If this first weekend in May is indicative of the summer to come, then it’s going to be an awesome one!
Over the next three days a multitude of events and festivals are taking place all over the city, including First Fridays, Nocturnes, a Puces Pop springtime arts and crafts fair, the first Tam Tams of 2017, a medieval fair, an interior design festival, $1 croissant day, a craft beer festival at Atwater Market, and much more.
For a little weekend inspo, check out 24 things to do in Montreal this weekend: May 5 – 7.
Friday, May 5
Friday Nocturnes are back and better than ever. Introducing a brand new concept for their Nocturne evenings, MAC will be open past midnight, during which time visitors are invited to stroll through exhibitions, watch a live performance or attend a gallery talk, and indulge in some appetizers and drinks. Artists and curators will be in attendance, as well as DJs, churning out music until the early hours of the morning. Don’t miss the springtime edition of Nocturnes happening May 5th.
When: May 5
Where: Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, 185 Sainte-Catherine St W
Puces Pop hosts some of the best markets around. However, in addition to their annual Christmas market, they are hosting a spring/Mother’s Day market this year. Titled Puces En Couleurs, this festive springtime market promises to celebrate women. The latest edition kicks off today and goes until May 7th at Église St-Denis right near the Laurier metro station. This specialty spring craft market will feature 115 vendors, as well as 20 newcomers. Everything from handcrafted jewelry and home baked sweets, to furniture, children’s clothing, and ceramics will be available. In addition to the vendors, music will be provided by CJLO and played throughout the weekend, and there will be raffle prizes up for grabs (all of the proceeds from sold raffle tickets will go towards the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal). There will also be a snack stand on-site selling sandwiches, cookies, and coffee in case anyone gets hungry.
When: May 5-7, 2017
Where: Église St-Denis, 454 Laurier Avenue East
The largest food truck festival in the province begins tonight! Olympic Stadium is known for their awesome events, with our personal favourite being First Fridays. The most glorious of days, First Fridays are a special kind of culinary event in which all of the city’s food trucks gather at Olympic Stadium. Allowing Montrealers to sample dishes from over 50 food trucks, you can expect to find everything from tacos and churros, to mac and cheese and lobster rolls. Taking place on the first Friday of the month between May 5th and October 27th, be sure to start the summer off right by hitting up this awesome event.
When: May 5 – October 27
Where: Olympic Stadium
Calling all HGTV lovers! If you sit around daydreaming about your dream house, or you are seriously addicted to Property Brothers and Love It Or List, then this Montreal event is for you. Titled SIDIM Salon du Design, this three-day interior design festival takes place annually at Place Bonaventure. This year marks the 30th edition of the fair and welcomes over 300 exhibitors showcasing everything from lighting and accessories, to kitchen fixtures, flooring, furniture, and doors. This year’s event will also feature a talk by French designer, decorator, and architect, Christophe Pillet. Get your tickets ASAP!
When: May 4-6, 2017
Where: Place Bonaventure
The Montreal Medieval Fair returns to Olympic Park’s Centre Pierre Charbonneau for three days of historical fun. Beginning today and ending May 7th, the fair takes place both inside the centre and outdoors, and includes everything from live music and festive dancing, to fire spitters and acrobats. Hundreds of exhibitors and activities make up the three-day event. Main events include LARP tournaments, a masquerade ball, a treasure hunt, and unique booths like “How to choose your dragon eggs.” Whether you’re a history buff or you just love Game of Thrones, The Montreal Medieval Fair is for you!
When: May 5-7, 2017
Where: Centre Pierre Charbonneau, 3000 Viau St
The Grilled Cheese Festival is on now! Over 100 Montreal restaurants are participating, meaning now is your chance to indulge in the grilled cheese dish of your dreams. During this week only, participants will create one-of-a-kind grilled cheese dishes and serve it as part of their regular menu. Don’t miss out on this ultimate comfort food festival!
When: May 1-7, 2017
Where: Participating restaurants
The McCord Museum has opened 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 make up the exhibition, ranging from hostess uniforms to paper dresses, all of which have been created by Quebec designers. Further, Fashioning Expo 67 features 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, 2017
Where: McCord Museum, 690 Sherbrooke St W
Canadian entertainment company, Cirque du Soleil, has returned 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: May 5, 8 pm
Where: Under the Big Top, Old Port of Montreal
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: Until September 4
Where: Montreal Science Centre
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
Saturday, May 6
The best day of the year, otherwise known as $1 Croissant Day, is back this month. Taking place on May 6, 2017, Croissant Day promises to celebrate the most delicious of French pastries: the croissant. Happening all over Greater Montreal, from Westmount to Îles-de-la-Madeleine, Montrealers can expect to pay just $1 for a croissant at any one of the event’s participating bakeries and cafes. Over 50 eateries are participating, making it especially easy for you to take advantage of this awesome culinary event.
When: May 6, 2017
Where: For a list of locations, click here.
Montreal’s resident Asian culture festival, Festival Acces Asie, returns with a seriously awesome program for 2017. Showcasing the best in Asian culture, cinema, music, art, and dance from the south of India to eastern China, the 2017 event includes everything from workshops and conferences, to meditation activities. The festival kicks off May 2nd and lasts for four weeks until May 28th. Most of the events are completely free of charge, meaning you can celebrate your own culture or learn about a new one at absolutely no cost!
When: May 2-28, 2017
Where: Various locations
Prepare to LOL! Montreal Sketchfest kicked off this week, bringing Montrealers a slew of gut-wrenching comedy shows. Lasting until May 13th, Montreal Sketchfest features some of the best comedy troupes in Canada and the United States. The 2017 programmes includes the likes of Backstreet’s Back, Box of Bees, Cousins, Employees of the Year, Kristen Rasmussen: Full Time Idiot, Michael Becker Live, Pickle Party, Tom & Erica, Too Blondes, and Vest of Friends. Over 20 shows are being performed throughout the 10-day festival at Theatre Sainte Catherine.
When: May 4-13, 2017
Where: Theatre Sainte-Catherine, 264 St Catherine St E
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: Until May 28, 2017
Where: Promenade des Artistes
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
Just in time for Mother’s Day! La Virée des Ateliers returns for its 10th edition this year. Lasting until May 7th, this local arts and craft fair is an excellent opportunity to score one-of-a-kind pieces. This exciting event sees over 90 local artisans opening their studio doors to the public. The fair features jewelry, art, and fashion, meaning Montrealers will be able to purchase everything from paintings and pottery, to clothing and accessories.
When: May 4-7, 2017
Where: La Grover (2065 Rue Parthenais), Les Chat des Artistes (2205 Rue Parthenais), Cooperative Lezarts (2220 Rue Parthenais)
Sunday, May 7
Grab your sangria kits and drum sets! Tam Tams is back this Sunday 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!
Where: Sir George-Etienne Cartier Monument
When: Every Sunday
Celebrate the start of terrasse season at Montreal’s Atwater Market. Atwater Market’s Beer Festival returns for three days this May. Kicking off today, the event will feature a wide selection of Quebec microbreweries. Le Castor, Les Trois Mousquetaires, Dieu du ciel, Le Bilboquet, La Chouape, and Pit Caribou will all be represented. Atwater Market’s Beer Festival is organized in cooperation with Fromagerie Atwater, which has decided to also showcase roughly 12 Quebec wineries at this year’s craft beer event. Entrance to the festival is free of charge, however tasting coupons are 2 for $1 (with $.50 being donated to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation). If you love craft beer, this inexpensive, outdoor festival is not to be missed!
When: May 5 – 7, 2017
Where: Atwater Market
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
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
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, 2017
Where: Phi Centre
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
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