Between The Book of Mormon, the new Cirque du Soleil show premiering, Earth Day celebrations, and a major literary festival’s opening weekend, there are plenty of ways to keep busy during this Montreal weekend!
For a little weekend inspo, check out 20 things to do in Montreal this weekend: April 21 – 23.
Friday, April 21
The Tony-Award winning satirical musical Book of Mormon returns to Montreal this weekend! The play tells the story of two Mormon missionaries as they visit a village in Uganda and attempt to share their religion. Coming to Place des Arts’ Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier between April 18th and April 23rd, you have exactly 8 opportunities to see this fantastic show. Don’t miss your chance to see this clever, laugh-out-loud show!
When: April 18-23, 2017
Where: Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier
An immersive and luminous experience is happening right now at Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica. Owing to the city’s 375th anniversary, Montreal’s most famous landmark is putting on a mesmerizing light show for the rest of 2017. Created by Moment Factory, Aura is a two-act multimedia show featuring both music and special lighting effects. According to the official description, “AURA will help visitors discover one of Canada’s greatest heritage monuments in a whole new way and will move them with its portrayal of its treasures.”
When: April 21, 6 pm and 8 pm
Where: Notre Dame Basilica, 110 Notre-Dame St W
Montreal’s beloved 21 Swings (or 21 Balancoires) has returned to Promenade des Artistes! Open until May 28, is there any better sign that spring has arrived? The interactive, music art installation has us all feeling like children again as we swing back and forth while a beautiful melody plays. Created by Daily tous les jours, in collaboration with animal behaviourist Luc-Alain Giraldeau and composer Radwan Ghazi Moumneh, this fun and colourful urban playground is open 24 hours a day between April 10th and May 28th.
When: April 10-May 28
Where: Promenade des Artistes
Papier 11 is a paper art fair that takes place annually in Montreal. Attracting thousands of people from all over the city, this event specializes in contemporary art creations made out of paper (drawings, engravings, photographs, collages, etc). Many local galleries and artists are represented including Studio 21 Fine Art, Pangea Project, Gallery Nicolas Robert, and many more. As this is the festival’s 10th anniversary, it will feature nearly 300 artists from 39 galleries.
When: April 21-23
A special exhibition on world-renowned painter, Marc Chagall, is on at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts right now. The exhibit, titled “Chagall: Colour and Music,” explores the importance of music in Chagall’s life. It is multidisciplinary, featuring over 400 works ranging from sculptures and paintings to photographs and films. In addition, puppets, costumes, stained glass windows, maquettes, and gouaches are on display. According to the official site, “Music was a constant source of inspiration” for the Russian-French artist. “A favourite subject for his creations, it served as an internal rhythm and driving force for his compositions, and a key to the intensity and range of colour in his work.”
When: January 28-June 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The Montreal Botanical Garden’s annual “Butterflies Go Free” exhibit is back for another year. Taking over the Main Exhibition Greenhouse from February 23rd until April 30th, 2017, visitors can step into a humid tropical oasis that will make you forget all about winter. As you take in the fragrant flowers and diverse greenery, hundreds of stunning butterflies will fly around you. Feel them as they lightly brush your arm mid-air or examine them up close while perched on a flower.
When: February 23-April 30, 2017
Where: The Montreal Botanical Garden
Saturday, April 22
Canadian entertainment company, Cirque du Soleil, returns to its hometown this spring to perform its newest show, VOLTA. Volta is the travelling company’s latest show which tells a story centered on the freedom to choose and create your own path. Inspired by action sports, the show will feature a series of acrobatic stunts, an emotional score, a “visually striking” set, and a spiritual theme. Prepare for one of the most raw and emotional stories ever told by Cirque du Soleil.
When: April 20-July 2
Where: Under the Big Top, Old Port of Montreal
Toronto’s Charlotte Day Wilson might be one of the city’s best kept secrets. Her haunting voice and smooth beats is a mix of Sade and Lapsley, and her debut EP CDW is full of gems. From her single “Work” to her collab with BADBADNOTGOOD in “In Your Eyes,” Day Wilson is one artist to keep on your radar, or to check out this month.
When: April 22, 8 pm
Where: Phi Centre, 407 Saint-Pierre Street
The Montreal Science Centre recently became home to an all new exhibition titled CSI: The Experience. The interactive, crime scene-themed exhibit opens April 6th and is based on the famous television show of the same name. According to the exhibition’s description, CSI: The Experience is a “learning adventure into the world of criminalistics,” that encourages participants to crack the case. Museum-goers will get to draw their own conclusions about the evidence presented and try to decipher which clues need further analysis. From there, participants will have the opportunity to compare tire tracks and shell casings and to carry out real-life forensics tests, such as blood spatter and DNA analysis. Not only will you learn about forensic anthropology and toxicology, but you’ll get to feel like a real detective solving the case. Don’t miss out on the chance to conduct your own criminal investigation!
When: Opens April 6
Where: Montreal Science Centre
Quebec eco-entrepreneur permaculture community, Terra Perma, is hosting a popup sugar shack in Montreal between March 18th and April 30th. Sirop Urban Shack is set up in Montreal neighbourhood, St. Henri, and features an all-you-can-eat menu filled with maple goodies courtesy of Terra Perma’s artisanal small batch syrup. Dishes include pea soup, home-style potatoes, smoked bacon, pancakes, sugar pie, and more. Plus, the atmosphere is said to be both fun and enchanting, with a mixture of laid back and gourmet vibes. Tickets cost $20 each so be sure to get yours before they’re gone! This is one of the best opportunities you’ll get to experience a sugar shack without leaving the city.
When: March 18-April 30
Where: 3580 Notre-Dame W
Quartier des Spectacles is hosting a unique digital art festival all season long. Throughout the months of March, April, May, and June, Quartier des Spectacles will see all sorts of events pertaining to the digital arts. These include a media lab, live musical performances, and sculptures. Be sure to check out what’s going on in Quartier des Spectacles every weekend in the spring.
When: March 21-June 21
Where: Quartier des Spectacles
Step back into the Phi Centre’s virtual reality garden, this time showcasing the works of Felix and Paul Studios. This “eclectic and powerful” collection boasts 7 of the studio’s best virtual reality creations, including many curated in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil. Prepare to be amazed by everything from fire and acrobats to President Obama and amphibious characters.
When: March 22-May 29
Where: Phi Centre
Toronto’s Harry Potter-inspired resto-bar, The Lockhart has opened a second location in Montreal! The magical apothecary and 45-seat resto-bar opened its doors on March 24th at 3979 Rue St. Denis. Signature potions and elixirs like Betterbeer and Befuddlement by the pitcher have been replicated on the new Montreal menu, while other features include a tapas menu, street-facing terrace, and eventually, events like Trivia Nights, Magic Nights, and more to come.
When: Tuesday to Friday 5 pm-12 am, Saturday and Sunday 5 pm-2 am
Where: 3979 Rue St. Denis
Walk up Mount Royal
The weather has finally turned so why not take advantage? Go for your first spring walk up Mount Royal! Explore the flora and fauna, wander a new trail, or even have a picnic at Beaver Lake. There is so much to explore at this Montreal landmark.
Where: Mount Royal
A brand new exhibit on famed Canadian editorial cartoonist, Aislin, just opened at the McCord Museum. The exhibit showcases 50 years worth of work from Aislin, whose real name is Terry Mosher. Mosher wrote for the Gazette for many years, and is considered one of the most influential political cartoonists in all of Canada. In fact, Maclean’s has even referred to Aislin as “probably the best satirist in Canada.” Not only does Aislin’s work make you think, but it reflects “Canadian society in its beautiful and less glorious moments.”
When: Until August 13, 2017
Where: McCord Museum, 690 Sherbrooke St W
Sunday, April 23
One of the city’s best literary festival returns for yet another year this April. This year’s festival features all sorts of events, ranging from workshops to readings. In addition, a multitude of literature will be represented including graphic novels, poetry, and both fiction and nonfiction. Read more about the 2017 programming here.
When: April 24-30
Where: Various locations
Celebrate Earth Day with the Redpath Museum. Titled “Toby and the Toads: You’re Never too Young for Natural History,” the event is free to attend and is perfect for both children and adults. This special event will teach guests all about the behaviour of a tropical toad. There will even be an outdoor nature walk where people can learn about Canadian Wildlife Federation’s Wild Family Nature Clubs.
When: April 23, 2:30 pm -4:30 pm
Where: Redpath Museum, 859 Sherbrooke St W
Bixi Bikes are now back on the roads which means it’s time to start exploring our city’s beautiful bike paths. With bike paths all around the city, cycling in Montreal has never been easier. And if you know where to go, you’ll find that Montreal boasts some pretty magical bike paths – so magical in fact, they may give you a whole new perspective on your favourite city. So hop on your bike, borrow one from a friend, or take advantage of the city’s Bixi bikes and get pedalling! For a little inspiration, check out the most beautiful bike paths in Montreal.
Where: Various locations
The McCord Museum has announced a temporary exhibition on fashion from the Expo 67 era. The exhibit, titled Fashioning Expo 67, explores the “effervescence of Montreal’s fashion moment.” Over 60 outfits will make up the exhibition, ranging from hostess uniforms to paper dresses, all of which have been created by Quebec designers. Further, Fashioning Expo 67 will feature accessories like hats, gloves, umbrellas, purses, and jewellry, as well as drawings, photographs, documents, and film footage of the fashion at Expo 67.
When: March 17 – October 1
Where: McCord Museum, 690 Sherbrooke St W
Defy gravity and scale a building like Spiderman courtesy of Old Port’s ultra fun adventure, Decalade. The Decalade challenge is happening at the Conveyer Key Tower in Old Port right now! Participants can choose from a variety of challenges, from the 1-hour “dizzying trip”, to the 3-hour “controlled vertical descent facing the ground like Mission Impossible.” This activity is sure to get your blood pumping as you put yourself in the shoes of all the action hero greats. Sessions are by appointment only and range from $89.99 to $149.00. You can also pay $39.99 for a panoramic selfie as you descend from the roof.
When: By appointment only
Where: Conveyer Key Tower