Non-stop live music, world-class comedy and entertainment for all ages make Montréal the place to be this weekend and into the week. Whether you’re here for Osheaga, Just For Laughs, Mondial des Jeux, Fantasia, fireworks or Montréal’s great food, you’re in for a fun time.
Laughs for all
International comedy festival Just For Laughs brings the funniest comedians in the world to Montréal this week – see gala showcases hosted by Nathan Lane, Jeff Goldblum, Carrie Fisher, P.K. Subban, David Cross, Howie Mandel and Sebastian Maniscalco and stand-alone shows by Sarah Silverman, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Aziz Ansari, Judd Apatow, Maria Bamford, Hannibal Buress and more comedy stars until August 1.
A new edition of The Nasty Show makes for a seriously dirty good time, hosted by Mike Ward. JFL’s free street festival features Cirque Carpe Diem on July 29, Boogie Wonder Band on July 30, the kid-focused V8energy labyrinth, puppeteer Jacques Boutin, dancer-clown Fifi Bric-à-Brac, musical Jukebox, plus an array of food trucks. JFL’s “underground” program OFF-JFL welcomes Janeane Garofalo, Tom Green and more. Add to all that Zoofest, dedicated to wild indie humour and theatre.
Thousands of festival-goers flood Parc Jean-Drapeau from July 29 to 31 for Montréal’s biggest indie-rock, pop, hip hop and electronic outdoor music festival of the summer: Osheaga. See huge artists including Radiohead, Cypress Hill, Grimes, Beirut, Kurt Vile, The Lumineers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Death Cab For Cutie, Lana Del Ray, Half Moon Run and more, a roster of top electronic producers on the Piknic Electronik stage, and more local and international artists such as Wolf Parade, Vince Staples, Future, Bloc Party, Best Coast, Coeur de Pirate and Elephant Stone on the smaller stages among the trees – while there check out the art installations too. When the day is done, head to official after-parties at Théâtre Fairmount, New City Gas, the Casino de Montréal, Newspeak and Le Belmont. See the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival site for all the details.
Eats meets outdoors
Relax, eat and drink on one of Montréal’s favourite terrasses or go to Clark Street in the Quartier des Spectacles for Bouffons MTL, a food-lovers feast, to July 30. Have a picnic in the park with take-out burritos, Portuguese chicken or spicy meals from African and Caribbean restaurants (note: it’s legal to drink boozy beverages outdoors with that full meal!)
All kinds of activities, food and music populate outdoor markets Jardins Gamelin and Village au Pied-du-Courant downtown, Pop Montréal’s Marché des Possibles in Mile End and Les Jardineries at Olympic Stadium Esplanade. The finale of the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec competition lights up the sky on Saturday with a Tribute to Elton John – find a great vantage point at these 8 places to watch the fireworks.
See Shakespeare-in-the-Park’s The Tragedy of Julius Caesar at Westmount Park July 30-31. For more outdoor festival fun, check our 2016 summer festival guide and our guide to fun with kids this summer in Montréal, from rock climbing to Botanical Garden walks.
Get in the game
Outdoor festival Mondial des Jeux sets up board games, a new console and arcade video games and physical games for all ages along de Maisonneuve Boulevard downtown to July 30. Keep playing Pokémon GO while exploring the unique sights of Montréal with our list of 10 Pokémon GO activities for the family.
The best women’s tennis players in the world play hard at the Rogers Cup, to July 31 at Uniprix Stadium in Jarry Park, just blocks away from Jean-Talon Market and several excellent restaurants and cafés. CFL team the Montréal Alouettes plays two home games this week: don’t miss all the football action July 29 against the Saskatchewan Roughriders and on August 4 against the BC Lions. Our Minor League Soccer team the Montréal Impact play a friendly game with A.S. Roma on August 3. And the Montreal Highland Games celebrates Scottish culture on July 31 at Parc Arthur-Therrien.
Film and art
New films, talks with directors and actors and more make the Fantasia International Film Festival a must for fans of underground, horror, animation and international rarities, ongoing to August 3. See a 25th anniversary screening of Ridley Scott’s classic road movie Thelma Louise, at the Phi Centre August 4.
Bring a blanket ad and some popcorn to Parc Laurier on August 3 for a screening of documentary Oncle Bernard, A Counter-Lesson in Economics, part of the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) free summer programming. Stroll along de la Commune Street in the Old Port to see the new SDC Vieux-Montréal photography exhibition. And marvel at the Liz Magor, Lizzie Fitch and Ryan Trecartin exhibitions at the Musée d’art contemporain contemporary art museum.
Along with Osheaga, there’s even more live music this week. The in-the-know MEG festival highlights indie-rock, electro and hip hop artists: on Friday night see local conscious-hip-hop legends Nomadic Massive, the tropical-styled dance-electro-rock of Bad Dylan and Topium at Divan Orange, followed on Saturday by electronic producers Kyle Kalma, Seb Diamond and Seychelle.
One of Montréal’s favourite local bands, Wolf Parade, returns with their hits and a new album on July 29 at Théâtre Corona, while the next night Aussie indie-ska-jazz band The Cat Empire claws their way into our hearts. Superstar Céline Dion comes home for 10 nights of spectacular shows at the Bell Centre starting July 31, while Canadian roots band The Strumbellas strums up a good time at Théâtre Corona on July 31.
For classical music enthusiasts of all ages, Festival de Lanaudière is a must: located at an outdoor amphitheatre a short drive or shuttle bus ride from the city, the festival runs until August 7. The always wonderful Julie Doiron rocks, charms and impresses, with openers Adrian Teacher and the Subs and Construction Destruction, on August 2 at Bar le Ritz P.D.B.
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