This week as the leaves turn from green into brilliant shades of red and gold, Canadians everywhere will be celebrating Thanksgiving long weekend with their friends and loved ones. As expected, there are several interesting activities happening throughout the week that range from pumpkin exhibitions to delicious food and International music concerts that are guaranteed to please young and old across the border.
Gardens of Lights and the Great Pumpkin Ball at the Montreal Botanical Gardens
Espace Pour la Vie - ( Michel Tremblay)
If you haven’t done so yet, I highly recommend visiting the Gardens of Light exhibition presented by Montreal’s Space for Life at the Montreal Botanical gardens.
Running until the 31st of October 2016, the stunning and quite grandiose assembly of colorful lanterns depicting the daily life of the last emperor of China, The Son of Heaven in the Chinese Garden, as well as the tranquil sumi-e inspired display in the Japanese Garden will be Illuminating Montreal’s nightlife throughout the month of October.
Espace pour la vie
Furthermore, the Botanical Garden will be hosting the Great Pumpkin Ball - an activity that is greatly appreciated by families with young children.
Families will learn everything about the beloved ‘cucurbitaceae’, whether small, big, round or warty!
Beautifully decorated pumpkins and squashes will be on display at the Squash Kiosk where the good witch Esmeralda, an urban farmer will invite you to tour roughly 800 pieces decorated by students and visitors.
Don’t leave the garden without popping in to see the Little Monsters Courtyard, where all-new play structures await.
For more information, admission and opening hours, please consult:
Try a hefty meal at recently expanded restaurant: Le Gras Dur
Le Gras Dur
On Wednesday October 5th, the restaurant Le Gras Dur celebrated their first year anniversary at their flagship location: 1660 Jarry Street East.
Smiles were unanimous as guests celebrated the restaurants’ anniversary as well as their recent triumph of winning the "TARTAR OF THE YEAR" award at this year’s edition of Tartarfest with their signature Asian style tartar.
Owners Annie Clavette and her husband Stefan Jacob, both of German descent, initially founded the beloved Das Food Truck (now the Schnitzel Truck), Montreal’s first food truck to offer Bavarian (German, Austrian and Swiss) delicately dishes. After their truck was voted as the best of the lot in 2014 and 2015, the dynamic duo created two new trucks entitled the Bacon Truck and the Burger Truck.
The epic Hamburger poutine from @legrasdur : grilled to perfection and cheese galore !
To meet the growing demand of their clientele, the couple decided to open the Le Gras Dur in 2015.
Snugly situated in the developing Villeray neighborhood, guests can expect a decadent menu that ranges from succulent burgers to 40 day aged steak. Popular items include their award winning tartars and their original chocolate bacon pies!
SOME delicious menu tasters on offer at Le Gras Dur :- Mini burgers with beets and bacon popcorn -Asian style salmon tartar and- DEEP fried OREOS
The newly expanded restaurant can now welcome up to 60 guests and groups with reservations. A must visit for any tourist in Montreal.
Le Gras Dur - 1660 Jarry Street East.
Next Music from Tokyo Vol 9 (Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver)
Next Music from Tokyo
Next Music from Tokyo (NMFT) is an annual tour that introduces Canadians to the most creative and skilled emergent bands from Japan’s indie and underground music scene. The tour, curated by M.D. Steven Tanaka, a native of Toronto, first began in 2010. Nine editions later, the tour continues to bring innovative Japanese bands to Canada that deliver energetic and passion packed performances that transcends language and cultural barriers and can be appreciated by audiences anywhere.
I had the pleasure of attending the Montreal edition at Divan Orange and made some very eclectic musical discoveries:
Maison Book Girl
Maison Book Girl: Breaking away from the typical hyper bubbly groups associated with Japanese idols, this quartet of four talented, young dancer/ singers bring a refreshing sound and aesthetic to the stage.
Dressed in original costumes and sporting trendy Asian hairdos, the girls promote fashion, art and street culture while dancing to the hard-hitting syncopated beats of music produced by Sakurai Kenta (サクライケンタ). With cool lyrics and moves, La Maison Book Girl gives off a sophisticated vibe rarely seen in other idol group.
La Maison Book Girl’s 1st album Bath Room is available for purchase at the live concert and features the group in original costumes by fashion designer Hachi (Balmung) and graphic designer Rei Nakanishi.
Jizue: Having already performed at previous Next Japan events, this highly acclaimed four person jazz instrumental band from Kyoto blends contemporary Jazz, post-rock and other genres that are heavily influenced by American culture. During their performance, the highly skilled members of the band combined elements of swing as well of sweet, lyrical melodies while even performing a moving tribute piece to Canadians!
Overall, I was quite impressed with the creative energy that the band gave off as well as the beautiful piano melodies performed by Kie Katagi that weaved between joy and melancholy.
Toranoko Rammy ( Tiger cub Rammy)
Toranoko Rammy: This high energy packed four girls rock punk band will certainly blow you away with their electrifying and diverse music and interactive play with their audience. True to their name ( Tiger Cub Rammy ) from stage diving, surfing, and even piano dropping, the group will transport you to the plains of an African safari where wild beasts (the girls) are liable to attack you at any time!
For more details on up-coming performances : http://nextmusicfromtokyo.com/
Oct 5: Montreal @Divan Orange
Oct 7: Toronto @Soybomb
Oct 8: Toronto @Lee's Palace
Oct 10: Vancouver @Biltmore Cabaret
Doors open: 7:00pm Show starts: 8:00pm
Advance tickets available online here: http://www.ticketweb.ca/t3/sale/SaleEventDetail?dispatch=loadSelectionData&eventId=6846975