Travel Blog

6 Jun

Things to Do in Montreal: June 7–13

Grand Prix Montreal

Worlds of different, intriguing entertainment are ready to be stepped into this week in Montreal: the high-speed ways of the Canadian Grand Prix; pairings of fashion and music; incredible circus acts; avant-garde and independent theatre and dance; and nights packed with live music…


(revved up) Fast cars, race fans and parties populate Grand Prix weekend, June 7-9, though the main event, the Canadian Grand Prix Formula 1 races on the Gilles-Villeneuve circuit at Parc Jean-Drapeau are the focal point. Right downtown, however, it’s all about the party: the Crescent Street Grand Prix Festival sees the street closed to traffic all day until 11 pm, featuring driver autograph sessions, a Pit Stop Challenge, live music, DJs and more; the nearby Peel Paddock is open and rocking (check out the #F1MTL hashtag for all the info) while a little further east, main drag Saint-Laurent Boulevard is closed to traffic as well, with restaurants setting up patios on the pavement, stores having street sales and a stage set up for live music. The party’s also on at New City Gas in Griffintown on June 7, with DJs Bob Sinclar, Sebastian Ingrosso and more. Or replace fossil fuel with raw, human energy and you get a rowsing championship match between light heavyweights Chad Dawson and Adonis Stevenson, boxing for the title on June 8 at the Bell Centre.

(fashionable art) Fashion, art and music combine in The 8-Day Week by Renata Morales, June 5-12, at the Phi Centre in Old Montreal. See arty fashion every day as a pop-up shop displays new sets of clothing and accessories for sale by different Montreal designers such as Complex Geometries, Denis Gagnon, Andrew Floyd Jewelry and more. At the same time, see an exhibition of work by faux-Flemish-historical painter Joe Becker, catch a film screening, and stay late for a series of music shows from Young Paris, The Salivation Army, Tenderness, Prison Garde, Tonstartssbandht and more made-in-Montreal greatness. Over at the MMFA, the biggest name in glass art, American artist Dale Chihuly, shows new glass sculptures designed for the Museum’s own architecture.

(circus know-how) Two fantastic, fun, family-friendly shows featuring new graduates of Montreal’s acclaimed National Circus School continue their runs with great enthusiasm: “La vie en swing (Swing Life)” – about youth, freedom and dancing in the 1940s – and “Pour le meilleur et pour le pire (For Better or For Worse)” – about all the highs and lows of a wedding ceremony and reception – on until June 9 at La Tohu. Young and talented circus performers show the fruit of their years of training in trapeze, tight-wire, clowning, juggling, cyr and many other circus arts, before they’re off to join Canadian and international circus troupes.

(performance space) The final days of Festival Transamériques continue with cutting-edge theatre and dance performances from Canada and around the world. Until June 8, see: Ainsi Parlait…, a rock n’ roll theatrical dance show from choreographer Frédérick Gravel and writer Étienne Lepage; So Blue, dancer-choreographer Louise Lecavalier’s fast-paced collaboration with Fou Glorieux; and Joël Pommerat’s French-language play La Grande et Fabuleuse Histoire du Commerce, weaving the tales of five travelling salesmen from the 1960s with the 2000s. The festival concludes with the closing night Animal Ball, a free event that encourages attendees to unleash their inner beasts.


(indie theatre) The 23rd edition of Montreal’s St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival brings small-scale, affordable theatre, dance, stand-up comedy and music shows to myriad venues in the Plateau neighbourhood, June 4-24. This week: Glam Gam Burlesque stays sexy, strange and hilarious in The Little Beau Peep Show at famed strip-cabaret club Cafe Cléopâtre, June 8-10; fairytale-esque dance and punk rock show The Elephant in the Room reveals itself on June 7 at Fuchsia; burlesque performer Cherry Typhoon pairs up with clown-comedian Shoshinz in physical comedy Annoying Visitor starting June 13;  Dan Bingham cuts to the romantic chase in Now That I Have Your Attention, and stand-up comedienne DeAnne Smith and musician Leighland Beckman get together to tell us about Horrible Things, June 13 at Montreal Improv. And foodie Fringe fan will absolutely want to check out the Beatport and Lunch Beat collaboration.

(live music) Friday night is packed with music options this week, beginning with a huge outdoor show by The xx and Grizzly Bear at Esplanade Du Centenaire Du Canal Lachine, part of Osheaga’s pre-festival outdoor concert series. Prolific and charming singer-songwriter Jonathan Richman performs with Tommy Larkins on drums at Sala Rossa, country star Travis Tritt croons at Metropolis and young British pop star Conor Maynard sings at Théâtre Corona. Meanwhile, the Nocturnes series at the MACM hosts an audiovisual electronic experience with Montreal’s Le Révélateur and San Fran’s Jefre Cantu-Ledesma and Paul Clipson, in collaboration with the jazz and experimental music festival Suoni Per il Popolo. Sunday marks the long-awaited return of The Rolling Stones, still going strong on their 50 Counting Tour, at the Bell Centre, while Supersuckers rock out with opener Lydia Loveless at Sala Rossa. On June 11, genre-bending indie-country-rock band Calexico at Théâtre Corona returns with a new album, Algiers. June 12 brings Belgian singer-songwriter Milow to Montreal on his North American tour, at Lion D’or, while Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros have a rollicking good time at Metropolis, and Roger McGuinn of The Byrds kicks off the Montreal Folk Fest  And Thursday, June 13 sees two big outdoor concerts: The National and The Barr Brothers both play at the pre-Osheaga show series and Ariane Moffatt opens the FrancoFolies festival.

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