Sarah's Weekend List, September 23-25

Dancers Mai Kono and Sarah Kingston perform Uwe Scholz's spin on Beethoven's Symphony No. 7 this weekend.  PHOTO: Sasha Onyshcenko
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

Good luck, you super fit folks lacing up this weekend! The 30th edition of Marathon Marathon de Montréal returns after a pandemic break. The kids, 5km and 10km races go Saturday, followed Sunday by the half- and full marathon, departing from Parc Jean-Drapeau. Each race concludes at race HQ at Olympic Stadium. Whether you are running, cheering for a runner or just trying to get around, you’ll want to make note of the route in advance! 

McGill’s First Peoples’ House hosts its 21st annual Pow Wow. Take in traditional singing, dancing and drumming, pursue local vendors and learn about local Indigenous organizations. The performances include Inuit throat singing, hoop dancing and Maori Haka demonstrations. At McGill’s Lower West Field on Friday, 11am to 4pm.  

The 18th Montreal International Black Film Festival is online, and in person at a selection of cinemas. There is a wide variety of fiction and documentary films online. Saturday’s red carpet event is the provincial premiere of sports documentary Kaepernick and America. Cinéma du Musée hosts Sunday’s closing film, the French film Tropique de la violence.  Check out the Pop-Up Market at the Cinémathèque québécoise, Saturday 11am to 4pm. MIBFF continues until Sunday.

Catch the Snowbirds and CF-18s soaring this weekend at the family-friendly Volaria airshow in Mirabel. This is apparently the first major airshow in the region in over two decades. Check out the open-air museum with planes and cars on display. Pyrotechnics and live music close out Saturday’s event, with more displays on Sunday. 

Musical options for Friday: electronic dance artist Big Wild and Biig Piig hit up the Corona, 8pm. Toronto-based blues-Americana frontman Jeremie Albino and the Rosehall Band at L’Escogriffe, 8pm. French-Lebanese jazz trumpeter Ibrahim Maalouf performs with Brazilian singer Flavia Coehlo in a Jazz Fest show, at MTelus at 8pm.

On Saturday: Pop rockers The Killers at the Bell Centre, 7:30pm. Carly Rae Jepsen brings the So Nice Tour to MTelus, 8pm. UK soul singer Mahalia at Le Studio TD, 8pm. R&B-afrobeat singer Tayc at Place Bell, 8pm. Icelandic pop musician Daði Freyr brings the Fabulous, Wonderful & Nice Tour at the Corona, 8pm. 

Sunday: alt-indie NYC rockers Triathlon at Bar le Ritz PDB at 8pm. Alt-pop Aussie singer RY X at Corona Theatre, 8pm. 

Centaur Theatre presents Backstage at Carnegie Hall , an ambitious chamber opera that tackles racism, barriers as well as the history of the electric guitar. We go behind the scenes to meet legendary black jazz guitarist Charlie Christian as he gets ready to perform with the Benny Goodman Sextet. Charlie is beset by an anxiety attack, and he “time travels” to meet different icons, like club owner Rufus Rockhead. Libretto by Canadian playwright Audrey Dwyer. Friday and Saturday.

Les Grands Ballets Canadians perform The Four Seasons, with a double bill by choreographers Mauro Bigonzetti and Uwe Sholz, bringing new life to Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. At Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier, until Saturday. 

What does it mean to set down roots in a new place? Hong Kong-born, Montreal-based dancer Winnie Ho examines the Asian diaspora and queer identity through the lens of her family’s Cantonese cuisine in aWokening She literally summons ‘wok chi’ or wok energy found in this tradition of cooking, dancing and moving with woks of various sizes, and using cooking utensils and ingredients like ginger and daikon. This meditative Danse-Cité show is at Agora du Cœur des Sciences until Sunday. 

Choreographer Helen Simard remounts her exploration of chaos and ripple effects, Papillon. Three dancers are accompanied by live musicians in this piece that draws on street and contemporary dance. Friday and Saturday, 8pm at MainLine Theatre. 

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 September 30. 

Comedian Daniel Carin hosts the inaugural edition of Stand Up: The Game Show. Four comics go head-to-head in a series of silly challenges that will call upon their improv and standup skills. See Lucy Gervais, Amanda McQueen, Shawn Stenhouse and Chris Venditto duke it out at Café Cléopatra, Friday 8pm. 

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 October 2. 

Indie Main Event Wrestling is set to crown their first champion when Zachary Wentz and Madman Fulton go head to head. Also on the bill: Ashley Damboise vs  KC Spinelli and Reverso El Chato. Our Mike ‘The Mind’ Paterson will take part in a 3-on-3 tag match with Beastman and Salsa King. Le Studio TD on Friday, 8pm.

Absurd comedy guy Levi MacDougall (Conan, CTV Comedy, Just for Laughs) as he headlines The Comedy Nest, flanked by Trevor Thompson, Elle Orlando and Jess Salomon. Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.

Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room brings in Joy Rider, Enshantay, Minx Arcana and Roxy Torpedo. Shows Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. 

Last call! Stranger Than Kindness is an exhibit 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 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. 

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. Until October 2.

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 October 10. 

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! 

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. 

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!