Winter Festivals

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Winter Classics Festival

Jan. 31 to Feb. 2

Photo: Shutterstock

The Orchestre symphonique de Laval is launching its Winter Classics Festival, a joyous occasion to listen to classical music in a festive setting with refreshments and activities for all. Because it coincides with the 250th anniversary of the birth of Beethoven, the composer’s great classics, such as his Fifth and Seventh Symphonies, will be played in four concerts over three days. Alain Trudel conducts, with Charles Richard-Hamelin at the piano in the “Emperor” Concerto and a hundred-strong choir in Beethoven’s Ninth. Entertainment includes yoga, fireside stories and skating, while hot chocolate, beer and sausages help bring good cheer. The festival closes with a musical winter story in Salle André-Mathieu.

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21c: Music Festival

Jan. 11 to 25

Laurie Anderson. Photo: Ebru Yildiz

The Royal Conservatory’s 21C Music Festival in Toronto aims to promote new music and showcase innovative artists. The two-week program comprises eight concerts, one film, a virtual-reality installation and several world and North American premieres. This year, the festival will be honoured by avant-garde performer Laurie Anderson as well as a number of Canadian composers and soloists, including pianist Louis Lortie and bass-baritone Philippe Sly.


Jan. 16 to Feb. 8

Every year since 2007, Montreal’s Igloofest has united fans of electronic music in the Old Port to dance away the cold over four weekends. Quai Jacques-Cartier will host DJs and VJs from here and abroad, and the music will be complemented by other treats: an igloo village, the silly snowsuit contest and the “Iglooswag.” Igloofest is the city’s funkiest winter festival and one of the most high-profile festivals in Canada. Also, OFF Igloo invites hip-hop artists to perform on stage, like the rapper Loud who is returning to Igloofest this year. 18+

Fête des neiges

Jan. 18 to Feb. 9

Fête des neiges 2017. Photo: Facebook

The 37th edition of Fête des neiges will take place in Parc Jean-Drapeau from Jan. 18 to Feb. 9. Activities and winter sports for the whole family include skating, snow games, hockey, shows and music.

Christmas in the park

Nov. 30 to Dec. 24

For its 26th year, this delightful festival recreates an old-fashioned Christmas village in three city-centre parks. For the month of December, Place Émilie-Gamelin, Parc des Compagnons-de-Saint-Laurent and Parc Lahaie will host festive fun and winter entertainment. Entrance is free, as are all the events. As well as performances by musicians and artists, there’ll be a chance to buy a Christmas tree from a local grower, thereby helping support the festival. This year’s spokesperson is the charming Damien Robitaille (who, it’s whispered, is working on a Christmas album). 

Montreal High Lights Festival

Feb. 20 to March 1

Photo: Victor Diaz Lamich

A chance to get to know the city in a fresh way, the Montreal High Lights Festival offers activities and installations across the city centre. This year’s Nuit blanche takes place on Feb. 29 and will be a “green all-nighter.” Programming will be unveiled in February, but around 200 mainly free activities are planned for this nighttime event open to all, with the metro available throughout. And once more, the finest restaurants will be highlighted with recommendations from Élise Tastet, founder of the website, the go-to reference for Montreal eateries and bars, and her father, food critic Jean-Philippe Tastet. Programming for the outdoor festival site will be available in February.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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