Travel Blog

4 Sep

Things to Do in Montreal: September 5-11


September gets off to a sunny start in Montreal with indoor and outdoor entertainment for all ages, new art, a tattoo festival, live music and all kinds of fantastic food, from burgers to oysters and more…

(eat well) Not only does this week feature the monthly First Fridays event at Olympic Park Esplanade – a whopping 46 food trucks will be on-site on September 5, from 4-11pm – but the YUL-EAT culinary festival adds even more foodie fun to the mix on Friday evening and all day Saturday. The festival celebrates culinary artistry, local food and responsible farming while giving visitors a taste of gourmet Montreal, along with live music, a book fair, talks and more. More Quebec food is on hand at the family-friendly Quebec Farms Open House on Sunday, September 7 at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Meanwhile, the 6th Annual Montreal Oysterfest raises funds for ocean-protection programs and gives oyster lovers exactly what they crave, with oysters served up by seven local restaurants, September 6-7 in the Old Port. Or discover your new favourite burger during Montreal’s Burger Week, to September 7, featuring specialty burgers at 30 competing restaurants. Find out more about Montreal drinks in our Guide to Wine, Beer and Booze in Montreal, and spend time under the late-summer sun on some of the city’s best hotel patios and restaurant terraces.


(urban nature) The beautiful Gardens of Light event at the Montreal Botanical Garden lights up night-time in the gardens starting September 5, with colourful lanterns in the shapes of animals and people in the Chinese Garden and a light-and-sound show in the Japanese Garden. Hop on a bike and make your way to the St-Ambroise Brewery Terrasse on September 6 for POP Montreal’s free Film POP Bike-In, celebrating the 40th anniversary of Brian De Palma’s 1974 film Phantom of the Paradise – the movie starts at 9pm but get there early for music and drinks. And on Tuesday night, the upcoming Festival du Nouveau Cinema screens Wim Wenders’s classic film Paris, Texas at Peace Park at 8:30pm.


(on-stage entertainment) Hit Broadway musical and Disney-film-turned-stage-spectacle The Lion King sings and dances its way into our hearts once more, but only to September 7 at Place des Arts. Making its way from film to stage as well is coming-of-age tale of The Graduate, on now at the Segal Centre. See a free preview of the 12th edition of the Quartiers Danses Festival outdoors at the Olympic Park Esplanade on Friday evening starting at 5pm with contemporary dance performances by Tounkara-Lavoie Trio, Jérémy Galdéano, Catherine Lafleur and Geneviève Lauzon, as well as a “Mini Bal Bouge de là” dance class for parents and children. Dancefloors around town heat up for the Montreal Flamenco Festival, September 7-13, beginning with dance outdoors on  Bernard Street in Mile End and a show at Théâtre Rialto, as well as the Fiona Malena Ensemble on September 11 at Cabaret Mile End, and much more throughout the week. And the Montreal Symphony Orchestra returns to Place des Arts with a dramatic symphony based on Shakespeare’s tragedy: Roméo Juliette : Une Nuit à Vérone features OSM conductor Kent Nagano, mezzo-soprano Clémentine Margaine, tenor Isaiah Bell, baritone Philippe Sly, September 10-11.



(all kinds of art) The Montreal Art Tattoo Show welcomes more than 200 local and international tattoo artists to Gare Windsor, September 5-7 – see what they’ve crated on paper and maybe just add it to your body if you’re in that kind of mood. Panoramic multimedia show Chaos Order, created by new media artist Rocco Helmchen and composer Johannes Kraas, creates an immersive atmosphere of 360-degree images and sounds at the SAT’s Satosphère dome, 7:30pm each weekday night. The Musée d’art contemporain ends its summer exhibitions on September 7 – pop in before then to see The Grace of a Gesture, organized for the museum’s fiftieth anniversary, and more. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts extends its exhibition of Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon: Dreamscapes – 30 Years of Innovative Performances – see their work only until the end of the month and explore the Fabulous Fabergé exhibition until October 5. And see newsworthy images from around the globe at this year’s World Press Photo Montreal exhibition, at Old Montreal’s Marché Bonsecours. In the Quartier des Spectacles, walk through public art-and-architecture exhibition The Fountain House, by German collective raumlaborberlin, presented by Montreal’s Goethe Institute and part of the upcoming Montreal Biennale art festival. And watch for a 15-foot red ball in the city’s streets – New York artist Kurt Perschke’s Red Ball art project, part of performance art festival Les Escales Improbables, playfully alters our perceptions of urban space.

(live music) The Montreal streets stay hopping this weekend at free, outdoor music festival OUMF, downtown on St-Denis Street, September 5-6 – on Friday night starting at 6:30pm, hear the hip hop of The Posterz, Heart Streets, Donzelle, Les Anticipateurs and the awesome Alaclair Ensemble and party-makers Misteur Valaire, while the music keeps flowing from Saturday afternoon to late-night with Rich Aucoin, Random Recipe, Poirier and many more artists. Also on Friday night, fans of The Afghan Whigs and Joseph Arthur flock to the Corona Theatre, while Sir Richard Bishop strums up eclectic sounds at La Vitrola, and Montreal musician-poet Kaie Kellough pairs with Jason Sharp to play songs from entrancing new album Creole Continuum, at O Patro Vys. More revered locals make Saturday shine as Nomadic Massive mixes live hip hop, RB and more beats at Le Belmont, and synth-pop band Zammuto plays smart, catchy songs, with locals Saxyndrum opening, at Casa Del Popolo. Sunday’s perfect for Piknic Electronik at Parc Jean-Drapeau – this week featuring electro-dance music by Craig Richards, Amir Javasoul and more. Monday sees Finnish power metal band Sonata Arctica make Club Soda their own stomping grounds. On Tuesday night, get wrapped up in the indie-folk-pop world of M. Ward and Jennifer Castle at Corona, catch L.A. Afropunk duo The Bots at La Vitrola, and California indie-rocker Rocco Deluca at Divan Orange. Wednesday rock out as the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie comes to town with The Sadies The Conquering Sun at the Corona, while Lee Fields and The Expressions and opener Ikebe Shakedown turn Cabaret Mile-End into a soul-music dance party.

 Photo credits: Susan Moss, Susan Moss, Kurt Perschke, Hervé Leblay

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