There’s something in the air this week in Montreal, and it’s not just a cool autumn breeze – the city has gone even more arts crazy than usual – art is everywhere! Along with its friend’s music, theatre, dance and film. From the Latin Quarter’s OUMF festival to Quartier des Spectacles’ Arts Marathon, from Le Mois de la Photo to a tattoo art convention, Montreal has the arts covered this week, especially for those who wish to make the most of staying outdoors in these last warm weeks of the year…
(night lights) As the nights grow cooler and start earlier, The Magic of Lanterns, at the Chinese Garden in the Montreal Botanical Garden (4101 Sherbrooke East), celebrates the light in the darkness. Over 700 handcrafted lanterns glimmer from September 9 to October 31, this year thematically paired with China’s intriguing first Emperor, Qin Shi Huangdi, and his cavalry, including a recreation of a section of the Great Wall as well as musical tributes on Tuesday and Saturday evenings.
(latin quarter flavor) Montreal’s newest festival, OUMF, takes over the city’s Latin Quarter (on and around St-Denis between Ste-Catherine E. and Sherbrooke) until September 10 with public art installations at Place Pasteur and Paul De Marinis’s Raindance installation at the corner of Emery and St-Denis, film screenings at the Cinémathèque Québécoise and National Film Board’s CinéRobothèque, every evening from 4 p.m. until late, music in the street from local bands like We Are Wolves, Parlovr, Valleys and Random Recipe, and music in metro.
(shop vintage) Pop Montreal doesn’t start until September 21, but everyone’s getting their show-goin’, rock n’ rollin’ outfits in order at Vintage Pop, every day to September 10 at Off Interarts (5143/45 St-Laurent). Amuse yourself by perusing an array of exclusive vintage clothing for men and women, accessories and housewares from the 1920s to the 90s, all hunted down by the some of the city’s best vintage hunters. Cash only!
(arts marathon) Ten of Montreal’s biggest cultural institutions team up for Le Marathon des Arts, September 10–11 at the Quartier des Spectacles, from before noon to well after dark. Get your fill of music, opera, theatre, dance, visual and circus arts from Les Grands Ballets Canadiens, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Opera de Montreal, the National Library of Quebec, Theatre du Nouveau Monde, Tohu, Place des Arts and more, including an open house at the Montreal Symphony Orchestra’s new concert hall, featuring tours and live music.
(photo finish) The 12th edition of Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal, in galleries and cultural centres around the city, sees photographers working with the theme of “lucidity” and shedding their artistic light into dark corners of the world and the human psyche. In 25 solo exhibitions, outdoor installations and group shows by artists from Canada and around the world, Le Mois de la Photo à Montréal makes itself at home all over town. Coincidentally, photojournalism exhibition, World Press Photo is at Marché Bonsecours (325 de la Commune, in Old Montreal) until early October.
(tattoo art too) This week is packed with all kinds of art, so it seems kind of logical that body art should get in on the act too. Art Tattoo Montreal (September 9–11) sees over 150 tattoo artists as well as tattoo-industry suppliers (from ink to books, clothing and jewellery) from Montreal and around North America and Europe set up at Windsor Station (1160 de la Gauchetière, near the Bell Centre), to show – and make – their art, talk about their work, and have a good time – yes, there will be burlesque performances and an appearance by Zombie Boy, plus afterparties at, where else, Foufounes Electriques.
(theatrical dance) Director and choreographer Domy Reiter-Soffer takes the helm of Equus at the Segal Centre, producing an original and captivating theatre-meets-dance version of the story of a teenage boy and his psychiatrist and the complex question of madness. Also on September 12, the Segal Centre celebrates Global Interdependence Day, with a panel discussion on “Peace Building Through the Arts” at 4:30 p.m and at 8:30 p.m. a performance of play In Transit. And, at Theatre La Chappelle, to September 17, Montreal choreographer and dancer Virginie Brunelle shows her newest work, the beautiful, emotional and technically impressive Complexe des Genres.
(art at the quays) The 8th edition of art and performance festival Les Escales Improbables continues to September 11 with all kinds of highly arty music, dance, theatre and art installations at the Quays of the Old Port during the day (free!). Take an audio stroll around the world in installation La Babel Sonore, listen to a new take on movie soundtracks, watch the live painting of Collective RGB, see L’Ensemble Karel’s urban soundscape sculpture, hear Nozen’s blend of jazz, and much more.
(fall for music) Friday night starts the week old-school (by which I mean ‘90s) with J Mascis, of Dinosaur Jr, which in my opinion has never gotten old, at La Sala Rosa (4848 St-Laurent). On Sunday, September 11, Bande à Part presents an all-Canadian Piknic Électronik with Aaron Santos, Nitin, James Teej and My Favorite Robot. And on Sunday night, Irish musician James Vincent McMorrow and Marissa Nadler make a beautiful noise, at La Sala Rosa. On Monday, The Jim Jones Revue and Kid Congo Powers bring punk rock back to Casa del Popolo, and Tuesday night at La Sala Rossa, it’s Australia’s avant-garde improv-jazz-noise The Necks with AUN and Barn Owl.