Sarah's Weekend List, August 19-21

Enjoy Persian dance stylings with Valeska Danse Perse, Friday afternoon at the Clock Tower, as part of the Orientalys Festival. PHOTO: Orientalys | Valeska Danse
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! Submit your event to


Trivia Show time! Please join me as I join top quizzer Dan Laxer and Trivia Control on Sunday, 9am to noon! 

The WWE returns to the Bell Centre for the first time in three years, with WWE Friday Night Smackdown, at 8pm. ‘Undisputed WWE Universal Champion’ Roman Reigns is the star attraction, plus catch Montrealer Kevin Owens go up against Riddle. Also on the card: fellow Montrealer Sami Zayn, along with Ronda Rousey, Liv Morgan, Ricochet, Natalya and more. 

Local rockers We Are Monroe at Le Ministere, Friday 8pm. 

You loved her as the Habs’ go-to anthem performer a few years’ back! Singer Sara Diamond performs her pop stylings at Bar Le Ritz PDB, Friday 8pm. 

Montreal indie band Plants and Animals open up for Chicago alt-rock kings Wilco, MTelus, Saturday 7:30pm. 

German industrial rockers Rammstein have rescheduled their August 2020 show to this Sunday, 7pm at Parc Jean-Drapeau. 

Orientalys Festival celebrates a broad array of cultures from three different continents, inspired by the ‘atmosphere and energy of the souks of Damascus, Casablanca, Bangkok and other Oriental cities’. Wander the Medina between lives performances and workshops! On Friday, check out Mushfiq Hashimi’s Bollywood stylings (5:30pm) or the 1001 DJs night (9:30pm). Valeska Danse Perse presents graceful choreography, at 2:15pm. Or take a workshop: Ana Danse leads a dance class at 4:30pm, and there is a Thai fruit carving atelier at 6:45pm. Performances and workshops at the Clock Tower Quay until Sunday. 

The 29th edition of Italfest concludes Saturday, with a full spate of programming at the Quartier des spectacles! On Friday, check otu the FIAT 500 exhibit 2 to 10pm. Paul Cargnello kicks off a day of music programming with his DJ set, at 2pm on both Friday and Saturday. On Sunday, take a bus tour in Little Italy of the works of legendary stained glass artist Guido Nincheri. 

The India Canada Organization marks the 75th anniversary of Partition and the founding of India with a family-friendly party, with free food, music and activities for kids. It is the 20th year of the party’s existence, ramping up after a pandemic lull. Saturday, 2:30-8:30pm at Jean Talon Park. 

Final weekend to check out: Hudson Village Theatre’s brand-new comedy that tackles land, ownership and neighbourly relations: Feather Gardens. Metal detector hobbyist Oscar finds a piece of Indigenous history right in his own backyard, so he goes to neighbouring Kanehsatake to seek help authenticating his find. Tommy and Vern vow to help Oscar - but are their intentions true? Co-created by HVT artistic director Dean Patrick Fleming and author and performer Jimmy Blais. Until Saturday.

Montreal Improv hosts Summer Fling | Flirt d’été, a packed program of improvised shows, at its new digs in St-Henri.Some will be bilingual, others will use live music to compliment the performance onstage. Multiple shows Friday until Sunday. 

Ah, two of my favourite art forms smashed together! La Tohu hosts Impro-Cirque, which pits two teams of three circus performers (and an accompanying musician) against one other through various thematic challenges. One of the most disciplined forms soars to spontaneous heights! The audience picks the winner. Every Thursday and Friday in August, at 9:30pm. There are discounts for multiple show passes. 

The Comedy Nest hosts the very funny Rodney Ramsey, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.

Film Noir au Canal goes neo-noir with its closing offering, Martin Scorsese’s The Departed. The 2006 flick (and four-time Oscar laureate!) follows two infiltrators: one, a Boston cop sneaking into a criminal organization, while a baddie tries to sneak his way into police ranks. Swing trio Mélodie and The Mellow Tunes kick off the fun at 6:45pm, followed by a lecture by film noir specialist and critic Helen Faradji. The film screens at 8pm. Bring chairs. Free on Sunday at Square Saint-Patrick. 

On the bill at Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room this weekend: Miss Meow, Lily Monroe, Butterscotch Blondie and Sugar Vixen. Shows Friday and Saturday.

The Jackson 5 and Niagara’s own ‘80s icons Honeymoon Suite bring the party at the annual Strangers in the Night gala and banquet. Saturday, 7pm at Complexe Pointe-Claire. Proceeds go to the West Island Friends For Mental Health, Cure SMA and West Island Women's Shelter. 

There is another Montreal RibFest this weekend, this time at the Provigo Angus, at 2926 Rachel E. Proceeds benefit Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Montreal, with delicious food and music. Friday and Saturday, 11am to 10pm. Sunday, 11am to 7pm.  

The 10th annual fundraising regatta for the Quebec Adapted Sailing Association will support its work with sailors who live with disabilities. Check out the competition or sponsor a boat, this Saturday at the Pointe-Claire Yacht Club. 

Former Impact stars Patrice Bernier and Hassoun Camara lead opposing teams in a friendly match for DDO’s all-star soccer charity game. Moneys raised go to Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Sainte-Justine CHU Foundation, and the Shriners Hospitals for Children. At Dollard-des-Ormeaux Park on Saturday, 11:30am to 2:30pm. 

And best of success to the riders and walkers for Le Week-end pour combattre le cancer 2022! Sponsor an athlete or team in the journey to raise $2 million for the Jewish General Hospital’s Segal Cancer Centre. Cyclists ride Saturday, and walkers walk through Vaudreuil-Dorion on Sunday. 


And two shows about two boundary-breaking artists have been extended to Labour Day: The Arsenal’s immersive show about the life and work of an iconic Mexican surrealist! Frida Kahlo, The Life of an Icon is in a similar vein to the recent Monet show: a big airy space filled with colourful, dynamic projections. At the Arsenal Contemporary art Gallery, now until September 5. Stranger Than Kindness is based on the life and work of Nick Cave, the Aussie-born artist known for his deep baritone and religiously-tinged lyrics probing love, religion and violence.Keep your eyes peeled for an email Leonard Cohen wrote to Cave after tragedy hit his family… Cohen is one of Cave’s inspirations, and that’s partly why Stranger Than Kindness is stopping off here after its inaugural run in Copenhagen. Galerie de la Maison du Festival, 305 Sainte-Catherine, until September 5. 

Exporail, the Canadian train museum in St Constant, relaunches its 1959 MTC tramway on Saturday. See what it was like to commute way back when by by hitching a ride on the refurbished tram. Also on offer: Train, a Railroad to Dreams: A World in Miniature. It’s an homage to toy trains… so you start with the smallest of the trains, then pivot to marvel at the 50 life-size vehicles on display in the Grand Gallery.

Phi Foundation hosts whimsical, mega-popular Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama with her show, Dancing Lights That Flew Up To The Universe. The show includes her legendary Infinity Mirrored Rooms, pumpkins and more. (Tickets are free, but the virtual box office opens up on the 15th of the previous month.) And nip down the street to the Phi Centre to check out a spate of shows: a virtual reality smorgasbord in Horizons and the seven levels of purgatory in Marco Brambilla’s immersive Heaven’s Gate.

The Insectarium has reopened post-renovation with a fresh look at all the creepy, crawly, pretty creatures. The team redesigned the space to give visitors an intimate look at what it is to be an insect: in the Alcoves, vibrating floors and ultraviolet projections allow you to imagine how insects feel and see the world. Visitors get to move like an insect, too, slipping through cracks or trodding on rods hanging from the ceiling. Then you get to observe bugs up close, followed by a trip through the Dome, and finally, a greenhouse-like space, the Great Vivarium, where roaming butterflies are the special attraction. 

At the Montreal Science Centre, explore evolution in Human or explore the process of invention in Fabrik - Creativity Factory. Plus, the movie theatre is open, so you can sit back and learn about Sea Lions and the Great Bear Rainforest - in IMAX 3D! 

At the McCord: Piqutiapiit celebrates and elucidates the incredible craftwork of Inuit women. Montreal-based, Kuujjuaq-born artist  Niap is the driving force behind the show. We view the tools and the practical works they helped to craft, including beadwork and clothing. And there is original work from Niap, who is currently artist-in-residence at the McCord. 

Also check out the fascinating exhibit JJ Levine: Queer Portraits. The Montreal artist presents 52 intimate images of people who self-identify as queer, selected from three different series taken between now and 2006. 

Cabaret Celeste is a new show at the recently renovated Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth Hotel. A meeting room has been converted to a cozy cabaret space for this Cirque Éloize production, which was cancelled hours before its original opening back in December (thanks, Omicron). Celeste draws inspiration from the astrophysical… think tarot, horoscopes, planets and deities … and it is by equal turns sensual and silly! I loved the creative clay juggling act, and the master of ceremony’s Cyr wheel act. The talented and gorgeous Coral Egan provides the vocals through a slew of pop songs, ranging from Frank Sinatra to Coldplay to Leonard Cohen.