Montreal is an amazing city with one tiny draw-back. (Depending on who you ask)
We don't always get access to all the cool new stuff from the US and from the rest of Canada. and some things never make it our way like restaurant chains, clothing stores, and concerts. (Like the Tragically Hip tour that won't be stopping here)
Long story short, we're usually the ones on the sidelines looking enviously at our lucky neighbors.
But there's one thing we get before anyone else.
Did you know that Montreal was a secret testing ground for potential boy bands?
In a video interview with Poster Boys artists Richmond Lam and Eve Thomas they mention:
"I don't know if you know this, but growing up in Montreal, we were kind of a testing ground for boy bands"
Someone in the audience mentioned the Backstreet Boys, so I decided to see if this was true.
As it turns out, in 1995 a radio host on Mix 96 heard the Backstreet Boys song "We've Got It Goin' On" which was only playing in Europe and he decided to play it on the air. Later he also played the song "get down".
The songs were so well received that it essentially launched the Backstreet Boys' career in North America.
According to the Station Director: "Our female audience was in love."
This led to their first gig in Canada at Montreal's 1996 International Balloon Festival.
They started getting played on Musique Plus which quickly got them some air time on Much Music. And when they actually visited Much Music, the streets had to be closed down because 20,000 people flooded the area.
Eventually their popularity made its way to the US and the rest is history.
"It really was the first place we broke in North America." - Kevin Richardson
Today, the Backstreet Boys are still the highest selling boy band of all time, so it's nice to know we'll always have special place in their hearts.
It's called Barmaids, and the premise is simple. You take 6 barmaids from Montreal, and you follow them around with cameras for awhile to see all the crazy shit you can catch on tape.
Here's the description of the show:
Ajoutez des personnalités attachantes, quelques drames et des histoires rocambolesques, puis complétez avec de la complicité, de la sincérité et une bonne dose d’amitié.
Obtenez ainsi un mix savoureux : Barmaids. Mettant en vedette Jessica, Marilyne, Rachel, Éliane, Sandrine et Carolane, 6 amies qui exercent toutes le métier de barmaids, la série de 13 épisodes, produite par Datsit et réalisée par Simon Sachel, promet de faire découvrir les dessous de leur trépidant mode de vie!
"Take 6 girls with no filter, who love to party.
Throw in some lovable personalities, some drama, and some incredible stories. Finish it off with some connivance, sincerity and a good dose of friendship.
Put it all together and you get a savory mix called "Barmaids". It stars Jessica, Marilyne, Rachel, Éliane, Sandrine and Carolane, 6 friends who all work as bartenders. The 13 episode series, produced by Datsi and Simon Sachel, promises to make you discover the hidden sides of their exciting lifestyle."
The show premieres on January 5th, 2017 at 9:30 pm on MusiquePlus.
If you've never seen the show Dating Naked, you're definitely missing out.
The premise is simple enough. Two people meet up, strip their clothes off and go on a date. Then they next day they go on naked dates with two other people before deciding who to keep and who to send home.
The best part is that the dates aren't exactly innocent.
If you're new to Nuit Blanche, like we told you last time, you definitely need to take a look at the website before heading out on March 1st. There are so many amazing things happening that night; if you don't have a plan, you'll end up trudging around in the snow, standing at the back of crowds or waiting in line all night. Trust us, we've been there.
We wanted to help you out, so we picked a few things that we will definitely be checking out. Remember, the metro will be running all night and shuttles have been set up to make traveling to each event easier - check out the Montreal En Lumiere website for more information and for maps of the different areas.
Nuit Blanche isn't complete in our opinion without a visit to Montreal's famous Fresh Paint Gallery. This year marks the second edition of Art Attack which will feature some great Street Art and Graffiti by HoarKor and Miss Me who will be painting up a mega mural starting at 7pm and ending at 2am. We highly suggest posting up at this one for a bit, you won't be disappointed.
We already told you about the Place Des Arts outdoor area, but you need to check out the one in the old port on Nuit Blanche. Old Montreal's Place Jacques-Cartier will be transformed into a winter wonderland. Don't miss ice sculptors in action, live performances and many artisans and vendors. If it's anything like last year's, then we beg you... put it on your itinerary. It's probably one of the coolest nights to hang out in Old Montreal and that's saying something!
Ok, so this isn't an event necessarily. But Montrealers always want to know where they can find their beloved food trucks and on Nuit Blanche, you'll find them at the Olympic Park. Take a break from your crazy night of gaming, drag queens, The Beatles and bondage (don't worry, they'll still be there when you get back), get on the metro and head to Pie IX for some tasty eats.
In its 9th edition, this event features 15 DJs spinning vinyls for twenty-four hours. Started by the Music Is My Sanctuary collective, the event will take place this year at the Bleury Vinyl Bar from 7 PM to 6 AM on March 1st and from 8 AM to 7 PM on March 2nd. Can't make it to the event? There will be a livestream on their website that you can tune into!
As part of this year's Montreal at Play Festival, the Hall of Honour in City Hall is being transformed into board game and video game heaven. The whole area will be divided into game stations for visitors to explore and try their hand at pretty much any kind of game they can think of. Quizzes will also be going on all night - who doesn't love a quiz?
First of all, if the title of this event doesn't get you there, we don't know what will! As you walk in to the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum of Archaeology and History, you'll be greeted by musicians playing classic Beatles songs. Explore their exhibit - which is over at the end of March! - on the Fab Four and their visit to Montreal fifty years ago. Feel like singing? Karaoke will be available. Take your place among John, Paul, George and Ringo for that moment of stardom you've always dreamed of.
Do you like film festivals that focus on horror, comedy and fantasy? Do you like drag queens? What a silly question - of course you do. Cafe Cleopatre is hosting La Nuit SPASM this year - basically, they'll be showing the best short films from the 12th Edition of the Montreal SPASM Festival. The best part? Drag queens will be performing onstage between films. This event will run from 7 PM to 3 AM and you can bet anything that we're planning to be there for most of the night.
Cinema Excentris will be transformed into a giant, temporary arcade! This is so exciting. Montreal developers will be there, showcasing their games and debuting some new ones - with demonstrations - on theatre-sized screens. Admit it, your inner video game geek is thrilled. This will be happening from 6 PM to 2 AM.
Are you the one singing along during every musical? Do you download the karaoke version of soundtracks so that you can belt'em out yourself in the car? Are you the first one in line when, once a year if we're lucky, a Broadway show comes to Montreal? Broadway Cafe at the Segal Centre is where you should be on Nuit Blanche. A pianist will be on hand to accompany you as you sing your favorite show tunes or, if you're feeling a little shy, sit back and enjoy the renditions of other fans.
Sometimes, we just want to dance, right Montreal? MusiquePlus has you covered. Old school jams from the 80s, 90s and 00s will be playing all night long. Seriously, this is probably the biggest and best dance party you'll ever attend.