Travel Blog

9 Jun

Things to do in Montréal from June 9 to 15

Montréal’s first massive weekend of summer starts now with the F1 Grand Prix, Francofolies music fest, Mural Fest, 375th anniversary and Expo 67 celebrations, Fringe theatre fest, Chagall and Gaultier at the Fine Arts Museum, plenty of live music and more.


We’re off to the races June 9-11 as the Formula 1 Grand Prix du Canada turns up the heat at Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve and downtown at the free Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival and Peel Formula events, featuring DJs, fashion shows and driver appearances, and Little Italy’s Grand Prix celebrations. Eat, drink and let loose throughout Grand Prix – get social with the city’s patio scene, and indulge in F1 specials at numerous restaurants and bars. Fashionistas won’t want to miss the free Grand Prix Fashion Event on the third floor of Cours Mont Royal downtown on June 9 or the Bijoux Bijoux jewellery sale at Marché Bonsecours June 9-11 – or any of Montréal’s excellent boutique shopping from Old Montréal and Westmount to the Plateau. And F1 parties keep us up late, from a soirée at The Ritz Carlton to electronic dance music Friday to Sunday at New City GasVelvetFlyjin and many more venues.


The sun is out and there’s entertainment in the streets: Summer festival season begins now! French-language music festival Les Francofolies fills Place des Festivals this week with free outdoor shows all afternoon and into the night on several stages – don’t miss Sunday night’s major Québecois star showcase with Yann Perreau, Avec pas d’casque, Safia Nolin and more! Take a walk up traffic-free Saint-Laurent Boulevard during Mural Fest, June 8-18, to watch artists paint new works on buildings’ walls and catch live music – while walking, stop by the St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival outdoor stage for live music and performances – you can buy your tickets to festival shows there too! Science fans young and old will love the Eureka! Festival of free activities in the Old Port. Canada Soccer’s 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup starts at Montréal’s Saputo Stadium with the Men’s National Team playing Curaçao on June 13. And add more laughs to the weekend with comedian Bill Burr at L’Olympia on June 10.

Watch Montréal history come to life on the Saint Lawrence River in spectacular, free multimedia show Montréal Avudo every night in the Old Port. The Old Port is also where you’ll see Cirque du Soleil’s VOLTA under the big top. From there check out the city’s high-tech 375th anniversary light show on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. Old Montréal landmark Notre-Dame Basilica, one of the city’s most stunning churches, lights up with beautiful high-tech spectacle Aura, while the surrounding streets illuminate with the historic tableaux projections of Cité Memoire. Urban green space, outdoor eatery and bar in the heart of downtown Les Jardins Gamelin hosts music performances, dance classes, family activities and more all week. Grab a bite from one of Montréal’s great food trucks or pop by the Marché des Éclusiers market in the Old Port for a meal, a drink, local produce and other creations. Head to the Village au Pied du Courrant next to the Jacques Cartier Bridge for music, food and socializing. Walk through the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts Open-Air Museum on Sherbrooke Street. And feel like a kid again on the music-making 21 Swings in Place des Festivals.

Une publication partagée par 1967:Canada Welcomes the World (@expo67world) le 25 Mai 2017 à 9h28 PDT

Montréal takes a look back at city-changing Expo 67 with entertaining and history-rich exhibitions: see colourful outfits and products created by Québec designers at the McCord Museum’s Fashioning Expo 67; photographs tell the tale in The Sixties in Montréal: Archives de Montréal at City Hall; marvel at the technological innovations of EXPO 67: A World of Dreams at the Stewart Museum and Écho 67 at the nearby Buckminster Fuller designed Biosphère; baby boomer youth culture is a blast in Explosion 67 – Youth and Their World at the Centre d’histoire de Montréal; it’s all about ’60s artistic expression in the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts’s Révolution: “You say you want a revolution” and the Musée d’art contemporain’s In Search of Expo 67; Arcmtl presents Expo 67: Avant Garde! – forward-looking, boundary-breaking art of the ’60s at the Cinémathèque Québecoise; and Centre de design de l’UQAM honours architect Moshe Safdie’s Habitat 67 in The Shape of Things to Come.

Don’t miss CHAGALL: COLOUR AND MUSIC at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, ending June 13 – also a must while there: Love Is Love – wedding haute couture and prêt-à-porter by Jean Paul Gaultier. Meanwhile at the Musée d’art contemporain see Hajra Waheed’s The Video Installation Project 1–10 and collections-based Pictures for an Exhibition. Mexican artist Gilberto Esparza’s Plantas autofotosintéticas has us rethinking how biology, technology and art intersect at Galerie de l’UQAM. British artist Ed Atkins intrigues with questions on human bodies, digital creation and reality in video exhibition Modern Piano Music at DHC-ART. Pointe-à-Callière archaeology and history museum presents the fascinating Amazonia: The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest. And see interactive local-history exhibition Mon Coeur est à Montréal – 41 Vies à Découvrir at the Grande Bibliothèque. On screen: The Montreal Israeli Film Festival runs to June 15; travel through virtual worlds in Felix Paul Studios Virtual Reality Garden at the Phi Centre; explore space in double feature KYMA – Power of Waves and Edge of Darkness at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, watch saxophone documentary “The Devil’s Horn” under the stars at Place de la Paix on June 12, and  the first of the Montreal International Documentary Festival free outdoor film screenings, Swagger by Olivier Babinet on June 14 at 9 p.m. in Parc du Portugal.

Along with outdoor shows, French-language music festival Les Francofolies features high-talent indoor shows this week with Québec music giants Yann Perreau, Klô Pelgag, Catherine Major, Pierre Lapointe, Louis-Jean Cormier and more artists at Place des Arts, Rymz et la Mifa Friday night and Peter Peter Saturday at Metropolis, Corneille on Friday and Fred Fortin on Thursday at Club Soda, and eclectic artists throughout the week at L’AstralThe Montréal Chamber Music Festival continues with the Dover Quartet, pianist Robi Botos, the Israeli Chamber Project, pianist Jan Lisiecki, free Matinées Musicales and smartphone concerts. The eclectic and excellent Suoni per il Popolo festival continues all month – this week open your ears to: Gypsy Kumbia Orchestra, Eric Chenaux, Framboos, French post-punk band Frustration, the machine experiments of will eizlini and [the user], composer Nicole Lizée, Aussie experimenters Severed Heads, avant-garde jazz icon Roscoe Mitchell and more.

Friday night brings folk-country singer-songwriter John Moreland to Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. On Saturday night, welcome back the fun 60s-influenced stylings of The Avalanches at Théâtre Corona, let electronic music move your body while visuals dazzle at Substrate with Suzy.Technology in the SAT‘s dome. Spend Sunday afternoon dancing outside at Piknic Electronik with electronic music from Ardalan, Christian Martin, Mandiz, Woulg and Co/ntry. Later on Sunday, join The Jacksons to celebrate 50 years of their music, at L’Olympia, Grammy winners and ’80s music icons Toto swoop into Place des Arts, and indie rockers Day Wave and Blonder play Bar Le Ritz P.D.B. Monday brings the Classical Spree: Spotlight on Adam Johnson and the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal – a free show demystifying the workings of the orchestra at Place des Arts. The Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal starts June 14 with an opening party at Bar de Courcelle and multi-artist Tributes to Willie Nelson and to folk star Penny Lang on June 15 (followed by a weekend of free music outdoors). See rapper Freddie Gibbs on his You Only Live 2wice tour at Théâtre Fairmount on June 14. And on June 15, British electronic duo Mount Kimbie play Théâtre Fairmount.

Up next:Paint the town with MURAL Festival

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