Sarah's Weekend List: July 17-19
Welcome to the construction holiday! And note that if you're going places, starting Saturday you will need to don a mask in indoor public spaces!
If you are downtown, check out the Black Lives Matter - La vie des noir.e.s compte fresco now up on Ste Catherine street, between St Hubert and St André. A colourful and distinctly Montreal take on the slogan going up in cities around the world to call for justice and racial equality. The fresco was completed by a team of artists on Thursday, and was kickstarted by Fondation Dynastie and Never Was Average, with support from the Village and the City of Montreal.
The West Island Blues Festival goes virtual, take two. The festival's one-night only concert was rebooked from last weekend to this one: see Dawn Tyler Watson, The Freddie James Project, Sylvie Desgroseilliers and more talented artists. The show starts on YouTube, 7pm on Saturday.
If you are itching to get out of the house, the Botanical Gardens and the Planetariuam are open, with kids 17 and under getting in for free until the end of August. Visit the greenhouse collections and check the blooms of the week. (It's strongly recommended to get your timed tickets online.)
And at the Old Port, paddle boat rentals, the zipline and the pirate ship have been available for the past few weeks. Now they are joined by SOS Labyrinthe, with 2 kilometres of winding paths to get lost in. (New this year: a disco zone!) And the nearby Montreal Science Centre reopened this week, with a show on now called The Journey to Space. Look for the Apollo mission space helmet, and a glove used by Neil Armstrong himself while training for his moon mission.
The Comedy Nest is back, with socially distanced seating and smaller audiences. But they are still packing in the funny: bilingual comics Eddy King and Sylvain Laroque, and Abdul Butt (This Hour Has 22 Minutes), Jacy Lafonatine and Pantelis are part of the lineup on Friday and Sunday. And the excellent Joey Elias leads the Sunday Funnies Show.
The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts has a new show: Paris in the Days of Post-Impressionism: Signac and the Indépendants includes 500 paintings and works from a private collection. Escape from the everyday with lush, colourful works by Money, Seurat, Pissarro and Degas, to name just a few of the artists.
The Satosphere dome has extended SatFest, a series of immersive digital shorts, with a showing on Friday at 6pm and 7:30pm (continues until July 31). And the Domesicle series continues its weekly DJ night, with the collective Music is My Sanctuary bringing in Zandoli ll, Lexis et Akpossoul along with VJs TIND et Création Ex Nihilo. Attend in person, 9pm to 2am, or stream on Zoom. or you can enjoy at home or at the theatre. The SAT has also reopened its delicious Labo Culinaire, if you are peckish.
If staying in is more your speed, check out the series of Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix, which is chock-a-block with true stories of missing people and dangerous deeds. (Let me know what you think, because I'm too scared to watch!) What I am watching is Normal People, the super steamy adaptation of Irish writer Sally Rooney's fresh tale of young love. Marianne and Connell start dating in high school, but because he's a cool, sporty kid and she's the weirdo rich girl, they keep their quickly blossoming romance a secret. The series is spare but full of feeling and intimacy. Catch it on CBC Gem. Also on that app, something for fans of The Office and Best in Show: a new mockumentary comedy called Decoys, which centres on the quirky contestants in a duck decoy carving competition. It starts streaming on Saturday.
Oh, and if you were saddened to hear the news of Joanna Cole's passing, you can revisit both editions of The Magic School Bus on Netflix. Cole wrote the books about a whimsical, fashion-forward yet STEM-oriented teacher who took her classes on a lot of interesting field trips, from the moon to volcanos to a rotting log to the stomach. The first series for PBS in the 90s starred Lily Tomlin as Mrs Frizzle, and the new edition, which came out in 2017, starred Saturday Night Live's Kate Mckinnon as Ms Frizzle's younger sister. I credit Joanne Cole with my passing grade 10 biology.