Sarah's Weekend List: January 3-5

Blizzard is a circus love letter to winter, on now at La Tohu.
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    


Explore the world of prog-rock heroes Genesis with Quebec tribute band, The Musical Box. They present A Genesis Extravaganza, Volume 2 Saturday and Sunday, 8pm at Théâtre Maisonneuve.

Dance extravaganza Shen Yun returns to Montreal for its annual visit. Dramatic folk tales and legends from Chinese culture are brought to life with colourful costumes and fancy footwork. Until January 5 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. 

While you're downtown, head over to the Quartier des spectacles for the 10th edition of Luminotherapie, the outdoor light installation guaranteed to crack a smile on your frozen face. This year, five playful cartoon monoliths, named Popo, Popup, Popli, Popette and Popotin, will entertain kids and adults alike - you just have to stand in front of them, and watch for their reaction. 

The romance, joy and despair of a winter storm is laid bare in Flip Fabrique's excellent circus show Blizzard. The six acrobats (and one very busy, talented musician) veer from the funny to the more intangible moments of what it is to live in the cold. I schlepped my father amid blowing snow to the opening, where we were wowed by the tricks with the infinity scarves, as well as the best slow-burn finale I've ever seen. At La Tohu until Sunday. 

Last chance to experience Illumi, an ambitious multimedia show and Christmas market in Laval created by the people behind horse-circus extravaganza Cavalia. Explore eight different worlds, like the savanna and the magic lanterns, illuminated thanks to over 10 million lights! It's by paid admission, and there is a spot to grab a bite to eat and drink, as well. At the intersection of highway 15 and St Martin Boulevard. Until Sunday. 

AURA, Moment Factory's immersive multimedia show, is back! Audiences get to take in a mega light-and-music spectacle within the Notre-Dame Basilica and the light show, running for about 45 minutes - favourable for fidgety kids (and adults).  Shows on Friday and Saturday, 6 and 8pm. Shows continue Thursday-Saturday through January. 

The Chalet on Mont-Royal offers up family activities and drawing contests for kids, starting Saturday until January 5. 

Comic Brian Scolaro  (you loved him on Conan, Grey's Anatomy and Mad Men) brings his fast-paced routine to The Comedy Nest, along with Montreal's 5 Rising Stars of Standup. Friday and Saturday, 8 and 10:30pm.

Jokes and geekiness merge at indie comedy show A Very Nerdy New Year. Friday, 8pm at The Diving Bell. Performers include Troy Stark and Reese Turner.

Experience a slice of Canadian history through a surreal lens with The Twentieth Century, a comedy with deep roots in Montreal. Not yet the quirky Prime Minister we now know him as, young William Lyon Mackenzie King juggles demands and faces a leadership challenge in Toronto, in 1899. Director Matthew Ranking lived in Montreal, and several of his stars and crew have connections here. Check Cinéma Moderne and Cinéma du Parc for listings. 

The Planetarium has a bevy of space-themed films all weekend, covering everything from the Aurora borealis to the secrets of the universe to a delightful children's tale about two mice and the moon. 

The Ecomuseum continues their holiday programming, including a hunt for gnomes, until Sunday. 

Explore over 1,000 strange and exotic objects of curiosity at Pointe-a-Callière Museum. Into the Wonder Room explores the phenomenon cabinets of curiosities, until January 10. There is also a new show at the Old Montreal museum: The Incas, Treasures of Peru explores the mysterious civilization's ancient rituals, art and achievements. Until April 13. 

The Mummies are here! Learn about the average day of six people who lived along the Nile a long, long time ago in this ongoing new show, Exploring Ancient Lives. At the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.

The Stewart Museum at Jean Drapeau Park hosts a span of holiday activities for families. The Museum has adapted its ongoing literary exhibit Nights, which brings to life unpublished stories by Montreal writers including Heather O'Neill, to include a toys theme for young patrons. Riffing on nocturnal life, these theatrical stagings incorporate over 100 artifacts from the Museum's collection, like toy soldiers and old maps. Until March 7. This Sunday, author and actor Sylvi Belleau will share the Swedish folk story, Christmas with The Trolls and Scottish tale Robin Redbreast, in English at 1pm and French at 11:15.Entry is free for children aged 12 and under, and admission is only $10 those over 12.  

Start your year off with a little bit of magic - and skin - when the Wiggle Room presents two nights of Mischief Managed: Two Nights of Harry Potter Burlesque. See witches and wizards remove their cloaks on Friday and Saturday, 9pm. Performers include Honey Dynamite, Alice Ocean and Lola Spark.      


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