From sidewalk sales and Mural Fest, to an Irish literary festival and an interactive mad science festival, there is plenty to do in Montreal this weekend.
For a little inspiration, check out 25 things to do in Montreal this weekend: June 9 – 11.
Friday, June 9
Promenade Wellington’s Summer Sidewalk Sale 2017 kicks off June 8 and lasts for four days until June 11. This year, there promises to be live calypso music, cotton candy, and of course, tons of vendors selling food and artisanal goods. In essence, the official sites claims that the Summer Sidewalk Sale is when “Verdun reclaims the summer!” Can’t make it to Verdun for the June 8 weekend? Be sure to visit Promenade Wellington in August when their annual Marionettes Plein La Rue Festival and their Back-to-School Sidewalk Sale take place!
When: June 8-11, 2017
Where: Promenade Wellington, Verdun
A brand new temporary exhibition at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts opened this past weekend, and we couldn’t be more excited! Titled Love is Love, the exhibit showcases French designer, Jean-Paul Gaultier’s haute couture bridal creations. Centred around a grand wedding cake, Love Is Love displays Gaultier’s most beautiful and mesmerizing bridal ensembles. According to the official description, “Their daring lines and exquisite artistry bear witness to the eccentricity of this iconoclastic designer who is renowned for his spectacular silhouettes as well as his humanist, inclusive vision. This celebration of marriage and love brings together heterosexual, homosexual, intercultural and interracial couples in diversity and peace.”
When: Until October 9, 2017
Where: Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
The St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, otherwise known as Fringe Fest, is back for three whole weeks. The festival has been held annually in Montreal since 1990, and is comprised of a wide program of theatrical shows. Types of shows include off-Broadway, drag, music, dance, spoken word, comedy and repertory, and over 500 performers flock to the city for the festival. Unlike most other theatre festivals out there, artists are chosen by lottery or on a first-come first-serve basis. If chosen, artists receive 100% of the ticket sales and they are completely uncensored in terms of what they choose to perform and how they choose to perform it. And the best part? All shows are $10 or less! For more information on this year’s programme, click here.
When: May 29 – June 18, 2017
Where: MainLine Theater, 3997 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Opened by Montreal’s archeology and history museum, Pointe A Calliere, the city’s newest underground tunnel is a tribute to North America’s first collector sewer. Pointe A Calliere has turned a portion of the underground sewer tunnel into a permanent exhibition at the museum entitled “Memory Collector.” “Memory Collector” spans 110 metres and offers visitors a “multisensory, contemplative experience thanks to an ingenious light installation projected onto the stone walls of the collector sewer, in a specially designed sound environment.” Ultimately, the exhibit promises to take visitors on a journey to a “mysterious underground world imbued with history and emotion.”
When: Monday to Friday 10 am-5 pm, Saturday and Sunday 11 am-5 pm
Where: Pointe A Calliere
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
Montrealers love music, which is why we couldn’t be more excited that the city’s public piano initiative is back! Since 2012, the city of Montreal has been installing public pianos in the summertime. The project first began in the Plateau but has since spread to other parts of the city. Over 50 pianos have now been installed across Montreal for summer 2017. While the bulk of them are located in the Plateau, Mile End, and downtown, you’ll be able to find them as far as Pointe-Aux-Trembles and St-Leonard. Completely free of charge to the public, Montrealers far and wide are invited to play a note on these colourful and beautifully-decorated pianos!
Where: For a full list of piano locations, click here.
A dazzling water show paying tribute to the Saint Lawrence River will be taking over Old Port this summer. Titled Montreal Avudo, this spectacular water show will project life size images inspired by the city’s history onto the water. Scenes will include archived images, city documents, 3D animations, and relevant illustrations. How does water enter the equation, you may ask? According to the website, water jets from 30 fountains will create huge 30 x 11.5 meter tall screens of water. The show will also include an 11-storey tall shipping container tower (the largest in the world). All of this magic will be capped off by an original score created by Maria Bonzanigo and recorded with the Orchestre Métropolitain and the Petits Chanteurs du Mont-Royal.
When: Thursday to Saturday from May 12-September 2, 2017, 9:30 pm and 10:30 pm each night
Where: The west sector of the Old Port of Montréal, near the King Edward Pier and the Montréal Science Centre
As part of Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations, Sherbrooke Street has been temporarily turned into an open-air museum. According to the website, it gives Montrealers “the chance to soak up a spectacular world-class public art exhibition.” Coordinated by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the project marks the 375th anniversary of the city, the 50th anniversary of Expo 67, and the 150th anniversary of Canada. In honour of these important dates, this pop-up museum features 67 original works of Canadian art that “convey a message of peace and reflect the universal values of humanism, tolerance and openness that inspired Expo 67.” and from over 200 countries will be flown above the exhibition on Sherbrooke.
When: Until October 2, 2017
Where: Sherbrooke Street West between the McCord Museum and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
Saturday, June 10
Mural Festival 2017 returns for yet another year of jam-packed fun! This popular street art festival is almost back and it truly looks better than ever! 21 street artists will be represented, painting brand new murals all over the city’s walls. Artists from all over the world, including France, Australia, and Spain will be participating. Plus, there will be block parties, guided tours of the murals, and an Enchanted Forest exhibition hosted by Lululemon happening every day of the festival. In addition to the usual slew of murals that are painted on buildings in the Plateau, Mural Fest’s resident street festival is back for two weekends in June. The sidewalk sale closes down Saint Laurent between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal and sees a variety of food trucks, outdoor terrasses, and pop up stores temporarily taking up shop. Though the festival’s main site is on Saint Laurent, other events will be taking place at Studio Bliss, Art Gallery 175B, Station 16, and Parc du Portugal.
When: June 8-18, 2017
Where: Saint Laurent Boulevard, between Sherbrooke and Mont Royal
June 8th marks the start of the 10th edition of the Street Paella food festival. Hosted annually by La Croqueteria de Montreal, Street Paella is a small food festival set up on Saint Laurent Blvd that serves up delicious and authentic paella all day long. This year, the festival will take place for 8 days between June 8th and 11th and June 15th and 18th. For those eight days, this Spanish food stand will remain open between noon and 10pm. Ranging from shrimp paella to chicken and chorizo paella, don’t miss out on this tasty dish!
When: June 8-11, 15-18, 2017
Where: 3811 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
Old Montreal’s famous Clock Tower Beach was closed last summer, but it has reopened in summer 2017, giving Montrealers all the benefits of a beach without leaving the city. Set up at Clock Tower Quay, Clock Tower Beach sits on the banks of the Saint Lawrence and features white sand, blue umbrellas, lounge chairs, and even a resident bar (L’Horloge). Entrance to the beach is just $2, which is a small price to pay for paradise! The beach will be open on weekends only until June 11, and then every day of the week starting June 16.
When: Until September 4
Where: Clock Tower Quay, Old Port
This year, Bloomsday Montreal celebrates Irish culture as well as the work of James Joyce. Kicking off June 10th and last until Bloomsday (June 16th), this free festival features a slew of educational, cultural, and social events. Festival Bloomsday Montreal’s 2017 program includes walking tours, film screenings, Bloomsday brunch at EVOO, academic panels, pub quizzes, readings, live music, and talks that all unpack Joyce’s most popular novels as well as explore the rich Irish heritage of Montreal.Most of the events are free, however, those that aren’t are all $15 or less.
When: June 10 – 16, 2017
Where: Various locations
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: Everyday except Sundays
Where: Notre Dame Basilica, 110 Notre-Dame St W
Canadian entertainment company, Cirque du Soleil, has returned to its hometown this summer 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: Until July 23, 2017
Where: Under the Big Top, Old Port of Montreal
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
To celebrate the city’s 375th anniversary, all 19 of Montreal’s boroughs will be hosting parties. Officially titled La Grande Tournee celebrates Montreal: 19 boroughs in 19 weekends, the event is being organized by Cirque Eloize, who will be travelling across the Montreal to help honour the city, its people, and its history. Each weekend, a neighbourhood park will host a party for all ages that speaks to the characteristics of that community. Not only are these consecutive parties, set to take place between Thursday and Sunday of each week, intended to highlight what’s special about each borough, but they provide a chance for tourists and people from other parts of Montreal to learn about the city. In addition to a simple gathering of residents, each borough’s party will feature all sorts of entertainment. Activities include circus and artistic performances, historical exhibitions, live music, treasure hunts, and farmers’ markets.
When: May 12-September 17 (Thursday to Sunday)
Where: Different borough every weekend
Sunday, June 11
The Eureka! Festival returns to Old Port this month for three days of mad science fun! This year marks the festival’s 10th edition, which claims to be a “tremendous celebration of science for everyone and a fabulous chance to meet people who are passionate about science.” The program for 2017 has yet to be released, but if it’s anything like last year, Montrealers are in for a treat! Last year’s event included interactive demonstrations on molecular ice cream, flying bikes, interactive lasers and fountains, robots, insects, hoverboards, and astronauts. Other activities included a kite-making workshop, a rubik’s cube workshop, and hands-on lessons about sound creation, large mammals of Africa, and movie magic featuring incredible makeup artists. And did we mention the entire festival is free of charge? You have no excuse not to check it out! Be sure to make your way down to Old Port come June 9th!
When: June 9 – 11, 2017|
Where: Montreal Science Centre
Old Montreal’s resident summer farmers’ market, Marche des Eclusiers, has officially returned for 2017.Set up right on De La Commune by the water, this small market is now open for business every Thursday and Sunday for the remainder of the summer. The mission of Marche des Eclusiers is simple: showcase Quebec products. There is no middle man. This unique market gives producers the chance to sell their products directly to the public. Offerings at the market are seasonal but typically you’ll find fruit and vegetables, bread and pastries, organic juices and breakfast, hot sauce, dog food, and cheese.
When: Sundays 9 am-2 pm
Where: 400 Rue de la Commune Ouest
Voiles en Voiles has returned to Old Port once again! Open all summer long, this attraction encourages both children and adults to “live a memorable adventure.” This family park features 61 activities and will have Montrealers exploring a giant pirate ship by way of climbing, sliding, aerial adventure courses, and inflatable games. Whether you want to soar 20 feet high in the air, conquer a built-in rock climbing wall, or play in a bouncy castle, there is something for everyone. Rates vary depending on which activities you want to do aboard the ship. For example, access to the inflatable games is just $12, while access to the inflatable games, rock climbing wall, aerial courses, and the all aboard course will set you back $45. No matter which you choose, it’s guaranteed to be an afternoon you’ll never forget! Be sure to head down to Old Port before the end of the season!
When: Until the end of October
Where: Place des Vestiges, Old Port
If you missed a chance to see Michael Jackson perform live, this is the closest you’re going to get to him. The famous pop-star’s brothers are in town with an anniversary-marking tour, The Jacksons: A Celebration of 50 Years.
When: June 11 at 8 pm
Where: Olympia Theatre, 1004 St-Catherine Est
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
Montreal’s favourite Sunday EDM festival, Piknic Electronik, is back for summer 2017! Kicking off May 21st in Parc Jean Drapeau, this outdoor electronic music festival is a true sign that summer has returned to the city. 2017 marks the 15th edition of Piknic Electronik, so you can bet the lineup is going to be a particularly good one. The 2017 programme won’t be unveiled until May 4th, so be sure to check the official website in May.
When: Every Sunday until September 24, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
Mark your calendars! Montreal’s resident amusement park, La Ronde, is officially scheduled to open on May 20th. Less than two months away, we suggest you start preparing for the upcoming season. What’s the best way to prepare, you may ask? We recommend taking advantage of the park’s incredible season pass deal! Once you’ve purchased your passes, it’s time to curate your plan of attack. For a little inspiration, check out 11 rides at La Ronde you have to try. Alternatively, you can read all about La Ronde’s insane new ride, Titan, here.
When: Until October
Where: La Ronde, 22 Chemin Macdonald
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. Don’t miss out on the chance to conduct your own criminal investigation!
When: Until September 4
Where: Montreal Science Centre
Grab your sangria kits and drum sets! Tam Tams has returned to our fair city and we couldn’t be more excited. After all, is there any better sign that summer has arrived? Taking place every Sunday during the summer months, Tam Tams is one of the city’s best and most popular unofficial events. Tam Tams is a magical outdoor festival where Montrealers far and wide gather in Parc Mont Royal for an afternoon of food, fun, and music. Though the drum circle is located at the Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument, vendors and entertainment spread throughout the park, all the way from Avenue Mont-Royal to Duluth. Remember to bring food and wine, and take advantage of Montreal’s picnic law!
When: Until September 24, 2017
Where: Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument