Sarah's Weekend List, November 20-22
Starting Saturday, there is a new, free activity for families downtown: Follow Santa Claus. Along Ste Catherine street, search for Christmas-related items hidden in store windows, and take part in free games like Rudolph's Mission. Several prizes are up for grabs! Also, floats from the Santa Claus Parade (now cancelled) have been set up along the route. Until December 28. And remember - it's free to park in downtown Montreal on weekends until the end of the year.
Imago Theatre presents Eco-Anxiety, a series of four short plays, filmed at a distance, with one streaming every weekend this month. You can check out Absolutely Nothing of Any Meaning, an absurdist company by Sunny Drake, with a $5 rental until Sunday, 10pm.
Why not check out the ongoing Cité-Mémoire project in Old Montreal? It is an ongoing outdoor installation as a newly-released documentary explains its development by Cirque de soleil vets Michel Lemieux, Victor Pilon and Michel Marc Bouchard. Essentially, it is a series of visual projections that cover various parts of Montreal's history, including Expo 67, Angélique and Joe Beef. All you need is to download the app so you can hear the audio narrations that accompany the different projections (and to navigate to the displays). The projections start at dusk and continue until 11pm, Wednesday to Sunday.
If the drama of the week has left you zonked, why not dial into something serene? How about painting with Bob Ross? This week, dozens of fans got to take part in an immersive exhibition about Bob's life in Indiana, touring his studio and taking a painting workshop. Well, since you can't visit Indiana any time soon, here is a link to all of Ross' TV episodes on YouTube. Bob would have celebrated his 78th birthday last week.
Cavalia's Illumi is a colourful escape through a 3-kilometre labyrinth, starting with spooky skeletons, meandering through pleasant forests to icy fields and a spooky town. Your drive includes a stop with food trucks at the midpoint. It's kitschy, but fun for kids and anyone who just really needs a safe adventure outside the house. In Laval off Boulevard des Souvenirs, until January 5.
Explore McGill and get a thrill with a virtual escape room compiled by the university's librarians, archivists and game developers. A mysterious poisoner is on the loose, and you have to track them down! Starting at the pathology lab, then solving puzzles (based on McGill and Montreal history) all over campus. You can play Raising Spirits with a browser. The game got a fresh update this week! For ages 12 and up.
The Royal Montreal Regiment and Le Royal 22ieme Regiment look back on the October Crisis through the eyes of soldiers deployed after the kidnapping of James Cross. This virtual exhibit is geared to students and teachers, but anyone can check out The October Crisis 1970 online.
Tiny Plateau arthouse Cinema Moderne is still releasing new content, including one Korena feature film about a woman in her 40s who has to reinvent herself after she loses her job. Check out the full list here.
Other things you can do online that will be more enriching that scrolling endlessly through your Instagram feed...a bevy of 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 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.