Sarah’s Weekend List, February 17-19
The mid-winter festival Montreal en lumière launched this week, with outings in the world of music, gastronomy and outdoor fun! The outdoor site is up and running, with a skating path and Ferris wheel to explore at Quartier des spectacles. Other highlights this weekend: megawatt London-based gospel group The Kingdom Choir (they performed at Harry and Meghan’s wedding!) brings their uplifting energy and presence to Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Sunday at 4pm. Montreal en lumière continues to March 5.
Another Montreal en lumière production: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of iconic artist Jean Paul Riopelle, and a new multimedia work aims to pay homage to the many chapters of his career and life. Artistic director Nicolas Lemieux is overseeing the ambitious show, Riopelle symphonique, which includes original music by Serge Fiori of Harmonium and Blair Thomson, and a collage of LED screens which trace his experimental beginnings in this city to the inspiration drawn from the Far North and his final years in post-war France. Performed by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, the Chœur des Petits Chanteurs de Laval and the Temps Fort Choir, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Friday and Saturday, 8pm.
Last weekend to check out the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ popular Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music, the first major exploration of the electric artist’s work held in this city. The MMFA teamed up with the Musée de la musique - Philharmonie de Paris to examine the role of music in his work, from Beethoven to Charlie Parker to Maria Callas to New York’s underground scene. The MMFA goes on to launch Parall(elles), a look at the influence of female designers beginning in the mid-19th century. It starts Saturday.
Montreal’s Black History Month programming, themed From Darkness to Light, continues. Check out the full programming expected this month. Ayana O’Shun’s documentary Le mythe de la femme noire will be screened Saturday at Cinéma du Parc and Cinéma Quartier Latin. The Cinémathèque québécoise screens Blacula and Scream Blacula Scream on Friday as part of a Blaxploitation series.
Montreal’s Black Healing Centre is hosting The Black Wellness Summit, a two-day event for members of the community to ‘connect, recharge, rest’ with Afro-positive mental health programming. Activities include yoga, a sound bath and discussions on self-care and navigating conflict. It concludes Sunday night with a community dinner. Saturday and Sunday, at Articule, 6282 St Hubert, near Beaubien metro.
Circa presents Humans 2.0, an update of their acclaimed Humans performance, created by Yaron Lifschitz. Ten performers push their physical limits in this intimate show, at La Tohu, Friday and Saturday, 8pm and Sunday, 2pm.
Contemporary dance company Red Sky Performance presents Miigis: Panthère d’eau, a powerful rendition of the Anishnaabe creation myth, for Danse Danse. The show also references the trauma of the residential school system with bone-chilling choreography and imagery. Tickets remain for Saturday, 3pm at Studio-Théâtre, Édifice Wilder.
Wrestling is the on the bill at the Bell Centre: WWE Friday Night Smackdown (Drew Mcintyre, Sami Zayn, The New Day, Braun Strowman, Rey Mysterio, Liv Morgan) goes Friday, 7:45pm and WWE Elimination Chamber will be held for the first time ever in Canada. It’s Roman Reign vs Montrealer Sami Zayn in the Undisputed WWE Universal Championship Match! Saturday 7:30pm.
And if you are still thirsty for wrassling, Battlewar: Les Super Étoiles de Lutte will feature competitors like Benjamin Tull, "Mononc" St-Jacques, Zak Patterson, Kevin Blanchard, Shayne Hawke, Les VIP and champ Thomas Dubois. Sunday, 8pm at Foufounes électriques.
Major video game competition: come watch the world’s top 20 Rainbow Six: Siege teams duke it out at the Six Invitational. The online game is a tactical shooter developed by Ubisoft Montreal. Friday through Sunday, at Place Bell in Laval.
Musical choices on Friday: alt-indie singer Lights brightens up Fairmount Theatre, 8pm and another Canuck, pop singer Forest Blakk, hits up Bar Le Ritz ‘PDB’, 8pm.Talented New Zealand singer-songwriter Kimbra (she’s someone we used to know!) at Le Studio TD, 8pm.
Orchestre Métropolitain presents the début of Denis Gougeon’s Double Concerto for Cello and Harp, with harpist Valérie Milot and cellist Stéphane Tétreault. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5 and Germaine Tailleferre are also on the menu. At Maison symphonique, Friday, 7:30pm.
French rapper Tiakola plays MTelus two nights in a row, Friday and Saturday, 8pm.
On Sunday: Toronto singer Nemahsis at Le Studio TD, 8pm and British rapper Central Cee, Corona Theatre, 8pm.
The World Goes ‘Round is a revue of the hits and lesser-known songs by John Kander and Fred Ebb, the dazzling duo behind hits like Cabaret and Chicago. Performed by Opera McGill, overseen by another famous duo, music director Chris Barillaro and director/choreo Jonathan Patterson, Saturday, 7:30pm and Sunday, 2pm.
A new art exhibit at the Montreal Art Center and Museum is marking the one-year mark since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine. The touring show is named Doors, with the intent of showing the effects of war with a range of art, including photography and children’s drawings. In collaboration with the Ukrainian National Federation of Quebec Montreal, with fundraising for war relief. Until February 24.
The ‘deliciously sarcastic’ Graham Kay (Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Fallon) headlines at the Comedy Nest with support from Andrew Ivimey, Cathy Boyd, Darren Henwood and more. Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.
I’ll be making an appearance At Montreal Improv this Saturday! I’ll be one of the participants selecting cards for Improv Against Humanity, which is modelled on the risqué card game. Improvisers will create scenes inspired by our responses to a slew of wild questions. There are several other improv shows through the weekend, plus a performance by the St-Henri Jazz Society, on Sunday, 5pm.
Regular live-drawing session Dr Sketchy Montreal hosts Cyr C. Délicieuse, who will pose in tribute to Edgar Dégas. Think ballerinas and Belle Époque vibes! Saturday, 2 to 5pm at MainLine Theatre.
Keep the V-Day vibes going: Burlesque venue The Wiggle Room has selected Seduction as the theme this weekend! Starring Miami Minx, Galadriel Caresse and Black Mamba, with Rose de Flore and Audrey Ivory joining the Saturday show. Friday and Saturday, 9pm.
Can you spare 15 minutes for the birds? The 26th annual Great Backyard Bird Count begins Friday and goes until Monday. To participate, you just need to observe birds for 15 minutes at a minimum, and submit your findings! Find out more participating here.
CHECK OUT A MUSEUM
- The Espace pour la vie umbrella is open, including the Botanical Gardens, Biosphère, Planetarium and recently-renovated Insectarium.
- At the McCord Stewart Museum, there are three photography exhibits ongoing: Alex Henderson’s outdoor images, a 50th anniversary revisiting of the Quebec Disraeli project and Michel Huneault’s portrayal of the pandemic.
- Pointe-à-calliere Museum has a new show about headdresses both ordinary and ceremonial from around the world, as well as a display of 400 ‘coup-de-coeur’ items for its 30th anniversary (and the city’s 380th) in 2022.
- Exporail, the Canadian train museum in St Constant, has put up their Christmas décor for fun viewing with the kids.
- The historic Chateau Ramezay in Old Montreal shares Christmas traditions, including a $10 stocking you can purchase for your kid, then return to pick up with something from Santa starting January 2.
- The Ecomuseum in Ste Anne’s is open through the holidays, with special programming for kids and families.
Lasting Impressions wraps you up in various iconic scenes painted by the artists both in and adjacent to the Impressionist movement. Get cozy with Renoir’s luncheon guests and idle with Georges Seurat’s park-goers, while enveloped in a French soundtrack ranging from Debussy to Piaf to Aznavour. The first half is a primer to the artists, highlighting lesser-known women artists. After an entracte, you don yellow 3D glasses for the full immersive effect. Seating is arranged like a bistro, complete with a simple menu and wine list. At Espace St-Denis until March 12.
The Van Gogh - Distorsion immersive walk-through show returns from its COP15-Christmas break as of Monday. Experience 225 of the iconic artist’s works in this three-gallery show, set up in the OASIS immersion space at Palais des congrès.
Get moving and go for a walk, skate, toboggan or cross-country ski… check out which parks have recently maintained hills, trails and skating rinks at the City of Montreal’s portal.
Two places to lace up your skates (whether you rent or bring your own): The skating rink at Esplanade Tranquille is in its second season! This is on Ste Catherine, near Place des Arts.The Old Port Skating Rink has full weekend entertainment, including Fabulous Fridays, live music on Saturdays and games and games for Family Sundays. Admission for one day is $8.25, $5.65 for kids 6 to 12, and free for under 6. Until March 5.
The 13th edition of Luminothérapie provides opportunities for wonder (and social media photos!) outside at the Esplanade at Place des Arts. Check out seven interactive light installations, and four video projections. Daily, 10 am to 11pm, until March 5.
The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains displays over 350 artifacts from the band’s days touring and recording… from audio equipment to cover art to set pieces. The show made a splash at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2017, and has been touring the world - now it’s your turn to discover the story behind the music! Opens Friday at Arsenal Contemporary Art Gallery in Griffintown, until March 5. (Hear Andrew’s chat with album cover designer and exhibit founder Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell here.)