As the warm weather truly wanes here in Montreal, our heralded free outdoor activities are slowly replaced by free indoor activities – so dress for both this October. Indoors and out, there’s much to see and hear: modern art, interactive dance, jazz, movies and more.
(movement and light) As part of the great Musée d’art Contemporain Quebec Triennial 2011: The Work Ahead of Us exhibition, artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer lights up the Quartier des Spectacles throughout October with a major installation work called Intersection articulée. Architecture relationnelle 18, and until the beginning of January, Place des Arts’ Espace culturel Georges-Émile-Lapalme hosts Lynne Marsh’s video installation The Philharmonie Project (Bruckner: Symphony No. 5, movements 1 & 4). The Museum’s Triennial exhibition is also free to explore every Wednesday evening from 5 to 9 p.m.
(new cinema and u2) The Montreal Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, on screens around town October 12–23, offers two free screenings of musical documentary U2: From the Sky Down, directed by Davis Guggenheim, October 13 at 11:45 p.m. and October 19 at 3 p.m. at the Latin Quarter Cinema – get tickets at festival headquarters (175 President Kennedy), along with tickets to all the fest’s regular film screenings. Also check out other Festival du Nouveau Cinéma events, like their opening party on October 12, a performance by Duchess Says on October 13, screenings of cellphone-shot films via collective Vidéo Femmes, and artist Rebecca Adorno’s interactive audio installation The Empty City, located at Eastern Bloc as part of the FNC Lab section.
(historic heights) Famed photographer Edward Burtynsky exhibits his newest – and perhaps timeliest, as far as environmental movements go – exhibition, Oil at Montreal’s McCord Museum. The 56 large-scale colour photographs show stark images of how our planet has been touched in all ways by the oil industry. The museum is free to the public every Wednesday evening. And if you’ve got an iPhone, the McCord has an app for you (and it’s free, of course): MTL Urban Museum unveils the history behind 150 sites around town, right before our eyes. All the images can also be seen as part of the museum’s permanent collection.
(toe-tappin’ jazz) The “5-à-7” early-evening socializing tradition is honoured by L’Off Jazz Festival, October 7–15. Take in free shows by local jazz musicians performing in duos, trios and quartets every day at 5 p.m. at Dièse Onze (4115A St-Denis): October 8, it’s the versatile Trio Jean-François Groulx; October 9, upright bassist Adrian Yedady leads a quartet; October 11, the Brazilian sound of Trio Bruxo and David Ryshpan; October 12, the Alexandre Côté Quintet; October 13, the elegantly traditional Cameron Wallis Quartet; October 14, the Chet Doxas Trio plays with NYC’s Matt Stevens; and on October 15, energetic pianist Eric Harding helms a quartet.
(dance together) Every month, Place des Arts, part of the Quartiers des Spectacles, invites the public to participate in a different dance as part of their program Le Bal du Dimanche: this month, on October 23 at 2 p.m., it’s the merengue! Join choreographer Chantal Dauphinais and learn the basics of the dance style as a live band plays along. Also at Place des Arts, from 5:15–5:45 every day until October 21, see Solo 30×30, an in-situ dance work by dancer and choreographer Paul-André Fortier, who, among the crowds of people passing through, coming home from work, heading to dinner, meeting friends, will dance in silence for 30 minutes.
(halloween treats) Montreal loves to make a big deal out of Halloween – as if we really need an excuse to dress up and act wild and crazy? Well, Halloween let us take our antics to the next level anyway. With parties in bars and clubs all over town all weekend, October 31 might seem like it’s just for the kids and trick-or-treating, but if you’re up for some outdoor time in one of Montreal’s most diverse gardens (before it’s all covered in snow), check out the last day of The Great Pumpkin Ball at the Montréal Botanical Garden .
(falling for jazz) Montreal’s reputation as a jazz town is backed by The Montreal Jazz Festival’s Bistro Le Balmoral, a no-cover, a late-night jazz club every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 9 p.m. The weekend of October 7 brings the Brazilian beats of Isaac Net and Elie Haroun. The weekend of October 13, see Jeff Johnston, Duo Félix Stüssi & Daniel Lessard and Yoel Diaz. Flamenco duo René & Isabelle kick off the weekend of October 20, with Flamencuras. And J.D. Slim plays October 28.