Music of all kinds seems to be the pervading theme this week in Montreal, from classical to metal, with plenty of blues, pop, hip hop and electro (dance away the weekend at Pride!) – hey, this is a city that just needs to get its groove on. Plus there’s family fun outdoors, theatrical productions and plenty of good food…
(classical abundance) Get a real dose of classical music at La Virée classique this Saturday, August 11 at Place des Arts in the Quartier des Spectacles – show hop between 20 shows, at under an hour each, throughout the day, from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra participate alongside smaller group such as The Canadian Brass (pictured above) and the New Orford Quartet, as well as much-loved local musicians Stéphane Tétreault, Marc-André Hamelin and many more. The day ends well too, with the OSM performing Mozart’s Triple Concerto.
(blues fest) Quebecois and international blues, rock and pop bands wow the friendly crowds at the 15th annual FestiBlues International of Montreal, outside at Park Ahuntsic, August 9-12. The affordable festival ($7 a night), includes August 10 shows from Quebecois great Eric Lapointe and Juno award-winning Kenny Wayne and August 11 shows from blues and slide guitar player Olivier Gotti and Denmark native Thorbjorn Risager, plus shows throughout the day.
(family time) Montreal’s Olympic Park has been busy with family-friendly fun all summer – this weekend, get down home at the Carnaval Festival and Country event, on August 10 starting at 9 p.m. with a nighttime parade and carnival complete with fire-eaters, country music and fireworks, and more fun on August 11 starting at 1 p.m. On August 12, also outside at the Olympic Park site, on August 12 at 2 p.m., it’s Sir Wilfred’s Beautiful Sundays, this week featuring the orchestra of Harmonie Calixa-Lavallée de Sorel. Close by at the multi-venue Espace pour la vie, home to the Biodome, Insectarium and Botanical Gardens (where, just FYI, there’s cocktail time 4-8 p.m. every Thursday to Saturday).
(metal weekend) Even if the forecast is calling for rain, that can only bode well for Heavy MTL: sunshine isn’t metal! Embrace the darkness, the gloom, the possible torrential downpours August 11-12 as Canada’s premier metal music festival rocks Parc Jean-Drapeau (already rocked last weekend by Osheaga). Big names headline the main stages – Suicidal Tendencies, Slipknot, Marilyn Mason, System of a Down, Deftones, Cannibal Corpse and more – while local and lesser-known bands destroy the smaller stages.
(park sounds) POP Montreal becomes one with urbanized nature at Parc LaFontaine this Friday and Saturday with two free – yes, free! – outdoor shows. On Friday night at Theatre de la Verdure see the modern Quebecois/Cajun folk and bluegrass of Canailles and Sergiu Popa at 8:30 p.m., while on Saturday, see eclectic Montreal indie-pop band The Luyas and experimental-folk of Constellation Records band Hangedup at 8:30 p.m.
(theatrical illumination) The Montreal Shakespeare Theatre Company opts for Scottish tragedy and witchy ways this summer with Macbeth, playing now until August 25 at Monument National, featuring some of the best Montreal actors and dancers around. Meanwhile, The Beatles review Rain, featuring 31 live songs from the repertoire as well as historical footage, returns to Montreal August 15-19 at Theatre Maisonneuve at Place des Arts. And dance piece Métamorphose de l’Amour features four dancers, including the work’s choreographer Eva Kolarova, from Les Grands Ballets Canadien de Montréal, at Theatre La Chapelle, August 11 at 8 p.m. and August 12 at 4 p.m.
(rainbows for all) Montreal Pride comes out with all its colours waving August 13-19, with events downtown and in the Gay Village. While the Pride Parade and big parties aren’t until next weekend, the fest kicks off with live music at Place Emilie-Gamelin on August 13, followed by a LGBTA human rights conference August 14 and 15 at the Cinematheque Quebecois. There’s also a Kids’ Day on August 16 at Place Emilie-Gamelin, with games, face painting and more, followed by a performance at 7 p.m. by Dream Académie and a prom for LGBT youth. See the Pride site for full schedule of events. As well, art exhibition 2-qtpocmontréal, at artist-run centre Articule, displays the work of 2-spirit queer and trans people of colour, to August 19.
(graf art & hip hop) The Under Pressure Festival marks its 17th year – and celebrates being North America’s biggest- and longest-running graffiti festival – August 11-12 at Fresh Paint Gallery and Foufounes Éléctriques (87 Ste-Catherine Est). The weekend brings graffiti artists together for a crew painting day on Saturday, with DJs and dancers outside the gallery and a dance party at Underworld later on. On Sunday in the back alley of Foufounes, graffiti writers work on the walls while a break battle goes down at 3 p.m., followed by a closing show with Smif-n-Wessun, D-Shade, DJ Brace and Philly Moves.