38 Best Performing Arts Venues in Montreal, Quebec

Cinéma du Parc

Downtown Fodor's choice

A favorite of Montréal moviegoers for years, this theater focuses on first-run movies from around the world. Retrospectives based on interesting themes and prominent directors are also screened. Located inside the Galeries du Parc mall, near McGill University, it primarily caters to an Anglophone audience.  The cinema offers parking at C$3 for three hours. Just ask for your coupon at the box office.

Cirque du Soleil

Fodor's choice

This amazing circus is one of Montréal's great success stories. The company—founded in 1984 by a pair of street performers—has completely changed people's idea of what a circus can do. Its shows, now an international phenomenon, use no animals. Instead, colorful acrobatics flirt with the absurd through the use of music, humor, dance, and glorious (and often risqué) costumes. The Cirque has companies in Las Vegas and one each in Orlando and Los Angeles—but none in Montréal (though its HQ and a circus school are located in the northern part of the city). Nevertheless, every couple of years one of its international touring companies returns to where it all began, the Old Port, and sets up the familiar blue-and-yellow tent for a summer of sold-out shows.

Grande Bibliothèque -- Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec

Latin Quarter Fodor's choice

Spread over five floors, Montréal's largest public library is a modern, light-filled, and spacious place to while away an afternoon perusing an impressive film collection. With 18 screening stations and new titles acquired monthly, they offer a wide range of genres to suit film buffs.

475 boul. de Maisonneuve Est, Montréal, Québec, H2L 5C4, Canada
performing-arts Details
Rate Includes: Closed Mon.

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Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal

Downtown Fodor's choice

One of Canada's premier ballet companies, Les Grands have been moving audiences since 1957. Under the artistic direction of Ivan Cavallari, the company has continued to evolve a rich body of both classic and contemporary work. Its annual presentation of The Nutcracker, which often sells out, has become a Christmas tradition. Performances take place at the Place des Arts.

Orchestre symphonique de Montréal

Downtown Fodor's choice

Montréal's beloved OSM plays programs that include masterful renditions of the classics, with contemporary works thrown into the mix. The orchestra's home, the Maison symphonique de Montréal, is part of the Place des Arts complex.

Théâtre du Nouveau Monde

Downtown Fodor's choice

Celebrating 70 years in 2021 on the Montréal theatre scene, the Théâtre du Nouveau Monde plans to expand its current space. A season's offerings at this renowned French-language theatre might include works by locals Michel Tremblay and Patrice Robitaille, as well as works by Shakespeare, Molière, Camus, Ibsen, Chekhov, and Arthur Miller.

Agora de la Danse


More than just a performance space for contemporary dance, this center actively works in the dance community to encourage creativity and experimentation. Hosting acclaimed artists and companies from around the world, the company is also affiliated with the Université du Québec à Montréal dance faculty.

BJM Danse Montréal


Under newly appointed (2021) French artistic director Alexandra Damiani, BJM Danse Montréal fuses contemporary music and visual arts with extraordinary technique. Performances are held at Place des Arts and Agora de la Danse, and there are free shows at Théâtre de Verdure in Parc Lafontaine during the summer months.

Black Theatre Workshop


The only Black English-language company in Québec (and the longest-running in Canada) continues to support and nourish the careers of many prominent artists on the national scene. Expect innovative new productions performed alongside classic plays, such as A Raisin in the Sun. Shows take place at the Centaur Theatre and other venues around the city.

Centaur Theatre

Old Montréal

Montréal's best-known English-language theater company stages everything from frothy musical revues to serious works, and prominently features works by local playwrights. Its home is in the former stock-exchange building in Old Montréal.

Centre Phi

Old Montréal

Packed with intimate screening rooms, recording facilities, exhibition spaces, and a performance space, this center promotes artist-driven film, design, and music from locals as well as international artists. Films are in English and French.

Cinéma Impérial


Recognized by the Québec government as a historical monument in 2001, this grand Renaissance-style movie theater, complete with ornate ceilings, decorative molding, and red-velvet seats, screens independent films, though on a somewhat irregular basis. It plays host to many cultural events, including the Montréal World Film Festival.

Cinémathèque Québécoise

Latin Quarter

With more than 35,000 films in its collection, and a ticket price of just C$10, Montréal's Museum of the Moving Image is the best place in the city to catch a foreign flick in its original language (with subtitles), in addition to Québécois and other Canadian productions. The museum also stocks scripts, television shows, and various new media, with a permanent display of vintage cinema equipment.

Cirque Éloize

This award-winning troop has been touring the globe since 1993, and with well over 4,000 performances under its belt, shows no signs of slowing down. Constantly evolving, Cirque Éloize uses artistic mediums like video and music to bring the circus arts to the masses.

Festival International Nuits d'Afrique

From France to Jamaica to Cabo Verde, from traditional to contemporary sounds, this eclectic two-week music and dance festival brings together over 700 artists from 30 countries, for the biggest world music gathering in the Americas. At the outdoor stages in the Quartier des Spectacles, you'll find an appealing selection of pop-up restaurants and bars, a family area, open-air workshops with master dancers and drummers, and a Timbuktu market. Check the website for concerts held year-round.

Geordie Productions


Promoting itself as a theater for all audiences, this accomplished English company has been delighting kids and adults since 1982. Most productions are performed at the Centaur Theatre.

I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra

Arguably the best chamber orchestra in Canada, I Musici, under the direction of Jean-François Rivest, performs at several places around town, including the Salle Bourgie at the Musée des Beaux-Arts and the Place des Arts' Nouvelle Salle.

La Fondation de Danse Margie Gillis


Margie Gillis, one of Canada's most exciting and innovative soloists, works with her own company and guest artists to stage performances at Place des Arts, Agora de la Danse, and other area venues.

La Vitrine Culturelle


Next to the Quartier des Spectacles theater district, la Vitrine Culturelle (literally: Cultural Window) is the perfect place to get information and buy tickets for just about every type of show in town. Great last-minute deals are often available.

Les 7 doigts de la main

Literally translated as "the seven fingers of the hand," the name is a play on a French expression about working collectively toward a common goal, and these seven fingers—the seven founding partners of the circus—have done just that, building up a world-renowned circus troop over the past two decades. Combining acrobatics, theater, and dance, they've performed at special events across the globe, including a Royal Variety Performance for Queen Elizabeth II and at the Olympics in Turin and Vancouver. They even made an appearance on America's Got Talent.

Mainline Theatre

The Plateau

Operated by the same people who present the Montréal Fringe Festival every summer, the Mainline opened in 2006 to serve the city's burgeoning Anglo theater community and has been going strong ever since.

Montréal Danse


Lavish sets and dazzlingly sensual choreography have helped make Montréal Danse one of Canada's most popular contemporary repertory companies. It has a busy touring schedule, but also regularly performs at Place des Arts, Agora de la Danse, and the Théâtre de Verdure.



The highly regarded École Nationale de Théâtre du Canada—aka National Theatre School of Canada—supplies world stages with a steady stream of well-trained actors and directors. It works and performs in the historic and glorious old theater that has played host to such luminaries as Edith Piaf and Emma Albani. (Québec's first feminist rallies in the early 1900s also took place here.) Graduating classes perform professional-level plays in both French and English. The theater also plays host to an assortment of touring plays, musicals, and concerts.

Opéra de Montréal


This renowned opera company, the largest francophone opera in North America, has a varied schedule of classics, including Le Nozze di Figaro, Rigoletto, and Silent Night. Seventy-five minutes before each show, the "pre-Opera" program, done in French with a summary in English, gives attendees a look at the history, music, and artists of the Opéra de Montréal.

Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal


The Met may lie in the shadow of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, but its talented conductor and artistic director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, continues to draw the spotlight. He's in high demand across the world; in addition to his role here, he's the musical director at the Philadelphia Orchestra and New York City's Metropolitan Opera, and honorary conductor at the Rotterdam Philharmonic. His charismatic approach has brought in the crowds since 2000 and produced highly acclaimed performances. Most shows take place at Place des Arts or Maison Symphonique de Montréal.

Place des Arts


Place des Arts is located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles and has been hosting performances since 1963. In 2011, the venue underwent a major face-lift and makeover to stunning effect. The glass-walled Maison Symphonique concert hall is the permanent home of the Montréal Symphony Orchestra; with state-of-the-art acoustics and only 75 feet between the end of the stage and the last row, it's an intimate place for concerts. The Salle Wilfrid Pelletier performance space is used by three resident companies: the Opéra de Montréal, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, and the popular Jean Duceppe theater company. The venue's four other performance spaces host dance, theater, and festival events.

The other outdoor stages and other venues that make up the Quartier des Spectacles allow for lots of shows and festivals to be staged in one common area. Even if you don't have tickets to something, you can walk around the Quartier during festival season (pretty much all summer) to take in a variety of shows and concerts for free.

Pollack Concert Hall


McGill University's concert hall showcases the best talents from its formidable music faculty, with concerts by the McGill Symphony, Opera McGill, the McGill Baroque Orchestra, and the Montréal Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Salle Claude-Champagne


This beautiful concert hall hosts more than 150 symphonic and operatic performances every year by the music faculty of the Université de Montréal. The repertoire includes both classic and contemporary works.

Segal Centre for the Performing Arts


English-language favorites like Harvey, Inherit the Wind, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat get frequent billing at this Côte-des-Neiges venue, along with locally written works. The center is best known, however, as the home to the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre, which presents such musical works as The Jazz Singer and The Pirates of Penzance in Yiddish.



For more than 40 years, Tangente has hosted weekly performances of contemporary and experimental dance between September and May on various Montréal stages (there are currently three venues in the city). It also acts as an archive for contemporary dance and experimental performance art, with more than 2,000 files focusing on major international dance schools and festivals, companies, and choreographers. Tangente encourages national and international exchanges between dance companies and artists.