It’s funny how a short trip out of the city can get your creativity going again. For the last two months, I’ve been experiencing some serious cabin fever (maybe you have too?) So we decided to pack our long underwear, two sets of scarves, our warmest pairs of socks and head to Montreal for a couple weekenders to visit some of our fave neighbourhoods, bars, eateries and shops.
Having lived in Montreal for four years, one of the things I love about the city is its love of art and culture. You have your established institutions, but at the same time you’ll find it in the unlikeliest places. At night, disused and corporate buildings become blank canvases for art installations.
In the winter, the city lights up as part of the Montreal en Lumiere festival, a way to distract you from the cold winters. Kind of important for a city where a large majority of people walk from place to place.
The second weekender was for Nuit Blanche. Even on a snowy night, the streets were packed with people moving from one street to another. Since everything is free to enter, there were major lineups to some of the places we wanted to check out (SAT, Mutek, Bar Vinyl), even when we went back a second time around 2 a.m. We were able to visit the Musee d’art Contemporain to view the Collages show currently on.
The last stop for us during Nuit Blanche was at one of our fave bars, Laika, up on St-Laurent Boulevard, where one of our friends, Cristobal was DJing. It was a fitting way to end the night, since their visuals were based on dazzle camouflage, which for us was a huge influence in re-conceptualizing and redesigning the Spins & Needles look a few years ago.
The first time we visited was for Igloofest, a winter festival that brings together electronic music fans to “dance under the stars” at Old Port. One of my fave elements was the dance floor in a geometric igloo, constructed from what looked like shipping containers and dozens of Rubix-esque with lights that changed from purple to blue. Plus the marshmallow roasting stations were a great touch.