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Montreal, a port of call

By Raymond Zhou | China Daily | Updated: 2013-09-29 07:28

Montreal, a port of call

The Olympic Stadium, with its inclined tower, testifies to the glory of the 1976 Montreal Olympics and is still a major tourist site. Photo by Raymond Zhou / China Daily

The Canadian city derives much of its quaint charm from its cultural offerings, which are abundantly provided in accessible venues and friendly environs, Raymond Zhou finds.

The best way to discover Montreal is to participate in some of its multitudinous and eclectic festivals.

Montreal stands out in North America for many things, among which is the dominance of the French language. This may have something to do with their attitude toward culture. In one word, they take their culture, and also presentations of other cultures, very seriously.

And nothing reflects the local love of culture better than the dozen festivals that enliven the city's mild summers and autumns.

The first time I visited Montreal was in the summer of 1986.

Montreal, a port of call

I took a group of Chinese acrobats to participate in what could have been a circus festival. I don't recall the name of the event or the venue at which we performed. But I remember we took some of the acts onto the street and attracted a zealous crowd.

After all, Montreal is home to the world-renowned Cirque du Soleil, which has always incorporated Chinese acrobats. But what would have been a routine technical showoff by the Chinese at home, when choreographed and arranged by Montreal-based talent, often takes on an artistic gloss.

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