You can fight common cliches, but where's the win? Saying Montreal's NOT about winter or greasy, calorie-packed, high-cholesterol food? The win is in the convincing otherwise, and the art of convincing rarely comes from the negative or exclusionary "This is what we're NOT"; it comes from the "This is what we ARE."
No two film festivals are alike -- and those of us who attend them professionally tend to judge them by different standards than the average festival-goers.
If you want to immerse yourself in the French culture, France is not your only option.
There's no place more traditional to spend Christmastime than in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus and the center of nativity scenes worldwide.
"The Solution" is usually obvious. It's freezing cold and you have to go outside, so what do you do? You wear a coat. "The Answer" is not a simple problem-solve. Let's say you don't have a coat. Or can't afford to buy one. What do you do then? What options are at your disposal? And do you really even have to go out?
I predict another novel Life of Pi by Yann Martel will be studied in a similar way by future generations. The difference is those students will be rewarded with a viewing of the just-released, sensational, epic 3D adaptation of the supposedly "unfilmable" book.
Now, I give a lot of money and a lot of time to charitable causes. Yet many times I find myself dressed up and wondering "Just who/what am I raising money for tonight?" But if you give without thought, without conviction, without understanding what you can REALLY do to help, what are you really giving?
We realized that we really didn't want to spend the holiday in the kitchen. I get cranky when I cook. Just ask my family. I even get moody when my husband cooks; there is the anticipation of all that pot washing after the meal. So we decided to start our own family tradition, to have our own Thanksgiving story.
Here's what I learned this week: At important meetings, the Ignoramus is a necessity. Unlike stupidity, ignorance can be cured. The Ignoramus brings what I used to call Virgin Contact Lenses to a situation -- don't ban them from your meetings; invite them in!
With all due respect to Sherlock Holmes and his Seven-Per-Cent Solution, I'm banging the drum for upping the ante to The 100% Solution. In a nutshell, everything we do should be focused on converting every visitor into a customer.
On Monday, Montreal's hapless, shaky, angry, and white-haired mayor, Gérald Tremblay, resigned in disgrace. It's no big surprise, really. Gérald had been fighting corruption allegations for years, always claiming that he knew nothing about any corruption seeping into Montreal's municipal politics. Even the most casual city observer would call utter bullshit on that. The mayor's position really became untenable last week when a former top aide, Martin Dumont, dished the goods in front of the Charbonneau Commission, which has been overturning dirty rocks to uncover the filthy world of Montreal's construction contracts.
Because they set the bar so high, even the worst Cirque du Soleil production is still pretty good. Instead of leaving with a Giaconda smile and sparkly eyes, though, you walk out feeling let down.
Cemeteries as tourist attractions? In some cases, yes, and not for morbid fascination either. You'll find unique links to history, unusual resting places for prominent people and, of course, more than a few entertaining ghost stories. In honour of Halloween, here are the five cemeteries I've visited in the past two years that rank as attractions by themselves.
I'm not a Hallowe'en Guy. Never was. Never got off on being costumed. Even as a kid being peer-pressured into trick-or-treating, I donned the most minimal of appearance-changing accessories as a perfunctory disguise. When I reveal this little-known personal factoid to others, the usual reaction sounds something like: "Well how can that be, given how wildly you dress every day?" And that's just the point.
the way people are watching live content is influencing the way live content is being produced. More recently, at TV meetings for Just For Laughs just last month, network programming execs asked for shows that were conceived "mobile-first." So the lesson this week? Maybe "Phoning It In," the derogatory term for a lazy performance, is taking on new, more positive meaning.
A luxe, cavernous space on a quiet street in Old Montreal with a sophisticated hunting and fishing lodge menu that's always rich and satisfying.