It’s a hot summer in the city as the sun shines on the final weekend of the Jazz Fest, plenty of events and performances in Montreal’s parks and the super active and entertaining Montreal Complètement Cirque festival. And when the sun goes down, the city keeps going, with fireworks, comedy and music from around the world…
(jazzy July) The Montreal International Jazz Festival keeps the Quartier des Spectacles hopping for one more weekend of free outdoor shows on multiple stages and intimate indoor shows like Friday night’s Seal show, Saturday night’s Norah Jones show and an outdoor finale with Chromeo. Check out The Montreal Buzz Jazz Fest Guide for top picks in the programming and more alternative shows that deserve plenty of attention, like Deltron 3030, Timber Timbre, Misja Michel, Dirty Projectors, Kalmunity, and more. See the Jazz Fest website for the full program.
(circus city) The circus – well, many circuses – is in town for Montreal Complètement Cirque, with shows to July 15 at La Tohu – plus music-hall evening at L’Olympia theatre downtown. The circus fest makes its mark on downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles and the Latin Quarter with free outdoor performances at Place Émilie-Gamelin every evening, 6:30-9:30 p.m., while on July 9, the mini film festival Ciné-Cirque screens Chaplin films outdoors at 9:30 p.m. Cirque Carpe Diem returns to the Old Port with trapeze shows and lessons every day, 2-8 p.m. The whole family can get in on circus fun on July 8 as Tohu circus centre turns into one big picnic, with games, circus performances, facepainting and workshops, 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., while over at the Olympic Park, see MystikaCircus, Toxique Trottoir and l’Impro Cirque, July 7-8.
(fire in the sky) Canada Day, St-Jean Baptiste and the Fourth of July have come and gone now, but Montreal’s International Fireworks Competition keeps the sky lit up throughout the month with amazing displays of pyrotechnic technology and drama. All the fireworks action happens directly over La Ronde amusement park – tickets are available on the competition’s site – and can be seen from the Old Port and rooftops around Montreal – on July 7, Switzerland’s Sugyp company shows their stuff starting at 10 p.m.
(shows under the sky) Bring a blanket and get ready to be entertained in a Montreal park this week. Right downtown in in Place de la Paix on St-Laurent next to the SAT on July 6-7, eat BBQ while DJs spin tunes and then see picks from the Festival Vues d’Afrique. Later in the week, July 12-15, Fantasia makes the film choices and DJs Maus and Jan Pienkowski keep the music going. Repercussion Theatre’s 24th season of Shakespeare in the Park kicks off with The Taming of the Shrew, July 11-12, at Mount Royal Cemetery. And at Theatre de la Verdure in Parc LaFontaine, see guitar collective Forestare perform music inspired by North American Indigenous peoples’ history on July 7, Sixtrum Drumming Ensemble on July 8, on July 9 watch the award-winning silent film The Artist, and on July 12 Quinteto Negro La Boca provides the music for a tango dance show.
(laugh it up) It’s the start of comedy season here in Montreal. Just for Laughs and fellow fest Zoofest start their fun this week outside at the QDS and at indoor venues throughout downtown – see top comedians at The Nasty Show, Best of Zoofest and many, many more. On top of that, Comedy for a Cause – that being sex education for youth – makes us more caring, better people, of course, with Eman, Rodney Ramsey, Andrew Searles, Paul Baluyot and Robby Hoffman at Comedy Works on July 8. And if you’re a traveler, especially of the backpacking variety, though not necessarily, then the Comedy Hostel at the the Playhouse Cabaret, July 11, is for you.
(sounds of Africa) The two-week-long Nuits d’Afrique music festival spans the spectrum from Mali to South Africa, Egypt to Haiti, with international names and Montreal stars. The music starts July 10 with Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars at Cabaret du Mile-End and Saltarello at Club Balattou, followed by Gnawa Diffusion on July 11 at Métropolis and Danse sans Frontières at Club Balattou, and on July 12, Les Tambours de Brazza at La Tulipe and Rômmel Ribeiro at Club Balattou. And if you’re sticking around town, check out the fest’s dozens of free outdoor shows at Quartier des Spectacles, July 19-22.
(hot hot music) If all that jazz is all too much this week, change the pace by rocking and dancing it out. On July 7, get crazy with LMFAO and more at the Centre de la nature in Laval. On a smaller rock scale, go for Beat Connection, White Arrows and Teen Daze at Il Motore. Piknic Electronik gets down in the Jardin des Floralies at Parc Jean-Drapeau on July 8, with Fred Everything and more DJs. Also in Parc Jean-Drapeau, it’s Jamaica Day on July 7, with music, food and more, part of Weekend de la Monde. Rock out in weird-psych ways with Psychic Paramount and Echo Beach at Casa del Popolo on July 9. Bounce with Big Freedia and dance-music booty shakers at Le Belmont. And, on July 10, freakin’ Aerosmith brings their Global Warming Tour to the Centre de la nature in Laval, with the Sam Roberts Band, while country-tinged California popsters Train play Metropolis. And maybe the biggest rock night of this week: Iron Maiden and Alice Cooper hit the Bell Centre on July 11.