Sarah's Weekend List, September 9-11

Celebrate resilience, community, culture - and perogies! - at this weekend's Montreal Ukrainian Festival. PHOTO: Montreal Ukrainian Festival
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

Montrealers of Ukrainian background will come together at a difficult, stressful time to celebrate ‘the beauty of our culture, heritage and resilience’, while inviting in the wider community. Organizers say this will be the largest-ever edition of the Montreal Ukrainian Festival. Nosh on perogies, peruse crafts and accessories, and learn about Ukrainian traditions and history, as well as updates on the ongoing conflict. There will be folk dancing and music, cocktail demonstrations, and a performance from the Orchestre classique de Montréal. The beer garden will have the locally-brewed Volya beer on tap. Parc Maisonneuve, Saturday 9am to 10pm. On Friday, the organization will be fundraising for humanitarian aid with a tailgate party ahead of the Alouettes-Lions game, at Percival Stadium, 5:30 pm. 

The Havelock Fair in the Townships returns for its 150th edition, with livestock competitions, farming explainers, activities for kids, live music and a display of antique cars, machinery and snowmobiles. A $10 pass gets you access to both Saturday and Sunday. (And condolences to friends and family of Ross Whyte, a former Fair board member and longtime supporter, who passed away this summer at the age of 90.)

Shaughnessy Village’s Shoni Market brings street fest fun to Sainte-Catherine Street, between McKay and Chomedey. Grab a dumpling or some fried chicken, pick up some dance moves with Latin Groove (Friday 5:30pm) and catch rising hip-hop artist Zach Zoya (Saturday 9:30pm). Oh! And don’t forget the Corgi Parade, Saturday at 2pm. Until Sunday. 

The 11th annual Burger Week continues, with some 70 Montreal restaurants serving up a limited edition specialty burger on the menu. You eat, and then you vote for your favourite! Plant-based burgers are the special focus this year, like Scores Brossard’s The Imposter Burger (BeyondChicken fillet) and Burger Bros’ Vegan Falafel Burger. Check out Burger Fiancé’s Sweet & Smokey (hot red onion jam and mozzarella), Le Gras Dur’s Chef Will Burger (chili oil mayonnaise and a Korean corn dog?), Sacré Fût’s The Prodigious Burger (a whole burger, fried, with a dipping sauce!) and Maamm Bolduc’s Nutella Feast Burger (Swiss cheese, crepe, Nutella, egg, bacon!?) Until September 14. 

Last weekend to chow down at the travelling Grand PoutineFest. Its final stop is in LaSalle, at Carrefour Angrignon (near the Bay). Peruse the menu of some +20 poutines, or pick up one of two limited edition poutines: burrito or pizza. There will be dessert, a cheese-curd tasting booth, cooking demos as well as inflatables for the kids. Bring a toonie for your reusable dish - all items on site are recyclable, reusable or compostable! Through Sunday, from noon to 9pm (8pm Sunday). 

Terry Mosher aka Aislin will be signing copies of his new book, Montreal to Moscow. It features his drawings and recollections from the Summit Series hockey tournament, which was played 50 years this fall. Saturday, 1pm at Indigo in Pointe-Claire.

Sherwin Tijia’s eminently fun and celebratory Strip Spelling Bee is back! Participants peel off an item of clothing - as much or as little as they please - every time they misspell a very tricky word. Saturday, 9pm at MainLine Theatre. 

Friday musical selections: Oliver Tree at MTelus, 8pm. Gab Bouchard at Corona Theatre, 8pm. 

The versatile, Grammy-winning jazz guitarist Pat Metheny hits up at Theatre Maisonneuve, Saturday at 8pm. Also performing Saturday:  Daddy Yankee at Bell Centre, 8pm. Jazzy Bazz with EDGE at Le Studio TD, 8pm.

Berlin-based DJ Boys Noize headlines Piknic Electronik at Parc Jean-Drapeau, Sunday, 2 to 9:30pm. 

Hudson Porchfest returns to the front porches and yards of Hudson, with dozens of acts spanning folk, rock, punk, R&B and rock… even choir and house music. Check out The Better Half Band, Planet Hip, Space Base, Old Soul and Cinzia and the Eclipse. Saturday, 12 to 6pm.

West Island Blues Fest returns for part two in Pointe-Claire Village, with The Reflection Band, Inusaso Reggae Roots Band, Rob Lutes and Rob Macdonald. Saturday, 5 to 11pm. Proceeds go to local non-profits.

Opéra de Montréal presents Verdi’s revenge tale Il Trovatore. Troubadour Manrico is in love with Leonora, as is his rival, the Count di Luna. But the two are linked by so much more… and someone plans to use that information to her advantage. At Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier Saturday, 7:30pm, with further dates on September 13, 15 and 18.

Persephone Productions presents the trappings of fame in Mark Ravenhill’s Pool (No Water) at The Segal Centre Studio. A group of young artists hunger for success and fame - but what happens when some achieve the limelight sooner than others? Shows Saturday and Sunday. Until September 15.  

West Island Theatre Association presents Mamma Mia! The Musical at the Louise Chalmers Theatre, in Pointe Claire. Friday, 7:30pm and Saturday, 1:30 and 7:30pm. Until September 17. 

Festival Marionettes Plein la rue wraps up its current run with a paid indoor performance, the poetic Bois by Puzzle Théâtre. Ages 4 and up. Saturday, 11am and 1:30pm at Quai 5160 - Maison de la culture de Verdun.

Festival des arts de ruelles also concludes its current edition with free, outdoor performances in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, an eclectic collection of disciplines, from music to magic to circus to clowning. This weekend’s programming includes three different stops in ‘Ruelles vertes’ in the borough. Friday’s fun starts at 5pm to 9:30pm at the Aylwin-Cuillivier alley. Saturday and Sunday’s events both start with 2pm parades. 

The Comedy Nest hosts the Pryde of Montreal, comic David Pryde (The Onion, This Hour Has 22 Minutes) Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm.

Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room brings in The Lady Josephine, Zyra Lee Vanity, Roxy Torpedo and Sugar Vixen. Shows Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. 


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!