What's On? You may well ask! Despite the abundance of tourists, and the competition for their attention, it can be quite hard to find out as there seems to be little attempt to consolidate the information from the various event organisers.
The most reliable source of up-to-date information is usually the posters and signs you will find around Funchal, particularly around the Avenida Arriaga and locally in other communities around the island.
There are several recurring festivals during the year around which many public events are organised by the regional authorities:
Carnival (February/March) - the festivities that precede Lent.
Flower Festival (April/May)
Atlantic Festival (June)
Wine Festival (August/September)
Nature Festival (October)
Christmas/New Year (December/January)
There are other events that are organised locally by individual district governments, some, but not all, of which may appear in the official calendar above.
In addition to visiting artists, Madeira has a remarkably high standard of local musicianship. There are two main types of musical performance - those with a largely unchanging repertoire aimed at an ever-changing audience of tourists and more varied programmes geared more towards the local population. You'll see plenty of publicity in the streets for the former. Entertainment is also organised locally within many hotels.
Large-scale events are organised from time to time in public spaces (for example in the Santa Catarina Park and Jardim Municipal in Funchal).
The island has a very good orchestra (Orquestra Clássica da Madeira) that offers a full programme of orchestral and chamber music every season. Concerts usually take place in the Centro de Congressos, the Assembleia Legislativa, the Baltazar Dias theatre and occasionally at hotels or other venues. The programme can usually be found on posters outside the the Baltazar Dias theatre - and the orchestra's website now has details of its current programme.
There's also a related group that specialises in Baroque music - again you'll have to spot the posters (there's one site on the other side of the Estrada Monumental to the Forum Madeira shopping centre).
Madeira has a music school - the Conservatório - just north of the Savoy Palace hotel. It regularly holds (free) concerts of performances by its students at its own premises and at other locations and, unusually, its calendar is actually available online, though in the form of images of the inevitable posters.
The Teatro Municipal Baltazar Dias is a small, but charming theatre in the centre of Funchal dating from 1888. It stages a variety of musical and theatrical performances (in Portuguese) in the auditorium and in the foyer.
Guided visits (in English and Portuguese) are available on Mondays at 10:00.
Children's films are usually dubbed into Portuguese ('dobrado' or VP - Versão Português) . Other films are usually shown in their original language (VO - Versão Original) with Portuguese subtitles.