The Entertainment Scene In Montréal
Montréal has become one of North America’s most beloved and commonly recommended cities in recent years. There isn’t necessarily a data point to prove this, but if you pay regular attention to travel commentary online you’ll likely agree. It simply seems as if the word is out on this city that’s always been alluring and charming in its way, but now comes across as vibrant, and as something of a must-see.
There are a number of things Montréal is particularly well known for. There’s the heavy European influence, and at times specifically Parisian atmosphere; there’s the relative multiculturalism of the populace, combined with visitors from all over the world; there’s tremendous food and an increasingly legendary bar and late night scene as well. These are the main reasons to visit Montréal, and with even a vague intention to enjoy these aspects of the city you can truly get a feel for what it’s all about.
That said, you’ll always want specific ways to entertain yourself in any big city you visit. It’s not all about scenery and food and atmosphere! So, if Montréal is as alluring to you as it has become to so many others, you may also want to keep in mind some of these recommendations for entertaining stops in and around town.
The Centaur Theatre is one of many theatre venues in the city, but perhaps the most iconic of the bunch, at least for stage performances. It celebrated its 50th anniversary last year with a particularly strong lineup of shows, but is reliable year win and year out. In 2019, for instance, “The Last Wife” is already playing to the tune of excellent reviews, and “The Shoplifters” – a show that can adequately be described as pure fun – is on deck. If you’re interested in theatre or even if you just like a good story or a fun evening out, keep the Centaur on your list.
The Montréal Canadiens can rightly be described as the main attraction in town when it comes to entertainment. They aren’t having their best season in 2018-19; currently the outlook in the NHL will show them right on the edge of playoff contention, though with a reasonable chance at making it in. Historically though they tend to be a very good team, and more importantly one that inspires a great deal of passion among the local Canadian fans. For that reason, a night at Centre Bell to watch the Canadiens play live is already a treat.
As with hockey, Montréal also has a place in the American professional leagues when it comes to soccer (or football, as some might say). The local MLS team is the Montréal Impact, and while they don’t generate as much attention or passion as the Canadiens, they still represent something fun to do in town, and something for locals to take pride in. The team is not typically among the stronger ones in the league, but with the MLS as a whole on the upswing, there’s some excitement to be had in following the Impact at this still relatively early stage, and seeing a home match at the Saputo Stadium in town.
HOUSE OF JAZZ
It’s remarkable how little the jazz scene in Montréal is publicized given how many write-ups there are about things to do and enjoy in town. But the city actually has a long-established history of excellent jazz. In fact, it’s been described as having been one of the most fertile jazz scenes in the world in the early 20th century. While Montréal may not have a claim to a designation quite that glitzy any longer, it still has numerous jazz clubs that are worth your time whether or not you’re intimately familiar with the genre. Several clubs will do, but we’re singling out the House Of Jazz as one of the best. It’s a gorgeous joint with a lot of character, with in-house barbecue and reliably fun music at all times.