at Le National or electro dance with Trippy Turtle at Newspeak and Dash Berlin at New City Gas. Sunday night brings Arch Enemy, Trivium and While She Sleeps to MTelus, and country-Latin-rockabilly band The Mavericks to L'Astral. Hear some classic rock at the Casino de Montréal with The Band on Tour tribute to some of the greatest rock bands in history, plus a Tribute to Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. Catch creative, genre-blending French-Cuban duo Ibeyi with openers theMIND on Monday, November 6 at Théâtre Corona or country-folk makers Birdtalker at La Sala Rossa. Singer-composer Kyrie Kristmanson and the Warhol Dervish Quartet perform Modern Ruin, songs that bridge the Middle Ages and contemporary sounds, at La Chapelle, November 6-8. There's never a dull moment with high-energy A cappella quartet QW4RTZ, performing November 8 at Place des Arts, while electronic indie-pop artist Slow Magic plays Théâtre Fairmount and California reggae band Dirty Heads heat up Théâtre Corona. On November 9, groove to Flying Lotus in magic 3D and Seven Davis Jr at MTelus, or Australian singer-songwriter-producer Hayden James at Le Belmont.

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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