Montreal shakes up summer this week with dozens of all-star comedy shows, world-class live music, an extreme sports festival, movies under the stars, and cutting-edge fireworks displays shimmering high above the city…
(comic relief) Comedy festival Just For Laughs pulls out all the stops this week as its gala shows begin with none other than Don Rickles hosting a roster of great comedians July 23-25, Gabriel Iglesias hosting his own gala on July 23, the great Chevy Chase taking the stage on July 24 while SNL-alumnus Andy Samberg hosts a show of his own the same night. More multi-comedian shows keep us laughing too – don’t miss The Ethnic Show, The All Star Show, The Relationship Show, The British Show (hosted by Noel Fielding) and The Nasty Show. Meanwhile, Hannibal Buress, Lewis Black, Paul F. Tompkins, Mike Birbiglia, Tommy Tiernan, Iliza Shlesinger, Nikki Glaser and many more go solo, the stars of popular web series Broad City hit the stage for a The Talk of the Fest show, and DeAnn Smith and Miss Sugarpuss host burlesque-comedy Stand Up and Strip Down as part of OFF-JFL. Concurrent comedy festival Zoofest delights with one-man shows, stand-up and off-the-beaten-path theatrical comedy. Between shows, night and day, walk through Place des Festivals to hear live music and see impromptu comedy and circus-act performances fit for the whole family.
(outdoor action) For extreme outdoor activity this weekend, head to the Jackalope action sports festival, July 18-20 at the Olympic Park Esplanade. The festival gathers pro and amateur athletes in skateboarding, freestyle motocross, fixed gear, parkour, longboard and slackline competitions, demos and practices, plus puts on a Friday-night music concert, as well as movie screenings and afterparties throughout the fest. On the more relaxed side of outdoor adventuring, walk through the Montreal Botanical Garden and on Sunday hear music in the rose garden by Alex Nevsky. Near downtown Montreal, check out the beach, market and boardwalk at Village Éphémère just east of the Jacque-Cartier bridge (near Papineau metro station), Thursdays to Sundays, and in the Mile End neighbourhood, drop by the Marché des Possibles, Friday to Sunday to see what local artisans are creating, eat fresh from food trucks, keep the kids busy with activities and listen to live music. For more family activities outdoors, see our Family Guide to Summer and beat the heat (or bask in it) with our Swimming and Beach Guide – add a good summer read about Montreal to really set the tone. And at night, watch the International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition, featuring the United States halloween-themed show on July 19 and France’s tribute to Nelson Mandela on July 23 starting at 10pm.
(summer screenings) Hundreds of new and rare films prove why the Fantasia International Film Festival, now in its 18th edition, keeps fans flocking to Montreal every year – with 160 features and 300 shorts screening July 17 to August 5, the festival is a North American hub for outsider and underground-indie film from around the world, including this year’s crop of new work by Abel Ferrara, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Jim Mickle, Jang Joon-hwan, Gregg Araki, Yoshihiro Nakamura, John McNaughton, Richard Linklater and many more. The city also hosts several outdoor film screenings this week: Just for Laughs and Fantasia present three Charlie Chaplin films on July 21 at 9 p.m. at Place des Festivals; the Montreal International Documentary Festival shows short films about Montreal’s history on July 18 at 9 pm at the Marché des Possibles and music documentary Come Worry With Us! about Montreal band Thee Silver Mt. Zion at Laurier Park on July 23 at 9pm; Prends ça court! presents short Quebec-made films on July 22 at 9pm at Peace Park next to the SAT; and see Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly at Dante Park on St-Laurent in Little Italy on July 23 at 8:30pm.
(live music more) The Nuits d’Afrique festival continues all weekend with free outdoor shows and workshops at Place des Festivals along with indoor shows for late-night grooving. Saturday night is also made for rock lovers: see what San Fran’s The Fresh and Onlys are up to at La Vitrola, while Touche Amore, Tigers Jaw and Dads play Il Motore, Detroit garage-punk rockers Electric Six come to town with The Mohrs and Frisky Kids at Petit Campus, and Kestrels, Jet Black and Harsh Reality hit up L’Escogriffe. Meanwhile, Cult MTL throws its 2nd-annual Anniversary BBQ party at the SAT Labo Culinaire Foodlab and terrasse, featuring all kinds of awesome music by Seoul, The Posterz, Safia Nolin, Heart Streets, Folly The Hunter, Le Trouble and Saxsyndrum. Piknic Electronik keeps the beat alive at Parc Jean-Drapeau on Sunday afternoon with electro duo Monitor, producers from local house music imprint Mile End Records, and club legend Robert Ouimet. Classical music abounds at Festival de Lanaudière, the largest Classical Music festival in Canada, on now until August 10 and located a mere 45 minutes from Montreal, near Joliette, Quebec, with shuttle buses direct from the city. Bruno Mars comes to Montreal on his Moonshine Jungle Tour on Wednesday, July 23 at the Bell Centre with opening act Bebe Rexha. And on July 24, the MEG music festival kicks off with the electro-rock of L’Indice, Navet Confit and Pif Paf Hangover at Divan Orange, the Québécois hip hop of Les Anticipateurs, The Posterz and J.u.D to Sala Rossa, and the dance-worthy electro of The Driver, Milton Clark and Pulses to Le Belmont.
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