Guys, I love September. It's one of my all-time favourite months... yes, mainly because it's my birthday month, but also because it's a time of new beginnings, colder weather, and the start of the world's best season: fall.
Although September can also be pretty expensive (see: school starting and the cost of a new wardrobe/textbooks/tuition/etc), no worries. There are still tons of free (and super fun!) things for you to do throughout this glorious month.
For all the fans of skating in nature, tubing or a good atmosphere with outdoor music out there, you'll be pleased to know the RécéroParc in Sainte-Catherine on Montreal's South Shore is once again organizing "les Rendez-vous polaires" with a ton of activities from the beginning of 2022 — to make sure we start our year off on the right foot (or skate).
For its second edition, this magical winter site will open its doors for free to all.
Visitors will be able to enjoy the installations from January 8 to March 6, on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as every day during the spring break from March 28 to 4 p.m.
The site is going to be made up of 10 km of cross-country ski trails, about 3 km of snowshoeing trails, an ice trail through the park and a large snow hill created for sliding, plus inflatable games during the day and small snacks.
When the sun goes down, everything will be lit up with garlands and coloured lights. There will also be DJs on-site on Saturdays from 4 to 9 p.m. to liven up the night and an outdoor bar for you to get drinks from.
If you're looking to wear your Igloofest outfit more than once, this will be the perfect spot to do so.
Access to the site is free, but parking is $7.10 per car excluding taxes for all non-Sainte-Catherine residents.
Equipment can also be rented in two-hour intervals for additional costs, such as skates and tubes for $7.18, snowshoes for $10, scooters for $20 and dog harnesses for $4.35.
Photographer J-F Savaria, who snapped and posted photos of the nutcrackers, joked that the nutcrackers were back with social distancing this year because, unlike last year, they are spaced apart diagonally instead of being side-by-side.
The comment section ranges from people calling the nutcrackers beautiful to flat-out scary.
Regardless of whether you find them unsettling, it's hard to deny their holiday spirit. And the nutcrackers, which light up at night, are not the only installations turning downtown Montreal into a winter wonderland between now and March.
"Starting next week, many giant installations will be taking over St. Catherine West. So stay tuned!" says an Instagram post from XP_MTL, the organization behind the nutcrackers, which is dedicated to "event and festive programming" in downtown Montreal.
According to an announcement from the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Montréal centre-ville, Le Grand Marché de Noël, XP_MTL, the Noël dans le Parc Festival and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, downtown is transforming into "an inviting, festive and magical winter destination."
"In a safe setting, Montrealers will be able to explore a series of luminous and interactive installations, see unscheduled performances, meet local artisans, visit inviting spaces and enjoy some great surprises!" the statement reads.
This includes over 500 luminous decorations installed on more than 8 kilometres of downtown streets.
There are also plans for a "luminous open-air gallery," illuminated artwork by St. James United Church, a Christmas market, a visit from Santa Claus, Luminothérapie's interactive installations, live musical performances, and MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE, including Nuit Blanche.
Denis Villeneuve might be basking in international glory and positive reviews following the release of Dune, but the Quebec-born director says he's still very much in touch with his roots. He even appears to have shown them off on set.
A photo and video clip posted to UQÀM's social media accounts show Villeneuve rocking his alma mater's merch while interacting with Dune cast and crew members.
"Good luck to our graduate Denis Villeneuve and his film Dune!" the university wrote on Facebook alongside a pic of the director wearing a UQÀM jacket. A TikTok video shows him wearing the same jacket as he walks by Timothée Chalamet.
Villeneuve got his B.A. in communications from UQÀM in 1992. In 2017, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate.