There's something uniquely Quebecois about the kind of entertainment referred to as a spectacle. It's more than just a performance, usually involving some kind of multimedia projection, light show, and, if outdoors, fireworks. It's no wonder, then, that the ultimate spectacle, Cirque du Soleil, was founded in Montréal in the ’80s. And it's also hardly surprising that North America's largest French-speaking metropolis should be the continent's capital of French theater.

Montréal is the home of nearly a dozen professional companies and several important theater schools, but there's also a lively English-language theater scene and one of the few remaining Yiddish theaters in North America.

In 2012, the city completed the Quartier des Spectacles, a 70-acre theater district in Downtown with stages for outdoor performances and nearly 80 venues for dance, music, theater, and art.

For a city its size, Montréal offers a remarkable number of opportunities for fans of classical music to get their fill, from operas and symphonies to string quartets.

As for dance, there are several modern dance companies of note, including Montréal Danse and Québec's premier ballet company Les Grands Ballets Canadiens.

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  • 1. Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal

    Downtown | Music

    Under the direction of influential and renowned conductor Kent Nagano, Montréal's beloved OSM plays programs that include masterful renditions...Read More

  • 2. Centre Phi

    Old Montréal | Film

    Packed with intimate screening rooms, recording facilities, exhibition spaces, and a performance space, this center promotes artist-driven film...Read More

  • 3. I Musici de Montréal Chamber Orchestra


    Arguably the best chamber orchestra in Canada, I Musici, under the direction of Jean-Marie Zeitouni, performs at several places around town...Read More

  • 4. Monument-National

    Downtown | Music

    The highly regarded École Nationale de Théâtre du Canada—aka National Theatre School of Canada—supplies world stages with a steady stream of...Read More

  • 5. Opéra de Montréal

    Downtown | Music

    This renowned opera company, the largest Francophone opera in North America, has a varied schedule of classics, including Le Nozze di Figaro...Read More

  • 6. Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal

    Downtown | Music

    The Met may lie in the shadow of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, but its talented conductor and artistic director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin...Read More

  • 7. Place des Arts

    Downtown | Music

    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...Read More

  • 8. Pollack Concert Hall

    Downtown | Music

    McGill University's concert hall showcases the best talents from its formidable music faculty, with concerts by the McGill Symphony, Opera McGill...Read More

  • 9. Salle Claude-Champagne

    Outremont | Music

    This beautiful concert hall hosts more than 150 symphonic and operatic performances every year by the music faculty of the Université de Montréal...Read More

  • 10. Excentris

    The Plateau | Film

    Although two of its three former screening rooms now host live performances by singers, musicians, and dancers, the remaining Cinéma Parallèle...Read More

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