Sarah's Weekend List: July 31-August 2

Linear flower gardens and shimmering paint evoke the seascape in new public art piece, Sailboats, now on display outside the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. PHOTO: Denis Farley
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 

Montreal rock band The Damn Truth performs Saturday at the Royalmount, with two shows at 6:30 and 9:30pm. Headed by powerhouse vocalist Leela Baum, they'll be playing hits from their first two records, along with new material!

Celebrated violinist Angèle Dubeau takes her act to the water, with her all-woman string orchestra La Pièta, for free shows - on the water! Les Dames du Lac will play from a barge. Audience members will have to come out on their preferred methods of water transportation: canoe, kayak, paddleboard. Dubuea has programmed an evening of her favourite composers, including Ludovico Einaudi, Max Richter, Ólafur Arnalds and a tribute to Ennio Morricone. Catch the group at Lac-Mercier Saturday, 5pm; tickets here.   

Hot girl summer? How about A Summer of Beethoven! On Friday, the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal starts streaming the great composer's eight symphonies, as recorded at Bourgie Hall. Catch Nos 2 and 4. It costs $15, and you can stream it for 48 hours starting at 2pm. 

The Festival des Arts de Saint-Sauveur has been presenting recordings of original dance works themed around solitude every Sunday. This weekend,  catch choreographer Vanessa G.R. Montoya dancing to a score by François-Hugues Leclair performed by oboist Mélanie Harel.

Beyoncé has released Black is King. It's a visual companion to the album she curated for the 2019 remake of The Lion King. Beyoncé wrote, directed and executive produced, casting her mom, husband and many famous pals like Kelly Rowland and Naomi Campbell. Filmed around the world, it is being billed as a 'celebratory memoir for the world on the Black experience.'  Streaming today on Disney+.

July 31 is Harry Potter's birthday. It also happens to be his creator's birthdate, and while JK Rowling has attracted controversy of late for her Voldemort-like views on trans people, I always recommend curling up with one of the original seven books or multiple spinoff books, like the new children's fable The Ickabog, available for free online,  or the many movies and prequels, or any number of myriad video games. Or! Play the Hogwarts Digital Escape Room, devised by librarian  Sydney Krawiec from Pennsylvania. 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!

La Ronde is back for another weekend, as is the Casino de Montreal. Both facilities have physical distancing measures in place. 

The Lachine Legion will be holding a barbecue fundraiser, with a performance by the RCMP Pipe Band. Friday, 5:30pm at 3015 Henri-Dunant. 

Sleeper Hollywood star Josh Hartnett playing Canadian investigative reporter Victor Malarek in new, real-life thriller Suspect Number One (also titled Most Wanted in some places). Malarek delved deep into a coverup that landed a Quebecer in a Thai jail after a drug deal gone bad.  Look for a Malarek cameo, and comedian Jim Gaffigan as Glen Picker. Now available in theatres or video on demand.

Legendary festival Lollapalooza goes virtual on YouTube until Sunday. LL Cool J, Taylor Hawkins of Foo Fighters and Common will make appearances. Performances from previous Lollapaloozas will be featured, including sets from Paul McCartney, Arcade Fire, Chance The Rapper and Outkast. Look for live appearances from H.E.R., Kaskade, Vic Mensa, Yungblud and The Neighbourhood. 

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!) 

If you were jazzed about the third and final Mars rover launch this past Thursday, visit the Montreal Science Centre, which reopened last week. They have 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. Catch Chantal Desjardins and Rodney Ramsey onstage Friday and Saturday, two showings each night, with the Sunday Funnies show closing out the weekend. 

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. And a new public art piece inspired by the Signac show is now available for viewing. Sailboats, created by Collectif Escargo, uses linear flower gardens and shimmering paint to evoke the seascape. See it on Du Musée Avenue. You can also opt for a family-friendly walking tour of the Museum's sculpture garden. Reserve your spot here.

You have one more weekend to catch a beautiful show about fashion at the McCord: Jean-Claude Poitras: Fashion and Inspiration, a Quebec designer who made his mark on prêt-a-porter in Canada. He was inspired from a young age by the women in his family as well as his Catholic upbringing. See his designs from the '70s to the 2000s, including '80s trench coats to Japanese-inspired outfits. Until August 2. Also on now at the Museum: a retrospective of the work of cartoonist Serge Chapleau, a talented counterpart to Aislin in franco circles. 

The Satosphere dome has extended SatFest, a series of immersive digital shorts, with a showing on Friday at 7pm and 8:30pm. It continues Wednesday to Friday evenings until August 28. And the Domesicle series continues its weekly DJ night, with NEON stacking the decks with Canadian DJ duo MSTRKRFT, Ludovic Lacoste and Shelley Johannson, and visuals from Melesul3 and AZYL. 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. 


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