13 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the Quartier des Spectacles
February 10, 2023
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February 14 is almost here! The annual celebration of love gives you a perfect excuse for getting out of the house and enjoying some quality time with someone special. How about an outdoor experience, a colourful show or a gourmet meal in the Quartier des Spectacles! Here are 13 ideas for Valentine’s Day outings.
There’s nothing more romantic than going for a skate with your sweetheart! On the Esplanade Tranquille skating rink you can take part in one of winter’s great pleasures, right in the heart of downtown. The ice is big enough for up to 400 skaters, and there’s a Patin Patin counter in the pavilion where you can rent some skates or have your own sharpened. When your cheeks are rosy and your toes chilly, head inside to the Grand salon to warm up while sipping on hot chocolate.
This winter’s edition of the Quartier’s series of interactive and luminous installations, Luminothérapie, is built on the theme of the beauty of biodiversity. The colourful series of works along Sainte-Catherine West, and the many video projections lighting up the Quartier des Spectacles, guarantee a fun and fascinating walk until March 5! On the Esplanade Tranquille rink, the interactive experience Au bord du lac Tranquille is a tribute to Quebec’s biodiversity, depicting bountiful aquatic fauna under the Lac Tranquille ice.
The experience offered by MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE is another great reason to get out in the cold. From February 16 to March 5, the 24th edition of this iconic winter festival will present a host of free activities, all equally enjoyable for couples or families. From a skating trail in Place des Festivals to the Ferris wheel, slides and numerous roving performances, there’s no shortage of things to experience and discover!
A stone’s throw from the Quartier des Spectacles, Chinatown has plenty of delightful surprises to make it worth the detour. Among them is Dragons Chasing the Moon, an artwork by Karen Tam that invites you to take a pleasant stroll until March 26. The luminous installation comprises numerous floating panels representing a family of dragons, along with banners depicting animals symbolizing the renewal of life. By following the path formed by the dragons, whose colours evoke the Lunar New Year, you end up in Sun Yat-sen Park, illuminated with decorations marking the just-ended Year of the Tiger, the current Year of the Rabbit and next year’s Year of the Dragon.
The exhibition Dumouchel : matrices et estampes highlights the work of the father of engraving in Quebec. The artist, who was world famous in the 1950s and 1960s, trained generations of Quebec artists from the 1940s to the 1970s. At UQAM’s Centre de design until April 8, discover the role of steel dies in the work of an artist who never stopped exploring new techniques and materials.
In the alleyway off Place Émile Borduas, soak up the neighbourhood’s history by checking out La Naissance du monde, a Cité Mémoire tableau recounting the Anishinaabe legend of the beaver and the muskrat as told by Algonquin artist Véronique Thusky. The texts for this unique work were written by Michel Marc Bouchard, while the production was overseen by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon.
Concert halls and theatres
The artists of the Red Sky Performance company have put together a spirited performance conveying Indigenous values. The Miigis saga pays tribute to the power of nature and Indigenous prophesies, and the show Miigis : La Panthère d’eau, at Studio-Théâtre in the Wilder Building from February 14 to 18, combines contemporary dance, music, video projections and athleticism in an exploration of the powers and archetypes at the roots of movement. This high-energy show will leave no one indifferent.
With Riopelle symphonique, the OSM honours one of Quebec’s greatest visual artists, part of the celebrations for his centennial. The multimedia show, combining projections and bold scenography and featuring a soundtrack by Serge Fiori and Blair Thomson, immerses the audience in the exceptional painter’s work while exploring the major periods of his life. February 16 to 18.
As part of Black History Month, the Cinémathèque québécoise presents a selection of major Blaxploitation films. The romantic comedy Claudine, screening on February 14, tells a love story about a single mother of six kids and a garbage man in 1970s Harlem. The film, directed by John Berry, is an inspiring piece starring Diahann Carroll (who earned a nomination for the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance) and James Earl Jones, perhaps most famous for voicing Darth Vader.
Get ready for a memorable Valentine’s Day at Le Balcon on February 14, featuring Kim Richardson. The great Montreal singer’s dynamic and romantic set, crafted just for the occasion, will feature timeless soul and jazz classics. Reserve soon! Tickets are available for the show only or as a dinner-and-show package.
Restaurants and bars
Galaxie Brasserie is a European-style spot that recently opened inside the Esplanade Tranquille pavilion. It’s a delightful setting for cocktails or a romantic dinner with your sweetie. The varied menu includes mussels, tartares, salmon, duck, beef, frites and much more!
A newcomer on the scene, Le Molière par Mousso is now open in the Quartier Latin, in Espace St-Denis. This elegant, Parisian-style bistro serves mouth-watering classic and original dishes. It can be a standalone destination, but it’s also a great place for a bite before or after the theatre.
Bivouac is a craft bar and chic bistro – a perfect place to socialize. Located in the DoubleTree by Hilton Montréal, the restaurant is dedicated to advancing the art of urban and northern gastronomy, and it’s a wonderful place for a romantic dinner. There will be a special menu on February 14. And with the new Refuges du Bivouac concept, you’ll even be able to dine on the terrasse, sheltered by a decorated glass dome that lets in the sights and sounds of the Quartier des Spectacles.