Le Grand Poutinefest is Back this Weekend!

Montreal’s annual Poutine festival will still be taking place this weekend despite the pandemic. It will be a “drive through” event so it will be as contactless as possible, keeping the public safe. For those who don’t know, Poutine is a very popular dish in Quebec. It is the ultimate junk food that is so delicious and comforting. It is made with French fries, gravy and cheese curds. So many restaurants have a version of poutine on their menus. Even the fanciest restaurants, like Garde Manger, owned by celebrity chef, Chuck Hughes, has a lobster poutine on the menu. This is how Le Grand Poutinefest came about. It is an opportunity to try out so many different varieties of this very popular dish! You can visit Poutinefest on Saturday, August 29 and Sunday, August 30 in the parking lot of the shopping mall, Galeries d’Anjou. The address is 7999 Boulevard des Galeries d’Anjou. The event will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Guests will not be allowed to park their cars or exit them. They can place an order for the thirteen different varieties of poutines from the five street food trucks. You can order from the QR codes that will be available on posters. When you scan the QR code, you will have access to the digital menu where all your ordering and pick up instructions will be displayed. You can only pay by debit or credit card as they are not accepting cash payments. The event organizers have assured the public that they will be following all the health care precautions. All the staff members will be wearing masks and gloves. We will be posting all the Poutinefest details on Microsoft Teams where you can access your Online English Courses or Online French Courses.

Jenny Alejandra Escobar Garces From Colombia: “I loved all moments…”

Jenny Alejandra Escobar Garces is a lovey student from Colombia who has been studying at EC Montreal for over sixty weeks! She started her journey with us back in April 2019 and just completed her studies this week. She has made so much progress going from an elementary level to pre-advanced. She worked hard and had a very good attitude. Her last teacher, Olga, commented to me on Friday that Jenny was such a delight to teach. She had great energy and a wonderful vibe. Olga said she got so emotional saying goodbye to Jenny in class yesterday. We thank Jenny Alejandra for her motivation, energy and hard work. We will miss her! Here is what she wanted to share with all of you about her EC experience: I am really sad to finish my school, but I am very grateful with all of you. I loved all moments in EC Montreal with my teacher my friend and everyone. I don’t want to say goodbye, but I have another goal to fulfil. I enjoyed the wintertime the summer all the seasons. I studied at EC Montreal for more the one year and I am so happy because I can understand everyone. I learned about new cultures about my teachers and my dear director, because everyone has too much patience with us and they gave me a lot of motivation I will continue to study in a college because now I have the level that I need to continue with my process in Canada. I will always remember Renee, Elisa, Olga, Katrina, Lory and my dear academic director Ana and all my teachers and classmates I will keep them in my heart. Thanks, so much EC Montreal! Whether it is with our face-to-face classes or with our Online English Courses or … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday image is of our annual apple picking activity and apple festival at EC Montreal.  It is the beginning of apple season in Quebec.  We have many apple orchards located very close to Montreal.  You can drive for approximately thirty minutes north of Montreal to reach the countryside.  There you will find many different types of farms.  There are fruit orchards, vegetable fields, animal farms and the most beautiful acres of fertile land.  It is so nice to get away from the busy city to experience a different part of Quebec.  Quebec is a very large province that is made up of the most beautiful hills, mountains, lakes as well as vibrant cities. At EC Montreal, we want our students to experience as much as possible during their Canadian experience.  For this reason, EC Montreal organizes many activities and excursions for our students.  This time of year, it is the beginning of apple season.  Many farms are getting ready for their harvest and invite the public to come and enjoy an outdoor activity of picking fruit right off the trees.  Many of these farms have many other activities for people to enjoy.  When EC Montreal organizes this apple picking activity for our students we include a visit to a local vineyard and winery as well as a trip to Mont-Tremblant; a ski resort village located at the foot of the tallest mountain in the province of Quebec.  You can take a gondola ride to the top, or if you dare, you can hike up to the top to get the most majestic view of the countryside and all the lakes surrounding the mountain.  The village also has many restaurants, shops and other fun activities to enjoy. The vineyards offer a tour of the winery as well as … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

Can you feel the weather starting to change?  Are your mornings and evenings getting a little cooler?  We hate to say goodbye to summer but autumn is right around the corner.  It is sad to bid farewell to the hot and sunny days, to swimming in the pool and picnicking at the beach.  It is hard to say goodbye to colourful cocktails on the deck and long dinners on the patio.  I wish we could hold on just a little bit longer but alas, mother nature has other plans for us.  We are about to welcome the season of fall.  It is one of the prettiest seasons in Quebec.  As the temperature drops, the leaves start to transform into vibrant hues of yellow, orange, red and gold.  The air is a lot crisper and you need a sweater to protect you from the cold, fresh air. We look forward to the harvest season; visiting a local farm and picking apples right off the trees or pumpkins straight out of the patch.  We get convinced to order anything “pumpkin spice” as it is the flavour of the season.  Our meals become a little heartier as we brace ourselves for the cruellest of seasons; old man winter. Fall in Montreal is a magical season and if you are into wine tasting, there are many vineyards as close as thirty minutes away from the city center to explore.  You can request a tour of the winery and sample the different selections of wines.  Quebec is also known for its ice wine that is made from grapes that are starting to freeze.  The ice wine is very sweet and delicious when served ice cold with dessert. In honour of Fall in Montreal, I am delighted to share my recipe for pumpkin soup with all … Read more

Montreal’s Biodome is Reopening on August 31!

We are beyond thrilled to learn that our beloved Biodome is reopening on the same day as EC Montreal; August 31!  The Biodome has been undergoing major renovations for the past two years.  We have missed taking our students to visit one of Montreal’s most iconic landmarks!  For those of you who are unaware, the Biodome is an indoor zoo.  It is made up of the five eco-systems of the Americas, from the tropical Amazon to the freezing Antarctic! The Biodome was already so thoughtfully designed.  You feel like you are transported to that part of the world, just by walking through the exhibits.  When you walk through their Amazon, for example, it is as if you are really there.  It is hot, humid and you can take in all the sounds and aromas of the jungle.  They have tropical plants and exotic birds flying around.  You can even see the monkeys swinging from the trees. When you walk through a Canadian forest, you can feel the temperature drop and the air actually feels crisp as it does when you are in the great outdoors.  You are welcomed by animals you actually see in our forests; beavers, deer, ducks, raccoons and so many other friendly neighbourhood creatures. You can also walk through a floor to ceiling aquarium that represents the St. Lawrence river.  There you will find all the fish and river creatures you find in this cold and fast flowing river.  You will not see colourful exotic fish as you would in the Caribbean.  Instead, you will find some of the largest and ugliest fish you have ever seen!  The cutest part is you can actually see the duck feet paddling over-top. Our favourite section of the Biodome is the Antarctic where you will find all different kinds of … Read more

Throwback Thursday!

This week’s Throwback Thursday is an image of EC Montreal’s annual frozen treats day!  Every August, we surprise our students with a variety of frozen desserts to celebrate the end of summer.  Nobody can resist these sweet treats and they are sure to put a smile on everyone’s face.  They enjoy their popsicles, fudge pops or ice cream sandwiches while hanging out in the student lounge, practicing their language skills and having a marvellous time.  They usually come back for more and even take one to go as they commute back home to their homestay host or student residence. At EC Montreal, we love to surprise our students this way.  These kind gestures are our way of thanking our students for choosing EC Montreal for their language adventure.  We want them to know that they are very special to us and the reason we get up every day to come to work.  Organizing these activities or surprising them with a cupcake in their classroom on their Birthday absolutely delights us! Random acts of kindness are common at EC Montreal.  We want our students to know that they are our very important guests. We look forward to returning to our face-to-face lessons soon and until then, we remain at your students’ disposable for whatever needs they may have.  They can simply reach out to us and start a chat with us on Microsoft Teams where they can access their Online English Courses or Online French Courses.

The Montreal Comedy Series Starts Next Week!

Normally, every summer, Montreal hosts the Just for Laughs festival. It is a festival that spreads laughter, happiness and cheerfulness. We welcome comedians from all over the world to perform to eager crowds. We missed the festival this year and that’s why we were so thrilled to learn that Montreal will be hosting a nine-day comedy show called the Montreal Comedy Series. The festival will take place from August 28 to September 6.  Most of the shows will have an 8 or 9 p.m. start time. The shows will be in English and will feature a line up of local comics including Harrison Weinreh, Kris Dulgar, Daniel Trado, Ev Lit, Victoria Blair, Peter Bowwm, Joey Laflamme, Abbie Stonehouse and many more. The shows will take place at many different venues around the city of Montreal like Griffintown’s Lord William Pub, Old Montreal’s Rosewood, Downtown’s Peroni, Brass Door Pub, Melrose, Pub St-Paul and many other venues.  The event organizers have assured participants that they have implemented safety measures at all the venues including tables six feet apart, having hand sanitizers throughout the rooms, wearing masks and limited capacity seating. There will only be thirty to fifty people allowed inside each venue. The Montreal Comedy Series was launched in order to give Montrealers something to smile about during a time when we all need it. It is also a way for the venues to get much needed business as our local pubs have really been struggling during this pandemic. We will be promoting this event on Microsoft Teams where our students can access their Online English Courses or Online French Courses, so they can participate if they are in Montreal and looking for something fun to do after so many months of sacrifice. We are so excited to participate in this very fun … Read more

Montreal Businesses Seek English Speakers!

A recent study conducted by L’Office Quebecoise de la langue Francaise revealed that 40% of businesses in Quebec list speaking English as a requirement or an asset for candidates.  The percentage of businesses on the island of Montreal who require candidates to speak English was an astounding 60%. Although the province of Quebec is French-speaking, employers recognize that when it comes to business and commerce, proficiency in English is necessary to be able to compete on the international stage.  English is the international language of business and in order to communicate with clients, vendors, sister offices located in other parts of the world as well as all other stakeholders, English is a basic requirement. If you want to land your dream job in Quebec and specifically in Montreal, having advanced English skills will get you one step closer to an employment offer. In the province of Quebec, unless your parents went to English school, you are required to attend French school.  Although the French school board includes English lessons as part of their curriculum, parents feel that the amount of English learned in school is simply not enough.  Their children need more exposure to the English language. Being bilingual is essential in the province of Quebec and EC Montreal is here to help you improve your skills so you can say that you are completely bilingual.  These language skills will ultimately help you land your dream job.  EC Montreal offers English, French and Bilingual programmes.  We offer group classes, private instruction, corporate sessions as well as online options.  We have schedules to help accommodate your availability.  EC Montreal has seen many success stories over the past decades of teaching English and French as a foreign language.  Students have gone on to pursue their post-secondary studies right here in Canada or … Read more

Recipe of the Week!

EC Montreal will reopen on August 31, in less than two weeks!  We can hardly believe it.  We have been working from home since mid-March.  We have spent two seasons at home; spring and summer.  We have loved teaching our students online with EC Virtual, however, we have really missed being at the school.  Everyone is talking about back to school plans.  There are endless commercials with back to school deals and kids everywhere are planning their return to their classes.  This fall is not going to be like any fall we have experienced before.  There are a lot of people who are hesitant about going back.  They are worried about the virus and are not sure if the government’s back to school plan is enough to keep everyone safe. At EC Montreal, we have implemented quite a few safety measures to ensure our students and staff are protected.  In addition to the blended learning format, we have changed the schedule to ensure that staff and students are not travelling on public transportation during rush hour.  We have also installed hand sanitizer machines in several areas of the school and in all the classrooms.  Mask wearing will be mandatory and we have also ensured that all desks are within six feet of one another and the teachers. This week’s recipe is the ultimate comfort food.  We look forward to comfort food when we welcome the autumn season and this year more than ever, we need something soothing to help us deal with any anxiety related to our back to school.  I am delighted to share my macaroni and cheese recipe with all of you.  It is sinfully delicious and the perfect meal to share with family and friends.  For my version of macaroni and cheese, you will need the following … Read more

Together Apart Street Art!

Many of Montreal’s most beloved summer festivals have been moved online on virtual platforms.  We have managed to celebrate our annual events differently in order to stay socially distant and safe. Montreal is known for its festivals.  This city hosts over one hundred festivals a year and summertime is when this city really comes to life.  It is like the entire city is having a party and the world is invited to it!  We have missed that atmosphere. We do have some exciting news to share!  Montreal’s Mural Festival, which celebrates street art, will be hosting an in-person festival in collaboration with Stella Artois.  The festival is called Together Apart Street Art.  It starts today, August 13 and goes on for eleven days until August 23. The festival will include outdoor installations on St. Laurent Boulevard between Sherbrooke Street and Mount-Royal.  That portion of St. Laurent Boulevard will become pedestrian only.  They are calling the installation an immersive art experience.  It will be made up of a series of art projects. The festival will also include a 140 feet long Stella Artois patio that will be operated by two local bars; SuWu and Warehouse.  The festival organizers promise that you can manoeuvre your way through the different art installations while maintaining your distance from other festival goers.  They are describing the event as a social moment that will be facilitated in a safe and responsible way. Montreal celebrates its street art by hosting this mural festival every year.  The impressive graffiti images on the different buildings around the city are works of art to be enjoyed.  Art comes in so many shapes and forms and there is beauty and a story behind all of them. If you are looking for something to do in Montreal this August, this is something … Read more