What to do this weekend, Feb 1-3
Pack your snowpants and head to Parc Jean Drapeau for the quintessential Fete de Neiges. New feature this year: the Frosty Slides, an ice village of 18 slides of varying sizes. And you can also climb aboard the Ice Ship, ride a Snow Scooter or take in a live performance. Saturday and Sunday, 10am to 5pm.
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue's Winter Carnival begins with a hockey game on Friday, the 'famous bed race', fireworks and Sunday's all-day party at Aumais Park. DDO holds their Winter Carnival at the skating rink in Centennial Park, and also features a heated igloo, food trucks and the first-ever 'illuminatd path.' Saturday 4 to 8pm.
Last weekend to party outdoors in the Old Port at Igloofest! Friday's lineup includes French DJ Danger and DJ Mayday, and DJ Lis Dalton plays on Saturday evening.
450 boats, one show. The Boat and Water Sports Show continues until Sunday at Place Bonaventure.
Looking for a Super Bowl party? Join the Alouettes! Fresh off a rebrand, the team's players and cheerleaders will cheer on the Patriots or the Rams at the Cage Brasserie sportive in the Bell Centre. Sunday, 5:30pm.
Restaurants serve up their wildest concoctions for Poutine Week, which begins Friday. The made-in-Montreal celebration can now be celebrated everywhere from Abitibi to the Saguenay, from Calgary to Winnipeg. But to indulge right here, head to the site and plug in your location and any eating restrictions. Try a Cantonese twist at Bulma Bar in Griffintown, or the Butter Me Poutine (fries and butter chicken on naan bread) at Restaurant Devi on Crescent. Chow down on gluten-free Portugese poutine at the Porto Lounge in St Henri, or try the vegan options: The Champ (roast veggies, fried leeks, queso sauce) at Lola Rosa or the cheese tofu at Le Trèfle - Taverne Irlandaise in Hochelaga (see above!). I'm planning to try the Chocolate Poutine with churro-style fries, popcorn and bacon at Chocolat Favoris. Don't forget to vote for your favourite!
For fancier food, how about Old Montreal's 12th Happening Gourmand. It's the last weekend to try out a new restaurant at a prix fixe menu, $17 for brunch and $24 or $29 for dinner. There are nine participating restaurants, including Bevo and Maggie Oakes... I loved the creamy pasta at Brasserie 701!
50 years ago, a group of students protesting a teacher's discriminatory practices took control of the 9th floor computer lab at the Hall building, at what was then Sir George Williams University. The Computer Riots would be a turning point in race relations in Montreal and Canada. New play Blackout exlpores the protesters and the professor's viewpoints, while also situating the incident in the larger context of race relations then and now. The show has just opened at Concordia's DB Clarke Theatre...in, yes, the very building where the protests took place. Until February 10. Elsewhere in the theatre world, there is a Caisse de la culture's free Queer Reading Series at Centaur, and you can also check out Children of God, a powerful play about residential schools at The Segal.
One Thing Leads to Another is a 30-minute play crafted for babies! Toronto-based theatre artist Maja Ardal developed this show for infants aged 4 to 12 months after researching how their brains work. The artists meet each baby, then bring on colourful balls and fabric to enchant them. The show is followed by play time where babies can play with the props. Presented by Geordie Theatre at Monument-National, until Sunday. (There is space for strollers as well as change rooms.)
If there is a song that won't fade, it's Toto's Africa. Taverne Cobra in Little Italy will be playing the song every 15 minutes on Friday night, starting at 11pm.
What's beneath Harry's wizard cloak? The Wiggle Room presents Harry Potter and the Bedchamber of Secrets on Saturday night - a show so popular they've sold ou the 9pm and added a midnight one. Host Laura Boo LaBiche will keep you entertained between performances by Pickles Lavey and Imogen Quest.