Montreal Weekender: January 10 through 13, 2013

The time has come, food lovers! The 6th annual Happening Gourmand starts today. This year’s eight participating restaurants include Aix Cuisine, newcomer BEVO Bar + Pizzeria, Modavie, Méchant Boeuf, Suite 701, Taverne Gaspar, Verses Restaurant and Vieux-Port Steakhouse. New to this edition: lunch menus have been added by the participating restaurants, open during midday hours, perfect for a delicious business meeting. Menus are young professional price-friendly at $15 for lunch ($22 value), while $23, $27 and $37 table d’hôtes will be available for dinner ($36, $44 and $60 values, respectively). It’s a great way to discover Old Montreal’s culinary scene if you’re a local or tourist. 

Velvet Auberge St-Gabriel is launching a brand new night tonight, “LOVE ON THE BEAT,” which is becoming a bi-weekly event series. The new focus of this Thursday night is to bring international talent every time and ensuring that the vibe instilled will make Love On The Beat very special. This time around, party-goers can dance away to the tunes of Adultnapper, an opening set by Jay London and Myfrienderic. The cozy and New York-esque atmosphere in Velvet is the perfect winter night out after a long day at the office! 

Running only until January 13, evenko and Broadway across Canada are proud to present the most exciting musical of the decade, BILLY ELLIOT, for eight performances at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Place des Arts.

The plot revolves around motherless Billy, who trades boxing gloves for ballet shoes. The story of his personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners’ strike (1984–1985) in North Eastern England. Based on the international smash-hit film and featuring music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreography by Peter Darling and direction by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot has earned critical acclaim around the world and was the winner of ten 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Musical… so get up and sing along with your friends! 

As a lovely introduction to the beginning of the season, come celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Discovery Bal, a landmark in improvised performances combining dance and music. Four dancers and two musicians will provide an experience of creativity and virtuosity in a vibrant celebration of the spontaneous. Filled with exceptional performers and improvisers, you can expect performances that will emphasize instinct, intuition and perception. The artists will create a performance together, each assuming responsibility for composition and encountering the unknown. A perfect show to wake up all your senses.

Young professionals, get your Latin groove on! For the first time in Montreal, productions EL FLOW Montreal presents Island Touch Dance Academy. Filled with two days of pure and amazing bachata, with the dance form’s most popular instructors from all over the world. It’s a great way to learn how to shake it even if you are the most shy of individuals. Today begins with a social party in the evening with Team Touch performing and Dj Tiguere spinning Latin rhythms while Sunday is host to the workshop starting at 1pm. Part of the profits will go to EL FLOW Kids for their project, the International Music & Dance Bachata Festival. For tickets and information, click here.

Therapy featuring DJ E11EVEN’s birthday will be creating quite a sexy stir tonight. This talented damsel might seem like your average DJ at first glance, but having played at some of the most reputed dance halls in the city, Wunderbar (W hotel), SKY, Suco, and Belvu to name a few, she is the real deal! One of our favourites, DJ JoJo Flores fresh from the BPM festival in Mexico, where he lit up the Cielo Anniversary party, will be rocking the turn tables in his city again! It’s a new year and this is a perfect Saturday night entry into it. 

What a busy weekender so far. Sunday, chilling might be on the menu. If you haven’t checked out Samurai, the prestigious collection of Richard Béliveau, which showcases some 200 pieces, including suits of armour, helmets, masks, clothing, spears, swords, and functional objects relating to warriors’ daily lives and culture, do it now before the exhibit closes in March. The objects presented come mainly from the Azuchi-Momoyama period, which stretches from 1573 to 1603, and from the Edo or Tokugawa period, which began around 1600 and came to an end in 1868. A beautiful glimpse into history! 

There is nothing more spectacular at night in the Old Port than celebrating the founding of Montreal and the Notre-Dame Basilica with a spectacular sound and light show. “And Then There Was Light” represents the work of 150 artists and skilled technicians. During the show, 26 silent motors move the screens, projectors and curtains in this superb, highly automated production. State-of-the-art multi-media techniques highlight the Basilica’s exceptional works of art and bring to life its cultural, architectural and spiritual heritage. It’s a sight to see and experience; we have been twice already and plan on another visit soon!

Photo courtesy Karel Chladek