The Canadian Thanksgiving long weekend in Montreal is all about keeping people well-fed, relaxed and entertained with special restaurant menus, an international film festival, world-class theatre, and music for singing along to or dancing all night…
(autumnal holiday) With sunshine in the forecast, the holiday weekend calls for walks in the park, a visit to the pumpkin-filled Botanical Garden, and strolls around town, whether from restaurant to restaurant or otherwise — glance at our guide to Thanksgiving in Montreal for some ideas. Downtown, the SAT’s Food Lab concocts a fabulous Oktoberfest menu, while chefs in Little Italy get even more creative during Pizza Week, to October 12. Take relaxation to the next level during Spa Week, October 15-21, featuring special offers at spas across the city.
(screen time) Montreal’s much-anticipated international film festival Festival du Nouveau Cinema, begins its 42nd edition on October 9, featuring big names and emerging talents in creative filmmaking. Triptyque, directed by Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, opens the festival, followed by already-acclaimed films by Xavier Dolan, Jia Zhang Ke, Atom Egoyan, Bruce LaBruce, Peter Greenaway, Bruce Mcdonald and Anthony Chen, as well as a special presentation of the films of Jonas Mekas, and music videos from Montrealers Vincent Moon and Andi State (who presents concert film Suuns Europe 2011). Free evening screenings at the Quartier des spectacles make the most of the extended summer weather: see Jacques Demy’s Lola, Jean Epstein’s La Chute de la Maison Usher, and Sergio Leone’s The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.
(theatre & dance) See Sleeping Beauty as never before in Swedish choreographer Mats Ek’s dark and modern version, danced by Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, October 10-26. Book 6 of Ovid’s Metamorphoses transforms in Governor General’s award-winning play If We Were Birds, featuring a chorus of women survivors of 20th-century conflict, produced by Montreal’s Imago Theatre and playing at Centaur Theatre. For something lighter, see Broadway musical Ain’t Misbehavin’: The Fats Waller Musical Show, at the Segal Centre or playwright Steve Galluccio’s The St. Leonard Chronicles at the Centaur Theatre to October 27. For families: Swiss circus company Zimmermann & de Perrot performs acrobatic comedy Hans Was Heiri, at Tohu, and Mickey, Mini and the gang come to town for Disney on Ice: 100 Years of Magic, at the Bell Centre.
(dance all night) For 23 years now, Black & Blue has raised the bar for LGBT-and-friends parties in Montreal, and this year, October 9-15, Black & Blue takes over a whole new venue: Arsenal in Griffintown. The weekend of parties includes something for everyone, from Friday’s Leather Ball at Club Soda to a stylish times at Peopl Nightclub, gay volleyball and hockey tournaments, and the festival’s main event on Sunday night, the legendary dance party, with house music and trance playing all night and into the next day, featuring not only international DJs but circus performances and live art.
(live music) Friday starts out with nothing but fun as DJ Champion celebrates 10 years of getting dance-floors shaking, at the SAT, while metal band Soulfly gets heavy at Théâtre Corona, while Nashville’s Mary Gauthier provides a counterpoint with her finely-crafted and heartfelt folk-country songs at Divan Orange. Friday and Saturday also sees the continuation of Montreal’s international Off Jazz Festival, featuring Nordest Trio, Litania Projekt, Mark Feldman and more. Saturday, October 12 turns into a full-fledged electro-dance party with California-based DJ and producer Bassnectar at Metropolis. Monday night is meant for Cocorosie – the sisters play songs from their new album Tales of A GrassWidow, at the SAT. On October 15, now-legendary UK electronic and acoustic musician Bonobo returns to Montreal, entrancing fans at Metropolis, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra introduces their strange jazz-psychedelia to Cabaret Du Mile-End. On October 16, the charismatic and talented Father John Misty plays his uplifting folk-rock at Corona, while Matt Mays plays country-blues rock songs from his new album Coyote, at Petit Campus, and Montreal’s own AroarA launches a new album at Sala Rossa. And on Thursday night, the cinematic pop sound of French electronic musician Woodkid transports listeners at Metropolis.