Sarah's Weekend List, October 1-3

A group of travellers awaken a slumbering statue in The Exchange, a brief, joyousshow set outside The Centaur Theatre. PHOTO: Nalo Soyini Bruce
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 fall edition of Osheaga, titled Get Together, simplifies the spirit of the summer music calendar staple. Charlotte Cardin headlines Friday night, with The Franklin Electric, Odie, Jessia and Magi Merlin. Saturday's focus is oriented to rap and hip hop, with headliner Jessie Reyez, with Haviah Mighty, Fernie, Isabella Lovestory and Majid Jordan. And Montreal adoptees Half Moon Run round out Sunday's lineup, supported by July Talk, Les Shirley, The Damn Truth and Stars. 

Expo Ormstown hosts a treat for gourmands. The LBA FAll Flavours Festival will feature goods from local brewers, farmers and producers. There will be a horse breed parade, a pumpkin carving contest and demos for cooking and techniques like butter making. Check out the bouncy castles, petting and home and garden display! Saturday and Sunday. Schedule here.

Let the Halloween vibes begin! Cine Club Film Society presents one of the essential vampire movies, Carl Dreyer's 1957 Vampyr, with a live trio of musicians accompanying the movie. George Méliès's classic short A Trip to the Moon will precede the main screening. Screening at Cinema Imperial, Friday and Saturday at 7:30pm. 

The Jardin botanique has added a slew of Halloweeen events to its slate, including the Magic Steps Circuit for kids, the educational series All About Squash, and KOWAI, which spotlights the many scary, fantastical creatures from Japanese folkfore! And of course, the after-dusk Gardens of Light show is back after a one-year hiatus. Kids will love the Halloween-themed tour followed by an Ode to the Moon, an installation which allows you to 'howl' at the night sky (be warned: there is a lot of wailing.) The walking tour is different from past years, starting with the Japanese pavilion, through a spectacularly atmospheric First Nations garden, ending with the Chinese pavilion, where brand-new lanterns pay homage to Pangu, the world creator from Chinese mythology, who is accompanied by a slew of creatures. 

Artist Victor Pilon has begun a marathon performance at the Big O this week. The creator is shoveling 50 tons of sand, seven hours a day, six days a week for a month. His inspiration is the Greek legend of Sisyphus, punished for having cheated death... sentenced to roll a giant boulder up a mountain for eternity. Pilon, for his part, was inspired on this journey by his life partner, who died in a car accident. Watch Pilon at work, Tuesday to Sunday, noon to 1pm. Free admission. 

Saturday Night Live's season opener will be anchored by Owen Wilson and country-pop star Kacey Musgraves. Saturday, 11:30pm. 

Lots of great performance pieces happening: The Exchange is a free 20-minute, interdisciplinary performance taking place on the majestic Portico at the Centaur Theatre. Named for the building's past history as the Montreal Stock Exchange, the show introduces a band of travellers trying to reawaken a somnolent statue. Two shows daily, 5:30 and 7pm, Friday and Saturday. Reserve your spot.  

The National Theatre School hosts a 15-minute visual-and-sound installation about the strong ties between grandkids and their grandparents. They handed microphones to the youngest generation so they could interview their grands, then cut down 15 hours of audio for this brief experience. Liens/Ties is free, with reservations, at the café at Monument-National, 1182 St Laurent. Friday and Saturday. 

Danse Danse presents two free outdoor shows at Place des Arts: Caroline Lauren-Beaucage's Habiter nos mémoires and Sylvain Émard Danse's Les Préludes. The former will be performed all weekend, 11am to 7pm. And the latter, 4pm and 5pm on Saturday and Sunday. 

Choreographer Andrea Pena designed 'Vicky', a computer program that takes Andrea's instructions, shuffles them and then directs the nine dancers and soprano onstage. The show, 6.58 Manifesto, investigates what we find authentic about daily life. A filmed version of the new work is online via Agora de la danse, until Saturday.  

Manolis Antoniou's exploration of borders, community and connection revoles around the humble spud in The Future is Another Country at the MAI. The director, who is from Montreal but grew up on on the Greek island of Naxos, has his performers interact with la patate, in a playful, curious manner before ultimately dissecting and serving it to the audience. This remarkable gem of a show is sold out, but you can get on the wait list by contacting the box office. Until October 9. 

The 17th annual Montreal International Black Film Festival wraps up this weekend with online and in-person screenings. Available online, the French comedy Holidays At All Cost finds family man Frederic trading odd jobs to ensure his wife and son can take a vacation, with hilarious results (and sly machinations on the part of his boss, who sets up the arrangement). You can also access on-demand conversations with this edition's honorees, including actress Taraji P. Henson and Lupin star Omar Sy. Until Sunday.

And Centaur director Eda Holmes is making a splash directing Michel Marc Bouchard's French-language Embrasse, which just opened the season at Theatre du Nouveau monde. An aspiring fashion designer struggling to find his way out from the thumb of his seamstress mother, who gets into an altercation at their local mall. (And Yves St. Laurent himself is all mixed up in this tiny drama, too.) The stylish co-production will eventually come to Centaur in January. 


The Montreal Science Centre has reopened! Learn more about our evolution in Human, the moon in Water in the Universe and the process of invention in Fabrik - Creativity Factory. The 3D IMAX theatre is also open, with Superpower Dogs 3D delving into the work of rescue canines. 

While you're in the area, the Îlots 76 play area near the Saputo stadium offers a series of sports-themed bouncy castles, including a small replica of the Big O. Let the kids tire themselves out while you sip a coffee; $9 gives you an hour of bouncy time, no reservations required. Open 10am to 6pm. 

The Biosphère on Ile Ste Helene has finally reopened, joining the Space of Life constellation that also includes the Biodome. With the recent "red alert" climate report from the UN, the Biosphère's mission is as urgent as ever: to educate Montrealers about the environment and how best to care for it. 

Want to go to space, for a fraction of the cost and without any air sickness or g-force? The Phi Centre presents The Infinite at the Arsenal gallery in Griffintown. Would-be astronauts strap on virtual reality headsets, then walk into a cavernous room. But what your eyes see is a slightly smaller version of the International Space Station. Stepping aboard, you reach out to activate capsules that bring you elbow-to-elbow with actual astronauts, like Quebec's own David Saint-Jacques. In these 360-degree capsules, the space travellers explain how they work, eat and exercise 400 kilometres from home. Since it's the Phi Centre, the VR show is then complemented by two immersive art projects inspired by the themes at hand. It's a vivid, thrilling and educational adventure - no spacesuit required - brought to you by a collaboration with NASA, the ISS National Lab, Time Studios and Montreal outfit Felix & Paul Studios. Appropriate for ages 8 and up. 

It was a hot week! Cool off at Below the Ice with Mario Cyr, a new immersive walk-through exhibit by Cirque Éloize. You will journey north to follow Cyr, a documentary filmmaker, to nearly inaccessible spots in the Canadian Arctic. Marvel at the polar bears and narwhals and walruses, and learn more about what a precarious position their environment is in. At the Éloize Studios In Old Montreal, at 417 Berri.


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