The holiday spirit takes over the Quartier des Spectacles
December 1, 2023
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The Quartier des Spectacles is overflowing with enchanting Holiday magic! Whether you you’d rather be inside or out and whether you’re planning something with your sweetheart, friends or the whole family, you’ll find just the right thing to honour your favourite Christmas traditions and create some new ones. Here’s a look at some of the season’s top activities and events.
PLENTY OF SHOWS TO SEE AT PLACE DES ARTS
From December 6 to January 6, Pub Royal is a show by 7 doigts de la main that pays tribute to Les Cowboys Fringants, the band led by the late Karl Tremblay. This “anti-musical” directed by Jean-François Pauzé with dialogue by Olivier Kemeid is built around the band’s music; it brings to life the colourful characters who inhabit the songs of one of Quebec’s favourite groups.
Pierre Lapointe, touring behind his hit album Chansons Hivernales, will present a show specially created for the Holiday season on December 7. He will sing some poignant numbers from his catalogue in a magnificent setting, accompanied by his band and special guests including Mitsou, Mélissa Laveaux, Patrice Michaud and Laura Niquay.
One of last year’s audience favourites, Parapapam, returns from December 8 to 10 with singers Patrick Bruel, Mario Pelchat, Vladimir Kornéev and Marie-Josée Lord. Accompanied by the Orchestre Filmharmonique de Montréal, the four acclaimed artists will deliver beautiful renditions of some great Christmas classics.
Why not take advantage of the Holiday season to catch a comedy show? On December 14, Le show Queer – Spécial des fêtes is an inclusive event starring LGBTQ2S+ comics Anne-Sarah Charbonneau, Andy St-Louis and Marla Deer.
A classic among classics, the timeless ballet The Nutcracker will be performed daily (twice on certain days) from December 14 to 30. This production was created in 1964 by renowned Québécois choreographer Fernand Nault, set to Tchaikovsky’s famous score. The enchanting work recounts the fabulous adventures of little Clara in the Land of Snow and the Kingdom of Sweets.
GREAT MUSICAL EVENINGS
If you’re in the mood for a soaring musical celebration, don’t miss Noël Gospel, on December 9 and 10 at Centre Pierre-Péladeau. Under the direction of Carol Bernard, the Jireh Gospel Choir and the Montreal Gospel Choir will sing stirring renditions of Christmas classics, overflowing with heartfelt joy and depth.
At the Maison symphonique de Montréal, from December 14 to 17, Le secret de Polichignon brings together the talented Fred Pellerin, Kent Nagano and the OSM. In this new Christmas tale set in Saint-Élie-de-Caxton, a certain “hair crafter” named Méo Bellemare learns the villagers’ secrets as he grooms their hair and beards…
On December 9 at the Maison Symphonique, don’t miss Holiday Melodies, a special jazz and classical Christmas concert. The Orchestre national de jazz de Montréal joins forces with the Orchestre Métropolitain, the Chœur Métropolitain and singers Kim Richardson, Ranee Lee, Laura Anglade and Dawn Tyler Watson.
Why not celebrate a Gospel Christmas by attending an inspirational, joyful evening at Le Balcon? On December 27, the Montreal-based Imani Gospel Singers will perform songs from their dynamic repertoire. The next evening, Michelle Sweeney & the Gospel Tribe will have you up and dancing to irresistible jazz, soul and gospel tunes.
ACTIVITIES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Nicolas Noël – Le cristal du temps is an awe-inspiring show for the whole family. On December 27 and 28 at Place des Arts, the show, set in a winter wonderland, combines stories and music and stars the real Santa – Père Nicolas Noël – and his elves Trémaline and Pamalin.
At the Grande bibliothèque, they’ll be showing some perfect movies to get you into the holiday spirit! Come (re)watch the fantasy-comedy Noël & compagnie by Alain Chabat, in which a couple try to help Santa Claus, whose elves are suffering burnout (December 15, 6 p.m.). On December 22 at 6 p.m., it’s time for a French-language dub of the timeless Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street by George Seaton, starring Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and Natalie Wood, in which a department store Santa claims to be the real Santa Claus.
Coucou, running from December 12 to January 7 at Maison Théâtre, is a play for preschool and elementary-age children. Graham Soul’s creation is a poetic exploration of the concepts of time and freedom.
Ideal for the whole family, Un Noël Rated G, by the Scream Dance Academy, will be presented at the Gesù on December 10. The show explores a dynamic world steeped in the Christmas spirit.
Until Christmas Eve, children of all ages are invited to experience Holiday magic at Complexe Desjardins. The many activities and shows on the program include the chance to meet the real Santa, take a spin on the carrousel and ride the train!
OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES FOR ALL
The 14th edition of Luminothérapie is now happening along Sainte-Catherine Street West, with five large, colourful installations and a unique video projection that changes with the weather. Be sure to spend some quality time exploring it!
Did you know it’s possible to skate on a large rink in the heart of Montreal, for free? The refrigerated rink on Esplanade Tranquille has all the ingredients for a magical outing.
The 30th edition of Noël dans le parc – the city’s largest festival of its kind – runs from December 8 to 30 this year. The many activities include a solstice celebration, the Grande nuit du solstice d’hiver, on December 21, with Matiu, Laura Niquay and Akawui, and New Year’s Eve in Place Émilie-Gamelin, with numerous artists including Les Tireux d’roche and Elemât.
Place des Festivals continues to host the Great Montreal Christmas Market until December 30. Visit the 40 cabins operated by local artisans, sip some mulled wine and soak up the site’s captivating ambiance, enhanced by plenty of free activities and the show “Noël à Montréal.”