Sarah's Weekend List, August 5-7

Pride celebrations continue with blockbuster concerts at the Big O, and culminate in Sunday's Pride Parade. PHOTO: Fierté Montréal
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

Montreal Fierté closes out the weeklong festivities with free shows until 11pm at the Big O, with artists like Coeur de pirate, Sarahmée and Laura Niquay on the bill. 

The Pride Parade traces a 2.9km route from Metcalfe (heart of the former Gay Village) along René Lévesque Boulevard to Alexandre deSève in today’s Village. It begins at 1pm, with the traditional moment of silence at 2:30pm. 

And you have two more chances to catch Dave St-Pierre’s Rapture. The new dance show fills the hallowed space of Le Monastère, with an inclusive dance crew highlighting the vibrancy and resiliency of the queer company in the face of the AIDS epidemic. I caught the opening - the show is fluid, dramatic and harrowing. Friday and Saturday, 7pm. 

After Osheaga, comes three-day dance-a-thon Île Soniq. The site at Parc Jean Drapeau has been refreshed with new arts installations and activities to welcome a stacked schedule of dance and electronic acts. Headliners: Zomboy and Eric Prydz on Friday, Dom Dola, French Montana, Sean Paul and Illenium on Saturday, and Ganja White Night and Swedish House Mafia on Sunday. 

A mega First Friday event this weekend! The monthly food party marks its 10th anniversary by decamping from its usual hangout at the Big O for the Old Port for a three-day extravaganza. This time, there is actually an admission charge of $3, which enters you into a draw for two plane tickets to Los Angeles. You will have access to tons of food trucks, like Le Petit Vibe, Spice Bros and Ono Pokii, live music - and fireworks on Sunday night. 

The mysteriously glam country star Orville Peck rocks out at Corona Theatre, Sunday 8pm. 

Chicago indie rockers Horsegirl hits up Petit Campus with Dummy and Rufus Cesspool, Saturday, 8pm. 

Hudson Village Theatre premieres a brand-new comedy this weekend 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 August 20.

Last weekend to check out Repercussion Theatre’s Shakespeare-in-the-Park! All Shall Be Well is a new creation that mines the Canon for the Bard’s take on living through plague times. This weekend: Friday at Fritz Park in Hudson, followed by a tour-ending stop in the Plateau on Saturday, Jeanne-Mance Park. Bring something comfy to sit on with your snacks and drinks. Free, but donations are accepted. (Follow along in French or English with the show app.)  

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. 

Before Friday’s show, check out La Veilleuse, Cabaret holographique - a free, half-hour show from France that pays homage to the ‘ghost lamp’. Friday, 8:45pm. 

Also at La Tohu: It’s the final weekend to check out Barka, a joyfully rambling, musical circus offering from Creations Giravago. Until Saturday. 

The 29th edition of Italfest launches this week, with a drive-in screening of La Dolce Vita in Kirkland, and bocce and soccer tournament in NDG on Saturday. Until August 20.

The Comedy Nest hosts headliner Gavin Stephens, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.

Film Noir au Canal presents Robert Aldrich’s hitchhiker thriller Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Jazz trumpeter Bertrand Margelidon sets the scene at 7pm, followed by filmmaker and critic Marcel Jean’s opening lecture. The film screens at 8:30m. Bring chairs. Free on Sunday at Square Saint-Patrick. 

A Horse Tale rescue hosts a family-friendly fundraiser. A Day in The Country will feature hay rides, bake and craft tables, games, a corn roast and of course - photos with rescued horses. $10 per person, free for kids under 5. Saturday, 11am to 4pm, at 27 Chemin Murphy in Vaudreuil-Dorion. 

On the bill at Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room this weekend: Roxy Torpedo, Winona J Fox, Jolie Lolita and Rose de Flore. Shows Friday and Saturday.


And two shows about two iconic 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.

The Innocent is your guide to the fantastical world of Charivari in Kooza, Cirque du soleil’s first big show under the big top in Montreal since 2019. At the Old Port until August 14. 

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. 

Indie venue Montreal Improv is back, at its new home in St Henri. Catch one or more of the four shows up this weekend! Tickets and schedules here

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. 

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts presents Nicolas Party: L'heure mauve, a look at the Swiss artist’s pastels, watercolours and sculptures, set against murals he’s painted in the Museum… plus with 50 works selected by Party from the Museum’s collection. The show title is a reference to ‘that fleeting moment when the fading light casts purple hues over the landscape’ - how dreamy!