Things to Do in Montreal: July 25-31

Posted on July 24th, 2014 by .

Fireworks Vieux Port

From early morning to late night, Montreal shines this week with stars of comedy, film, art and music, while the city’s parks and pop-up markets offer the perfect place to relax, shop or socialize…

(laugh out loud) Just For Laughs ends with a bang this weekend with gala shows hosted by Don Rickles, Seth Rogen, Bill Burr, Jim Gaffigan, Russell Peters, plus a Mega Stars of Comedy Gala show on July 25. Themed JFL shows are also a sure bet for laughs, from The All Star Show to The Relationship Show, The British Show (hosted by Noel Fielding) to The Nasty Show. Meanwhile, solo shows highlight the raw entertainment power of some of the hottest comedians today: Jim Jeffries, Lewis Black, Simon Amstell, Mike Birbiglia, Tommy Tiernan and more. Along with JFL, comedy festival Zoofest delights with one-man shows, stand-up and off-the-beaten-path theatrical comedy. Adding even more entertainment to the festival: free music, comedy and circus performances fit for the whole family, outdoors at Place des Festivals. And on the night of July 26, whether you’re at Place des Festivals or the Old Port, see the city illuminated from above by Australia’s Baz Lurhmann-inspired performance in the International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition.


(fantastic film & art) New and rare films debuts at the 18th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival, screening hundreds of fantasy, sci-fi, horror and auteur films to August 5, including new films by Terry Gilliam, Abel Ferrara, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Jim Mickle, Jang Joon-hwan, Gregg Araki, Yoshihiro Nakamura, John McNaughton, Richard Linklater and many more. Get a dose of Shakespeare at Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park production of Harry the King: The Famous Victories of Henry V, live on stage at Westmount Park, July 25 and 26. Head to Peace Park (next to the SAT on St-Laurent) on July 29 at 9pm to hear the Orchestre de la Francophonie play some memorable works of composer John Williams, made famous in films such as Schindler’s List, E.T. and Star Wars. Spend some quality time indoors with great art at the Musée d’art contemporain, celebrating 50 years of challenging and captivating contemporary art in Quebec, gasp at the exquisite detail and crafting of Fabergé creations at the MMFA, explore Montreal history via the last 50 years of Quebec-made popular music at the McCord Museum, and ponder the very meaning of art today at the Chapman Brothers’ multi-faceted exhibition Come and See at DHC-ART.

Marche des Possibles

(summer fun & food) If you find yourself downtown, play a game or ten outdoors at Place des Festivals to July 26 as Mondial des Jeux Loto-Québec sets up two main game zones every afternoon and well into the night, or travel east for some natural sanctuary at the Botanical Garden and Insectarium, where a Musical Siesta makes every Saturday afternoon blissful and Sunday features musician-storyteller Michel Faubert. Parc LaFontaine is the place to be this weekend for Haitian music and culture, all courtesy of the fabulous Haiti en Folie festival. LGBT festival Divers/cite starts July 28 with all kinds of activities including dance performance FLEXX on July 31 at the Old Port’s Jacques Cartier Quay and comedy club D/C Rire on July 30. Eat fresh food, listen to great music and shop for local goods at Village Éphémère just east of the Jacque-Cartier bridge (near Papineau metro station), Thursdays to Sundays, and visit the newest outdoor chill-out zone in Mile End, the Marché des Possibles, where from Friday to Sunday you can hear live music, watch films, sample gourmet creations, do yoga, keep kids happy with art and sports workshops, and find expertly crafted art and design treasures – for more ideas on family fun, see our Family Guide to Summer 2014 and our Swimming and Beach Guide. If you’re looking for new restaurants in unfamiliar neighbourhoods, see what Goûte ton Quartier has picked out for their (quickly sold-out) tours. And travel around the city in many possible ways to beat the heat and find some of Montreal’s best ice cream and coolest patios.

(live music) Justin Timberlake stops in Montreal for two nights on his 20/20 Experience World Tour, at the Bell Centre July 25-26. The MEG music festival keeps St-Laurent Boulevard hopping with great new music to August 31 – this Friday, check out Mozart’s Sister and friends at Sala Rossa, hip hop producers Sango and Eden Hagos at Le Belmont, while on Saturday see experimental duo Essai Pas, Apigeon and more, UK hip hop maker Rustie, and Montreal’s Suuns, Technical Kidman and Seoul at the SAT. Gorgeous factory-turned-art-gallery The Darling Foundry, revs up Friday night with DJs and video artists, 7pm to midnight. Three much-loved Montreal musical acts play a free outdoor show on Saturday night: hear the pleasing sounds of Mac Demarco, The Besnard Lakes and Solids along the Canal Lachine near Atwater Market, starting at 6 pm, presented by Jansport’s Bonfire Sessions – RSVP to get in. If you can snag a ticket to Bonsound Concerts’ Saturday night show on the Ubisoft Montreal rooftop terrace, you’ll be treated not only to music by Martha Wainwright and Philémon Cimon but to breathtaking views of the city. On Sunday, July 27, outdoor dance party Piknic Electronik pairs with the MEG fest for an afternoon of sunny sounds, while later on Sunday night, enjoy the sweet-yet-complex synth-pop sounds of Syngja, Stolyette and Pang Attack at Divan Orange. On Monday night, Heavy Montreal presents heavy metal band Trivium at the Corona Theatre, and Lionel Richie makes a comeback at the Bell Centre, playing all the hits all night long on Monday, July 28. Tuesday night brings The Fray to town at Metropolis. On Thursday, July 31, award-winning hip-hop artist Samian performs outdoors at Place des Festivals at 8:30pm and dancehall-reggae singer-songwriter Shauit performs at Club Soda at 11pm as part of First Peoples Festival. Also on Thursday, music festival Osheaga starts the music a day early with pre-festival shows: the Volcano Choir plays Corona and the MEG festival pairs with Osheaga for a showcase at Sala Rossa featuring Secret Sun, Men I Trust, Fire/Works, Emilie & Ogden – meanwhile, Osheaga’s poster art exhibition, Music on Paper 4, continues at Yves Laroche Galerie all week.

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