14 ways to celebrate Christmas in the Quartier des Spectacles

December 4, 2014

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Symphonic Christmas, gospel Christmas, illuminated Christmas… even a green Christmas! Once again this holiday season, the Quartier des Spectacles has something for every taste and age. Here’s a quick look at what’s going on this December.

The one and only Santa Claus

Until December 24 – FREE
Complexe Desjardins

The Quartier des Spectacles is proud to host the one and only real Santa Claus! You’ll find him in his village in Complexe Desjardins, where he welcomes little ones, who always – well, almost always – love to have their picture taken with old Saint Nick. Wednesday through Sunday until December 14 and daily from December 15 to 24.

Aluminum can Christmas tree

December 5 to 18 – FREE
Centre for Sustainable Development (Maison du développement durable)

The Centre for Sustainable Development invites Montrealers to enjoy a green Christmas. Made from more than 800 aluminum cans collected in October, the centre’s large tree will stand in the building’s atrium. It’s a great way to raise awareness of recycling. A workshop on making decorations from reclaimed aluminum will be presented on December 18 at 12:15 p.m.

The Nutcracker by Ballet Ouest

December 5 to 7
Salle Pierre-Mercure, Centre Pierre-Péladeau

For a second year, Montreal-based ballet company Ballet Ouest presents its original production of the famous tale – a version that takes the audience deep into the origins of the classic work.

Gospel Christmas

Various dates
Théâtre Maisonneuve (Place des Arts) and Saint James United Church

The holiday season is all about celebration, and there’s no music more celebratory than gospel! The Montreal Jubilation Gospel Choir will bring joy to Théâtre Maisonneuve with its annual Gospel Celebration (December 7, 8 p.m.). Meanwhile, at Saint James United Church, the Jireh Gospel Choir and Montreal Gospel Choir (December 13, 8 p.m. and December 14, 4 p.m.) are guaranteed to put a big smile on your face.

Symphonic Christmas

Various dates
Maison symphonique

Christmas is also the perfect time to reconnect with the classics. Kent Nagano, conductor of the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal (OSM), will lead the orchestra in two concerts featuring tenor Vittorio Grigolo (December 16 and 18, 8 p.m.). Music lovers will also get the chance to hear Handel’s Messiah (December 9 and 10, 8 p.m.) and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto as well as works by Tchaikovsky at the Orchestre métropolitain’s Soirs d’hiver concert (December 19, 7:30 p.m.).


December 10 to February 2 – FREE
Place des Festivals and eight building façades throughout the Quartier

Every year, this event presents new interactive public artworks. Starting on December 2, the Place des Festivals becomes a giant kaleidoscope made up of large luminous prisms created by Toronto-based Raw Design, while the Quartier’s permanent video projection sites will come alive with an early 20th-century carnival as interpreted by Lüz Studio. The work’s centrepiece is a series of interactive carnival games outside Saint-Laurent metro station.

The Nutcracker by the Grands Ballets canadiens

December 11 to 30
Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts

The classic of classics. Choreographed in 1964 by Fernand Nault, the Grand Ballets’ Nutcracker is back to enchant spectators of all ages with a wonderful performance that pulls out all the stops to delight the audience.

Décembre, le Noël de Québec Issime and Le petit Noël de Québec Issime

December 11 to 30
Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts

After 12 years, there’s no doubt that Québec Issime’s holiday show is a fixture on Montreal’s cultural landscape. The beautiful singing in this finely honed production never fails to fill the audience with soaring Christmas spirit. This year, the company is also presenting two special performances for children, Le petit Noël de Québec Issime, on December 14 and 21 at 11 a.m. In French

Arion Baroque Orchestra

December 11, 8 p.m.
Bon Pasteur Historic Chapel

The Arion Baroque Orchestra invites the public to enjoy an old-time Christmas with a concert that will transport you to 18th century Paris, thanks to Christmas symphonies by baroque composer Michel Corrette.

Nicolas Noël

December 13 to 20
Théâtre St-Denis and salle Pierre-Mercure (Centre Pierre-Péladeau)

Santa Claus himself will tell his secrets, in song and story, to delighted young spectators. After making an acclaimed debut last year, Nicolas Noël returns with a new creation, La magie de la poussière d’étoiles. In French.

David Myles

December 13, 8 p.m.

Earlier this year, young New Brunswick musician David Myles released It’s Christmas, one of Canada’s best new Christmas albums, featuring everything from jazz to bluegrass. Now in its fifth year, his annual Singing for Supper show will once again raise funds for local food banks.

Les douze Noëls de Daquin

December 21, 3 p.m.

Get ready for an enchanting evening in the magnificent Gèsu chapel, where house organist François Zeitouni will play the holiday classic Noël pour orgue by Louis-Claude Daquin.

Vinyl Cafe Xmas Show

December 22, 7:30 p.m.
Théâtre Maisonneuve, Place des Arts

Vinyl Cafe, the beloved radio show hosted by Stuart McLean – known as “Canada’s favourite storyteller” – is a smash hit on the CBC and foreign airwaves, and earned Best Podcast honours from Apple in 2011. This year’s Christmas tour will stop in Montreal on December 22 for a magical evening of music and stories.

Les Petites Tounes

December 27 to 30
Théâtre Jean-Duceppe, Place des Arts

The members of Petites Tounes are big rock stars for little kids. After Christmas, they’ll keep the holiday spirit alive with a special concert featuring both classics and original songs. In French