7 “ART” Things to Do in Montreal | Art & the City February 2021

I love “things to do in Montreal” articles. However, I often have a hard time finding those articles specific to some of my favorite interests: arts & culture! So, I am here to introduce you to a new series “Art & the City”. Here, I will curate the most interesting artistic and cultural events for you to discover each month.

Due to the lockdown, events in February might seem impossible to find, but let me assure you, there is plenty to enjoy! Without further ado, here are 7 arts & culture things to discover in Montreal this February for both indoor fans and outdoorsy types.

“Get Me Out of My House!” – Outdoor Events

Art Souterrain Festival

The first “outdoor” event is in fact taking place throughout the Montreal Underground City. The Art Souterrain Festival is on its 13th edition and this year’s theme is chronometry. Through their works of art in varying disciplines, 36 contemporary artists will be exploring humanity’s race with time. In our lives, everything happens faster and faster and the number of things to do grows constantly. It’s a world of fleeting relationships and instant gratification. Are we locked into this new reality or is this an opportunity for us to create something new and better for ourselves? The artists address this question.
  • Dates: February 20 – March 14
  • Cost: Free
Festival art souterrain 2021 chronometrie promo poster Art & the City
Image: Art Souterrain

Côté Fenêtres | Carolina ESPINOSA and GAGNON-FOREST Duo

Now let’s go outdoors for real. The Maison de la culture Claude-Léveillée presents its newest exhibit Côté Fenêtres in a unique format. The artists’ works will be displayed in the massive bay windows of the Maison’s building. On one side of the building, Espinosa presents an enigmatic floral triptych. On the other side, the Gagnon-Forest duo presents a six-part panorama exploring the different ways to represent a city’s territory. For the best effect, check out the location on your Art & the City-style walk in the evening as the illumination of the works provides the best effect.

  • Dates: Until February 14
  • Cost: Free
Côté Fenêtres | Carolina ESPINOSA et le duo GAGNON-FOREST exhibit bay windows art & the city
Photos: Louis-Étienne Doré

Mephisto Bates – Artist Residency

Next up is what I like to call a real fly-on-the-wall event. For its second artist residency, the Aussenwelt community is hosting Mephisto Bates in its space. Furthermore, this space is entirely surrounded by glass so you can observe the art AND the artist at work in his creative process (all day!). Bates describes his style as a form of “post-automatism” and I’m loving the spontaneous pastel aesthetic.

  • Dates: Until February 23
  • Cost: Free
Artist residency Mephisto Bates Aussenwelt Promo Art & the city
Photo: Aussenwelt.co

Montréal en Histoires – Self Guided Walking Tour

Last but not least, I am including Montréal en Histoires in this list. This is an activity you can do all year long yet it is perfect for when everything is closed and so, very fitting for this month. Montréal en Histoires provides interesting self-guided walking tours through historic parts of the city – Old Montreal being the most thorough. All you have to do is download their app and create the experience that you want, choosing to stop and learn about any landmark/location that you want to know more about. Bundle up & enjoy!

  • Dates: Year-round
  • Cost: Free
Montreal en Histoires app promo poster
Image by : Montréal en Histoires


“Hell, No! Keep Me Toasty at Home!” – Indoor Events

Golden Square Mile : 3 Houses, 3 Styles, 3 Architects

After all that Art & the City activity in the chilly (read freezing) outdoors, let’s head inside for some warmth. First up, I propose a virtual conference created by the APMAQ. Join Rosalind Pepall, former Curator of Decorative Arts at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, invites us to discover three historical homes of the Golden Square Mile in three different architectural styles: Arts and Craft (!), Beaux-Arts and Art Deco.

  • Dates: February 28
  • Cost: 10$
Amis et propriétaires de maisons anciennes du Québec architecture Golden Square Mile Montreal
Photo: McCord Museum via APMAQ

Le tram à Montréal – Pointe-à-Caillière Museum

Did you know that Montreal used to have a tramway system over 150 years ago?! When I found out, this detail delighted me completely! So I was happy to hear that the Pointe-à-Callière Museum will be hosting a Facebook webcast about the history of streetcars in our city. This webcast lecture accompanies their A Railroad to Dreams exhibit, that is obviously closed for the moment. (Note: the lecture is in French, but questions will be taken in FR and ENG)
  • Dates: February 19
  • Cost: Free
A Railroad to Dreams exhibit Pointe-à-Callière museum art & the city
Photo: Pointe-à-Callière Museum

Chant des Trois Cours – Live Music

By now, I’m imagining you all nice and cozy in your homes, so I’ll end this list on a musical note. In Chant des Trois Cours, the Lamia Yared ensemble of seven musicians will be taking us back to the 14th-19th centuries of traditional Arabic, Ottoman and Persian music. This Facebook Live event will be coming to you from the beautiful and historic Bon-Pasteur Chapel.

  • Dates: February 19
  • Cost: Free

I hope you enjoyed this first edition of Art & the City – see you next time!

New at Jano Lapin Media

In January we welcomed Olivia Piché to the team as a Content Creator. Check Olivia’s first article about a great Montréal poetry festival here.

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