15 Best Performing Arts Venues in Quebec City, Quebec

Carnaval de Québec

Fodor's choice

A flurry of activity, mainly on the Plains of Abraham but also on several of the city's main drags, surrounds Carnaval de Québec, which occurs over two weekends every February. Snow- and ice-sculpture contests, dog sled relays, and canoe races on the icy St. Lawrence River chase away winter doldrums. Visitors brave the cold to get a glimpse of Bonhomme, the friendly carnival master, and tour his Ice Palace, which is rebuilt each year. Caribou, a strong mixture of red wine, hard liquor, and maple syrup, is a popular libation during the festivities.

Festival d'Été de Québec

Fodor's choice

An annual highlight in the first half of July is the exuberant Summer Festival, with over seven days of rock, folk, hip-hop, and world music. The main concerts take place each evening on three outdoor stages in or near the Old City, including one holding up to 80,000 people on the Plains of Abraham. A pass ( C$115) grants admission to all events throughout the festival. Some concerts at indoor theaters cost extra, but free music and activities, such as family concerts and street performers during the day, are also plentiful. At night rue St-Jean near the city gate turns into a free street theater, with drummers, dancers, and skits. Book accommodation several months in advance if you plan to attend.

Orchestre Symphonique de Québec

St-Jean-Baptiste Fodor's choice

Canada's oldest symphony orchestra, directed by the dynamic German conductor Clemens Schuldt, performs mainly at Louis-Fréchette Hall in the Grand Théâtre de Québec. Expect some of the most acclaimed classical works, but also fun surprises like hip-hop renditions and movie scores.

269 boul. René-Lévesque Est, Québec City, G1R 2B3, Canada
418-643–8486
Performing Arts Details
Rate Includes: From C$45

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Billetech

Limoilou

Tickets for most shows in town are sold through this company. There are outlets around town.

250 boul. Wilfrid-Hamel, Québec City, G1L 5A7, Canada
418-643--8131

Carrefour International de Théâtre de Québec

This international theatrical festival takes over several spaces in late May and early June: the Salle Albert-Rousseau, the Grand Théâtre de Québec, the Théâtre Périscope (near avenue Cartier), and Complexe Méduse. There are usually at least one or two productions in English or with English subtitles, and an outdoor show that takes over different parts of the downtown area.

Centre Vidéotron

Outside the Old City

This state-of-the-art arena opened in the fall of 2015, with the hope of attracting a National Hockey League franchise. For now, the hockey is from a junior league, but there are world-class concerts and popular acts playing here regularly.

Cinéma Cartier

Montcalm

This movie theater screens lots of interesting foreign and offbeat films, and it's the only one within easy reach of Old Québec. Many of the films are shown in English.

Coopérative Méduse

St-Roch

This multidisciplinary arts center, built in a row of historic houses mixed with new structures, is a hub for local artists and presents edgy installations and live shows, including a modern dance series.

650 côte d'Abraham, Québec City, G1R 1A1, Canada
418-640–9218

École de Cirque

Outside the Old City

For two weeks every June, students of this circus school and others take to the trapeze to promote their art form through the Circus Days festival. Throughout the year, students and teachers put on various shows, training camps, and workshops, including a Christmas Cabaret, in the former church that now houses their school.

Grand Théâtre de Québec

St-Jean-Baptiste

Québec City's main theater has two stages for symphonic concerts, opera, plays, and touring companies of all sorts. The Grand Théâtre also presents a dance series with Canadian and international companies. Inside, a three-wall mural by the Québec sculptor Jordi Bonet depicts death, life, and liberty. Bonet wrote "La Liberté" on one wall to bring attention to the Québécois struggle for freedom and cultural distinction.

Le Diamant

Upper Town

Le Diamant is a multidisciplinary space that welcomes the world's most prestigious contemporary creations to its strikingly modern stage in the heart of Old Québec. It is also the home of EX MACHINA, the production company of Robert Lepage, director and author known worldwide for his large-scale projects (including the Image Mill, the largest architectural projection ever created). At Le Diamant, dance, theater, and opera productions are enhanced by new technologies, continuously pushing the limits of the imagination.

Salle Albert-Rousseau

Ste-Foy

A diverse repertoire, from classical music to comedy, is staged here.

Théâtre Capitole

Upper Town

This cabaret-style theater schedules pop music and musical comedy shows by the most famous French-speaking artists in Québec.

Théâtre Périscope

St-Jean-Baptiste

This multipurpose theater hosts about a dozen different productions a year, staged by several different theater companies. New creations and experimental productions are always a strong part of the mix.

Théâtre Petit-Champlain

Lower Town

The charming and intimate Théâtre Petit-Champlain is a fine spot to hear contemporary francophone music and comedy acts during the year and take in a play in summer.