Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Jean-François Briere

Montreal arts events at theatres, museums & galleries over the holidays

There’s no shortage of cultural events happening in the city this December and January.

A look at performing and visual arts events at Montreal theatres, museums and galleries over the holidays and throughout December and January.

A Section of Now at the CCA

The CCA delves into “expanding notions of family, property ownership, activism, work, technology and life cycles.”

The Canadian Centre for Architecture presents A Section of Now: Social Norms and Rituals as Sites for Architectural Intervention is a multimedia exhibition that explores society with a focus on “expanding notions of family, property ownership, activism, work, technology and life cycles.” (Through Jan. 5)

All I Want for Christmas

All I Want for Christmas at Centaur Theatre (Montreal arts events)

In this comedy written and directed by Rebecca Northan, sibling elves Nog and Ginger are on a mission to save Christmas — and keep their jobs. All I Want For Christmas takes the (12+) audience behind the scenes to see the inner workings of the North Pole, as seen from the perspective of a trouble-making elf. (At Centaur Theatre, through Dec. 5)

FringeMas Cabaret & Variety Show and SuperHappy LeFunTime

On Dec. 4, MainLine Theatre is bringing back its FringeMas Cabaret & Variety Show. Ugly Christmas sweaters and your “best Chanukah flair” are encouraged, eggnog is served and a lineup of performers is ready to entertain. On Dec. 9, SuperHappy LeFunTime promises a virtual game and discussion night hosted by artistic producer Kenny Streule. The event (in English, but bilingual exchanges are welcome) is open to all, especially the FringeMTL community. (MainLine Theatre, Dec. 4 & 9)

Making Revolution: collective histories, desired futures

A collection of artworks exploring revolution, struggle and hope in the Middle East and Northern Africa. With six videos and three installations, the exhibition presents works by a host of artists from the regions being explored. (At MAI through Dec. 11)

SuperDogs: The Musical

SuperDogs: The Musical at Segal Centre (Montreal arts events)

The Segal Centre is bringing over 20 dogs from the President’s Choice SuperDogs crew onstage for SuperDogs: The Musical. This union of musical theatre and stunt-dog spectacle tells the story of what is possible when you chase your dreams with your best friend by your side. It’s an event that promises to be fun for old and young alike, provided you aren’t allergic to dogs. (At Segal Centre, through Dec. 19)

Gift of the Holidays

As a holiday treat, the MMFA is offering 24 days of free admission to its Discovery Exhibitions and permanent collections. Temporary exhibitions include Ragnar Kjartansson, Sumarnótt: Death Is Elsewhere. An immersive video piece shot during the midnight sun in Iceland, the installation features an eerie performance by two sets of twins in bands, namely Kristín Anna and Gyða Valtýsdóttir of múm and Aaron and Bryce Dessner of the National. The other temporary exhibits explore human connection to the environment in Ecologies: A Song for Our Planet and Anne Duk Hee Jordan’s art, which imagines new lifeforms by blending the terrestrial and aquatic worlds in MOMENTA X MMFA | Anne Duk Hee Jordan | Intimacy of Strangers. Later on in the month, the MMFA has a schedule of art workshops lined up for kids and parents. (Museum of Fine Arts, free admission Dec. 1–24, activities Dec. 22–Jan. 2)

Les Grands Ballets Canadiens presents The Nutcracker: Clara’s Journey

The Nutcracker: Clara’s Journey by les Grands Ballets Canadiens (Montreal arts events)

Unable to work with performers under 12 this year due to vaccine requirements, this holiday staple was reimagined. Magical toys inspired by ballet characters come to life and perform the first act, while the second act reverts to a more faithful rendition of The Nutcracker, as we follow Clara accompanied by her Prince Charming into the Kingdom of Sweets. (At Place des Arts, Dec. 9–28)

The Holidays on the Point

Montreal’s archaeology and history museum Pointe-à-Callière is offering an outdoor winter paradise in Place Royale square, facing the museum — a place to sit and take in some festive beauty. On the weekends of Dec. 11–12 and 18–19, a visit to the square’s illuminated forest decor could lead to a chance encounter with some historical Christmas characters: Saint Nicholas, for example, or the Italian folkloric gift-giver Befana. Then from Dec. 27–30, the museum is holding a series of arts and crafts workshops for kids and parents in alignment with their It’s Circus Time! exhibition, which runs through March. Workshop-goers will create their own pocket big top, some characters to perform in it and a phenakistiscope optical illusion. (At Pointe-à-Callière, Dec. 11–Jan. 3)

Antioch by Talisman Theatre

Antioch by Talisman Theatre (Montreal arts events)

Talisman Theatre’s first produced-for-digital experience presents Sarah Berthiaume’s Antioch, a modern take on the ancient Greek tale of Antigone. Translated from French by Iris Cronin and directed by Sophie el Assaad, the play introduces us to Lily and her mother Inas, women consumed by their rage. Exploring the immigrant experience, intergenerational trauma and magical realism, Antioch is a story of the importance of communication and vulnerability, of knowing your roots. This production is meant to sit between theatre and digital art and will be streamed online with donations accepted for tickets. (YouTube, Dec. 13–19)

Wildside Festival

Centaur Theatre’s independent experimental arts festival Wildside is turning 25 and bringing four pieces to the stage this January. The Centaur will present Deer Blood, which tells the story of two mythic lovers through a blending of media, and HUSH, delving into the suicide crisis Inuit communities face. La Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, the Centaur’s festival partner for the third consecutive year, will present the two other plays: 1, 2, maybe 3 is a non-verbal exploration of movement between two bodies stuck very, very close together. Logic of the Worst brings five performers to the stage to share their ideas on the “worst” through anecdotes and demonstrations. The festival will also revive Confabulation, a fan-favourite storytelling event by Matt Goldberg. (At Centaur Theatre and la Chapelle Scènes Contemporaines, Jan. 10–22)

Imago Theatre presents Foxfinder

Foxfinder by Imago Theatre (Montreal arts events)

In this not-so-dystopian near future, the Earth is on the brink of ecological collapse and humans believe foxes are responsible. When a struggling couple meets the foxfinder, the young man sent by the government to kill all foxes, their lives change forever. The eco-parable Foxfinder is directed by Cristina Cugliandro, written by U.K. playwright Dawn King, and is put on through MAI’s residency program. (At MAI, Jan. 20–29)

Geordie Theatre presents Other Worlds

In this Geordie Theatre play for ages 10+, directed by Jessica Abdallah, two strangers are stuck together on a remote island after an environmental disaster. Though they don’t have much in common, there is at least one thing they both share: a hatred for the land developers that overrun the island looking to cash in by creating a false sense of paradise for the wealthy. Other Worlds explores the importance of community, friendship and belonging as the two strangers embark on a journey of self-discovery and deepening connection with the natural world. (At la Maison Théâtre, Jan. 14–23)

Free programming at PHI Centre

Winter programming at Phi Centre

Alongside the visual art exhibitions at the neighbouring PHI Foundation gallery, son’t miss the impressive free programming at the PHI Centre. Installations include Apparition, an augmented reality tour and We Live in an Ocean of Air, a multisensory experience exploring man vs. nature. (Various dates)

For more Montreal arts coverage, please visit the Arts & Life section.