Music, theatre, dance art, circus performances and much more come together during Journées de la Culture, September 27-29 at hundreds of museums, galleries, cafes and outdoor locations in almost every neighbourhood in Montreal. After 17 years the free, province-wide arts and culture event has become a tradition, uniting artists of all kinds with appreciative audiences…
The weekend of performances, guided tours, demonstrations, hands-on workshops and conferences sees almost every cultural venue in the city conjure up fun forms of entertainment. Downtown artistic hub Quartiers des Spectacles keeps everyone on the go with its Arts Marathon, featuring activities organized by the Musée d’art contemporain, the Opéra de Montréal, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Théâtre du Nouveau Monde and more big players in Montreal’s arts scene. And, located in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, Place des Arts celebrates its 50th anniversary on Saturday with performances by orchestras, dancers and theatrical artists throughout the entertainment complex, indoors and out.
The whole family can get in on the circus act with a day of workshops at Montreal circus centre Tohu on September 28, tours of Cirque du Soleil headquarters on Friday and of the National Circus School on Saturday, featuring showcases by graduating students, and stunning displays of acrobatics and dance, along with clowning, storytelling and music, outdoors at the Olympic Stadium Esplanade on Sunday. Slow down the pace at the McCord Museum, where Odanak artist Johanne Lachapelle shares how to create a beaded necklace in her Indigenous tradition, or visit Cinéma Excentris to preview this year’s Rencontre Internationales Documentary film festival and receive a very-Montreal (temporary) tattoo.
Art abounds at Journées de la Culture: as always, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts welcomes visitors to its permanent collection free of charge, and this weekend invites kids to make art themselves and screens award-winning films from last year’s Festival of Films on Art, while galleries in downtown’s Belgo building and throughout the city include artist talks and workshops in their weekend schedules. Artist collective Dare-Dare invents a decidedly poetic city tour in the Quartier des spectacles, while others offer historical tours of ever-changing St-Laurent Boulevard, the beautiful arts-and-cultural venue Monument National, former RCA record company locale Musée des Ondes Emile Berliner, as well as tours of Montreal’s City Hall, National Library and Archives, and several churches and chapels.
Stretch your mind as well as your legs on guided tours of the latest exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Archaeology of the Digital, and a Sunday workshop inspired by the work of Frank Gehry and Shoei Yoh. And for something a little different, visit the Society for Art and Technology to see how plants and technology intermingle in an experiment that blends environmental science with digital art, see just how cool cardboard can be with artist Marie-José Gustave in St-Henri, or head to Mile End for sidewalk drawing accompanied by sudden bouts of singing.
Journées de la Culture, September 27-29, 2013