Well folks, the time has finally come. The blog section ("Headlines") on About.com Montreal is being deprecated as of June 2, 2014 to make way for About.com's brand new redesign, which naturally includes About.com Montreal. By the Fall of 2014, we're going to have bigger photos, better page layouts, social buttons (!!!) and superior navigation to make for a better user experience for YOU my fine reader. Dropping the blog is the first major step in clearing the way for a better user experience.
I can't tell you how happy I am about the redesign. It's been a long time coming. And this reboot is courtesy of our A-Team over at our Times Square office in the heart of the Big Apple. Helmed by Webby Awards co-founder Neil Vogel, About.com's CEO, we've got a team comprised of Condé Nast, The Wall Street Journal, Google, Yahoo, AOL, WebMD, MTV, Forbes, Viacom, WIRED, Pandora and Epicurious alumni working together to create a better user experience for you, for me, for everyone.
So this is officially my final blog post at About.com. But this isn't the end. Not by a long shot. I'm just getting started. And you'll see. The homepage blog will be replaced with something different. There might be some hiccups at first, so don't be alarmed if photos are missing or if paragraphs aren't aligning properly or if an event profile piece only looks half updated. Any kinks and update lags are temporary, to be ironed out as we move forward.
But now that the blog is going by the wayside, anything to do with last-minute announcements, breaking news and event shout-outs will be happening in the confines of my delightful Facebook community. As I said in my newsletter that went out earlier today, I count my lucky stars over how compassionate, insightful and worldly this community is shaping up to be and I'd love for you to join us.
Another thing. What I haven't told you is I've been working on a project very dear to my humble heart for months now, this after years of gentle gestation, slowly piecing it together carefully, deliberately. And it has nothing to do with Montreal! It extends beyond borders, gender, political orientation and culture, serving to empower the community at large in ways I suspect no one, even the community at large, can predict.
When the time finally comes to let the cat out of the bag, it will be in my Facebook community. So, again, I do hope you'll join me. Oh, and remember to click on "Follow" in addition to clicking "Like" when you join to ensure my posts make it onto your Facebook newsfeed.
Cheers! And as I've said before, thank you SO MUCH for your support and your loyalty. It's been an amazing, if bumpy and sometimes heartbreaking ride, one I could have never predicted when I first jumped on board at About.com in 2008.
And here's the best part, dear readers.
It's about to get even better.
I'll also be updating the calendars as we go, so do join my community on Facebook and sign up for the About.com Montreal newsletter to stay in the loop.
- Montreal in June: The Highlights
- Montreal in June: The Festivals
- Montreal in June: The Concerts
- Montreal in June: The Museums
- Montreal in June: Weather Expectations
- Montreal in June: The Summer
Montrealer Xavier Dolan did it again. The 25-year-old writer/director nabbed a Cannes award at the 2014 edition, this time earning the Jury Prize for his 2014 feature-length film Mommy, the tale of a widow attempting to raise her aggressive, if full-out violent teenage son as a single mother. Dolan shares the award with the impressionistic stream of consciousness that is Goodbye to Language, iconic New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard's 39th feature film. The last time the Jury Prize was split between two films was in 2009 when South Korean Park Chan-wook's vampire flick Thirst shared the awards spotlight with U.K. writer/director Andrea Arnold's story of an alienated and alienating teenage girl in Fish Tank.
Mommy was filmed in Montreal.
The Jury Prize is considered the third most prestigious award at the international film fest, after the Grand Prix and the highest prize of all, the Palme d'Or, which Mommy was in competition for but lost out to Winter Sleep, the story of a retired, narcissistic actor who fancies himself the equivalent of a god directed by Turkey's Nuri Bilge Ceylan.
Dolan is no stranger to Cannes. His third feature film, Laurence Anyways*, scored the Un Certain Regard Award for Best Actress in 2012, following up the three awards he earned for his debut film I Killed my Mother, a semi-autobiographical take on the strained relationship between a coming-of-age gay teenage boy and his mother where Dolan plays the lead role in addition to directing the screenplay he wrote himself at age 16.
*The best actress award was granted to Suzanne Clément, who is also a cast member and lead character in Mommy.
Kaiten sushi, otherwise known as kaiten-zushi, is anything but new in Japan and select international destinations such as San Francisco, New York, and Melbourne. But Montreal hasn't had much in the way of conveyor belt sushi action apart from a couple of spots, notably Odaki on Ste. Catherine Street in the Concordia student ghetto.
Kurios, Cirque du Soleil's latest creation, premiered last week in Montreal but apart from an exclusive media preview a couple of weeks prior, little was known about the new steampunk-themed show written and directed by Michel Laprise, Madonna's MDNA show director. So I sent in a photographer last night to capture photo highlights, a visual review of Cirque's 35th production since 1984.
Naturally, I asked him what he thought of the show. "It was good. I liked it," were his words.
Fair enough. Having had a chance to catch the show a day later, I thought I'd propose a wordier review of Kurios. For contrast.
Kurios by Cirque du Soleil:
- Kurios: A Cirque Media and Photo Preview
- Kurios World Premiere: Exclusive Photos You Won't Find Anywhere Else
- Kurios: My Review
It's not exactly news anymore but for those still in the dark, it's true. A total of 21 Montreal bars will remain open until 6 a.m. the weekends of June 12 to July 5, 2014, a test run designed to see if this is something the city could viably support, a nightlife extension from the usual 3 a.m. cut-off time that seems to work just fine in different parts of the world.
But will it work in Montreal?
- Montreal Bars Open Until 6 a.m.: Is This a Good Idea?
- Listing of Montreal Bars Open Until 6 a.m., Complete With Map
The moment so many of you have been waiting for, if your emails are any indication ;-)
- Montreal International Fireworks Competition: 2014 Edition
- Best Spots to See Montreal Fireworks for Free
- When are the Next Fireworks Due?
- Montreal Fireworks in Photos
Earlier this week, after teasing fans with talk of Diana Ross, Keith Jarrett, Bobby McFerrin and Michael Bublé, the Jazz Fest finally dropped the other shoe, revealing the fest's full indoor lineup for the 35th edition running June 26 to July 6, 2014.
And what a roster it is. Let's just say the soul is strong with this one.
- Montreal Jazz Festival 2014 Lineup Highlights
- Montreal Jazz Festival Dates & Deets
- Montreal's Hottest Summer Events
Piknic Electronik's 2014 lineup is technically coming out on May 1st, but organizers dangled a little carrot in my email inbox earlier this afternoon with a sneak peek of names poised to spin at Montreal's hottest weekly outdoor dance event.*
And there's already a few on my watch list, highlights Piknic die-hards won't want to miss, like these guys.
*Okay, okay it's tied for first place.
From what's open Montreal Easter weekend to what's closed to what-can-I-do-that-doesn't-involve-watching-this-AGAIN, I've got you covered with the most exhaustive guide on the subject across the world wide web courtesy of your humbleness doing the grunt work of three interns to update the damn thing.
- Montreal Easter Weekend: 2014 Edition
- Montreal Easter Fun Just For Kids
- What's Open and Closed During Montreal Easter Weekend?
- Bal en Blanc: An Easter Tradition