Montreal is not only abuzz with jazz – and blues, rock, electro and more, indoors and out – this week at the The Montreal International Jazz Festival Jazz, but alight with Canada Day celebrations, in flight with a circus festival, and all aflutter with outdoor activities, mind-expanding art, and body-rocking music.
(jazz jazz jazz) The Montreal International Jazz Festival fills every nook and cranny of the Quartier des Spectacles with sound and style until July 7. With huge stages around the festival site, festival goers can choose music to suit whatever mood they’re in – and food and drink to go with it. The Montreal Buzz Jazz Fest Guide covers top picks in the programming and we also cover free and lesser-known shows that deserve plenty of attention. See the Jazz Fest site for the full program.
(circus fest) Montreal’s very own circus festival, Montreal Complètement Cirque, opens its third edition on July 5 with Séquence 8, a new production from the astounding 7 Doigts de la Main. Until July 15 at La Tohu, Montreal’s circus centre, see circuses from around the world, including four Scandinavian companies, Swedish troupe Cirkus Cirkör, Finnish companies Circo Aereo and WHS, Race Horse Company’s Petit Mal, Quebec-made shows Leo, Vague de cirque’s Carrousel et corde à linge, and more – plus music-hall evening at L’Olympia theatre in downtown Montreal.
(Canada Day) In Quebec, Canada Day is less of a big deal than St-Jean Baptiste/Fête Nationale, which happened last weekend, but certainly the barbeques and picnics and revelry will be in full effect throughout the weekend – and on July 1, the Canada Parade marches east down Sainte-Catherine, starting at Fort Street at 11 a.m., while at the Old Port of Montreal, Canada Day celebrations, with marching bands, music and entertainment for kids and adults alike, begin at 10 a.m. and continue until midnight. Plus on June 30, Montreal’s International Fireworks Competition begins! Japan kicks of the summer-long pyrotechnics with Hanabi, presented by Aoki Fireworks.
(fun, food, tech) Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) not only takes part in Jazz Fest this year, with shows from Los Amigos Invisibles, London Elektricity, Fishbone, The Misstress Barbara Band, Lyrics Born, Nobody Beats the Drum and Stalley (June 28-July 6), but the SAT Fest begins July 3 with screenings of short films made more the immersive, surround-sound Satosphere dome, Tuesdays through Fridays. The SAT’s FoodLab is also open, offering up Mediterranean fare and BBQ indoors and on the terrasse. And starting July 5 in Place de la Paix, the park next to the SAT building (Saint-Laurent), see outdoor film screenings of documentaries and short films, dance to electronic music, and eat BBQ to your heart’s content.
(outdoor days) July is typically a wonderful weather month in Montreal, so plan to spend a lot of time outside. For a does of free Quebec arts and culture, head to Parc LaFontaine’s Theatre de la Verdure, where on June 29, Les Belles-Soeurs perform musical theatre at 9 p.m. and Hélène Blackburn of Cas Public choreographs the young dancers of Variations S on July 5, 9 p.m. Our Montreal Buzz Beach and Pool Guide has a few ideas on how to while away the day, specifically at Clock Tower Beach in the Old Port and at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
(indie art) Fact: music festival Osheaga is also an arts festival, and the art starts early with the Music on Paper Exhibition (July 5-22) at Galerie le 4220 (4220 Drolet), curated by graphic design artist Pat Hamou and featuring work by Jason Munn, Methane Studios, Burlesque Of North America (who shows some of their Arcade Fire Series) and many more – opening July 5 at 5 p.m. The newest show at DHC-ART, works by Japanese artist Ryoji Ikeda, wows with detail and imagination. Neighbouring PHI Centre literally electrifies with Montreal artist Alexandre Burton’s installation IMPACTS, which uses Tesla coils and glass panes, and Jean-François Mayrand’s Amentia tracks our reactions to a three-screened, interactive drama.
(music ) The Jazz Fest reigns over the Montreal music scene this week, but there’s still more going on in rock, electronic and indie music in this town. On Friday night, Piknic Electronik gets its dance on with with Major Lazer, A Tribe Called Red and Poirier, 6 p.m., and again on Sunday afternoon with Pierre De Lux, Speakeasy Electro Swing and France’s Smokey Joe & The Kid, Daoust and Germany’s Hubble, all at Parc Jean-Drapeau. On July 3, legends of rock return: The Scorpions bring their Final Sting tour to the Bell Centre while Melvins are back in a slightly smaller grouping at Theatre Corona. On July 4, see !!! at Il Motore. And on July 5, Brooklyn’s Sleigh Bells and Class Actress slide into Théâtre Corona.