Montreal’s buzz word this week is “fun,” whether it comes in the form of live reggae, rock and classical music, gourmet food, films under the stars, dancing the tango or the electric slide, or a wild and colourful Pride Parade…
(eat well) The international Omnivore Festival stops in Montreal until August 19 to pair local celebrated chefs with chefs from abroad to create fabulous new dishes, host 16 cooking demonstrations, and throw one big food party. Check out multi-course dinners at different restaurants each night, including the creative Maudits Soupers, drop by the SAT’s FoodLab on August 17 and 18 to watch chefs from Montreal, Paris, New York and Brussels demonstrate their skills, and stay at the SAT on August 17 for the popular Omnivorious party, a floor full of gourmet food and the chefs who created it, plenty to drink and Montreal-style electronic music to accompany it all.
(fun in the sun) Montreal’s cultural diversity stands out this week at the dance-and-music-packed International Tango Festival, during Italian Week along St-Laurent in Little Italy Relax, and at the 10th annual Montreal International Reggae Festival, August 16-18 outside at the Old Port of Montreal. See reggae stars Shaggy, Beenie Man, Morgan Heritage, Yellowman, Cocoa Tea, Freddie McGregor and many more artists playing classic Jamaican reggae and mixing it up with global beats, electronic dance music, folk, and other genres. Not only that, but wander through the festival’s marketplace, get the kids involved in free music and crafting activities, and try out some delicious Caribbean food.
(classical tunes) The Montreal Symphony Orchestra hosts a two-day musical blitz of Mozart and more at their second-annual Cool Classical Journey, August 16-17. Choose from among 30 45-minute concerts, all conveniently taking place at downtown’s Place des Arts, with performances from quartets to symphonies, from Kent Nagano conducting Mozart’s Requiem to pianist Angela Hewitt playing Mendelssohn and Mozart. As well, several free activities take place on Saturday, including storytelling for kids, instrument demonstrations, two performances by the Atelier Lyrique of the Opéra de Montréal, and more.
(taking pride) This is it, the big weekend for the Pride Montreal festival, with all kinds of activities, from the Pride Parade to dance parties, in the Gay Village, between Berri-UQAM and Papineau metros. On August 17, stroll down Sainte-Catherine during Community Day, when the city’s pride really shows at a grassroots level: sample food and drink while learning about Montreal’s many LGBT community-driven services, and don’t forget to get there early for the Official Dyke March, and later visit the queer book fair at Comité Social Centre-Sud and see a free stage show at Place Émilie-Gamelin next to Berri-UQAM metro station. On Sunday, the Pride Parade begins at 1 p.m. on Boulevard René-Lévesque at Guy Street, travelling to Place Émilie-Gamelin for a dance party and closing show.
(film under the stars) Music festival Pop Montreal hosts its annual Bike-In Fundraiser on Saturday, August 17, this year featuring a 20th-anniversary screening of Richard Linklater’s 1993 classic day-in-the-life film Dazed and Confused — with star Wiley Wiggins (now all grown up) on hand, just because. The fun starts at the McAuslan Terrace at 4:30 p.m. with DJs and a barbeque, and the film starts at 9 p.m. More outdoor film screenings happen later in the week at Parc de la Paix next to the SAT: on August 21, see 25 experimental and avant-garde short films by Montreal collective Double Négatif, and on August 22, Prends ça court! Presents a series of great short films by Quebecois creators. Like the Bike-In, the fun also begins with a barbeque at 7 p.m., and the films screen at 9 p.m.
(more live music) On Friday night, have a good old indie-roots rockin’ time with energetic Halifax band Soho Ghetto at Petit Campus. On Saturday, British folk-rock band Passengers comes to town with opener Stu Larsen at Théâtre Corona, while outside in a park in the neighbourhood of NDG, it’s mini-festival Samedi in the Park, featuring music from amazing locals Vox Sambou, Paul Cargnello & The Frontline, Sarah MK, and FM Hi Low, later see L.A.’s electo-rock outfit Soft Metals at Divan Orange and Austin, Texas metal band The Sword at Il Motore. On Sunday, head to beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau to dance the afternoon away at Piknic Electronik, and later, L.A. rock band Crash Kings plays it loud at Divan Orange. On August 21, get down with the bluegrass alt-country of Nashville, Tennessee’s Old Crow Medicine Show with Daniel Romano at Théâtre Corona.