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. Cirque du Soleil


    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...Read More

  • 2. Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal


    One of Canada's premier ballet companies, Les Grands have been moving audiences since 1957. Under the artistic direction of Louis Robitaille...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. Théâtre du Nouveau Monde

    Downtown | Theater

    A season's offerings at this theater might include works by locals Michel Tremblay and Patrice Robitaille, as well as works by Shakespeare,...Read More

  • 5. Agora de la Danse

    Downtown | Dance

    More than just a performance space for contemporary dance, this center actively works in the dance community to encourage creativity and...Read More

  • 6. Bibliothèque et Archives Nationales du Québec

    Latin Quarter | Film

    Spread over five floors, Montréal's largest public library is a modern, light-filled, and spacious place to while away an afternoon perusing...Read More

  • 7. BJM Danse Montréal


    Under artistic director Louis Robitaille, BJM Danse Montréal fuses contemporary music and visual arts with extraordinary technique. Performances...Read More

  • 8. Black Theatre Workshop

    Downtown | Theater

    The only black English-language company in Québec (and the longest-running in Canada) continues to support and nourish the careers of many prominent...Read More

  • 9. Centaur Theatre

    Old Montréal | Theater

    Montréal's best-known English-language theater company stages everything from frothy musical revues to serious works, and prominently features...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Cinéma Banque Scotia

    Downtown | Film

    This four-level theater complex is in the center of downtown Montréal. The major attraction is movie-watching in either of the IMAX or the UltraAVX...Read More

  • 12. Cinéma du Parc

    Downtown | Film

    A favorite of Montréal moviegoers for years, this theater focuses on first-run movies from around the world. Retrospectives based on interesting...Read More

  • 13. Cinéma Impérial

    Downtown | Film

    Recognized by the Québec government as a historical monument in 2001, this beautiful, old-fashioned movie theater screens independent films...Read More

  • 14. Cinémathèque Quebecoise

    Latin Quarter | Film

    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...Read More

  • 15. Cineplex Odeon Forum Cinemas

    Downtown | Film

    With 22 screens showing everything from Hollywood blockbusters to indie flicks, choice is the main draw at this massive theater. That, plus...Read More

  • 16. Cirque Éloize


    This award-winning troupe has been touring the globe since 1993, and with well over 4,000 performances under its belt, shows no signs of slowing...Read More

  • 17. Geordie Productions

    Downtown | Theater

    Promoting itself as a theater for all audiences, this accomplished English company has been delighting kids and adults since 1982. The 2017...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. 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...Read More

  • 20. La Vitrine Culturelle

    Downtown | Tickets

    Next to the Quartier des Spectacles theater district, la Vitrine Culturelle (literally: Cultural Window) is the perfect place to get information...Read More

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