What to do this weekend, March 2-4: Explore the city with Nuit blanche
Ready to stay up all night?
Montreal comes alive for the annual Nuit blanche, which is part of winter's Montréal en Lumiere Festival. Museums, cafés, bars and more will be open until the wee hours, hosting all sorts of fun stuff. And the métro will be open all night to get you from activity to activity, and until you call bedtime. Find the full programming here. These are my picks:
- Want to feel larger-than-life? Try out Speech Karaoke, part of the programming at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. You can choose a speech from orator greats like Barack, Oprah or Hillary, and follow a telemprompter while emotional music surges in the background.
- Popular storytelling event Confabulation returns to MainLine Theatre, but with a time crunch. Dozens of Montrealers will have 120 seconds to tell a great story. 8pm. Proceeds go towards Heads & Hands, an organization that provides health services to young people. And while you're there, chill out: there's a free, all-night party with a “winter beach” theme.
- A Night at the Cathedral offers up a jam-packed musical program at Christ Church Cathedral, from Bach's organ music, the Montréal Gay Men’s Chorus and Sympholies vocales, a monastic compline service to jazz music. Fair-trade hot chocolate is also on offer.
- The 6th edition of Ten Hours for a Spoken World is a poetry marathon at Quai des brumes in the Plateau, starting at 4pm. The theme is Extend the night.
- Try a marathon of a different strip when Montreal DJs spin vinyl for one whole day at 24H of Vinyl. At Espace danse, Édifice Wilder at 1435 de Bleury. Saturday at 7pm until Sunday at 7pm.
- Maple and art are the themes at Sweet Factory, a new exhibit by local artist Whatisadam over at Station 16 Gallery on St Laurent. Be sure to grab some maple taffy.
- Explore the Big O at night with the Olympic Stadium Express Tour. An architectural and historical tour that will illuminate the controversial but iconic building. Until 2am.
- Museums are also open until the wee hours:
- Explore the luxury of the Napoleonic Age at the MMFA, open until midnight.
- The MAC is open until 2am. Check out the Leonard Cohen exhibit, then take part in a workshop where you can write and illustrate a poem inspired by Cohen's world and work (open until midnight).
- Guides at the Redpath Museum will be armed with flashlights, showing off mummies, dinosaur skeletons and animals and minerals of Quebec.
- So bad, it's good: Total Crap is a collection of the worst that television and film has to offer, with MCs and creators Simon Lacroix and Pascal Pilote. Club Soda, 7-11pm.
- A night of free quilting at the Societe textile in the Mile End. Tools and material are provided for you, and you can take your work home. $5, open until 1am.
- Or learn to make a wand at Lockhart, 'the Harry Potter bar', which is open until 5am.
Other Montreal en lumiere activities are taking over the Quartier des spectacles: ride Ferris Wheel and the Urban Slide, or see daily light-and-fire-and-music show Black Light. And you can sip on tasty apple brews at the Mondial des cidres SAQ. (Free entry after 9pm! Drink coupons are a loonie each.)
Here are some other things happening in the city:
- I will be part of the ROAST for ANDREW CARTER, my beloved host, this Saturday at the Whitlock Golf and Country Club, along with Joey Elias, James Mennie and more. Andrew is the Grand Marshall at the Hudson St Patrick's Day Parade, and this roast is part of the annual events. Dinner, music and drinks are included in the soirée.
- Pitterpatter, let's get at 'er: see the funny people of the hit Canadian show Letterkenny live onstage at the Olympia on Saturday night. They hit up the Grenada Theatre on Sherbrooke Sunday night.
- Cinema du parc will screen the Oscars for free on Sunday evening, starting at 7:30pm. They are also screening several contenders, like Phantom Thread and Theshape of Water, as well the animated and documentary shorts.
- Ronnie Burkett’s The Daisy Theatre stars sexy, scandalous marionettes at Centaur Theatre.
- Marjorie Prime explores what happens when artificial intelligence enters your home, at the Segal.
- Also, the Rendez-vous du cinéma Quebecois is on for two more days! Check out two hockey-themed flicks Saturady night at the Cineplex Odeon Quartier Latin, with Goon: Last of the Enforcers (with NDG's Jay Baruchel) and Ca sent la Coupe, a 2016 movie about a 30something Habs fan who’s forced to grow up.