Sarah's Weekend List, Sept 30-Oct 2

A fiery tradition: La Falla will be set ablaze at La Tohu in St-Michel this weekend! PHOTO: Chantal Lévesque
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

Native Women’s Shelter and Resilience Montreal mark the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation with a march. Supporters will gather at the George-Etienne-Cartier statue to hear speeches, including Ellen Gabriel and Grand Chief Kahsennenhawe Sky-Deer, with a moment of silence for the victims of the stabbings earlier this month at James Smith Cree Nation. Then, the march will bring supporters towards Place du Canada. Wear an orange shirt, make a donation online or bring items like food, clothing, socks and gift cards to donate. Friday, 1pm. 

Montrealers will rally in solidarity with Iranians protesting over the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini,  meeting at the McGill’s Roddick Gates, then marching to Parc Jeanne-Mance, Saturday 2 to 4pm. 

Pop Montreal is back full throttle, with tons of concerts, movie screenings, panel talks, a craft sale and programming for kids. Montreal alt-rock-hip-hop collective Bran Van 3000 closes out their 25th anniversary tour with their all-hits show, with shows Friday and Saturday at Club Soda. Indie darlings Martha Wainwright and Julie Doiron hit up the Rialto on Friday. One of our colleagues will perform as Cinzia and The Eclipse at Le Ministère, Saturday at 9pm. And the ever-popular Puces POP returns to St-Denis Church with clothing, food, jewelry and many other locally-made goodies. Until Sunday. 

Montreal Clown Festival moves to a new venue, Le Gesù, for its sixth edition. Catch performances like Pearle Harbour’s Agit-Pop (Friday, 9pm), Tupiq A.C.T. (Saturday, 1pm) and The Saturday Night Variety Show (Saturday, 7pm). The Clowns also join in on the Parade Phénomenale Sunday, 1pm (see below). The clowns go marching in, until Sunday. 

Festival Phénomena launches its 11th edition with the Parade Phénoménale, a fanciful and colourful procession anyone can participate in. You can join any group: the birds, flowers, spirit of the forest, the sea, Walking Museum or Extravaganza - each posse has its own colour code. Artists will also be taking part: look out for the musical marching band the Van Hornies and KUMPA’NIA, Fairy-Nomenal, the rollerskating brides and the Fanfare Pourpour. To join in, meet at Parc Lahaie at 1pm. The Parade departs at 2pm, marching down St Laurent, to continue the fun at Entrepôt 77 on Bernard, fallowed by a 5pm show. 

The Livestock Breeders Association is putting on their Fall Festival in Ormstown. There will be a corn maze and a haunted house, food and local breweries - and for the first time:  a giant pumpkin weigh-off! Saturday and Sunday. 

It’ll be a fiery good time over in St Michel, as La Tohu plays host to La Falla! Inspired by the European tradition, youth called the Falleros have built a giant structure (over 9 metres tall) over the course of the summer - which is then set on fire to spectacular effect. Fireworks and a performance by the Brooks will complement the big event. La Falla burns Saturday, 6:30pm, but there will be music, workshops and other activities jam-packed Friday through Sunday. 

Royal Astronomy Society of Canada Montreal marks Observe the Moon Night with a virtual talk and in-person event. John Abbott College and McGill grad Emilie Lafleche, who is pursuing a PhD at Purdue, was selected to command a lunar mission this fall at a lunar analog research station. Lafleche will deliver a talk about her work from her ‘moon base’ in Poland, 3pm Saturday. Register in advance here. Later in the day, RASC hosts a Moon & Planets Party at John Abbott College Oval, 7pm. (If the weather doesn’t cooperate, a virtual viewing will follow on campus, at room Herzberg-355.)

Les Journées de la culture provides hundreds of free activities, from workshops to performances to tours, in every corner of the province. Infinitheatre hosts a play reading in the Plateau, Singer Sarahmée presents fresh material blending pop, afrobeat and trap music, in Montreal North, Caro Carotte puts on a puppet show for kids in St-Leonard and cyclists can learn the Lachine Canal’s industrial past. Museums in Montreal are also taking part in the programming. Until Sunday. 

Meet Me is a new, immersive show about Me Too and consent. We follow three people, all connected through academia, who have to navigate their relationship after an intimate evening goes awry. Every audience member gets a smartphone that allows you to ‘choose your own adventure’ as you progress through the show… this unfolds at three different spots on the McGill campus. A talkback follows each performance. This Live Action Theatre Project, in collaboration with Teesri Duniya Theatre, continues until October 8. 

Canadian playwright David Gow’s Cherry Docs explores racial hate and division in the pairing of a neo-Nazi skinhead charged with murder and the Jewish lawyer Legal Aid lawyer assigned to his case. This performance is the first time Gow’s play has been adapted in nearly 30 years to the present day, and to a location, Montreal. A talkback follows each performance. At MainLine Theatre until October 9.

SOS Labyrinth in the Old Port unveils its Halloween spirit starting this weekend, with seasonal decorations to spice up the 2-kilometre maze. Save 15 per cent off your ticket when you come in costume! Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 5:30pm. 

Heavy metal Friday! Exodus and Death Angel open for Testament at MTelus Friday 6:45pm. 

More music on Saturday: Trentemøller Le National, 8pm. Owen Petit Campus, 8pm. Hollow Coves, at the Corona at 8pm. The Australian Pink Floyd Show visits Laval at Place Bell, 8pm. 

Sunday: A few tickets remain for Loreena McKennitt’s 30th anniversary tour, at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier Sunday, 8pm. (She will be back in town on October 9.) One OK Rock at Club Soda, 7pm. Novo Amor at Corona Theatre, 7pm. Mild Orange at L’Escogriffe, 7pm. Superorganism, Le Studio TD, 7pm. Stereolab, MTelus at 8pm. 

Humour writer David Sedaris stops by Theatre Maisonneuve, 5pm on Sunday. 

One of our fave comics Mike Paterson (did you spot him in the hit summer movie Prey?) headlines The Comedy Nest. Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.

Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room brings in Kitty Kin Evil, Melody Mangler, Honey Dynamite nd Lily Monroe. Shows Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. 

Last call!  

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.

World Press Photo returns to Marché Bonsecours for the first time in two years, with a wide display of impressive press images captured around the globe. Included in the lineup is our Wednesday guest, photojournalist Amber Bracken, who is in town to present her award-winning image of a memorial near the former Kamloops residential school.

L’Orignal Art Gallery in Old Montreal contrasts the work of rising Quebec muralist Nicolas Craig with pop art great Andy Warhol. Andy Warhol x Nicolas Craig : Masse Critique continues until Friday. 

Vittorio Rossi’s Paradise by the River explores the internment of Italian-Canadians by the federal government during World War II through the eyes of Montrealer Romano Dicenzo. He is sent to an internment camp in Petawawa, Ontario - but his brother vows to seek revenge on those who turned Romano in on false information. Rossi is a premier chronicler of the Italian experience in Montreal. This play was first performed at The Centaur in 1998, and this latest mounting is guided by the sure hands of director Harry Standjofksi. It just opened this week at the Saputo Theatre at the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, running until Sunday. 


Les 7 doigts de la Main circus troupe presents a brand new, immersive circus cabaret. My Island, My Heart is a love letter to Montreal, through the eyes of a nouveau arrivé who followed someone for love, but ends up falling head over heels for the city instead. The action unfolds in a new venue, the Studio-Cabaret at Espace St-Denis, with alternating French and English-language presentations, until October 16.

The Botanical Gardens have just kicked off the 30th edition of Jardins de lumière. The Japanese, Chinese and First Nations gardens are reinvented for nightly excursions with spectacular lanterns and lighting arrangements. 2021’s Ode to the Moon is back, with the interactive wolf call. Don’t forget, the tickets are now timed - but you also get daytime access to the gardens the day-of! Until October 31. 

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! 

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!