Even though summer has started to fade, Montreal celebrates the still-warm days with outdoor events, from food festivals to rock concerts, interactive art exhibitions to illuminated garden tours. Meanwhile, indoor entertainment continues to warm up chillier nights.
(garden party) Visit the Montreal Botanical Garden’s Gardens of Light for a brief sojourn from urban excitement. Until November 6, the gardens’ natural beauty will be illuminated by lanterns and other artistically designed light sources installed throughout the site. By day, visit the Mosaïcultures Internationales exhibition of large-scale plant-based creations, made by horticultural artists from around the world.
(food and fun) Give in to decadence for a good cause at Montreal culinary celebration Oysterfest, taking place the afternoon of September 8 at Terrasses Bonsecours in the Old Port. Eat the freshest oysters from a variety of locales, drink beverages to complement the bivalves, and watch a fast-paced oyster-shucking competition, content in the knowledge that all proceeds from the event go towards non-profit organization Open Pier Foundation, dedicated to aquatic sustainability. Sample gourmet concoctions from some of Montreal’s finest food trucks at First Fridays at Olympic Stadium, on September 6. And check out some of the city’s best burger joints during Burger Week.
(street sounds) Have your say, as loudly as you like, at multi-media installation Megaphone in the heart of downtown Montreal in the Quartier des Spectacles. In the spirit of public discourse, the project encourages everyone to speak their mind into the megaphone and see their words projected colourfully on the side of a multi-storey building. Over in the city’s Latine Quarter, on St-Denis Street between Sherbrooke and Maisonneuve, take in some free entertainment in the form of live music, film, dance, comedy, sports and visual arts at the OUMF street party, September 4-7. Watch – or participate in – a dance battle, help paint murals on the pavement, and hear music by The Death Set, Duchess Says, Tommy Kruise, Lunice, and Radio Radio, presented by music festival M for Montreal.
(urban performance) Now in its 10th year, performance festival Les Escales Improbables, September 3-15, brings artists from around the world to perform in some of Montreal’s industrial historical sites, including the Old Port, an abandoned foundry, and a factory-turned-theatre. Outdoors, walk through Soundig, a scaffolding structure with port-holes and listening pipes that stream field recording, see Christophe Hocké’s one-man show Human Juke Box and even sing a few songs yourself in the Quartier des Spectacles; Montreal dancer-choreographer Peter Trosztmer performs his 5 Out of 6 Machines in Griffintown. The festival’s indoor programming showcases La Nuit aux 1000 oreilles, a musical performance by the Constantinople ensemble and Greek singer Savina Yannatouat, as well as collaborative creation Le Recours aux Forêts lead by Montreal artists Jean Lambert, Jean-Luc Therminarias, Michel Onfray, Carolyn Carlson and and François Royet.
(seeing is believing) The art of photography, including musings on the medium’s history and potential, is illuminated at festival Mois de la Photo, featuring 25 exhibitions at 14 venues around the city until October 5. Hear British curator Paul Wombell’s theories on drone photography, see Quebec photographer Michel Campeau’s newest work at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and more. Stop by the internationally-touring World Press Photo exhibition for a dose of current events as portrayed in photojournalism images from around the world. Short films a the high-tech SAT Fest turn the world upside-down in the 360-degree multimedia Satosphere dome. Don’t miss artist Michel de Broin’s playful solo exhibition of photography, videos and sculpture at the Musée d’art contemporain, extended until September 8. At the Parisian Laundry in the historic neighbourhood of St-Henri, see artist Cynthia Girard’s paintings, installed amongst a maze of scaffolding in exhibition “To My Friends the Unicorns,” as well as Alexandre David’s architectural exhibition “L’un sur l’autre” in the gallery’s bunker space.
(live music) Tap your toes to Charleston, South Carolina’s Shovels & Rope, playing their own style of folk-rock-country on Friday night at Petit Campus (57 Prince-Arthur E.). On Saturday, September 7, opt for something a little louder at the fifth annual Harvest Invitational Punk Rock Classic with Face To Face, Pennywise, Alkaline Trio and a bunch of other bands at the Olympic Park Esplanade. Later on, dance the night away as LCD Soundsystem’s James Murphy performs a DJ set at Telus Theatre. On Sunday, The Avett Brothers mix bluegrass, classic country and rock n’ roll at Metropolis, while San Diego indie-rockers Pinback return with new songs and old favourites, playing Il Motore with openers Deathfix . Monday night brings electronic music producer Flume (http://flumemusic.com/) all the way from Australia, with openers Tokimonsta and Touch Sensitive, at the Théâtre Telus (1280 St-Denis). Mellow out with classical music on September 11 as the McGill Chamber Orchestra celebrates its 74th anniversary with acclaimed soprano Sharon Azrieli and baritone Étienne Dupuis at the Azrieli Perez Pavilion (4192 Ste-Catherine W.). Also on Wednesday, British singer-songwriter and rapper Cher Lloyd, made famous via UK TV show “The X Factor,” plays Théâtre Corona, while on Thursday, American blues-rock band Grace Potter & The Nocturnals rocks out while opener, British singer-songwriter Lucy Rose, plays her heart out, at Théâtre Corona.