10 original outings for Valentine’s day

February 8, 2018

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Looking for a perfect night out with your sweetheart, or some original ways to spend the 14th with your buddies? This year, forget the heart-shaped box of chocolates, it's time to get back to basics!

If you want to let timeless tunes woo your heart, get into a dancing groove, cheer on a hot artist, laugh till you cry or sip a great cocktail, the Quartier des Spectacles has something for you. There are no bad reasons to spend time together, but these ones are all good!


Dance the night away

Combining an introduction to swing dancing with the Swing Connexion dance school and live music from a great swing band, Wednesdays at the Katacombes are perfect for couples who love to dance. It's not quite Patrick Swayze's Havana, but nothing's more romantic than going dancing with the one you love! Curious? Be there by 8 p.m. for your 8:15 lesson.

Twice as much dance

Striking a balance between our wild inner selves and the wisdom of experience is a challenge for all of us, and that's what Margie Gillis explores in Viriditas, February 14 to 17 at Espace danse in the Wilder Building. Featuring Gillis with two pure and wild fellow dancers, the show is a portrait of collective, modern humanity.

In awe of giants

With the masterful Kent Nagano at the helm, the OSM, on its home turf in the Maison Symphonique de Montréal, will premiere the second part of its triple program, La titan de Mahler, with "Prelude to Act 1" of Wagner's Lohengrin. The OSM's first double bass, Ali Kian Yazdanfar, is featured in the "Double Bass Concerto" by Behzad Ranjbaran, a poetic piece inspired by the composer's Persian heritage. Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 1 in D Major, "Titan" is the evening's marquee work, closing the concert with breathtaking verve.

For incurable romantics

For this special celebration of love, Le Balcon presents the enchanting Kim Richardson. During her jazz, love & soul show, the singer will lead her band in a set of tunes chosen just for lovers, by Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Sara Vaughan and more. An electrifying night of sultry songs. All that's missing is a fireplace!


Why not improvise?

More of a gut-feeling person? Located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, Theatre Sainte-Catherine is home to Montreal's longest running free improv workshop. Sunday Night Improv invites a regular group of some of Montreal's most talented improvisers, including Sandi Armstrong, Heidi Lynn Weeks, Maité Sinave, Josh Budman and Paul Naiman, to perform sketches on surprise topics. As well as the roster of seasoned improvisers, newbies sometimes take the stage and steal the show. On February 18, that could be you! Sunday Night Improv is always a good time for audiences, who are welcome to contribute to the show with their suggestions and votes.

Shoot the breeze over drinks

Why not get together with friends and talk about life, the universe and everything over a drink or two? Until March, La Chic Galerie at Foufounes électriques features stunning paintings by Philippe Turcotte, just the thing to keep the conversation flowing. Foufs is an underground institution - where better to share your best tales?

If you're feeling nostalgic…

HELP! quickly became one of Canada's most popular tribute bands. On February 16 they'll celebrate the Beatles at Club Soda. Norman Di Blasio, R.D. Harris, Ron Stutz and Pascal Tirapani give such a faithful rendition of the Fab Four's voices, harmonies, mannerisms and even haircuts that it feels like you're really seeing the legendary band live. Come out for this set of timeless songs and you won't stay in your seat for long! The evening starts with a couple of promising opening bands: the indie-rock Guidestones, and the more retro sounds of Francis Pelikan.

A moment with a legend

There are still a few people who haven't yet checked out Leonard Cohen - Une brèche en toute chose / A Crack in Everything, and plenty more who'd like to see the exhibition again (and again). This world-class show at the MAC, assembled for Montreal's 375th last year, continues until April 9. And what better day than Valentine's for a journey into the poetry and music of Montreal's favourite son?