Montreal’s Winter Festivities

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There is no coddling the fact that it is cold here in Montreal.  It’s frigid, snows more than not, and the wind is like a cold smack in the face as you walk down the street.  But do not fear!  Thankfully, Montreal has adapted to its intense winters.  The city is still insanely alive with festivals, live music, art events, and much more, even when it’s dumping snow out.  The city’s residents don’t become hermits in their apartments just because of the drop in temperature.
I’ll start by describing a few of the many festivals that Montreal is well known for.  Montreal en Lumiere is one of the world’s largest winter festivals.  I enjoyed it so much that I went back three times, twice bringing visiting friends and family!  The heart of the light festival takes place at Place des Arts, right near the dorm where Champlain students reside.  Some of the highlights of the festival for me were Nuit Blanche (an all-night art gallery hop where the people took to the streets), light projections on buildings, a luge, a DJ set outside, and a dome with a lightshow inside. 
Fete des Neiges is another winter festival in Montreal, which is a celebration of the cold weather culture.  It includes hockey, snow-scootering, skating, dog sledding, and more. 
Outdoor activities extend past just this snow festival—the city provides numerous opportunities for skating, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and snow tubing, among others.  Mont Royal is a park in which one can do many of these activities.  If you want to stay indoors, though, there are many options for things you can take part in.  Montreal is famous for its network of underground malls and buildings, and tunnels and hallways connecting everything together.  When you want to escape from the winter weather for a bit, simply duck underground.  Personally, I like to hit up the underground mall just downtown, where I’ll go to grocery shop, shop for clothes and other items, and even get my haircut.  Talk about a weather-adapting city!  I hadn’t expected to experience a city that maintains its strong culture and has this much fun despite the weather.
 – Written by Lindsey Berry, Graphic Design major & Montreal blogger spring 2013