While Montreal’s warm weather will continue well into late September, the beginning of September is nevertheless considered the end of summer, just as with most places in the northern hemisphere. But at least summer goes out with a bang here! The St-Laurent Street Fair sees to that, with the main shopping, wining and dining strip closed to cars and open to fun and carousing all weekend. Add to that a film festival, a burlesque festival and plenty of music and art to take the sting out of summer’s end…
(street fare) Every summer, the St-Laurent Street Fair turns the Main into one big party, with food, drink, shopping, music, art, performances and more for blocks upon blocks – and right now, the last hurrah of summer is upon us. The Mix’Arts street fair, August 25–28, from Sherbrooke to Mount-Royal Avenue, focuses on entertainment – free shows by talented artists augment the two-kilometre open-air market and Parc des Amériques (corner of Rachel and St-Laurent) becomes an outdoor amphitheater for local bands and an activity and art centre for kids and families. For something even more different, stop by artist-run gallery La Centrale (4296 St-Laurent) for their multidisciplinary event Boom-Chix-a-Boom and sidewalk sale, with performances all afternoon on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
(experimental foodies) Technology meets food meets culture at the Society for Arts and Technology Marché du Foodlab starting this Thursday, August 25, all afternoon at Place de la Paix (next to the SAT at 1201 St-Laurent Blvd.), in the Quartier des Spectacles. Fresh, organic food made by local chefs in collaboration with “culinary designers” makes its comeback after debuting to much acclaim at the Mutek electronic music festival in June. The lab, also featuring workshops, talks and experiments open to the public, is active from Thursday to Saturday until October 1.
(world on film) Find some respite from Montreal’s busy streets this weekend at the 35th Montreal World Film Festival. Stars of stage and screen classics A Chorus Line and Hair meet the stars in the sky at film festival at the fest’s outdoor public screenings at Place des Arts, also highlighting the work of Catherine Deneuve, as well as classics of Bollywood cinema. The outdoor program continues until August 28 alongside dozens of indoor film screenings of recent and new films from around the world.
(burlesque babes) Montreal’s so sexy, it really doesn’t need to argue the point, but a festival dedicated to disrobing couldn’t hurt our rep, eh? The third annual Montreal Burlesque Festival, August 25–28, at Club Soda (1225 St-Laurent), answers the call of a nostalgic niche market of teasing and tantalizing. Each night of the fest features a different showcase of dancers, beginning on Thursday with an all-Canadian showcase, followed by Friday’s international show and Saturday’s gala night. Earlier in the day, take part in burlesque-themed workshops and classes and wander the burlesque market – vintage fashion, live painting, pin-up art, clothing, corsets, books and more, starting at 7 p.m. each evening.
(living art) Live art and music seem to pop up in every corner of the city all the time, often in unexpected ways. In the neighbourhood of Notre-Dame-de-Grace, just west of downtown, NDG Arts Week continues with Friday’s Off the Wall Film Festival, featuring short films by local directors screened outdoors in Girouard Park (Sherbrooke West at Girouard), Saturday’s Art Walk, with live painting by over 50 artists on Sherbrooke between Melrose and Wilson, and Sunday’s famous Country En Ville, a country and folk music and arts festival in Girouard Park. Meanwhile, downtown in the art-packed Belgo building, see Déclic 70, a group show of documentary photography in Quebec in the 1970s, with opening night on August 25, 5:30 p.m.at Galerie SAS (#416–372 Ste-Catherine W.).
(sing it loud) Experience both professional-level opera and the adorable encalve of the Outremont neighbourhood as Montreal’s new professional opera company, Opera Piccola, founded by opera lovers Taras Kulish and Anne-Marie Trahandebuts, debuts at the Théâtre Outremont, August 25 and 27 at 8 p.m. Suprano Mariateresa Magisano, mezzo-soprano Julie Nesrallah, tenor Luc Robert, baritone Alexander Dobson and incredible musicians dramatically entertain with excerpts from operas and operettas such as La Bohème, Madama Butterfly, The Merry Widow, Rigoletto, The Tales of Hoffmann, Fledermaus and others.
(music melange) On Friday, August 26, much-lauded locals Little Scream, Reversing Falls, Roma Carnivale and performance artist Catherine Kidd play Cabaret du Mile-End (5240 Parc), 8 p.m. On Saturday, August 27, The 2nd annual St-Ambroise Funk n’ Jazz Fest takes over Terrace McAuslan (5080 St Ambroise, in the neighbourhood of St-Henri), from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. – and it’s all free! Later on Saturday night, the 2Pac Tribute Show features many, many different live performances and more in tribute to Tupac Shakur, at Théatre Telus , 8 p.m. On Monday, August 29, some of the outstanding performers from the musical The Lion King, currently playing in Montreal at Places des Arts, put on a benefit concert for South Africa – Simunye (We Are One) – at Club Balattou (4372 St-Laurent), 8 p.m., with all proceeds going to The Sikakane Rebuilding Fund. And on Tuesday, August 30, avant-garde folk-country legend Kath Bloom brings her unique sound to Casa del Popolo (4873 St-Laurent).