Travel Blog

23 Aug

Things to Do in Montreal: August 23–29

Chihuly - Pierre Longtin

Even during some of summer’s most relaxing days, Montreal keeps the entertainment factor high. This week, visit a genuine New-France marketplace, see new films from internationally-acclaimed filmmakers, marvel at world-class art exhibitions, and rock out to live music…

(art days) Add a massive dose of colour to your day at the Chihuly exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, a wide-ranging installation of the innovative glass work of American artist Dale Chihuly, whose glass chandeliers and sculptures grace galleries, universities, corporate headquarters and private homes world-wide. While at the MMFA, visit the Design Lab to see the detailed porcelain work of Montreal-based French artist Laurent Craste’s exhibition Trans-form/pose/figure, influenced by major French porcelain makers of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Catch the last few days of the Galerie Donald Browne pop-up gallery at the PHI Centre to August 24, featuring photography by Raymonde April and Shari Hatt, sculpture by Valérie Kolakis, paintings of Paul Bureau, Myriam Laplante’s reality-questioning installation, and much more.


(summer in the city) Walk around Montreal’s Old Port in the sun this weekend to see not only views of the St-Laurent River and Old-Montreal architecture, but the 18th Century Public Market at Pointe-à-Callière, a historical, open-air marketplace, complete with food, music, street performers, art, talks on history, and activities for kids, all day August 24-25 – watch for performances by dances group Danse Cadence and Thunder Hawks. While the weather is still summery, relax at the Old Port’s Clock Tower Beach. Return to nature at the Botanical Gardens, where hundreds of species of native plants continue to thrive in the summer heat and the Mosaïcultures Internationales plant-sculpture exhibition impresses with its artistic and botanical feats.

(film worlds) See hundreds of dramatic new feature films and shorts from Quebec, Canada and around the world at the 37th edition of the Montreal World Film Festival, including Quebecois director Alain Chartrand’s La Maison du Pêcheur, Mathieu Roy’s L’Autre Maison, Christian Duguay’s Jappeloup, Michael Z. Wechsler’s The Red Robin, and much more, including a series of free outdoor screenings at Place des Festivals. As well, the SAT continues its outdoor screenings and barbeques at Peace Park in downtown Montreal, showing selections from the Computer Animation Festival on August 28 starting at 9 p.m., and on August 29, a documentary on the park and the surrounding neighbourhood itself. Also at the SAT beginning August 21, see a series of short films made specifically for the 360-degree surround-sound Satosphere during SAT Fest.

(klezmer rock) Montreal shows the diversity of its Jewish cultural heritage at the Montreal Jewish Music Festival, August 25-29, featuring a mix of traditional music, rock and pop. Hear: traditional Eastern-European Jewish music from Sergiu Popa’s Ivreyaska Project and Ichka; a collection of cantorial music, Chassidic nigunim and yiddish art songs from the 1930s, 40s and 50s, performed by Socalled; a uniquely Quebecois take on eastern European and Romani folk violin music from Briga Shtreiml; Israeli flautist Hadar Noiberg; trumpeter Ben Holmes; and an evening of “Jewish Americana” featuring NYC rock band Soulfarm and cantor Adam Stotland. All shows take place in the Plateau at Sala Rossa and downtown at Upstairs Bar.

(indulgent ideas) Another side of Montreal’s vibrant arts and culture scene is on display at the Erotic Arts Festival, August 18-September 2, showcasing visual art, dance, burlesque, fashion, live music and more that puts sensuality first and foremost. The Montreal Erotic Art Festival (or Festival d’Art Erotic de Montreal) explores the human desire to express themselves, and pushes for a more progressive society. Actually more than a weekend long, Montreal Fetish Weekend begins August 28, with a welcome dinner and meet-and-greet events held in the Village, though Friday and Saturday evenings are when the parties really start.

(more live music) Friday night starts the week off with talent and style: Sarah Neufeld, best known as the lead violinist with Arcade Fire, debuts her solo album, Hero Brother, at Sala Rossa, while Wolf + Lamb’s Navid Izadi plays a live set, joined by Moody Jones, Jay London, and My Friend Eric, at the SAT, Chicago’s unclassifiable Joan of Arc play Il Motore, and, over at the Bell Centre, Selena Gomez adds pop-star power to the mix. On Saturday, get down at the 4th annual family-friendly Funk N’ Jazz Festival, outside at the Terrasse St-Ambroise. Also on Saturday, Montreal indie-rock label Emery Street Records showcases Seb Black, Les Tavarneux and Eddie Paul at Divan Orange. On Sunday, August 25, head over to Parc Jean-Drapeau for weekly outdoor electronic dance party Piknic Electronik, featuring Berlin-based producer M.A.N.D.Y and more. On Wednesday, Blonde Redhead returns, playing songs new and old at Theatre Corona. And on Thursday, August 29, test your rap skills and confidence or just watch others win or lose at Hip Hop Karaoke, at Le Belmont.

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