Sarah's Weekend List, November 18-20

Father Christmas and his merry elves return to downtown Montreal after a two-year hiatus. Catch the 70th Santa Claus Parade Saturday morning! PHOTO: Montréal Centre-Ville
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

Father Christmas breezes into town for the 70th annual Santa Claus Parade, returning after a two-year pandemic break! The route starts at Ste. Catherine St West and Guy, and proceeds eastward to Place des Festivals. Drag star Barbada is at the head of the parade, leading 15 floats that pay homage to the first-ever Santa parade years ago. Make sure to point out to the kids that the vehicles are all-electric this year - and keep an eye out for artists from Cirque du soleil’s upcoming show, Corteo. The fun starts Saturday at 11am. 

St John Fisher Elementary hosts a fundraising Holiday Fair, with over 30 vendors and a gift shop for kids (everything $5 and under!). Plus, there will be crafts, games, face painting, massages, snacks and bake sales - and much more! Saturday, 10am to 3pm, at 121 Summerhill in Pointe-Claire.

Your music choices: Friday, country star Luke Combs hits up the Bell Centre, 7pm. Rock vocalist JJ Wilde of Kitchener at Le Studio TD, 7:30pm. Pop singers Tyler Shaw and Claudia Bouvette do a double bill at Corona Theatre, 8pm. Trilingual alt-hip-hop act Abhi The Nomad arrives at Le Belmont, 8pm. 

On Saturday: Punk double bill with Vulgaires machins and Anti-Flag at MTelus, 7pm. Franco rapper Niro at Corona Theatre, 8pm.

On Sunday, ‘90s rockers (and pride of Norwood, Ontario) Three Days Grace visit Place Bell, 7pm.

Cineplex movie theatres are screening movies for free on Saturday morning. Catch one of four titles: Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Spongebob Movie: Sponge on the Run and The Lost City (for the big kids!). Concessions are only $2.50, and $1 from each goes to BGC Canada. Saturday, 9-11am at Starcité, Banque Scotia, Kirkland, Laval, Forum, Brossard and Carrefour Angrignon.

Speaking of cinema, two film festivals launched Thursday, including the city’s international documentary fest, RIDM. See the topical A House Made of Splinters, which documents a group of children living in a shelter in war-impacted Eastern Ukraine, at Cinéma du Musée, Friday 8:15pm. Until November 27.

Image + Nation celebrates its 35th anniversary with a fresh spate of films centered around the lives of LGBT2SQ people, with film screenings both in person and virtual. See Métis filmmaker Gail Maurice’s debut feature Rosie, about an Indigenous girl who is adopted by a new family, in 1980s Montreal, at Cinéma Impérial, Friday, 7pm. (Also of note: after a movie screens in-person, it is available online for the five following days.) Kids can tuck into a series of fun shorts, Saturday, 11am. Until November 27. 

Theatre Ouest End presents Alice Abracen’s award-winning play The Covenant, which is based on a true story. It’s 1944, and a Red Cross delegation comes to Theresienstadt concentration camp to witness something remarkable: a small, tidy village inhabited and maintained by Jewish prisoners. The Convenant uncovers the nefarious doings behind the facade... Until December 3 at The Segal Centre. 

Centaur Theatre has launched Sexual Misconduct of The Middle Classes, award-winning playwright Hannah Moscovitch’s take on the MeToo era. Marcel Jeannin is Jon Macklem, a teacher in the middle of a third divorce. Against anyone’s better judgement, he strikes up an affair with his 19-year-old student, Annie (Inès Defossé). Singer-songwriter Sarah Segal-Lazar enlivens this weekend’s show, performing covers of pop hits that touch on student-teacher relations. Her performances, Teacher Teacher, will sample from Doris Day to Elton John to The Police. Catch Sarah, 9:30pm on Friday and Saturday. The play runs until November 27. 

Ensemble Bonaventure presents Thomas Purcell’s celebrated opera, Dido and Aeneas. Written over 300 years ago, the English Baroque composer brought to life Virgil’s tale of the Queen of Carthage and the Trojan lover who spurned her. Friday, 8pm and Saturday, 2pm, at MainLine Theatre.

Shakti Rising is a unique dance experience that will pair Indian and Indigenous dance traditions and myths. Dancer/choreographer Amrita Choudhury is an Indo-Quebecer collaborating with Kanien'keha artist Barbara Diabo, who is originally from Kahnawake. The two women explore the themes of life, creation and destruction, with live musical accompaniment. Vanier College Auditorium, Saturday at 7pm.

Strip and sing, or cheer while someone else does it! The participatory running series Bareoke returns to Café Cléopatra, Saturday at 8pm. 

The annual Expozine brings together artists, publishers and customers in the small press, zine and comics world. Pick up something to read from over 150 publishers and artists, or join a workshop, reading or presentation. Saturday and Sunday, 11am to 6pm at Église St-Arsène, 1025 Bélanger at Jean-Talon metro. 

Montreal Improv in St-Henri hosts the St Henri Jazz Society, Sunday at 5pm, followed by the Sunday Sunday Improv Show, 8pm. Check out the full weekend schedule

Steven Rogers (Stephen Colbert, James Corden) knows how to make anxiety funny (ha! ha!).. He headlines The Comedy Nest Friday and Saturday, 8:30 and 10pm. With support from Heidi Foss and Rodney Ramsey.

Montreal burlesque HQ The Wiggle Room has Lily Monroe, Rose de Flore, Zyra Lee Vanity and The Lady Josephine on the bill. Shows Friday and Saturday, 8:30pm. 


The Pink Floyd Exhibition: Their Mortal Remains arrives in Montreal on Friday, with over 350 artifacts from the band’s days touring and recording… from audio equipment to cover art to set pieces. The show made a splash at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2017, and has been touring the world - now it’s your turn to discover the story behind the music! Opens Friday at Arsenal Contemporary Art Gallery in Griffintown, until December 31. (Hear Andrew’s chat with album cover designer and exhibit founder Aubrey ‘Po’ Powell here.)

The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ new show is Seeing Loud: Basquiat and Music , the first major exploration of the electric artist’s work to land in Montreal. The MMFA teamed up with the Musée de la musique - Philharmonie de Paris to examine the role of music in his work, from Beethoven to Charlie Parker to Maria Callas to New York’s underground scene. It opens Saturday. And speaking of the New York connection, a selection of photographs taken by Diane Arbus in and around the Big Apple between 1956-71 is also now. 

The Insectarium has reopened post-renovation with a fresh look at all the creepy, crawly, pretty creatures. The team redesigned the space to give visitors an intimate look at what it is to be an insect: in the Alcoves, vibrating floors and ultraviolet projections allow you to imagine how insects feel and see the world. Visitors get to move like an insect, too, slipping through cracks or trodding on rods hanging from the ceiling. Then you get to observe bugs up close, followed by a trip through the Dome, and finally, a greenhouse-like space, the Great Vivarium, where roaming butterflies are the special attraction. 

At the Montreal Science Centre, explore evolution in Human or explore the process of invention in Fabrik - Creativity Factory. Plus, the movie theatre is open, so you can sit back and learn about Sea Lions and the Great Bear Rainforest - in IMAX 3D!