Travel Blog

20 Jun

Things to Do in Montreal: June 20-26


Festival season hits Montreal in full force this week with free music outdoors courtesy of FrancoFolies, the Folk Fest and the Jazz Fest, along with Quebec’s Fête Nationale celebrations, fun outdoor activities for the whole family, and more…

(sunny days) Montreal’s outdoor urban lifestyle hits new heights this summer with the emergence of even more places to eat, drink, hang out and be entertained. The Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port of Montreal opens this week with free entry to all before 5pm, and Village Éphémère, a terrasse, bar and market square (complete with food trucks), located under the Jacques-Cartier bridge near Papineau metro, begins to bustle on June 20. See the city from pastoral Parc Jean-Drapeau, hosting an Open House on Friday with great deals on tours, activities and more. Montreal’s outdoor swimming pool and beaches open this weekend too – see our Swimming and Beach Guide for details, and make your way to the pool via bike – check out our Bike Guide for info on bike paths, rentals, the BIXI system and more. For fun and outdoorsy things to do with kids, see our Family Guide to Summer. And when in doubt, relax and eat well on one of the city’s many great terrasses.

(jazz greats) The always-anticipated Montreal International Jazz Festival begins June 26 with Daniel Lanois and Cassandra Wilson at Place des Arts, Angélique Kidjo at Metropolis, Alain Lefèvre and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s Gershwin Legacy concert, the Newport Jazz Festival’s Now 60 concert, and a big, free outdoor show with French artist Woodkid to open the festival in high-energy style. And film buffs will definitely want to check out theatrical-cinematic-music show For The Record: Tarantino in Concert, June 25-30 at Cinquième Salle in Place des Arts. See our Jazz Fest Guides on music, food, bars, shopping, and family activities for even more things to do.

Festival crowd

(festival fever) French-language music from around the world comes to Les FrancoFolies until June 22, with dozens of free outdoor shows this weekend in the Quartier des Spectacles and indoor concerts including the beautiful harmonies of Les Soeurs Boulay at Metropolis on June 20, followed by Fauve with opening act Francois the Atlas Mountains on June 21, and a closing-night concert outdoors with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Sit next to the water and soak up some sweet tunes at the 7th Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal, June 18-22, along the Lachine Canal near the Atwater Market – entry is free! Outdoor concerts begin Friday night on two stages and continue to Sunday – don’t miss Forêt, Bry Webb of the Constantines, Jenn Grant, The Besnard Lakes and more. Independent theatre and dance extravaganza the Montreal Fringe Festival continues this weekend with hundreds of affordable, creative theatrical shows, alongside free activities and great live music at Fringe Park. And, not really a festival, but a big deal for all soccer fans in the city, the World Cup screens live at cafes and bars throughout Montreal – see our World Cup Guide for details.

Fete nationale

(celebrate Quebec) June 24 marks one of the biggest holidays of the year for Quebec – St-Jean Baptiste Day, also known as Fête Nationale. Backyard barbecues and neighbourhood gatherings in the street abound alongside citywide celebrations, the biggest of which happens at Parc Maisonneuve (near Pie-IX metro station) on June 24, starting with a parade in the afternoon along Sherbrooke Avenue and music from Misteur Valaire, Damien Robitaille, France D’Amour and more well into the night starting around 8 pm. The fun starts a day early at the Olympic Park Esplanade’s Fête Nationale with music, performances, food, drink and more. As an alternative, drop by L’Autre St-Jean at Parc Pélican at the corner of Masson and Molson where the music – from locals Lisa LeBlanc, Random Recipe, Alex Nevsky, Lisa LeBlanc, Bloodshoot Bill and Gros Mené – will play all evening starting at 5pm on June 23. And for some Quebec-centric dancing, head to “Frenchy jazzy swing” tunes at C’est Extra!, Monday night at La Tulipe.

(more music) On Friday night, the Musée d’art contemporain celebrates new exhibition The Grace of Gesture: 50 Years of Gifts with a special Nocturnes event featuring art workshops, a performance by artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, a BBQ, a bar and the music of Poirier, Jonah Leslie, Nils Fluck and Alain Vinet from 5pm to 3am. The inimitable Julio Iglesias sings and charms for two nights at Place des Arts, June 21-22. Underground indie and experimental jazz festival Suoni per il Popolo continues this week as NYC singer-songwriter Amen Dunes expands our minds at Casa Del Popolo, Constellation Records co-presents Jerusalem in My Heart and Charles Cohen at Usine C, while Crystal Stilts deliver the goods with Painted Palms, Saint Pepsi at Il Motore, all on June 21. On Saturday, Maroon 5 play a special show outdoors at Centre de la Nature in Laval, with guests Magic! and Bobby Bazini. This sunny Sunday is made for dancing outdoors at Piknic Electronik at Parc Jean-Drapeau, while come nightfall, the inventive indie-pop of Craft Spells, Seoul and Weeknight takes over Il Motore. Ms. Lauryn Hill returns to Montreal on Monday June 23 to new songs and classic favourites at L’Olympia. Beck returns to Montreal with 20 years of music and a new album under his belt, with opening band The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger, at Place Des Arts on June 25, while Dream Wife, L.A. Foster and Joseph Gabereau make a night of it at La Vitrola. And on June 26, hear the Orchestre Métropolitain in a concert called Hommage à Vienne, with conductor Julian Kuerti leading the music of Mozart, Schubert, Sieczynski and J. Strauss, at Centre Pierre-Charbonneau.

Come to Montreal and book a Sweet Deal Hotel Package with up to $450 in savings on great activities and attractions!

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