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THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JULY 16 to 18)

If you’ve ever been sitting on a airplane giggling at the “Just For Laughs Gags,” you’ve already experienced a little slice of Montreal. Seen in 75 countries, “Gags” is a hidden camera/reality TV series, and most definitely one of our greatest exports. The Just for Laughs Festival, in all its humorous forms, has begun this week in Montreal! And if your funny bone doesn’t need tickling, we’ve got 10 other perfect reasons to come to Montreal this weekend. Take a plane. Take train. Take a kayak. Just get here if you can!

FANTASIA 2010: FROM FRITZ LANG TO THE GODFATHER OF GORE

Film festivals are a tricky game—there are so many in this city that there sometimes seems to be a non-stop parade of special cinematic events extending from mid-May to well past Hallowe’en. But much as I love ‘em, a film festival around these parts is not necessarily cause for genuine excitement. There’s only one Montreal film festival that sells out a 700-seat theatre four times a day, every day, for three weeks every year for 14 years running..

DIVERS/CITÉ: THE MONTREAL GAY EVENT OF JULY

One of the biggest LGBT parties of the year in Montreal is just around the corner. After nearly 20 years of celebrating the best of gay culture, music and art, Divers/Cité has another stellar line up of performers set to seduce the city from July 26 until August 1. And you, of course, are invited.

FESTIVAL COMPLÈTEMENT CIRQUE: STREET STYLE CIRCUS

Montréal Complètement Cirque festival will be taking the city for center stage and “unleashing” its troupes from July 8th to the 25th. Coming from Belgium, Spain, Germany, Australia, Walles and of course Canada, the hordes of multi-disciplinary performers will show the public why they weren’t made for office work.

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JULY 9 to 11)

It has been scorching hot in Montreal, so we thought we’d share a nice photo of some snow to help cool you down. There won’t actually be any snow in Montreal this weekend, but there will be clowns! It’s the first ever Circus Festival in the city. This is your opportunity to find the perfect troupe to run away with. Start working on your acrobatic routine now. But if the circus doesn’t float your boat, well that’s okay. We’ve got nine other fun suggestions to do this weekend in Montreal! —————————————————————————————————————— [circus festival] COMPLÉTMENT CIRQUE – Lead by the world famous Cirque du Soleil and continued with numerous other circus companies and schools, Montreal has positioned itself as the North American destination for circus arts. This festival provides the perfect opportunity to see why we’ve earned that reputation. [film festival] FANTASIA – Through an emphasis of imaginative film programming from all corners of the world, Fantasia has become the festival choice of the underground movie buff.  Whether you are into Korean horror flicks, Bollywood love stories or anything in between, you’re going to find the best of celluloid creations.

MONTREAL GAY LIST: JULY

Each month THE MONTRÉAL BUZZ features five gay or gay-friendly things to do or see around the city. Recommendations range from parties to bistros to festivals to boutiques to cultural events. Here are some suggestions for the month of July.

THIS WEEKEND IN MONTREAL (JULY 2 TO 4)

If a forecast of sunshine and highs of 30 ºC /86 ºF isn’t enough to convince you, we’ve got ten other superb reasons for you to get your arse to Montreal this weekend. —————————————————————————————————————— [art festival] FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL MONTRÉAL EN ARTS – As one of the greatest open-air art galleries in North America, FIMA is a one-kilometer stretch of visual art ranging from sculpture to live painting to short film screenings. If you are in town this weekend, a ‘walk through’ is a ‘must do.’ [festival] JAZZ FESTIVAL – The largest Jazz festival in the world, this Montréal institution is typically attended by two million people annually. This year you’ll be serenaded by Dave Brubeck, Cyndi Lauper, George Clinton and so much more. It’s your last weekend to jazz it up! Find a tempo that works for you.

JAZZ FESTIVAL: BASIA BULAT

The entirely enchanting Basia Bulat is one of the Montreal Jazz Fest’s busiest performers. On Friday night she played the first of three performances at the MACM before jumping up on stage during the Plants and Animals show at Metropolis. We met up early Saturday morning after I may or may not have drank a lot of whiskey with members of Plants & Animals and The Besnard Lakes at Casa del Popolo …

THE MONTREAL JAZZ FESTIVAL: WHERE TO DRINK

The Montreal Jazz Festival is the largest jazz festival in the world. Musical giants such as Ray Charles, Miles Davis, Stevie Wonder, Ella Fitzgerald and James Brown have all captivated crowds since the festival’s debut edition in 1980. Today, more than 2 million people attend the Montreal Jazz Festival yearly. But the Jazz Fest is not just about music – it’s about life’s pleasures. And truth is, there’s nothing like a bit of jazz to awake my yearning for a glass – or two – of lilac wine. As famous saxophonist Steve Lacy once said: “Jazz is like wine. When it is new, it is only for the experts, but when it gets older, everybody wants it”. Well, the popular Montreal Jazz Festival is now 31 years-old and well above Quebec’s drinking age. Here are some cool places near the festivites to get your sip on!

JUST FOR LAUGHS: STEVE MARTIN, PAMELA ANDERSON, KEVIN SMITH AND MORE!

The world is a cruel and dark place! That’s why you need the Just For Laughs Festival to bring you joy. The Just For Laughs festival is the largest of its kind in the world. And yes, it is a comedy carnival, but the festival is also so much more: music, dance, improv, street art, film and theatre. This year’s fiesta is jam packed (again) with huge headliners and sensory-stimulating shows to inspire laughed and wonderment. Here are some of our suggestions.