Things to do in Montréal November 9 to 15

Robyn Fadden

Mid-November in Montréal offers a bounty of delicious food during MTLàTable restaurant week, views of nature and the city in Mount Royal Park, thought-provoking films at festivals CINEMANIA and RIDM, Wagner's opera Das Rheingold, innovative art by Alexander Calder and Julian Rosefeldt, worlds of music at Mundial Montréal and M for Montréal, and even more great theatre, dance, circus and live music at venues citywide. 

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November city sights

No matter what the November weather, take advantage of the many free things to do this fall in Montréal, including seeing the city from several vantage points: walk, bike, bus or drive up to the lookout on Mount Royal (one of the most Instagrammable spots in Montréal), stroll through city streets to the St. Lawrence River on the beautiful Promenade Fleuve-Montagne path or check out colourful Jean-Talon Market and Atwater Market to see what's in season – and eat local while you're there. At night learn why Montréal is a city of lights: revel in the high-tech wonders of Moment Factory multimedia creation AURA at Notre Dame Basilica (one of Montréal's most famous icons) and spot history-focused Cité Memoire projections on building facades throughout Old Montréal. Bird's-eye views of the city await in the comfort of the Observatoire Place Ville Marie downtown, La Grande Roue de Montréal observation wheel in the Old Port and the Montréal Tower at Olympic Stadium – or experience an Olympian's journey in the Canadian Olympic Experience at Canadian Olympic Committee headquarters downtown. Meanwhile in pro sports sights: the Montréal Canadiens take on the Vegas Golden Knights on November 10 at the Bell Centre. Creative industries marketplace HUB Montréal features talks, panels and showcases highlighting business development collaborations between the digital arts, film, music, video games, multimedia, AI, VR and more, from November 12 to 14. Discover Montréal through its literature at the Salon du livre Montréal, a massive book fair that includes discussions with authors and publishers, a youth zone and English-language programming with Get Lit! Brilliant Books from Quebec, from November 14 to 19 at Place Bonaventure. Whether you're in Montréal for a long weekend or a week, solo or with family, plot your days and nights with the My Official Montréal City Guide, a travel app that lets you experience the city like a Montrealer.

Food and drink

Montréal's restaurant week, MTLàTABLE, goes into full swing this week at 150 restaurants around the city – don't miss out on excellent prix-fixe meals for $23, $33 or $43, from November 1 to 11. Whether you're on a date, feasting as a family or out with friends, read all about MTLàTABLE's perfect restos for any occasion, restaurants specializing in wine pairings as well as bring your own wine restaurants  and 30 new participating restaurants. At MTLàTABLE you'll also find top Montréal restaurants for the gourmet traveller, cuisine from around the world, restaurants serving up sumptuous brunches, amazing vegetarian meals and all manner of local Québec ingredients – not to mention creative chocolate desserts. There's no need to change into fancy duds at these new casual restaurants and cheerful bring your own wine eateries, including some in Little Italy. Watch autumn's changing colours as you eat at Montréal's restaurants in the parks. Any time of day, grab a pick-me-up at Montréal's indie coffee shops. And later on, relax with a perfect cocktail or have a drink away from it all in a hidden bar. If you're looking for local food and Québécois classics follow our guides to the best poutine, the best Montréal bagels and the best smoked meat, Montréal's top chocolatières, excellent Montréal meals worth writing home about and more musts for foodies visiting Montréal. If you've got a craving for dumplings, follow our guide to where to eat some of the best Chinese food in Montréal. For something light, seek out these health-conscious restaurants and great sushi restaurants and peruse our ultimate guide to vegan eating in Montréal. Or indulge your sweet tooth at Montréal's best bakeries and pastry shops. Explore more of Montréal and its culinary delights on Montréal's best food tours. And if you're traveling with kids, check out our ideas for great places to eat with kids in Montréal

On stage

Gods, humans and mythical creatures cross paths in Wagner’s parable of the history of the world Das Rheingold, presented by Opéra de Montréal at Place des Arts on November 10, 13, 15 and 17. Go see the circus in three shows this week: Cirque Éloize's Hotel, an energetic show combining acrobatics, theatre, dance and live music at Place des Arts from November 14 to 17; Les 7 doigts's Passagers, an emotional tale of train travel and relocation, at La TOHU starting November 14; and Cirque Alfonse's Tabarnak at Monument National on November 14, part of the CINARS Biennale. The China Disabled People’s Performing Art Troupe presents My Dream, featuring a cast of 52 acrobats, musicians, singers and dancers, on November 12 at Place des Arts. Montréal's English theatre season continues to shine with British playwright Lucy Kirkwood's The Children, a story of two nuclear engineers confronting industrial and personal responsibility, from November 6 to 25 at Centaur Theatre. Teesri Duniya Theatre presents Stephen Orlov's Birthmark, a drama that crosses the divide between Canada’s Jewish and Palestinian diaspora communities, from November 3 to 18 at the MAI. The Tashme Project: The Living Project traces the history and common experience of the Nisei, second-generation Japanese Canadians, from November 15 to 24 at Centaur Theatre. And Acts to Grind Theatre stages Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet's examination of ethics and indignities through the world of real estate salesmen, at Mainline Theatre from November 7 to 18. In Montréal contemporary dance, Danse Danse presents Tentacle Tribe's Ghost, danced by street dance/hip-hop duo  Emmanuelle Lê Phan and Elon Höglund, from November 13 to 18 at Place des Arts. Lucie Grégoire takes audiences on a wild journey through nature in Territoires, from November 7 to 10 at Agora de la danse. Or see Maria Kefirova's The Nutcracker, a performance for “a dancer, voice recorder, four audio speakers and 25 kg of walnuts,” from November 12 to 14 at La Chapelle, while Arsenal Contemporary art gallery hosts new dance explorations by Van Grimde Corps Secrets and La Otra Orilla on November 13.

On screen

The CINEMANIA Francophone Film Festival (with English subtitles!) runs from November 1 to 11, bringing feature films and shorts to Montréal, along with directors, actors and industry experts in talks, workshops and more. The Montréal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) screens 157 films from 47 countries from November 8 to 18, as well as presentations, themed parties with live music, weekend family programming at the Cinémathèque québécoise (also where you'll find the UXdoc Space's free VR experiences) and more. Virtual reality storytelling also wows us in VR exhibition Echo: The Sound of Space, a creative exploration of the universe's timeless vibrations, at tech and culture hub the Phi Centre. In the SAT's Satosphere dome downtown from November 13 to 24, see 360-degree immersive live concert Richard Reed Parry’s Quiet River of Dust, featuring natural-world visuals filmed by the Arcade Fire musician and Jean-François Lalonde, with narration by Laurie Brown. Roam the cosmos in science-meets-multimedia double bills Planet Nine and Secrets of Gravity, Continuum and Aurōrae and more at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium. The Montréal Science Centre features IMAX films Oceans 3D and Pandas 3D along with hands-on science activities and a 3.8-billion-year-old moon rock! And Mile End's cinema, Cinéma Moderne screens art-house and cult films every day plus daytime family programming on weekends.

Art for all

Among this season's must-see museum exhibitions, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor, the first Canadian retrospective of the American modern art giant, with over 150 works on display – on November 11 at Bourgie Hall, see a Calder-inspired performance of circus and live music. The MMFA also features Resplendent Illuminations: Books of Hours from the 13th to the 16th Century in Quebec Collections, video installation Liminals by Jeremy Shaw, a powerful Inuit art collection and more. At the Musée d'art contemporain, don't miss the 13-screen immersive video work Manifesto by German artist Julian Rosefeldt, with actor Cate Blanchett taking on various roles, as well as a retrospective of influential multidisciplinary Québec artist Françoise Sullivan, historical artist manifesto exhibition Scores and Dana Michel's Jams Do Jams dance performances – or spend the evening at the museum's Nocturne event on November 9, featuring exhibition visits until 2 a.m., workshops, DJs and more. At DHC-ART in Old Montréal, Jasmina Cibic's Everything That You Desire and Nothing That You Fear immerses us in issues of cultural production and political aims, anchored in the planning stages of Expo 67. Galerie l'UQAM and Cinémathèque québécoise explore themes of revolution in cross-disciplinary exhibition and film program Uprisings. In Ke'tapekiaq Ma’qimikew: The Land Sings / La terre chante, multidisciplinary Mi’kmaq artist Ursula Johnson reflects on human-made trauma on the land and waterways, at SBC galerie d'art contemporain. La Guilde presents Sonny Assu: A Selective History, 10 subversive works by the First Nations artist. See Frances Adair Mckenzie's spellbinding sculptural works and bright paintings by Veronika Pausova at Parisian Laundry and Lorna Bauer's captivating landscape photography exhibition Tools for Idlers at Galerie Nicolas Robert. Galerie D'Este shows Marcel Barbeau's paintings in exhibition Jours d'envol. Head to Mile Ex to see Never Apart's new fall exhibitions. And there's more art to discover while gallery hopping and antiquing in the city.

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History near and far

Montréal's past comes to life in multimedia exhibitions at Pointe-à-Callière, one of the city's excellent kid-friendly museums. At the McCord Museum, see different sides of local history in Shalom Montréal – Stories and Contributions of the Jewish Community and Wearing our Identity – The First Peoples Collection, and on Sunday bring your kids for story hour and hands-on workshops. Learn more about Jewish culture in Montréal in Zei Gezunt // Porte-Toi Bien // Keep Well (2018 - 2019), a grandson’s exploration of his grandfather’s inventions, transformed into works of art and history-rich storytelling, at the Museum of Jewish Montreal. Beautiful multi-sensorial exhibition War Flowers explores human nature in the landscape of war through floriography, sculpture and scent, at Château Ramezay. The Stewart Museum's Paris on Display: 18th-Century Boutiques exhibition highlights the City of Light circa the 18th-century. At the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Scripts for a new world: Film storyboards by Alessandro Poliat explores elements of film that helped Poliat form new language for architecture while Architecture Itself and Other Postmodernist Myths proposes a counter-reading of postmodern procedures, opening November 7. Based in research spanning three Québec universities, the Écomusée du fier monde's InterReconnaissance – Une mémoire citoyenne se raconte gathers voices and traces from 50 years of mobilizing for the rights of minority groups in Québec. The Musée de Lachine presents history and archeology from the times of fur trade and New France alongside contemporary art. Take more recent history home with you with our ultimate guide to vintage shopping in Montréal. And read all about jazz in Montréal, from the roaring twenties to today, featuring not only local history but jazz clubs still hopping today.

 

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Classical and world music

Among the fall season's classical concerts, German conductor David Afkham conducts the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal and violinist Blake Pouliot in The Sibelius Concerto at Maison symphonique on November 11. On November 13 and 14, the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presents pianist Till Fellner in Mozart’s last piano concerto, harpist Jennifer Swartz in Debussy’s Danses and the orchestra performs Ravel’s Daphnis et Chloé at Maison symphonique. Also on November 14, the New Orford String Quartet performs Joseph Haydn’s Seven Last Words and George Crumb’s Black Angels at Bourgie Hall. And Opera McGill presents Albert Herring, a three-act chamber opera by Benjamin Britten, at Pollack Hall from November 8 to 10. The multidisciplinary Arab World Festival of Montréal brings together Arabic and Western cultures in music, theatre, dance and film until November 11 – this weekend see Egyptian trio HOH, Nada Al Raihane and Ranine Chaar's tribute to Warda Al-Jazairia, grand closing event Qudud Flamenco and more. And discover the best in new world music at Mundial Montréal from November 13 to 16, including a free afternoon showcase on Wednesday at L'Escogriffe, opening night at the classy Cabaret Lion d’Or with Korean janggu percussionist Kim So Ra, Eastern European electro-folk group DoVira and more artists, and Thursday night's multi-artist Back and Forth Showcase at both L'Astral and Le Gesù downtown.

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Hear French-language indie rock, folk-pop, electro and more by over 150 bands and solo artists during the international Coup de cœur francophone festival, from November 1 to 11 – this weekend check out Antoine Corriveau at Club Soda, Bernhari at Le Ministère, Forever Pavot and Témé Tan at Ausgang Plaza and many more artists. Also on Friday night, see California rockers Young the Giant at MTelus, South African singer-songwriter Gregory Alan Isakov and opener Haley Heynderickx at Corona Theatre, singer-songwriter Matt Simons at Bar Le Ritz PDB, Québec rapper Lou Phelps at Le Belmont and electronic music producers Rezz, Habstrakt and Charlesthefirst revving up the dancefloor at New City Gas. Saturday night's a busy one, bringing bass-house electronic duo Gorgon City Live to Corona Theatre, Belgian bass duo Ganja White Night to the Société des arts technologiques, Brooklyn-based indie-pop artist Tor Miller to La Sala Rossa, indie-rock band Tennis to Bar Le Ritz PDB,  Irish punk rockers Stiff Little Fingers and The Mahones to Foufounes Électriques and Jack White to Place Bell, while electronic producer Josh Wink comes to Newspeak and KSHMR brings his electronic dance sounds to New City Gas. Or spend an evening immersed in the sounds of soul, motown, funk and R&B with soul divas Veeby on November 9 and Kim Richardson on November 10 at Le Balcon.

On Sunday night, see soulful singer-songwriter Mac Ayres at Le Ministère, while on Tuesday night The Tallest Man On Earth plays MTelus, dream pop-rock band Wild Nothing and Men I Trust play Corona Theatre and L.A.-based singer-songwriter-producer shallou and opener Japanese Wallpaper come to Le Ministère. Music festival M for Montréal kicks off on Wednesday with multi-artist showcases at La Sala Rossa, where Hubert Lenoir is a must-see, and an afterparty at Datcha, followed on Thursday afternoon by a free showcase at L’Astral and Thursday night shows at Café Cléopatre and Club Soda – the festival continues with more great music until November 17. Also on Wednesday, see folk-bluegrass ensemble The Dead South at Corona Theatre. And closing out the week on Thursday, it's Palaye Royale and Bones at Le Ministère and Stone Temple Pilots at Place Bell. For even more music throughout the week, check out our picks on how to get your nightlife on in Montréal, where to hear live music in Montréal, 10 great places to see indie bands, Montréal's best jazz and blues clubs and our guide to electronic music in Montréal. And if you want to bring the music home with you, go record shopping at Montréal's excellent vinyl stores.

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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