Sarah's Stay-at-Home Weekend List: May 1-3

Rainbow projections light up the Place des festivals in Montreal.
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 

Are you a Harry Potter fan? A librarian named Sydney Krawiec from Pennsylvania developed the Hogwarts Digital Escape Room. You are a first-year student at Hogwarts, and once the Sorting Hat has assigned you a house, you're off on a magical adventure!  It's a free game within Google Docs that takes about 15 minutes to complete, and you can play on your own or as a team!

The National Theatre School in Montreal is putting online two major works by this year's English graduates for The New Words Festival. The Game will air May 1-2, live on Zoom, and you can see i am entitled to rest, May 4-6 on YouTube. Break a leg! 

Another weekend, another big free celebrity-studded show to wile away the hours: The Call to Unite will have a more spiritual focus than other celebriity shows: participants like Oprah, Jimmy Carter, Common, Avril Lavigne and more will touch on the anxiety, loneliness and grief that is enveloping many of us right now. Expect speeches, poems, sermons, music, dance. It streams online at UNITE.US starting Friday at 8pm. 

Learn to make chocolate babka French toast and enjoy klezmer music with this virtual cooking workshop and brunch event on Sunday at 11am. A collaboration between the Jewish Museum of Montreal and KlezCanada. 

A Canadian is in the Top 20 of American Idol! Vancouver teen Lauren Spencer-Smith finds out if she makes the Top 10 Sunday at 8pm, on CTV2. 

Bird Protection Quebec is leading virtual birding 'field trips' every Saturday morning. You don't have to go anywhere...just record which birds you see from home, then share your findings online. They recommend birding from 7am to noon. Register at 

There is nothing my colleague Jason Devine loves more than the Kentucky Derby. And despite there being no race, Jason is hosting his 8th annual Derby Party from home, on Zoom. There are prizes for the best-dressed adults (and possibly kids and pets). He also promises 'LIVE horn sounds' and trivia. More info here.  

The latest "Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Your Living Room" offering is Kent Nagano Celebrates Montreal's Metro. Recorded October 2016, you can watch it online until May 11. 

Hungry? Try this week's recipe from Chef Ricardo, the perfect submarine sandwich.

How about learning a new instrument, or polishing your skills? Fender Guitars has made guitar, ukulele and bass lessons free for the first million users over the next three months. Check it out here. And thank you to listener Mark, who sent in this resource for the erstwhile uke players out there like myself: the Ukulele Orchestra in Lockdown.  

It’s the year 2220, and lonely space stations at colonies across the galaxy stay in touch with ‘socialization sessions’, orchestrated by an AI program called Zero. Montreal improviser and creator Vinny Francois, is joined by a new guest each week in this sci-fi stream. The final episode of Loneliness: an online improvised show airs Saturday at 8pm on YouTube.  

New improv outfit Commotion Theatre premieres Night Slime, a spoof on quirky late night public access television. Third episode is on Facebook, Friday, 10:30pm.

If the outside world is too scary or not scary enough, consider this Sunday evening activity: Festival de la bete noire hosts Live Screaming Sundays. Tune into live horror stories, and consider submitting your own poem, fiction, story or music to Sunday, 8pm. 

Monthly storytelling series Confabulation has shelved their live shows, so intead, theya re collecting stories from Montrealers about isolation. The stories are not from what's going on now, but memories about illness, being stranded or just feeling alone. You can submit a story yourself: it must be two to five minutes in length, and filmed at home. Email them to The team posts one a day on social media. 

Up for some bricolage? Consider making a rainbow to put in your window... it's the cool kid thing to do to encourage our first responders and health workers, who are working to keep us safe and healthy. 

Catch up on some great Canadian movies like Bon Cop, Bad Cop or The Trotsky, with a 20-movie list here. Or delve into the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Greatest American Films Of All Time. The full list, which you can print or save, includes classics like Singin' In The Rain, Jaws, Vertigo, Wizard of Oz, Schnidler’s List, Gone with the Wind, M*A*S*H, and older films like Duck Soup, City Lights and All About Eve. 

The Segal Centre is using Facebook to keep in touch. They are streaming daily dance classes at noon, Monday to Friday. And band leader Nick Burgess hosts a Broadway Happy Hour on Thursday and Saturday at 5:30pm. Request your fave show tune in the comments!

The Montreal Museum of Fine Art is making new content available each day on social media, like videos, podcasts, quizzes: find the morning update on Facebook or Instagram. On Fridays, they are sharing a new art-therapy activity on their Facebook, devised by the museum's art therapist, Stephen Legari. And visit EducArt, a free online resource that draws links between 350 works of art in the Museum's collection and subjects like math and social sciences. There are 75 videos featuring local luminaries like author Kim Thuy.  

A bevy of other Canadian museums are putting their offers online: Winnipeg's Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Art Gallery of Ontario and The Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau are making their works and exhibits available online. The Calgary Zoo is also sharing their Panda Cam, where you watch their two giant pandas, Er Shun and Da Mao, frolic for a few hours every day. 

International museums like the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the British Museum in London and the Hermitage Museum are also online. The Metropolitan Opera has a nightly stream. And visit Yayoi Kusama's mesmerizing Infinity Mirror installation. 

And if you're looking for something different visit Open Culture, a fantastic website that lists dozens if not hundreds of free books, audio books, movies and online courses. The selection here is a mix of the classic, indie and the offbeat. Pick up a Jane Austen novel, watch the original A Star is Born or browse through videos of poets like Maya Angelou reading their work. 

With libraries closed, consider finding out if your local branch allows for ebook downloads. With my membership at the Bibliothèque nationale, I have thousands of books, audiobooks and sheet music compilations at my fingertips through an spiffy app called Libby. 

And remember: take care of yourself, and others! Get plenty of sleep, eat well and focus on what you can control in this crisis. Donate to your favourite charity and food bank, call your mom, give meditation a go. Stay home, stay safe! 


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