Things to do in Montréal July 14-20

Robyn Fadden

Entertainment of all kinds thrills this week in Montréal, from circus in the streets to fireworks overhead, along with an open-air food festival, Just For Laughs activities for kids, music and film indoors and out, and more. 

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Open-air entertainment

Montréal's 375th birthday celebrations continue with the historic tableaux projections of Cité Memoire in Old Montréal, outdoor circus shows at  MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE, plus more  free things to do this summer! The spectacular (and also free)  We're Acting Out continues with the theatre, puppetry and fireworks of Veles e Vents  by Spain’s Xarxa Theatre, July 15 at 9:30 pm at Place des Festivals. The International des Feux Loto-Québec Montréal Fireworks Festiva l brightens the sky on Saturday and Wednesday at 10 p.m. All kinds of music, cultural events and family-friendly fun make Parc Jean-Drapeau the place to be during  Week-ends du Monde, July 15-16. Repercussion Theatre stages Shakespeare's comedy Much Ado About Nothing in Jarry Park on July 16 and other parks throughout the summer. And groove to the beat of  Festival International Nuits d’Afrique  in Place des Festivals starting July 18.


Outdoor eats

Bouffons MTL gourmet open-air village opens July 15 on the Esplanade at Clark and Sainte-Catherine Street with fabulous food and drink, performances and music. Urban green space, outdoor eatery and bar in the heart of downtown Les Jardins Gamelin hosts live music, dance classes, morning and afternoon family activities and more. Grab a bite from one of Montréal’s food trucks, seasonal outdoor markets or on restaurant patios throughout the city. There's more music, food and socializing at the Village au Pied du Courrant next to the Jacques Cartier Bridge (featuring electronic music curated by MUTEK on Friday night. And Pop Montréal's family-friendly Marché des Possibles in Mile End features live music, food, workshops and more every weekend.

Circus wonders

The 8th edition of MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE takes to the streets and parks with circus shows at Jardins Gamelin and along Saint-Denis Street all week, at Parc Jeanne-Mance on July 14, outside Pointe-à-Callière museum in Old Montréal on July 16, inside Complexe Desjardins downtown, and at Tohu circus centre all weekend. Add to all that a program full of incredible indoor shows, including TABARNAK by Cirque Alfonse, Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA, Limbo at the Casino de Montréal, Les 7 Doigts's VICE & VERTU and Rêveurs Définitifs, a cutting edge technological spectacle with music by Patrick Watson at Théâtre St-Denis II.


Laughs aplenty

The world's biggest comedy fest, one of Montréal's greatest summer festivals and one of July's biggest hits, Just For Laughs revs up with with The Ethnic Show at Club Soda and The Nasty Show at Métropolis before the big gala shows begin next week. Meanwhile, JFL's family-focused outdoor site at Place des Festivals opens July 15, where you'll find free and funny performances, a labyrinth, games at Mondial des jeux, cinema under the stars, and plenty of food and drink. On July 17, don't miss a free concert by The Village People followed on July 19 by the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal performing comic songs of Québec. And see the English-language premier of lively comedy What's in a Name? at the Segal Centre.


On screen

See film premiers, cult classics and more at the excellent Fantasia film festival until August 2, featuring Jung Byung-gil's action thriller The Villainess, David Leitch’s Atomic Blonde starring Charlize Theron, Thai director Nattawut Poonpiriya’s Bad Genius, cinema under the stars and more. Cinémathèque québécoise presents its 20x5 program, a tour through cinematic history from Charlie Chaplin to Lars von Trier. Immerse yourself in the Lucid Realities VR exhibition at the Phi Centre. See noir film The Maltese Falcon outdoors at Film Noir au Canal on July 16. Documentary Théâtre de la vie follows celebrated chef Massimo Bottura as he helps transform discarded produce into gourmet meals for the hungry in ltaly – at Place de la Paix on July 17. And the Cinémania festival presents Victoria (with English subtitles) on July 20 at 9 pm in NDG park. Cinéma sous les étoiles presents documentary Awake: A Dream From Standing Rock in Laurier Park on July 19. And explore space in double feature KYMA – Power of Waves and Edge of Darkness at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.


Art events

At the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, fashion meets passion in Love Is Love – wedding haute couture and prêt-à-porter by Jean Paul Gaultier and Revolution explores the 1960s in music, film, fashion and design. The Musée d'art contemporain inspires with the first solo exhibition in Canada by Olafur Eliasson and contemporary art illuminates a city-altering event In Search of Expo 67. Marvel at the technological innovations of EXPO 67: A World of Dreams at the Stewart Museum and architect Moshe Safdie's Habitat 67 in The Shape of Things to Come at the Centre de design de l’UQAM. British artist Ed Atkins intrigues with questions on human bodies, digital creation and reality in Modern Piano Music at DHC-ART. AIRES LIBRES presents open-air Galerie Blanc at the corner of Wolfe and Ste-Catherine. Pointe-à-Callière archaeology and history museum presents the fascinating Amazonia: The Shaman and the Mind of the Forest. Walk up St-Laurent Boulevard to see mural art on building walls. And Mile-Ex gallery Never Apart debuts its summer exhibition this week.

Live music

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique brings the best of African and African-influenced music to Montréal July 11-23, including Jesse Royal, Emel Mathlouthi and the Canicule Tropicale party at Théâtre Fairmount, Ben l'Oncle Soul at Le National, plus more great shows at Club Balattou this week plus outdoor shows in Place des Festivals starting July 18. The 40th Festival de Lanaudière, one of the biggest classical music festivals in the country, continues to August 6 in nearby Joliette. Saturday afternoon bounces with the Good Vibes Only Garden Party at New City Gas. Sunday at outdoor dance party Piknic Électronik features Spanish producers Chus & Ceballos, Johnny Messina, Spindeman and more, plus a Petit Piknic area for families. Californian acoustic rock duo This Wild Life plays L'Astral on July 16. 80s French pop sensation Plastic Bertrand plays “Ça plane pour moi” and more on the outdoor stage at Place des Festivals and Californian acoustic rock duo This Wild Life plays L'Astral on July 16. July 17 brings Queen & Adam Lambert to the Bell Centre while alt-folk artist Julie Byrne plays Divan Orange. Australian singer-songwriter Xavier Rudd strums up social awareness on July 18 at Métropolis and Thurston Moore Group rocks La Sala Rossa. British pop hit-maker Ed Sheeran fills the Bell Centre on July 19 and Metallica gets wild on the outdoor stage at Parc Jean-Drapeau.


Robyn Fadden

Robyn Fadden, blogger

Robyn Fadden is a Montréal-based writer and editor who searches out city secrets, new bands, life-changing art and things to do with her perpetually active kid. Robyn has covered major events for HOUR, MUTEK, ARTINFO, CKUT 90.3FM and more.

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