As the month of May comes to a close, the sun shines on Montreal’s green spaces, from the Botanical Garden to Parc Jean-Drapeau and all over downtown’s Quartier des Spectacles, where Museums Day, Mutek and Festival Transamériques festivals, opera, live music and more keep this week bright…
(green living) Visit Montreal’s beautiful and expansive Botanical Garden this weekend for the 16th Great Gardening Weekend, May 25-27. The weekend features the largest horticultural fair in Québec, over a hundred gardening and landscaping specialists, thousands of plants, some of them rare, and a series of talks and demonstrations. Meanwhile, the McCord Museum opens its Urban Forest for the summer on May 26, a tree-filled natural retreat, free of charge to visit, in the heart of downtown, and also one of nine locations for Montreal’s new food truck project.
(museums day) Visit 34 of Montreal’s museums and major art galleries free of charge on May 26 during Montreal Museums Day! See the Peru exhibition at the MMFA as well as new work in the museum’s sculpture garden, visit the MACM to see 10 years of critical yet playful work by experimental artist Michel de Broin and a solo show from Eve Sussman and her collaborative team Rufus Corporation, and go to Montreal’s history and archaeology museum Pointe-à-Callière for their Cultural Feast, May 25-26, a free outdoor event celebrating the diverse culinary history of Montreal: feast on everything from fish and chips to Japanese food (and there’s whiskey too.)
(electronic ambience) Get in on the latest and greatest in cutting-edge electronic music and arts at Mutek, whether you want to dance all night with thousands of other people at Metropolis or hear experimental music in sit-down settings like Montreal’s new Symphony Hall. Experience three different shows by Matthew Herbert, a.k.a. Wishmountain, the UK’s Jamie Lidell, Catalan house beatmaker John Talabot, Detroit techno minimalist Robert Hood, Germany pianist Nils Frahm, Japanese audiovisual artist Ryoichi Kurokawa, Montrealer Ghislain Poirier, and opening night event dedicated to German label Kompakt, and much, much more.
(avant-garde performance) Daring theatre, dance and performance art from around the world comes to Festival Transamériques, May 22-June 8: see German director Thomas Ostermeier’s modern interpretation of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, South African artist-choreographer Robyn Orlin’s Beauty Remained For Just A Moment Then Returned Gently To Her Starting Position…, Italian company Motus’s premier of politically charged Nella Tempesta, Melbourne’s Back to Back Theatre’s Ganesh Versus The Third Reich, Canadian choreographer Ame Henderson’s What We Are Saying, and much more. For the full schedule of performances, see the FTA website.
(on screen) See Dromos, a new, immersive surround-sound-and-vision show at the SAT dome, created by French artists Maotik and Fraction, inspired by Paul Virilio’s concept of dromology. Until the end of the week, experience two exhibitions at the PHI Centre: Philomène Longpré’s interactive video system Cereus Queen of the Night, and Gabriel Coutu-Dumont’s multidisciplinary Wonders of a Transient Universe. Also at the PHI Centre to May 28, a series of films curated by Martin Scorsese, including Ahmed El Maanouni’s Trances, Bahram Beyzaie’s Downpour and more. Experimental, high-tech audio-visual art festival Sight and Sound continues at Eastern Bloc to May 29, with installations, workshops and a performance by on May 25. And for one more week, swing and make music outside in the Quartier des Spectacles via music-art installation 21 Swings.
(opera, theatre & classical) Don’t miss the final performance of The Opera de Montreal and the Orchestre Métropolitain coproduction of Massenet’s Manon, on May 25, directed by Fabien Gabel, with soprano Marianne Fiset, Canadian baritone Gordon Bintner and Portuguese tenor Bruno Ribeiro. Les Grands Ballets presents Dream Away, the latest surreal work by award-winning choreographer Stephan Thoss, to May 25. See what’s up with the hype about Greg Kramer’s adaptation of Sherlock Holmes, starring Montreal actor and screen star Jay Baruchel, at the Segal Centre until May 28. And The Montreal Chamber Music Festival continues to June 1, with not only mixes traditional chamber music but chamber-inspired jazz.
(live music) The weekend starts with a big outdoor show by Icelandic indie-pop band Of Monsters and Men with openers Half Moon Run, at l’Esplanade du Centenaire along the historic Lachine Canal – the show is part of a series of Osheaga preview shows that also include The National, The xx, Grizzly Bear and The Tragically Hip in June. Also on Friday night, see French new wave band Indochine and We Are Wolves at the Bell Centre, Canadian pop singer Kristina Maria with live band, DJ Nasty Naz and a dance crew, at the Corona Theatre, and Marina And The Diamonds with opener Charli XCX at Metropolis. On Saturday, May 25, catch Fall Out Boy on their comeback tour at Metropolis. Sunday, May 26 marks Piknic Electronik second weekend of the season, featuring Dave Clarke, FM Radio Gods, Joubin, Hissy Fit and Lindus Phrase. On May 30, also making a comeback is R&B singer-songwriter D’Angelo, at Olympia Theatre, hip hop stars Pusha T and Fabolous co-headline on their “The Life is So Exciting” tour at Club Soda, and Montreal’s Radio Radio and Organ Mood give us a taste of their new sounds at the PHI Centre.