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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.