Summer in Montreal isn’t over until we say it’s over – so even though this is August’s last hurrah for 2012, the sun is still shining and the party is still going on. This week, the St-Laurent Street fair brings everybody out for shopping, music and mingling, as does the 18th-Century Market in the Old Port, albeit in a different way. There’s also plenty of great live music, film, theatre and dance across the city…
(street fair fun) For a few weekends every summer, the city’s main-est of main drags, St-Laurent Boulevard is closed to traffic, from Sherbrooke to Mont-Royal Avenue, and open to pedestrians with an eye for a good bargain, a stomach for good food, or just a love for people watching. August 23-26 is the Mix’Arts weekend, featuring performances from musicians, dancers, circus acts and more – stages are set a the corner of Prince Arthur and at the corner of Rachel, where performances will go on throughout the afternoon and evening – there’s even a a circus make-up workshop for kids on August 25. And for adults, local restaurants and bars along the strip will have temporary terraces on the street until 1 a.m.
(historical market) Step back in time at Pointe-à-Callière’s 18th-Century Public Market, a recreation of a French regime marketplace, with food, music, performances and more – August 25-26, in the Old Port at Place Royale and the area around the museum – and it’s free! Shopkeepers sell their wares – from sausages to jam to artisanal crafts – while street entertainers keep the atmosphere lively with music, storytelling, dance and live art making. Inside the museum, see special exhibitions on the history of the Samurai in Japan as well as an immersive audio-visual tour of Montreal history.
(all-ages rock) The first weekend of new music festival Experience MTL kicks off at Olympic Park with plenty of bands from Montreal and further afield: see Alaclair Ensemble, Malajube, Galaxie, Artist of the Year, Grimskunk and more, August 24-25, while on August 26, the genre-bending world-beat of Pacha Massive, Señor Flavio, Bostich & Fussible rocks the stage. There’s also the kid-friendly Montreal Maker Fair, August 25-26, where makers of robots, electronic instruments, video games and technical crafts show their stuff. Meanwhile, in another neighbourhood, NDG Arts Week with hip hop at Street Vibes, August 25 at Maison de la Culture NDG, and folk and country music at Country en Ville on August 26 at Girouard Park (Sherbrooke at Girouard) – free!
(dance & theatre) World-class Kathak Indian dance artists Nirupama and Rajendra perform a colourful, emotionally rich show called Rang, mixing traditional dance with contemporary movement and live music, August 25 at Oscar Peterson Concert Hall, presented by the Kabir Cultural Centre. On the more tragic end of the performative spectrum, catch one of the final shows of The Montreal Shakespeare Theatre Company’s celebrated run of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, to August 25 at Monument National. And grammy and Tony award-winning musical Wicked, based on an imagined backstory of the wicked and good witches of Oz also wraps up this week, on August 26, at Montreal’s Place des Arts.
(films of the world) Whether you’re cooling off from a surprise end-of-summer heatwave or escaping a sudden storm, you can’t go wrong with catching a film at The Montreal World Film Festival, happening August 23 to September 3, downtown at Place des Arts, the Cinema Imperial and the Latin Quarter Cinema. The fest’s Cinema Under the Stars is a popular option too, with films including Batman Begins, A Clockwork Orange and more screening outside at Place des Arts after the sun goes down.
(open-minded art) Art looms large and in almost 360 degrees at the SAT until August 31 with surround-sound film Six mil Antennas screening in the immersive Satosphere dome. See the data-inspired work of Japanese sound and visual artist Ryoji Ikeda at Old Montreal’s DHC/Art. The animal-focused, highly contemporary and thought-provoking multi-artist exhibition Zoo, comes to a close at the MACM on September 3. Nearby at the art-filled Belgo building, see 10th-anniversary group exhibition The Imaginary Collection of Peter Gnass at Galerie SAS, opening August 30.
(music to move to) Lots of dancing going on this week in Montreal – though Dead Can Dance, at the Bell Centre on August 24, might buck that trend a little, as might Pachyderm’s krautrock/kosmiche festival at Bain St-Michel August 24-25, with Citofono, AUN, John Birdman and The Band Whose Name is a Symbol. But Piknic Electronik, at Parc Jean-Drapeau on the afternoon of August 26, will definitely be danceable. And indie-swaying will be going on at the Bruce Peninsula, James Irwin, Thisisthehellomonster show August 24 at Il Motore. On August 25, get down outdoors – and for free! – at the Funk n’ Jazz Fest with Franco Proietti Morph-Tet and more on August 25 at Terrasse St. Ambroise, dance the night away at The Goods 10th Anniversary with DJs Scott C and Andy Williams and more at La Sala Rossa, or at the Scion Sessions with DJ sets by Bonobo, Poirier, Ghostbeard and Construct on August 25 and, on August 24, a live set from Gramatik, at SAT. Madonna may be at the Bell Centre on August 30, but not surprisingly, the show is sold out – alternatively, dance with Maya Janes Coles, Maus and Maher Daniel at SAT that night. And the Montreal Jewish Music Festival is sure to set a few toes tapping with Yemen Blues and many more, August 26-30.