Festivals and Events in Montreal in September 2016

Tin Pan Sally. Country en Ville. 2015. Photo Evelyn Richardson-Haughey Tin Pan Sally. Country en Ville. 2015. Photo Evelyn Richardson-Haughey

Winter is not coming. OK, we lie, but the festivals and events keep Montreal July-hot all through September. The Montreal World Film Festival crowns the season for film fans. POP Montreal is always a chance to find out what’s happening in the indie scene. The Next Wave festival showcases theatre musicals in their infancy. That’s just a few of this month’s offerings!

World Press Photo

Aug.31-Oct 2 2016

Challenge yourself with the gorgeous photojournalism on display at the World Press Photo exhibit. This prestigious exhibition features 150 prizewinning photographs on display. Some capture world news events, others make small events into world news. It never disappoints. This year has a special series on Syrian refugees in Montreal (325 rue de la commune East) $13/10. More info HERE.

The Montreal World Film Festival

Aug. 26-Sept. 5 2016

While the World Film Festival is undergoing a crisis at the moment. Seven screens of Cineplex that the MWFF expected to use are no longer available. However, the Cinema Imperial continues to screen films, so it is still possible to check out this diverse, international, and high-quality film festival. For ticket prices and screening info, check: HERE.

Fetish Week. The Village. Fashion Frenzy with Patrice Catanzaro. Photo Sinj Karan.

Fetish Week. The Village. Fashion Frenzy with Patrice Catanzaro. Photo Sinj Karan.

Fetish Weekend

August 31-September 5 2016

Weekend isn’t really the right word for this festival that has six days and nights of sexploration in every sense of the word. In addition to workshops, performances, a street fair, a fashion show, there are after parties and then after-after-parties if you know or meet the right folks. Consenting adults only. Tickets for individual events are available, as are passes. More info: HERE. 

Le Burger Week

Sept 1-7 2016

The mighty burger gets its moment in the spotlight among Montreal’s many food weeks during Le Burger Week. Multiple restaurants create special burger week burgers, but really it’s just an excuse to put meat in your mouth (or mushrooms and tofu, if you’re vegetarian).

Friday Noctunres

Sept. 2, 2016

The Montreal Museum of Contemporary art hosts its four times a year late night parties with DJs, a cash bar, art workshops, and guided tours through the exhibits (Edmund Allyn, Liz Magor, Lizzie Fitch/Ryan Recartin, and Jean Pierre Gauthier with Ryoji Ikeda). It’s great fun, and a welcoming atmosphere for all. For details, click HERE.

Gardens of Light

Sept. 2- October 31 2016

The Botanic Gardens light up with hundreds of intricate lanterns shaped to look like animals, flowers, and objects. The lanterns come from Shanghai and take three months to mount in the Botanic Gardens. Every year there are about 200 new lanterns added to the group. This is one of the most beloved fall seasonal activities in Montreal and anyone can enjoy it. More info HERE.

Sept. 3-5, 2016

The Old Port offers up brunches, dinners, classes, as well as workshops on things like urban beekeeping to the art of making cocktails. There’s a daily farmers market too and the famous waiter’s race where teams run a distance of 800 meters with a tray in hand with pitchers and glasses full to the brim. Keep them full to win. There is also a Saputo Pizza challenge where you can see which pizza wins. Oh, and music. What Montreal festival doesn’t include music? Info HERE.

Quartiers Danses

Sept. 6-17 2016

Dance isn’t just for snobby folks and it doesn’t come in one form. Quartiers Danses wants to democratize contemporary dance and make it available for everyone. With a diversity of artists at different skill levels, dance is made accessible to all. This year expect to see ballet, urban, contemporary dance, and much more. More info on locations and tickets, click HERE.

Socalled. OUMF. Photo Dylan Thompson.

Socalled. OUMF. Photo Dylan Thompson.


Sept. 8-10 2016

An outdoor arts festival in the Quartier des Spectacles up to Rue Saint Denis with visual art, cinema, literature, music, and knowledge, the OUMF is one of those cheery festivals that are always worth checking out. More info: HERE.

Villa Paradizo

Sept. 9-10 2015

Who doesn’t like EDM? This free festival gets Crescent Street moving. Headliners are Sander van Doorn and Offtama on September 9 and Gazzette and Thomas Gold on Sept 10. Music begins around 11 a.m. and continues until 11 p.m. More info: HERE

Ukrainian Festival

Sept. 9-11 2016

Okay, if you don’t like EDM and prefer your music more traditional, as well as a bowl of borscht, come to the Uke Festival instead. And by Uke, we mean Ukrainian. Crafts, folk dancing, music, singing, exhibitions, and of course food are all there for the taking. The Uke festival takes place in Rosemont Place Patrie at Parc de l’Ukraine (Intersection of Rue de Bellechasse and 12e avenue). Free. More info HERE.

Art Tattoo Show

Sept. 9-11 2016

Thinking about inking. Well, a great place to see what you can do as well as what you might not want to do will be on display at the Art Tattoo show. Gifted tattoo artists from around the world will showcase their talents and offer their services. Some even compete. There are also seminars and lectures on the art of tattooing and its history. Tickets are $20 for one day, $50 for all three. Place Bonaventure. More info HERE. 

Ancient Future Festival

Sept. 9-11, 2016

Promising to wake Montreal up from its “frantic ticking” this music festival with art installations will create an atmosphere to keep you moving every evening and on into the night at the Old Port’s Quai de l’Horloge. Multiple stages feature different DJs including TOKiMONSTA, XXYYXX,and Shifted. For more info click HERE.

PORTES OUVERTES for the FERMES DU QUÉBEC (Open Door Days for Quebec Farms)

Sept 11 2016

This free event invites the public to visit Quebec’s agricultural powerhouses. There are little farms, organic farms, even big farms that have open doors. Find out where the food comes from and meet the farmers who make it happen. Info HERE.

The Unit Staged Readings

Sept. 11-17, 2016

Six new theatre pieces by some familiar names from the Montreal and Quebec theatre scene (Michaela Di Cesare, Alison Darcy, Joseph Shragge, Travis Martin, to name a few) will be staged at three different theatres. Catch the diversity of Quebec’s English playwrights on stage. Information HERE.

Les Escales Improbables Montréal

Sept. 11-18 2016

The 12th edition of the Escales Improbables focuses on performing arts. Many events are free and take place in public spaces. Others are reasonably priced. These include musical siestas and an artistic convoy with over 40 artists. More info HERE.


September 12-16 2016

Theatre St. Catherine will be packed from the cafe to the second level when the ladies take to the stage to showcase comedy with a little more XX chromosome attitude. An unbelievably kick ass lineup includes a night of storytelling, a take over at the regular Blue Dog comedy night, a live storytelling game show called Liar Liar Show, a sketch showcase, a burlesque showcase, theatre, and of course stand up comedy. For information, click HERE.

Nextwave Festival

Sept. 14- 16 2016

Musical theatre gets its moment in Montreal with this festival celebrating new pieces. A Song of Fiction promises to be exciting as its created by the team behind Captain Aurora I and II, while there is also a bilingual festival called Sixties FOllies. For more info click HERE.

Global Conference on World’s Religions after 9/11

Sept 15

Montreal has the lucky opportunity to host this international event that talks about constructing bridges between those of diverse views and finding our way to world peace. Deepak Chopra, Karen Armstrong, Sri Sri Ravi Shanakar are among those speaking. Information HERE.

The Montreal Stop Motion Film Festival

Sept. 16-18

Montreal’s annual festival dedicated to animation and stop motion technique is picking up a brand new one in the repertoire of acceptable films: pixilation. Master classes, guest speakers, and film screenings are all part of this one. More info HERE.

48 Hour Ride with Make a Wish

Sept. 16-18 2016

Support the Make a Wish foundation by bike by participating in the 48-hour bike ride. Anyone over age 14 can participate and there is no “fee” though a team needs to raise $3600 to participate. Teams of six people must always have a team member on the track at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. More info is HERE.

Canada China International Film Festival

Sept. 16-19 2016

Films from China will be screened at the Musee des Beaux Arts. There will be a project pitch, a technology exhibition, as well as a special event on women’s voices in film and television. For more info, click HERE.

500px Red Bull Photography Global Photo Walk

Sept. 17 2016 1 p.m. – 4 p.m.
With the theme of action and adventure, photographers are invited to come out and take pictures. Information HERE.

Montreal Independent Games Festival

Sept 17. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Dawson College
Not everyone works at Ubisoft or EA. Montreal has many talented game makers who range from solo basement labourers to teams making use of the city’s rentable shared workspaces. Independent games get their moment with the MIGF. More information HERE.

Three Way Mix. Pop Montreal. Photo Rachel Levine

Three Way Mix. Pop Montreal. Photo Rachel Levine

POP Montreal

Sept. 21-25 2016

The folks at POP Montreal deliver on the musical culture and culture more generally year round in the city, but their big moment is the diverse and challenging music festival, POP Montreal. The festival brings together both no-names and big-names for a mash-up of concerts, symposiums, art, film, and of course, parties. It’s the Eton Mess of music festivals — spontaneous or chaotic, depending on your sense of random. More info HERE.

A Varning Festival

Sept. 22-25, 2016

With punk and experimental music at its heart, the A Varning festival attracts those who really like it loud and wild. This three day festival takes place at the ever awesome Katcombes (1635 St. Laurent) and might require a few earplugs. Just saying. Information HERE.

Oasis Rock n’ Roll Montréal Marathon

Sept. 25 2016

One of the biggest running events in the city, this is a race worth participating in or watching. Try anything from the 1K to the full marathon. Training usually helps with the marathon. More info HERE.

FIL (Festival International de la Litérature)

Sept. 23- Oct. 2 2016

Montreal celebrates the world of French writers, writing, and literature at the FIL. Readings and a pop up bookstore make this a delight for those into all things litereary. More info HERE.

Les Journées de la Culture

Sept. 30- Oct 1 2016

Province-wide Québec’s culture gets its spotlight with the Journées de la Culture. This year, cinema is the theme and the people of Montreal will be out in full force showing their talents in public spaces. This is a voluntary activity and artists and performers register their activities. Expect everything from performance to workshop to conference. More info HERE.

Montreal International Black Film Festival

Sept. 28-Oct. 2 2016

This festival celebrates black participation in the film industry as well as films that look at international black realities. Awards are given to documentaries, shorts, and feature films. Ground-breaking cinema, some of which will never have commercial release on the big screen, is shown. More info HERE.

Ska Festival

Get your horns out and your sneakers on so you can slide and glide your moshiest self to Montreal’s SKA festival. illScarlett, The Planet Smashers, and STranger Cole are among those performing. For more information, click HERE.

Piknic Electronik

A Sunday wouldn’t be a Sunday without the weekly dance parties on Ile Drapeau. Check out the best of Quebec DJs along with those from abroad on September 3-5, September 11, September 18, and September 25. Details can be found HERE.

About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts