What to do in Montreal in October 2015
Montreal International Black Film Festival
Sept 29-Oct 4
The MIBFF brings new black films on a range of topics. Culture, social issues, and socio-economics all figure in the films showcased. This year, the festival will give an award to Martin Luther King III, the son of MLK, for his humanitarian work. Some of the films worth checking out this year include 3 1/2 minutes about the death of Jordan Davis by Michael Dunn in Florida and Game Face about LGBTQ atheletes’ quest for self-realization and acceptance. The closing Film, The Black Panthers: The Vanguard of is the first full length feature documentary about the Black Panther Party. More info is HERE.
Montreal LGBT Film Festival 2015
Cinema du Parc is home to many film festivals in Montreal, including this months LGBT Film Festival. The films come from around the world. Things open with Tab Hunter Confidential, about a pinup star from the ’50s who was in the closet lest it upend his career. Other documentaries, such as Violette Leduc in Pursuit of Love are featured, as are more traditional narrative films, such as Seashore. The closing film Mala Mala is about a group of drag performers from Puerto Rico.
The Phi Centre hosts Mutek_IMG, the visual compliment to Mutek with a focus this year on Virtual Reality (VR). The festival is intended to provide opportunities for networking, idea exchange, and new perspectives. Over 20 films and augmented experiences are available, ranging from 360 degree videos to interactive works. One is Kaleidoscope, with works by Vincent Morisset, Chris Milk, Félix and Paul, and many others. A conference follows as well. A VR salon pass is $150 and individual tickets are also on sale. Free events include access to the VR exhibition.
Bring your horns, your bass, and your reggae. Montreal is putting up a four day Ska festival. Ska music guarantees wild dancing and good times. This year, the Kingpins and Bostoners Westbound Train are performing, but make sure to check out Francbatards, Adam’s Mind, and the Sepratwists too. #mtlskafest2015. More info HERE.
L’Off Jazz #16
With summer gone who knows where and the Jazz fest with, time to bring out the Off Jazz. Over 150 performers, most local, will light up the city with over 27 shows. This year, catch Extended Family, the Jason Rosenblatt Quartet, and Still, among many others. The all-access passport costs only $125/80, though other forms of ticketing are available. For more info, click HERE.
If a shiny machine with a big engine makes your heart say boom boom boom, the autorama is probably already in your calendar. The annual car show took a 25 year hiatus, but is back. More info HERE.
Montreal Pizza Week
Another excuse to take foodgasms to share with your facebook entourage. Participating restaurants in Little Italy offer pizza at $15 a pop, but with toppings your nonna only dared dream about. More info HERE.
Canadian International Organ Competition
In churches throughout the city, this biannual competition returns to the city to promote organ music through public awareness. With recitals from organists like Yuan Shen (China), masterclasses (Jean Guillou), a conference, and even an organ crawl through downtown Montreal, this should be both educational and inspirational.
Black and Blue
The Black and Blue festival is essentially a giant EDM party in Montreal. This year, the event takes place at Parc Olympique at the Amphitheatre Pierre Charbonneau, and DJs Paolo Rocco, Jay London, Morabito, The Cube guys, Wally Lopez, and Mark Antony will be keeping the main room on the move. There are plenty of alternative events including events for Bears and a Leather Ball. In addition to getting people on the dancefloor, it even includes a recovery party on October 12. More info HERE.
Festival de Nouveau Cinema
The festival de Nouveau Cinema showcases a variety of films from around the world. What makes it so fresh is that they are new, allowing you to get a taste of what’s coming in the pipeline in terms of cinematic trends and talents. The films can be quirky, but also deeply moving. More info on the festival and its lineup can be found HERE . Highly anticipated films include Love by Gaspart Noé, Yakuza Apocalypose by Takashi Miike, and Dennis Rodman’s Big Bang in Pyongyang by Colin Offland.
Montreal Burlesque Festival
Burlesque or boylesque, the art of the tease while taking off a few garments makes this form of performance as titillating as it is entertaining. Though the end game is more or less the same, the journey there is different each and every time. Some are more story oriented, others less so. Check out the seventh edition of Montreal’s burlesque festival. Expect to see Scarlett James, The Lady Josephine, BOnbon Bombay, Candy Applebottom, Billy l’Amour, and many others. More info is HERE.
VIVA Art Action Festival
Nine different art centres collaborate to bring art interventions, performances, and participatory actions by 19 artists from Montreal and elsewhere appear to different spots in the city. Alongside are debates and discussions about art. Participate in art, or just check out VIVA!’s kitchen, a popular favourite for a $10 meal. For more info, click HERE.
Le Temps d’Une Soupe
Oct 15-18, Quartiers des Spectacles
Part art festival and part awareness raising campaign, Le Temps d’une Soupe is a joint effort of ATSA and the NSA to draw attention to the homeless population of the city through art and solidarity. More info HERE.
Le Festival Interculturel du Conte Québec
Love stories? Who doesn’t? 10 days of stories from spinners of tales, from Quebec to Vietnam take place at this bi-annual festival (so the last one was in 2013). This is predominantly a French festival, but a few events are in English. The programming hasn’t been announced yet, but you can check out all info HERE.
Les Filles électriques is a creative company that runs the Phenomena festival, a playful, interdisciplinary festival with installations, performances, and all sorts of oddities. It never ceases to amaze with wonder and is perfectly timed for the spooky season. Some things to check out include Pod — the Musical at Sala Rosa on October 17, Eat Sweet Feet on Oct 18 also at Sala Rosa. More info HERE.
The Braderie de Québécoise
A few days of high end fashion at super low prices, the annual Braderie is a much anticipated event. Kollontai, Veinage, Stefano, Ca va de soi, Furlux, Myco Anna, Message Factory, Creation Encore, and many other familiar names have deep discounts on their fashion designs. Also, jewelry and accessories are there too. More info HERE.
The 2015 Brazilian Film Festival of Montreal
Another film festival? You bet! Brazilian films take over Cinema du Parc including the Brazilian Oscar candidate, The Second Mother. Other films of note are Portrait of a Thief a film inspired by the writings of Joao do Rio, Sister Dulce — the Angel from Brazil about a nun nominated for the Noble Prize whose goal was to help the sick and needy. Trinta is inspired by the story of Joaosinho Trinta, who revolutionized the Rio de Janeiro carnival in the ’70s.
Montreal à Table
October 29-November 8
Montreal’s annual restaurant week gives foodies a chance to check out new and old restaurants at reasonable prices. A dinner menu is offered at $21, $31, or $41. The best fill up quickly, so book your spot asap, or take your chances on something unfamiliar. More info HERE.
Marche des Zombies de Montreal
What was once upon a time an organic freakshow of people who had a good gigle at the undead has turned into a rather large videotron sponsored event. Smear some ketchup on your face, roll around in a bit of humusy earth, and join the march — slow or fast. More info HERE.
The Arab World Festival of Montreal
Oct 31-Nov 14
Celebrating Arab culture and art through performing arts and cinema, the Arab World Festival delights the city with dance, theatre, film, debate, conference, lectures, and more. More info HERE.