Things to do in Montréal October 6 to 12

Robyn Fadden

Montréal greets the Thanksgiving long weekend with outdoor activities for the city's 375th anniversary, brilliant dance and theatre, an international film festival, the athletics of the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships and all kinds of live music.

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375 celebrations

Montréal's 375th anniversary celebrations continue in fine autumn form this week, featuring some of the free things to do this fall in Montréal. Explore the Quartier des Spectacles to spot the outdoor art of KM3 until October 15 in city squares and parks, along sidewalks and on building facades. Walk along McGill College Avenue to see the photographs of Expo 67: The Place to Be, along Sherbrooke Street in the Golden Square Mile for La Balade pour la Paix: An Open-Air Museum, and in Old Montréal to see the historic tableaux projections of Cité Memoire and multimedia wonder AURA at Notre-Dame Basilica. Go to Mile End for the vibrant Viaduc 375 project on the the Van Horne overpass this weekend – take a guided tour, stay for lunch, see historic installations and films, hear live music in the evenings plus projections by MAPP MTL and join Festival Phénomena's colourful parade on Saturday. See the Plateau neighbourhood through the eyes of Paul à Montréal, a self-guided tour based on the beloved comic art of Michel Rabagliati. Get an all-new perspective on the city from La Grande Roue de Montréal observation wheel in the Old Port. And spend an evening illuminated at the Montréal Botanical Garden’s enchanting and family-friendly 25th edition of Gardens of Light.


Food and drink

It's time to eat well and relax this Thanksgiving Weekend – among the many things to do and eat, check out the food trucks and music at First Fridays at Olympic Park on October 6. While the fine weather holds, grab a bite and a drink on a restaurant patio or stop by one of the city's seasonal outdoor markets for picnic supplies for the park. On to more autumnal things: Montréal boasts a variety of harvest activities for all ages, including the Pumpkin Ball at the Botanical Garden October 6-21. Whether you've never tried poutine or have a craving for smoked meat, check out these musts for foodies visiting Montréal – and go shopping for foodies too. Rev up with the city's best iced coffee, brunch it up in style, get health-conscious, or relax with a cocktail. And discover some of Montréal's liveliest neighbourhoods through music, food and socializing at Les Jardins Gamelin downtown, Marché Prince Arthur in the Plateau and Les Jardineries on the Olympic Stadium esplanade.

Sports action

Watch the awe-inspiring intense competition of the 47th Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, October 2-8, as more than 600 gymnasts from 80 countries go for gold at Olympic Stadium. In CFL Thanksgiving Day action, the Montréal Alouettes play Edmonton on the afternoon of October 9 at Percival Molson Stadium at McGill University. The Montréal Canadiens play their first home game of the 82-game NHL regular season on October 10 against the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre. The ParticipACTION 150 event stops at Montréal's Uniprix Stadium (home to the Rogers Cup) on October 7 to challenge us with all kinds of physical activities. And pull on a wetsuit and catch a wave surfing in Montréal on the Saint Lawrence River rapids.

Art inspires

Explore concepts of reality in photography at multi-venue exhibition Momenta Biennale de l’image with evocative art at Galerie de l’UQAM, VOX, Artexte, McCord Museum, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to October 15. Also at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, fashion meets art in the haute couture wedding wear of Love Is Love by Jean Paul Gaultier to October 22 and in the colourful styles of the 1960s in Revolution to October 9. Step into the history of one of Montréal's most transformative events at immersive Expo 67: A World of Dreams at the Stewart Museum to October 8. Renowned art foundation DHC/ART in Old Montréal celebrates its 10th anniversary with L'Offre a dynamic group exhibition exploring concepts of "the gift." Cheer for baseball history at the Grévin wax museum's Montréal, City of Baseball. Explore the golden age of magicians in the McCord Museum's Illusions: The Art of Magic. Mile Ex gallery Never Apart opens its fall exhibitions, featuring the work of 20 artists. See what's new and bold in performance art at VIVA! Art Action October 4-7. And spot Alain Paiement's art work Bleu de Bleu along Highway 20 from the airport.

On stage

Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera returns to Montréal with a huge new cast and inventive staging, October 4-15 at Place des Arts. Circus meets theatre, dance and multimedia in James Thierrée and Compagnie du Hanneton's La grenouille avait raison at La Tohu to October 7. On the English-language theatre scene this fall, see hockey-legend history unfold in Playing with Fire: The Theo Fleury Story at Centaur Theatre to October 29, one-man tragi-comedy Omi Mouna (or my fantastic encounter with my great-grandmother) October 10-14 at MAI, and some of the best shows from June's Fringe Fest in FRINGE Encore featuring PRECINCT: An Improvised Cop Comedy and tldr;smh at Mainline Theatre – plus This BOOK is my BEST Friend! gives readers 3 minutes each to talk about their favourite books on October 12. Montréal's fall dance scene promises thrilling, contemplative, boundary-pushing shows: Les Grands Ballets dances Stabat Mater and Beethoven's 7th Symphony choreographed by Edward Clug and Uwe Scholzat at Place des Arts October 11-28; Skeels Danse presents evocative Rose of Jericho choreographed by Les Grands Ballets dancer Andrew Skeels October 10-14 at Place des Arts; José Navas and his Compagnie Flak offer their contemporary retrospective at Agora de la danse October 11-14; and see David Albert Toth and Emily Gualtieri's theatrical and playful La vie attend at Théâtre La Chapelle until October 7, followed October 10-13 by public disturber Peter James' carte blanche cabaret Le Chant du singe / Happening Postpostpost, part of Festival Phénomena.

On screen

The popular cutting-edge Festival Nouveau Cinéma counts Québécois director Denis Villeneuve's Blade Runner 2049 among hundreds of feature films and shorts from Québec and around the world alongside talks, workshops, VR installations, parties and more events. Urban art festival Chromatic presents Michel Gondry’s Home Movie Factory – free start-to-finish 3-hour film workshops open to anyone, ongoing to October 15. Put on a VR headset to see a roster of short films and immersive VR work in Lucid Realities at the Phi Centre. Explore space in double feature KYMA – Power of Waves and Edge of Darkness at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, see nature in IMAX at the Montréal Science Centre or lie back and watch high-tech audiovisual spectacle Lamparium in the SAT dome.

Classical music

The Concours international d’orgue du Canada opens with organists Jean-Willy Kunz and Christian Lane joined by Montréal singer-songwriter Leif Vollebekk on October 6 at the Maison Symphonique, followed by competition concerts and more (including new biergartens) at Église de l’Immaculée-Conception, Église Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Notre Dame Basilica until October 21. Conductor Vasily Petrenko leads a concert of Russian music that features pianist Charles Richard-Hamelin playing Prokofiev at Place des Arts' Maison symphonique on October 11, while prominent Austrian string quartet Quatuor Mosaïques performs on period instruments at Bourgie Hall.

More live music

Get energized on Friday night with a Daft Punk Tribute at Théâtre Corona, trip-hop legend Tricky and In the Valley Below at Théâtre Fairmount, and Crywolf at Petit Campus. L'OFF Jazz Festival resounds with creative musical energy October 5-14, including Joe Sullivan and his Big Band on Friday night, François Bourassa Quartet on October 11, pianist Josh Rager on October 12 and more. New City Gas hosts a long weekend of music with Rez Friday night, Miguel on Saturday and Floss Tradamus on Sunday. Saturday night brings Future Islands to MTelus, punk rockers Against Me! and Bleached to Théâtre Corona and UK singer-songwriter Luke Sital-Singh to the Phi Centre. The MAPP MTL 2017 festival closes on Saturday in a collaboration with MUTEK at Moment Factory, with live audiovisual performances from Ewerx, Wiklow and Diagraf plus techno-house from Simon Chioini, Loose Excursions and Devo B.

International DJs and thousands of revelers party at Montréal’s 27th annual Black & Blue Festival October 5-9: catch Leather Ball at Bain Mathieu on October 6, Twinkle Diverse-City on October 7 and all-nighter main event Luminosity at the Pierre Charbonneau Amphitheatre on Oct. 8. Or Sunday night rock-out with METZ and Solids at La Sala Rossa and Japanese Breakfast at Bar le Ritz PDB. On Monday, Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull throw down with opener CNCO at the Bell Centre while Mastodon, Eagles of Death Metal and Russian Circles blow minds and ear drums at MTelus. Metalcore meets pop punk as A Day to Remember plays MTelus on October 10 or spend an evening with the ambient pop of Cigarettes After Sex at Le National. On October 12 awe-inspiring electronic producer Nicolas Jaar plays a live set with Actress opening at Olympia de Montréal, while Paramore and Best Coast bring joy with indie-pop at Théâtre St-Denis.

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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