The city of Montreal is rich in art, from world-class museums of fine art to the smallest architectural details. There are important artistic precedents, such as that Montreal is home to Canada’s first museum of contemporary art, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC). But one only has to walk the streets in order to enjoy art in Montreal. No entrance ticket, no admission fee is required. Green squares with statues, historic buildings with beautiful architecture, and seemingly plain walls turned into huge canvases covered in murals — this is only scratching the surface of art in Montreal. Yes, Montreal is a simply fantastic city for art lovers.
It isn’t just the visual arts that are so significant in Montreal. The performing arts are, too. Across the city, there are no short of performance halls, concert halls, theaters, and stages. Add to that festivals of all kinds, such as Montreal Jazz Festival and M for Montreal, that attract local and international talent around the year. I could go on forever. But, for brevity, let’s focus on the visual arts in this travel guide for art lovers in Montreal.
With Canada only a day’s drive or less from some of northeastern America’s major cities and suburbs, a long weekend in Montreal is the perfect excuse for an escape. Pack up the car, grab the passports, and you’ll be having a late lunch or an early dinner north of the border in no time. That’s what my husband and I did one weekend in November, albeit, characteristically, with a little less spontaneity. You surely won’t see everything in only three days, but that’s with the city so easy to get to, you’ll have no excuses for a return trip. And you’ll want to, too! Fun (and a little frigid!), here’s an itinerary for a winter long weekend in Montreal, Canada.
Montreal has had a special fondness for Alexander Calder since at least 1967 when he designed a massive metal sculpture called “Trois disques” (or “Man and His World”) for the city’s World Fair. Now through February 24, 2019, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts is honoring the artist with Alexander Calder: Radical Inventor, a retrospective that highlights Calder’s unique works and showcases that he is much more than the mobiles he’s perhaps best known for. This rare exhibition is an insightful and striking display of Calder’s talent.