Sarah’s Weekend List, August 25-27

Marionettes and myriad entertainers take to the world's coolest street, Promenande Wellington in Verdun. PHOTO: Caroline Perron
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

The 18th Century Public Market is marking 30 years of transporting Montrealers back to 1717! The Place Royale goes back in time, with historical interpreters ready to introduce you to Indigenous artistry, various trades of the past, military marching and myriad games and workshops. And don’t forget to try the new, blonde beer created by local craft brewery, BreWskey, in honour of the anniversary year. Opens 10am to 7pm Saturday, to 6pm Sunday, outside of the Pointe-a-Calliere Museum, 350 Place Royale.

The coolest street in the world once again plays host to the Marionnettes Plein la rue Festival! Head to Promenade Wellington in Verdun to catch one of dozen marionettes shows popping up along this weekend. Jacqueline Van De Geer’s puppet Esmée is looking for love, and will pop up at various places in the neighbourhood on Saturday. Another roving show is Psycho-Carotte, an object theatre piece that explores the housing crisis. On Sunday, catch the wild creatures of the interactive show Animalarium, visiting from Mexico. Even Punch & Judy will turn up! Until Sunday, at various times. 

The 11th edition of sports festival Jackalope returns, with skateboard and bouldering competitions and demonstrations. Star boarders like Pedro Barros, Collin Graham and Annie Guglia are set to appear. Root for climbers attacking a 25-metre wall especially designed by climbing gym Allez Up for the 20th anniversary of the Tour de bloc. Music, food trucks and pop-up shops round out the fun, which runs until Sunday at the Olympic Park Esplanade. 

Electronic music and digital arts fest Mutek returns for its 24th edition with dozens of performances. Take in free programming at the Esplanade Tranquille, with DJ lineups playing through the night. Or take in a leisurely afternoon show performed by circus pros Les 7 Doigts, accompanied by ‘ambient performances’. In and around the Quartier des spectacles, until Sunday. 

Side-by-side with Mutek is Festival MAD, the rebranded fashion fest. The acronym spells out mode, arts, divertissement. On Friday, you can check out a fashion show with a focus on Argentinian designers (5:15pm), or new brand Sad Rich Kids (5:30pm). Catch dance and music shows in between the defiles, like rapper Naya Ali (Friday 10pm) and singer-songwriter Claudia Bouvette (Sunday, 8:30pm). Until Sunday at Place des Festivals. 

Asian Night Market returns to Chinatown in two different locations: Place Sun-Yat-Sen and Sakura Garden, on the Esplanade at Palais des congres. Enjoy art installations and live performances between bites of Asian cuisine. Over 20 local restaurants are participating in this outdoor food market. The Market is debuting a partnership with Mural Festival, which means you can catch artist Maylee Keo painting murals. Until Sunday. 

Gourmet charity gala Strangers in the Night returns with diva Gloria Gaynor and funk legends Kool & The Gang. Funds raised this year go towards the West Island Women’s Shelter, West Island Black Community Association and Shriners Hospital for Children. At Complexe Pointe-Claire, with early opening at 5:30pm. 

It’s final call at the Jardin Royalmount, the pandemic venue near the mega development near Décarie. DJ Toddy Flores (and special guests) plays out the pop-up with Jardin en Blanc 2 with a dance party that will sample classic club anthems. All-white dress code. 8187 Royden Friday, 8pm.  

Ste Anne de Bellevue hosts its annual Garlic Festival. Shop for garlic and related products from a variety of vendors, or submit your garlic bulb or braid in the grower’s contest or enter the garlic dessert challenge! Live music will round out the fun. At Lalonde and Ste Anne Streets, on Saturday, 9am to 4pm 

Sunday is Cinema Day! Participating cinemas from coast to coast are pricing their tickets for all movies at any format - for $4 apiece! In Montreal, check out Scotiabank Theatre, Forum, Quartier Latin, Starcité, Marche Central and Cineplexes Brossard, Kirkland and Laval. 

Writer Alain Mercieca examines anxiety over artificial intelligence and art in Actor Machine: A Comedy about Shakespeare and Robots. Three down-and-out Montreal actors decide to take out their ire on their robot counterparts, with their adventures taking them all the way to the storied Globe Theatre in London. First presented three years ago in French, the freshly-translated show is more timely than ever! At Theatre Ste Catherine, Friday and Saturday, 8pm. 

Pink Floyd’s iconic rock album Dark Side of the Moon debuted 50 years ago, and a new show marks the anniversary with an immersive audiovisual experience. This show, designed for domes and planetariums, has played to sold-out audiences at the Planetarium, and now it comes to the SAT, which has reopened after months of renovations. The music has been remastered, and the cosmic images will delight fans both veteran and new. At the Satosphere until October 27. 

Can’t get enough of Barbie? The Queen Elizabeth has you covered. Starting this weekend, the storied Fairmount hotel is hosting stays at the Barbie Dream Suite! This is Canada’s first Barbie-themed hotel stay. Visit the Dream Suite, which includes pink decor and amazing views. Up the ante by reserving the Spectacular PJ Soiree - Barbie cocktails, bathrobes and slippers included - or the Barbie Party for up to 10 people (comes with a birthday buffet!). For doll-sized wallets like my own, reserve a Barbie Afternoon Tea at the Rosélys Restaurant on Saturdays, or grab something sweet at the Barbie Sweets Shoppe and the Barbie Boutique at Marché Artisans. Until September 30. 

Friday’s music picks: Aussie psychedelic rockers Ocean Alley at Beanfield Theatre, 8pm. Vancouver DJ Whipped Cream with Crimson Child, Fairmount Theatre 10pm. 

Saturday’s music picks: “Miami’s alt-pop psych-funk party starters” Magic City Hippies at Petit Campus, 7pm. Nashville rockers Rival Sons at Beanfield Theatre, 8pm. Alt-indie multi-instrumentalist Yoke Lore at Le Studio TD, 8pm. Anjunabeats hosts DJ sets by Alex Sonata & The Rio, anamé, Bexxie and more, at Parc Jean Drapeau from 4pm.  

Power metal band Seven Kingdoms reigns over Foufounes électriques, Sunday at 8pm. 

Pianist Alexandra Stréliski performs Dans les bois, a show conceived specially for the Fernand-Lindsay Amphitheatre in Joliette. Flore Laurentienne opens, Friday and Saturday, 7:30pm. 

Montreal photographer Terry Hughes presents his first solo show, a collection of potent images snapped around the world. Hughes travelled through Africa, South Asia and Central and South America while working for various NGOs, bringing his camera along the way. Sonder continues until Sunday at Galerie du Viaduc, 5806 St Laurent. 

Nine comics, 90 minutes… hit jokemakers reunited to power The Comedy Nest this weekend, with Heidi Foss and Dan Bingham Friday, and Gino Durante and Darren Henwood on Saturday. Two shows nightly, 8 and 10:30pm.  

Get cozy at Hurley’s Bar on Crescent with The World's Smallest Comedy Night. Friday, 8pm.

At Montreal Improv in St Henri, check out a variety of shows, including Films in Focus, where players create film trailers to be critiqued by Benji Manking, Friday 8pm. The Mojo Comedy Repertory Players in This Always Happens, Friday, 9:30pm. 

Tease! is the theme this weekend at The Wiggle Room. On the bill: Wild D’Lilah, Kosten Kreme, Rosie Bourgeoise and YaYa Havana, with hosting by host-performer Frenchy Jones. Friday and Saturday at 9pm. And for something more eclectic, Yikes Macaroni hosts Strip Cheese, Sunday at 9pm. 

Employment non-profit YES Montreal hosts What the Pop! a pop-up art series, the Church of the Epiphany on Wellington Street in Verdun. Saturday, 12-5pm. 


Miss hockey? Get your fix down at the Montreal Science Centre. Hockey: Faster Than Ever, an action-packed exploration of the science and culture, technology and triumph of the sport. Experience what it is like to be in an NHL locker room and the corridor that leads to the ice, test your slapshot and get acquainted with some of the legendary stars of the Canadiens franchise. Until September 10. 

Arriving in Quebec for the first time, Inside Dalí is a three-part exploration that takes you beyond the iconic Surrealist’s strange mustache. Born in Catalonia in 1904, Salvador Dalí is known for his melting clocks and affinity for telephones and lobsters. First, a 35-minute ‘immersion’ of his works in a room with 7-metre high ceilings, then a 360-degree experience in The Mirror Room, concluding with a more straightforward look at the artist’s life. At the Arsenal Art Gallery in Griffintown, until September 4. 

The McCord Stewart Museum’s excellent and informative Indigenous Voices of Today: Knowledge, Trauma, Resilience profiles the 11 nations living within the borders of Quebec, with testimonies and carefully curated objects. 

Over at the Botanical Gardens, admire the bonsai, ornamental grasses and coneflowers are in full swing. See which other flowers are in bloom this week

SOS Vortex is the ‘little brother’ to the SOS Labyrinth in the Old Port. Enter the vibrant time vortex of a mad scientist while learning about ecology and climate change. The structure is made of recycled containers, with eye-catching colours and Pop Art esthetic. At the CF Carrefour Laval parking lot (corner of Daniel-Johnon and Le Carrefour) until October 29. 

The Infinite virtual reality experience returns to Montreal at a different location, with new, immersive footage shot from the International Space Station. Over the course of an hour, the exhibit puts you shoulder-to-shoulder with astronauts like David Saint-Jacques, taking you through their day orbiting the Earth. A jaw-dropping V-R treat! At 2 de la Commune Street West in the Old Port. 

Pointe-à-Callière Museum in Old Montreal  just launched Egypt: Three Millennia on the Nile. This exhibit traces life both ordinary and royal on the legendary river, dating from the start of human settlement to the Roman conquest. Some 320 items will be displayed in an exclusive agreement with the Museo Egizio in Turin, including jewelry, statues, tools, sarcophagi and more! Until October 15.