Sarah's Weekend List, May 27-29

A man tunes and plays a guitar in rising waters in Holoscenes, a live 'aquarium' installation by Lars Jan, on this weekend as part of the Festival TransAmériques. PHOTO: Vivien Gaumand
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




Festival TransAmériques has kicked off its 16th edition. The internationally-renown festival brings in daring, eccentric theatre and dance spectacles from here and around the globe. Check out Holoscenes, an eco-anxiety installation by Lars Jan at Place Tranquille (near Place-des-Arts) that features performers doing everyday acts in a big ‘aquarium’... while the water rises, the performers adapt - but until what point? This free, five-hour show begins at 6pm, running until Sunday. Also free and outdoors: Save the last dance for me, which revives the ‘polka chinata’ at Marché Maisonneuve, twice daily on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets are going fast, so don’t hesitate! Until June 9. 

Festival Accès Asie celebrates Asian stories, art and culture through a wide disciplinary lens. Check out Unexpected Path an ode to contemporary, solo dance, Friday at 7:30pm at the Conservatoire de musique et d’art dramatique de Montréal, or try a free, on-demand online origami workshop. The varied programming continues until Sunday. 

The Montreal Comic Arts Festival takes over St Denis, with dozens of exhibitors and 200 artists like Julie Doucet, Christian Quesnel, and Tania Mignacca. Comics lovers can avail themselves of workshops, roundtables, conversations and more, and stroll the ‘1.5km comic book trail’. Until Sunday on St-Denis between Gilford and Roy stress.

Celebrate La Fete du croissant by picking up a fresh croissant for $1.25 at participating patisseries. A sampling of locations: Duc de Lorraine in Cote des Neiges, Brioche à tête in Villeray and Marius and Fanny in Lachine. All day Saturday - but get there early! 

Yum! The Grand PoutineFest has arrived at Fairview Pointe-Claire, in the parking lot near Hudson’s Bay. With over 20 poutines to choose from (including the limited burrito poutine!) and a variety of family-friendly fun. Friday to Sunday, starting at noon. (Shoutout to the organizers for offering up recyclable, reusable and compostable containers.)

Fresh off her triple Juno wins (artist and single of the year, plus best pop album) Charlotte Cardin does a threepeat this weekend, just weeks after playing three nights at MTelus, Friday through Sunday. (Can’t go this weekend? She’ll be back June 20-26.)  

LA indie rockers Lo Moon and opener Social Animals at Petit Campus, Friday at 8pm. 

Montreal-based electro-funk keyboardist-producer Anomalie Live with Bad Snacks, at Club Soda, Friday at 8pm. 

Atlantan rapper-singer-songwriter Russ, along with Bugus and KTLYN, is set to delight Place Bell, Saturday 8pm. 

Icelandic multi-instrumentalist and former metal drummer Ólafur Arnalds hits up Théâtre Maisonneuve de la Place des Arts, Saturday at 8pm. 

Orchestre Classique de Montréal closes its 82nd season with a tribute to healthcare workers, inviting 200 to enjoy the show and receive a tribute to them. On the bill: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” and the Choral Fantasy, Op. 80. Friday, 7:30pm. 

Carmina Burana and Stravinsky’s Firebird on the bill when the Orchestre Philharmonique and Choeur des Mélomanes perform at Maison symphonique, Saturday at 7:30pm. 

Margo Keenan directs the Chorale Philomela Singers in their show Voyages, Two shows: Saturday, 7:30pm at St-Columba-by-the-Lake Church in Pointe-Claire, as well as Sunday 4:00pm at Union Church in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue. Tickets here .

Local charity Monthly Dignity celebrates Menstrual Health Day with a variety titled A Bloody Good Show. There will be comedy, storytelling, spoken-word poetry and a theatre performance titled Bad Cup! All ticket proceeds go towards Monthly Dignity, which provides menstrual hygiene products to people who need them in Montreal. Friday at Mainline Theatre, 7pm. 

A young woman recounts her sexual assualt, along with a constellation of supporters and observers - with one exception: her attacker. Talisman Theatre presents the English-language premiere of Rachel Graton’s Night from the 4th to the 5th. Isabelle Bartkowiak directs a strong cast. Streaming on demand, pay-what-you-can until Sunday. 

Les Amis de la Montagne celebrates Mount Royal Month with a series of discovery walks, a photo competition and more programming through May. On Sunday, volunteer to join a park cleanup at Outremont summit, 9am-noon, followed by a lunch! 

Kim’s Convenience writer (and former adman) Joe Vu headlines the Comedy Nest, Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm. 

On the bill at Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room this weekend: Jolie Lolita, Lolita Blanca (no relation) as well as Butterscotch Blondie and Galadriel Caresse. Shows Friday and Saturday. 

Now streaming: Volume 1 of 2 of Stranger Things is on Netflix. Six months after the battle of Starcourt, the kids of Hawkins, Indiana are getting ready to face down an even scarier bad guy!

Sun Youth celebrates the life of treasured, longtime football coach Bob Mironowicz, who passed away in January. He was a volunteer with myriad organizations for over 45 years. After an inaugural flag football fundraiser, family and friends will toast Bob, sharing stories and tributes. Monies raised go towards the Bob Mironocwicz Bursary  - please send donations to Saturday at Parc-des-Bénévoles (18130 Elkas in Kirkland), 6-8pm. 


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. 

New feature film Peace by Chocolate tells the story of the Hadhad family, who fled Syria during the civil war, and eventually arrived in Canada in 2015. They continued the family trade by launching a chocolate factory in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. The movie, directed by Jonathan Keijser, features Syrian actors (Hatem Ali, Yara Sabri) as well as a wealth of Montreal talent (Dawn Ford, Arthur Holden, Paul Van Dyck Laurent Pitre)... and a cameo by the Prime Minister. In theatres, including Cinema Forum, Cinéma du Musée and Cinéma Odeon Quartier Latin. 

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.