What to do this weekend: Sept 15-17

Sarah Deshaies produces the Andrew Carter Morning Show. Every Friday at 8:20am, she tells you about the big, quirky and off-the-beaten-path events happening in Montreal. Here is this week's list, with links for more information so you can get out and enjoy the city! 

Pop Montreal celebrates its Sweet Sixteen! The sprawling, indie music festival brings hundreds of bands to venues all over the Plateau. Check out the schedule here. To take in the fun for free, there's Session 375 X POP Montreal, a  big outdoor barbecue Saturday at POP HQ (the ancien Ecole des beaux-arts on St Urbain) with a noon to 7pm lineup, with DJs like Bonjay, Lunice and Kid Koala. There is also a vinyl sale and the wonderful Puces Pop craft fair at Eglise St Denis.

This weekend is your last chance to catch La grande tournée... a travelling park party that has hit up 18 of Montreal’s boroughs, finishing up with Parc des Faubourgs in Ville-Marie. There’s a free circus show, food and an art installation involving cats. Check out the three-day schedule here.

Yes, everyone is headed to the movies to catch the IT reboot, but I can promise you a more engaging, entertaining and elevated form of the art at the second Montreal Clown FestivalThis plucky newbie fest highlights the fact that Montreal is the circus and clown capital of North America, with an eclectic program that ranges from a yoga instructor clown (Coriander, performed by a real-life yogi), to creepy, metro-dwelling bouffon (Cul de sac) to husband-and-wife duo Philippe and Becky doing cabaret comedy (La vie tragique des étoiles). Most shows are at MainLine Theatre, with a fundraising balloon animal workshop on Saturday afternoon. Full schedule is here.

Louise Penny, a journalist-turned-mystery writer, has made a cottage industry writing about the SQ detective Inspector Gamache and his friends in a tiny village in the Eastern Townships. The 13th book in the series, Glass Houses, is out now. Louise will be the Renaud-Bray bookstore on Saturday at 2pm, signing copies and dispensing her wit. Ask her about her recent visit from Bill and Hill (aka the Clintons)!

Super Mega Continental will feature 375 amateur dancers in a giant, contemporary line dance outdoors. Special for Montreal's birthday, this is supersized version of a show that has toured around the world since it first appeared in Montreal in 2009. The non-pro dancers have been training for weeks at the Olympic Stadium to learn their steps! This production, choreographed by Sylvain Emard, is happening outside at Place des Festivals. Catch it Friday at 8pm, Saturday at 4 and 8pm, and Sunday at 4pm. (It's also free, and followed by a dance party programmed by DJ Poirier.)

Here is a preview: 


For fans of improv comedy and sports, Will Hines will be in town to present his Play by Play show for the first time in this city, Friday at 10pm at Montreal Improv. Hines is a LA-based writer and performer who got his start with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City, and has since appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, Brooklyn 99 and Community, as well as some choice Funny or Die videos. In Play by Play, he and another performer provide colour commentary on the 'game' unfolding onstage as improvisers do their thing. 

Two cool things happening at the Botanical Gardens this weekend: Saturday is a garlic party! From 9am to 6pm, fifteen garlic producers will be offering their wares tomorrow, along with tastings, and garlic braiding workshops. (Note: cash only if you plan on buying.) Be sure to stick around for nightfall, when the 25th Gardens of Light show comes on. The annual lantern show, featuring the traditional Chinese and Japanese Gardens, kicked off last week. A new addition is the First Nations Garden, which features a giant poplar, known as the Sacred Tree.

Cheer on the new faces of burlesque with Naughty Newbies, Friday night at The Wiggle Room! The lineup includes newcomers like Rosy Red, Miami Minx and Ohlala JouJou.