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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 21, No. 4 December 2015

Canadian Winter Festivals

by Camilo Lanfranco / December 1, 2015

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Prismatica à la Place des Festivals en 2014 - Photo Cindy Boyce
Prismatica at Place des Festivals in 2014 - Photo Cindy Boyce

Montréal, Dec. 10 to Jan. 31
In Montréal, visual arts are a large part of the city’s personality and way of life. The city is flush with art expositions all year long, most of which are free. To make up for the short winter days and brighten the long winter nights, check out Luminothérapie, an interactive, colourful, and hypnotic festival of light, and best of all – it’s free! A great activity to share with friends and family. www.quartierdesspectacles.com

The Next Stage Festival
Toronto, Jan. 6 to 17
Toronto’s theatre scene is healthy and alive, but this vitality hasn’t come without hard work, passion, and, above all, divergence from the mainstream by passionately independent and non-traditional theatre professionals. The Next Stage theatre festival is a great opportunity to see the new currents in theatre as well as some up-and-coming Canadian theatrical talent. Already making some buzz in theatre circuits is the play A Man Walks in to a Bar by Rachel Blair. www.fringetoronto.com

Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois
Montréal, Feb. 18 to 27
The only film festival dedicated exclusively to Québec’s film industry, Rendez-vous du cinéma Québécois has been promoting local cinema for 33 years. Key ingredients of the festival include free events, meetings between producers and creators, films screenings, and some of the best interactive media works of 2015. The festival will open with Les Loups from filmmaker Sophie Deraspe at the Cinéma Imperial. The festival will close with the Canadian première of Chorus from veteran director François Delisle. www.rvcq.quebeccinema.ca

Montréal en Lumière
Montréal, Feb. 18 to Mar. 5
One of the largest winter festivals in the world, this season’s Montréal en Lumière presents a wide variety of events and expositions that include visual arts, theatre, and classical music. Notably, Maestro Charles Dutoit will be conducting the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal with world-renowned pianist Martha Argerich. Also, the play Monsieur Ibrahim et les fleurs du Coran will be presented at the centre Pierre-Péladeau on February 19 and 20. Make sure to check out the exposition Pompei at Musée de Beaux-Arts de Montréal. www.montrealenlumiere.com

Available Lights Film Festival
Yukon, Feb. 6 to 15
True to its northern nature, this interesting little film festival showcases a surprisingly good selection of Canadian films, many with the warmth, humour, and openness that living in the northern natural wonders brings. Now in its 14th year, this edition will include more than 30 films and showcase a media arts exhibition. If you can’t make it in person, check their film selection online; you’ll find good Canadian films to watch on dark winter nights. www.yukonfilmsociety.com/alff

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