As mid-July arrives in Montreal, the city streets fill with music, comedy, circus performances and outdoor markets alongside many ways to relax right downtown, in the parks and at the beach…
(circus in the streets) For a true Montreal experience, see a show at the 5th-annual Montréal Complètement Cirque, such as Les 7 Doigts de la Main’s Intersection, Cirque Alfonse’s Barbu Foire Électro Trad, Lapus Company’s Six Pieds Sur Terre, the kid-focused Small Tent Big Shoulders, or any number of free outdoor performances – until July 13, acrobats and clowns tumble through the streets starting at 6:30pm on St-Denis and at 9:30pm at Place Émilie-Gamelin, see Babel_remix, performed by dozens of artists on a 55-foot metal structure tailor-made for circus acrobatics. Even more circus abounds at Olympic Park’s Esplanade all day July 12-13, while Cirque Carpe Diem performs and offers trapeze lessons at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
(comedy film) World-renowned comedy festival Just For Laughs, along with sister festival Zoofest, keep everyone happy and laughing this week: family-friendly comedic times abound at Place des Festivals all week, while adults-only jokes are on the menu at The Nasty Show at Club Soda, comics get into the hilarious nitty-gritty of their cultural backgrounds at the Ethnic Show at Metropolis, and outdoors at Place des Festivals on July 12, see pop group Karma Kameleons and the French-language comedy of P-A Méthot. And every night on the Place des Arts Esplanade, Nuits Folles keeps the party going with DJs, drinks and more – don’t miss their July 17 special event with Josh Wink, Nymra and more. July 17 also marks the opening day of the always-much-anticipated Fantasia Film Festival, screening new and rare action, adventure, fantasy and horror films from around the world to August 5. Meanwhile, immersive musical film Harmonielehre, featuring the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal playing a work by American composer John Adams, plays in surround sound on the 360-degree screen at the Satosphere. And the Phi Centre screens new international films including Pawel Pawlikowski’s drama Ida on July 11, Cutter Hodierne’s Somilia-based Fishing Without Nets on July 12 and much more.
(parks beaches) Downtown Montreal chills out even more this summer with the addition of the beach, market and boardwalk at Village Éphémère just east of the Jacque-Cartier bridge (near Papineau metro station), open Thursdays to Sundays – and a great place to watch the fireworks, featuring the Spanish team’s pyrotechnic poetry on Saturday at 10pm and Canada’s Kutuan and the Legends of Fire show on Wednesday. Meanwhile, at Parc Jean-Drapeau July 12-13, immerse yourself in the music, food and traditions of the diversity of cultures that makes up Montreal – Weekends du Monde. Also downtown, walk through the Sainte-Catherine Street Street Fair, July 12-13, while further east along Sainte-Catherine, Montreal’s Gay Village also holds a street sale July 10-13. Le Marché Des Possibles, a summertime brainchild of the Pop Montreal music fest, adds an open-air market, family activities, film screenings, food trucks and a German-style biergarten to the Mile End neighbourhood, Fridays to Sundays all summer long, opening July 11 with a launch party featuring music from Dead Man Get Up, Mathematique, Brad Barr and Socalled. Hit the urban beach in the Old Port of Montreal at Clock Tower Beach, where sand sculptures and beach restaurant La Buvette de la Plage de l’Horloge round out a sunny afternoon. In the evening, stop by Terrasses Bonsecours for drinks, views of the city and the St-Lawrence River, and prime socializing. And watch the World Cup final on July 13 on a big screen, surrounded by other fans in the Old Port. For more outdoor activities, see our Family Guide to Summer and our Swimming and Beach Guide.
(live music) Festival International Nuits d’Afrique continues to July 20 with Cuban band Los Van Van (the “Rolling Stones of Salsa”) on Friday night, Guadeloupe dancehall reggae artist Admiral T on Saturday, legendary Gumbe musician Ernesto Dabo on Sunday, hip hop and soul artist Féfé on Monday, and so much more all week. Friday, July 11 also introduces the captivating indie-folk of Australia’s The Paper Kites to Montreal at Cabaret Lion D’or. Saturday night sees the return of Hip Hop Karaoke Montreal to Le Belmont – try your hand at being an MC for a night (or just a few minutes) and witness some true karaoke feats. On Sunday, July 13, grunge legends Soundgarden get loud again at Metropolis, and Atlanta, Georgia hop hop artist Future stops in with killer beats on his Honest Tour at L’Olympia, while Piknic Electronik celebrates the summer afternoon until the sun goes down at Parc Jean-Drapeau with Dutch producer Applescal, Quebec’s Van Did and more on two stages – add to that a special Piknic on Saturday as part of Weekends du Monde, featuring UK producer Kode 9, Speakeasy Electro Swing, The Funk Hunters and more. Queen and Adam Lambert join dramatic-rock forces on July 14 at the Bell Centre, followed the next night by the fireworks of pop sensation Katy Perry. On Tuesday, July 15, British indie-rockers Wild Beasts come to the Corona Theatre, while Toronto rapper and producer Camm Hunter blends pop and hip hop at Sala Rossa, Calgary’s rifftastic garage-pop Viet Cong rocks Divan Orange, and inventive singer-songwriter Liam Finn plays at Il Motore. And on July 17, Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland returns with band The Wildabouts at the Corona Theatre.
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