A slower summer vibe pervades the city in August, yet there’s still so much to do, from hard-rock and blues music festivals to world-class sports competitions to sampling the best in Montreal-made gourmet food.
(walk on the wild side) Heavy Montréal takes over from last weekend’s Osheaga festival at Parc Jean-Drapeau – hear metal, heavy rock, skate-punk and more from bands the likes of Metallica, Twisted Sister and The Offspring, August 8 in the city and August 9-10 at the park. For a lower-key kind of music festival, head to family-friendly FestiBlues at Ahuntsic Park, August 7-10, featuring rock, blues and folk from Quebec talents. Dance, party, make friends, hear thoughtful lectures and maybe even march in the parade at fiercely wonderful Montreal Pride 2014, August 11-17. And, taking this week’s Montreal-gone-wild theme literally, dinosaurs come to life, or at least animatronic re-existence, once more in multi-media spectacular Walking with Dinosaurs returns even bigger than before to the Bell Centre August 13-17 (English-language shows on August 14 and 17).
(cultural feasts) Experience the myriad fantastic flavours of Quebec-made fine food and drink at the Montreal Gourmand Festival, August 7-10 at the Old Port of Montreal. Take a stroll through Montreal’s Little Italy during Italian Week, August 8-17, and sample traditional and nouveau cuisine, hear music in the park, see art exhibitions and bocce tournaments and more. Meanwhile on Saturday, August 9, Montreal’s Japanese Culture Centre hosts the 13th Edition of their Matsuri Japon Festival, complete with Japanese food and drink, taiko drumming, martial arts demonstrations and more. Eat, drink and be entertained at two new outdoor markets in the city: downtown Montreal’s Village Éphémère just east of the Jacque-Cartier bridge (near Papineau metro station), open Thursdays to Sundays, and Mile End’s Marché des Possibles, open Friday to Sunday. Experience ocean-fresh bliss at one of Montreal’s oyster bars and open-air meals on a sunny restaurant patio. And make the day even sweeter with gourmet, all-natural ice cream.
(sports & family fun) The world’s top women’s tennis stars, including Montreal’s Eugenie Bouchard, play hard at the Rogers Cup to August 10 at Uniprix Stadium. A carnival atmosphere makes the Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve Summer Festival fun for all ages, all day on August 8 at the Olympic Park Esplanade – and anyone looking for vertical thrills should check out the awesome Exalto Park rope-climbing structures nearby. While inside Olympic Stadium, catch world-class soccer as the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup continues competition group matches this week on August 9 and 12. Over at Parc Jean-Drapeau’s Aquatic Complex, the 15th FINA World Masters Championships continues with swimming, diving and water polo competitions to August 10. And in weirder sports news, Montreal also hosts the Unicon 17 – Unicycle world Championships finals on August 10. Participate in a massive yoga class at the Lolë White Tour 2014 at the Old Port on the morning of August 9. Or take a bike ride, seek out the city’s swimming holes via our Swimming and Beach Guide, and find even more things to do in our Family Guide to Summer.
(more live music) Drift away on the adult-contemporary, new-age stylings of Yanni, mellowing out the Bell Centre for a few hours on Friday night. Saturday, August 9 brings Tyler Hilton, former “One Tree Hill” star and current musical talent, to Montreal with openers Justin Levinson and Anna Rose at L’Astral, while Strand of Oaks adds his fair share of hard-rock to folk-rock, with opener Christopher Denny, at Il Motore, the amazing FKA Twigs plays a now sold-out show at Cabaret du Mile End, and Montreal’s eclectic Essaie Pas captivate at La Vitrola – Saturday also marks the first day of the 19th edition of the Under Pressure Festival, celebrating local and international graffiti culture with art exhibitions, outdoor and indoor concerts, skate jams and more. Outdoor dance party Piknic Electronik stays on Île Ste-Hélène this Sunday but moves over to the Jardins Floralies (to make way for Heavy Montreal), harnessing the spirit of Thailand’s full-moon parties and featuring music from the good people at Music Is My Sanctuary. While outdoors at Olympic Park Esplanade on Sunday, hear the classical sounds of the Orchestre à Vents Péri-Phonique – and return to the Esplanade on August 14 for a free grand concert by conductor Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. For even more classical music, make the short trip just outside of Montreal to the Festival de Lanaudière, the largest classical music festival in Canada, on until August 10. Monday night features Montreal experimenters Shalabi Effect along with Michael Foster, David Grollman & Ben Bennett Trio at Casa del Popolo. On August 13, legendary Canadian punk band Propagandhi shows us how it’s done – and in social-activist style to boot – with openers Rvivr and War on Women, at Club Soda, while B.C.-based psych-folk duo The Backhomes rock out at La Vitrola, just as Carolyn Mark and The New Best Friends along with Montreal’s 10,000 Horses charm us and entertain to no end at Casa Del Popolo, and Bob Log III lets the good times roll at Il Motore.
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