See more of the city and its entertainment scene this week, whether walking in the sunshine through Old Montreal and downtown, where live music and theatrical performances proliferate, or biking across town in the Tour de l’Île and Tour la Nuit urban cycling events…
(active outdoors) In the week before the engine-revving Montreal Grand Prix starts, find out why Montreal loves two-wheeled fun just as much: this weekend’s Go Bike Montreal Festival gathers riders of all skill levels and ages to ride across the city for the Tour de l’Île de Montréal on June 1 and the Tour la Nuit on May 30 (both free for kids), ending with a party at Olympic Stadium – find out more about biking in Montreal in the Tourisme Montreal Bike Guide, including details on bike paths, bicycle rentals, BIXI and more. Or take physical activity to the next level and climb high at the Olympic Stadium’s brand new urban freestyle Park Exalto, a playground for all ages.
(music outdoors & in) Join the electronic music and art enthusiasts at acclaimed international festival EM15, joining the culturally cutting-edge forces of the MUTEK and Elektra festivals as they celebrate their 15-year anniversaries. Every day and night to June 1 at the Musée d’art contemporain, the Imperial Theatre, Metropolis and the Phi Centre, hear the latest in electronic music and art, from immersive audio-visual shows to late-night dance parties, including free performances on the Place des Arts Esplanade on Friday and Saturday afternoon and evening by international and local artists, and a sunny Sunday at Piknic Electronik at Parc Jean-Drapeau. Or delve into Quebec’s rock-music history at the McCord Museum’s excellent Music – Quebec: Charlebois to Arcade Fire exhibition, complete with audio tour, a huge listening catalogue, stage costumes and more – and the museum’s Urban Forest opens this week as well, opening a side street to live music performances and plenty of socializing.
(out and about) See springtime in full bloom at the Montreal Botanical Garden, this year jazzing up nature’s beauty with live music every Sunday afternoon. Or take a walk along Sainte-Catherine Street, from the 21 Swings interactive music-making art installation on de Maisonneuve outside Place des Arts, to the Wall-to-Wall nighttime video installation honouring filmmaker Norman McClaren, and all the way through downtown’s Gay Village, once more decorated with pink “roses” and adorned with the artwork of the Aires Libres festival. Preview indie music festival Pop Montreal during kid-friendly outdoor music event Spring Pop on May 31 on the lawn of Place the la Gare (Jean-Talon, corner Hutchison) – plus, discover unique clothing, accessories, prints, food, toys and more at Puces Pop craft fair at Église St-Denis (5075 Rivard), May 30 to June 1. And when you’re hungry on the go, check to see where Montreal’s food trucks have parked – the 30 trucks are all over the city this summer, serving up creative meals 7 days a week.
(on-stage entertainment) Immerse yourself in a wide world of theatre, dance and eclectic performance during the 8th edition of Festival TransAmériques, gracing several city until June 7. Take a dip in a pool filled with 25,000 balls inscribed with quotes from Stoic philosophers, a stage adaption of Michel Houellebecq’s novel Les Particules Élémentaires, a dramatized representation of an intense part of Rwandan history in Hate Radio, and daring stars of contemporary dance in new creations – meanwhile, emerging artists push boundaries at sister-festival OFFTA. Creative new circus talents shine as circus centre Tohu hosts two brand new, high-flying shows by National Circus School graduates: L’Abri (Shelter) and La matrice de Morphée (Morpheus’ Matrix), to June 8. Travel to a distant time and place in Cirque du Soleil’s spectacular and fun Kurios – Cabinet of Curiosities, under the big top in the Old Port. The 9th annual Montreal International Anarchist Theatre Festival runs June 2-3, featuring 25 artists from France, the USA and Montreal, including Vermont’s Bread & Puppet Theater at La Sala Rossa on June 2. And the massive, entertaining and affordable St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival begins June 2, with over a hundred theatrical and dance shows, as well as live music in Fringe Park, stand-up comedy and more, on to June 22.
(more live music) One of Quebec’s biggest stars, singer Ginette Reno lights up Place des Arts in three performances, May 30-June 1. During the day on Saturday, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra celebrates its 80th season with the inauguration of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique, with free recitals at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal. On Saturday night, rapper Slug and DJ-producer Ant bring their hip-hop duo Atmosphere to the SAT, or dance the night away to soul, R&B and more with ever-popular Montreal DJ team The Goods at Sala Rossa. Monday night brings stylish British musician La Roux to Theatre Corona, while jazz-great pianist Oliver Jones duos with 14-year-old prodigy Daniel Clarke Bouchard at the Maison Symphonique de Montréal at Place des Arts, and indie-rock band Papa and Wake Island shake up Il Motore. On Tuesday June 3, with his sunglasses on or not, Corey Hart plays three decades of music and more than a few billboard hits at the Bell Centre, while prolific Breton multi-instrumentalist Yann Tiersen debuts new songs at Club Soda, and American jazz artist Scott Bradlee brings his Postmodern Jukebox band to Cabaret Mile-End. On Wednesday, June 4 join the fabulous Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings and James Hunter at Théâtre Corona, hear Sean Lennon’s band The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger with opener Syd Arthur at Sala Rossa, or let loose to the punk-styled riot-girl rock of Priests, with Mands and Ruff Talons at Cabaret Playhouse. And art and cultural hub the Phi Centre begins its DJ Thursdays run, this week featuring Dave Luxe and Nick Wisdom on June 4 and Prison Garde and Seb Diamond on June 5, with visuals by M. Bootyspoon.
Photo credits : Hind Azennar and Gaétan Fontaine
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