Sarah's Weekend List, June 17-19

Final weekend to Fringe! Fest director Amy Blackmore and Mado Lamotte pictured here, having a blast! PHOTO: Cindy Lopez
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



Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, steps, grandpas, uncles, big bros, mentors and work dads - and a big hug to anyone missing their dad or taking a break this year. I’m looking forward to seeing my papa after I co-host the Trivia Show this Sunday with (dad-of-two) Dan Laxer! Join us Sunday, 9am to noon. 

Formula 1 is in town! Seats at the race are sold out, but you can absorb the excitement and feeling downtown by trotting down the Festival Grand Prix sur Crescent, stacked with live music and the pit stop challenge all weekend. Club New City Gas gets into the act with Grand Prix programming: duo Loud Luxury on Friday, DJ Steve Aoki on Saturday, and DJ Guy Laliberté on Sunday. 

Final weekend to check out my coup de coeur, The St Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. Most shows have two to three performances left! You can check out some of my early recommendations here. I loved research project slash play The Murder Next Door and two storytelling shows: The Disney Delusion, and Al Lafrance’s Is This Yours?, a storytelling show about a mysterious board game designer and other delights. Fest beer garden the Fringe Park hosts live music and events, at St Laurent and Rachel…including the famous Drag Races, hosted by Mado Lamotte, Saturday at 4pm. Participate in the Quebec Drama Federation’s Fringe Bingo to win prizes, on Saturday, 1pm. And for late-night fun, check out the nightly ‘talk show’ The 13th Hour, at 23:59pm every night at MainLine Theatre (with dancing to follow!)  Tickets range between $7.25 to $15.25, with multipasses available. No physical tickets this year - you are encouraged to book your tickets online but can still buy at the door. Until Sunday. 

Final weekend for Les Francofolies, with free and ticketed musical performances. Louis-Jean Cormier holds a free show Friday, 9pm, followe dby Quebec City “disco-classico-pop-cumbia-rock-psych” quartet Beat Sexü, gratis at 10pm. The musician well-known for composing the delightfully twee score to the film Amélie Yann Tiersen performs at MTelus, Saturday at 9pm.  Until Saturday. 

Festival Mural is back for its 10th edition with an explosion of music and visual art! The Main has closed between Sherbrooke to Mont-Royal for the sidewalk fest, so you can stroll up and down the Boulevard, spotting artists working on new work of art. You can also go on a guided tour of the Plateau’s murals. And around festival HQ near Prince-Arthur, take in live live music and workshops. Friday will see a mix of music, DJs and burlesque, and Saturday night’s House of Work will spotlight dance music - both continue until 11pm. Adriana hosts Tropicalissima Drag Brunch Sunday morning. The festival runs until Sunday. 

New wave ‘80s cover band The Tina Trons hold a fundraiser show to benefit rebuilding on the Oxacan coast of Mexico, recovering after hurricane Agatha made landfall late last month. Friday, Barfly at 8pm. 

LA indie-pop duo Slenderbodies at Bar Le Ritz, Saturday 8pm. 

The OBGMs X NOBRO and opener Barnacle hit up Foufounes Electriques, Friday at 8pm. Mexican rockers the Villareal sisters (Daniela, Paulina and Alejandra) aka The Warning with their opener, Romes, hit up Foufs the following evening Saturday, 8pm. 

Family fun and music in Little Italy for the Festival Piccola, with St Laurent pedestrian-only between St-Zotique and Jean-Talon. There is live music each evening, including pop singer-songwriter Thais and reggae group Inus Aso. Circus workshops, bubbles and face painting for kids on Saturday and Sunday, along with some clown performances. For the big kids, take a class in yoga, salsa or bachata. Until Sunday. 

Our Friday morning guest, and the first person we’ve welcomde in studio post-pandemic (!), former Montrealer Martha Chaves headlines the Comedy Nest, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm. 

Comedian and HBO host Bill Maher brings his twice-rescheduled standup show to Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, Sunday 8pm. 

Why is gun violence on the rise? Up-and-coming Montreal performer and writer Oliver Koomsatira is trying to answer that question with his solo show, Psycho 6. Koomsatira delves into both his own experiences as well as data and research into gun violence this piece, which also blends music, rap and movement. This Teesri Duniya show continues at the MAI until June 22, with a two-for-one ticket deal this weekend! 

The chronicler of Ville-Emard Vittorio Rossi picks up the thread of the Italo-Montrealer Testa family in his new play, Legacy. Here, we meet the clan several years out from Rossi’s original play, The Chain. Whispers of corruption have imperiled the family’s landscaping business. Rossi not only wrote the play, and stars in it, too! Legacy has just opened at Leonardo da Vinci Centre. Until June 26. 

Tableau d’hote Theatre has pioneered outdoor shows during the pandemic, and now they apply what they’ve learned to a new creation…on a boat! Voyage takes audience members on a one-hour, 9-kilometre jaunt along the Lachine Canal, starting in Griffintown and ending in Ville-Emard. Free, but you must reserve in advance. The show itself: nearly 100 artists and community members performing vignettes along the water. Saturday and Sunday, with three departures: 1, 3:30 and 6pm. 

Miriam Cummings presents her magical solo show The One, the story of a woman looking for love on the verge of turning 30. At the Freestanding Room. Until Sunday. 

On the bill at Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room this weekend: The Foxy Lexxi Brown, Lily Monroe, Madrose and Roxy Torpedo. Shows Friday and Saturday.

The Montreal Model Train Exposition chugs into town, with model trains, exhibitors and vendors galore. Proceeds from ticket sales go to support Sun Youth. Saturday and Sunday, 1am to 5pm at Kirkland Arena. 

Big movie opening this weekend: the Toy Story prequel Lightyear zooms into cinemas. We meet Space Ranger Buzz Lightyear (Chris Evans), the inspiration for toy Buzz, who ends up stranded on a scary planet after a rescue mission goes horribly wrong. 


A new immersive show about the life and work of an iconic Mexican surrealist has just opened! 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 until July 24. 

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. 

Variations Mile End is a dance school now launching a space for improv and comedy performances on the Plateau. Performer and manager Jason Grimmer launched comedy classes during the pandemic, and now students and comedy lovers can visit Théatre VME for performances. Four shows this weekend, Friday and Saturday at 8 and 9:30pm. 

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. 

And reminder that the first signs of spring will also be visible nearby at the Botanical Gardens, and the Planetarium and the Biodome are also open - but getting your timed ticket in advance is an absolute must! A little further away, on Ile Sainte-Hélène, the Biosphère is also open. 

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! 

Stranger Than Kindness is a new exhibition 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. We start in his hometown Wangaratta, then travel to London then Berlin, then a loving recreation of his actual home office. Over 300 bits of ephemera, from lyrics to letters, books to bits of hair, bring the show to livid life. 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. The show opens Friday at Galerie de la Maison du Festival, 305 Sainte-Catherine. Until August 7. 

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! 

Exporail, the Canadian train museum in St Constant presents: 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.