Things to do in Montréal September 1 to 7

Robyn Fadden

We're looking forward to a relaxing Labour Day long weekend in Montréal with plenty of local food at the YUL EAT festival, a high-energy Électro Parade and other outdoor activities for all ages, new art, film and photography, and all kinds of live music.

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Montréal eats

Among the many things to do this Labour Day Weekend in Montréal, the YUL EAT festival beckons with culinary creations by renowned Québec chefs, featuring over 40 pop-up restaurants, a market, demos and a family zone in the Old Port September 2-4. Also eat well at the largest gathering of food trucks in Canada at First Fridays on September 1 at Olympic Park. Friday also marks the start of Le Burger Week! Enjoy the summery first days of September with a bite and a drink on a restaurant patio or at a cocktail bar, stop by one of the city's seasonal outdoor markets for picnic supplies for the park, cool down with some of Montréal's best ice cream and rev up with the city's best iced coffee. If you're downtown this weekend, brunch it up! Or eat your vegetables in style at these health-conscious restaurants. Discover some of Montréal's liveliest neighbourhoods through music, food and socializing at Les Jardins Gamelin downtown, the Village au Pied du Courrant next to the Jacques Cartier Bridge and Marché des Éclusiers in the Old Port.

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Music in the streets

The long-running MEG Montréal Electronique Groove festival caps off the city's summer festival season with an array of indie-rock, pop, electro and hip hop August 31 to September 3, including the free, outdoor Électro Parade on Saturday, roaming from the base of Mount Royal, down Parc Avenue all the way to downtown's Place des Festivals. Meanwhile, the newest music festival on the block, Mile Ex End Musique Montréal, parties with Patrick Watson, City and Colour, Cat Power, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and many more artists under the Van Horne Viaduct just steps away from the Mile End neighbourhood, September 2-3. And OUMF fest whoops it up for back-to-school in the Latin Quarter September 6-9 with free music, comedy, street art performances, games and more.

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Celebrate the city

Join the city's 375th anniversary celebrations in the Quartier des Spectacles with the local artistry of interactive public art exhibition KM3 and the dancers of RUBBERBANDance's City Thread – follow them via your smartphone on the esplanade of Place des Arts every evening to September 10. There's more dance at the Festival Quartiers Danses, opening September 7 with shows The Man Who Traveled Nowhere in Time and El Vientre del Animal at Place des Arts plus free outdoor programming in Place des Festivals at noon. Walk along Sherbrooke Street in the Golden Square Mile to see La Balade pour la Paix: An Open-Air Museum, marvel at EXPO 67: A World of Dreams at the Stewart Museum as well as Illusions: The Art of Magic and Fashioning Expo 67 at the McCord Museum. And cheer on Montréal's MLS soccer team the Impact as they play Chicago Fire at Saputo Stadium on September 2.

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Art and fashion

Go global at the World Press Photo exhibition, featuring the most captivating images of international news, life and politics from the past year, at Marché Bonsecours. Multi-venue exhibition Momenta Biennale de l’image explores concepts of reality in photography, with opening events September 6-7 at Galerie de l’UQAM, VOX, Artexte, McCord Museum, Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Montreal Museum of Fine-Arts. Indulge in the haute couture wedding wear of Love Is Love by Jean Paul Gaultier and the colourful styles of the 1960s in Revolution at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. See yourself in the brilliant shadow and light art of Olafur Eliasson at the Musée d'art contemporain alongside new art inspired by Expo 67. Experience the computer-generated videos of British artist Ed Atkins's Modern Piano Music at DHC-ART – plus a discussion with curator Cheryl Sim on Sept. 2. Gallery Never Apart hosts its Summer Closing Party with n10.as radio on September 3. Cheer for baseball history at the Grévin wax museum's Montréal, City of Baseball. Get the audiovisual Warehøuse Art Experience on September 2 at La Fonderie Darling. And fashion meets kink at Montréal Fetish Weekend in the Gay Village to September 4.

On screen and stage

Urban art festival Chromatic presents Michel Gondry’s Home Movie Factory – free start-to-finish 3-hour film workshops open to anyone, September 1 to October 15. VFX and animation professionals converge at Effects MTL 17 conference, expo and job fair, open to the public September 6-7 at Palais des congrès. See an ongoing roster of short films and immersive VR work in Lucid Realities at the Phi Centre and Peter Watkins’s dystopian fiction Punishment Park co-presented at the MMFA on September 1. Sit in on a live podcast of The Minimalists at Corona Theatre on September 2. Walk around Old Montréal to see the historic tableaux projections of Cité Memoire and stop into Notre-Dame Basilica to see multimedia wonder AURA. Or explore space in double feature KYMA – Power of Waves and Edge of Darkness at the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium.

More live music

Along with this week's music festival offerings comes a Friday night with the hits of Puerto Rican singer-songwriter Nicky Jam at the Bell Centre or Dutch metal band Epica at Métropolis. Saturday night's a huge one, starting with living Canadian legend k.d. lang at Place des Arts, plus hip hop duo Shabazz Palaces and Porter Ray at Théâtre Fairmount, captivating pop star Allie X at the Phi Centre and doom metal band Pallbearer and Kayo Dot at Bar le Ritz PDB. Celebrate the 15th edition of outdoor dance party Piknic Électronik over three afternoons and evenings September 1, 3 and 4 at Parc Jean-Drapeau with Sébastien Léger, Misstress Barbara, Nicole Moudaber and more – and keep dancing to energetic electro with Fetty Wap, Mark Knight, Andrew Bayer and more all long weekend at New City Gas.

On Monday night, none other than Lady Gaga brings her spectacular stage show to Montréal's Bell Centre, while Australian singer-songwriter Betty Who plays La Sala Rossa, Kevin Morby (bassist for Woods and The Babies) brings his solo songs to Bar le Ritz PDB, and singer-songwriter Elisa and Miles Francis add soulful electro-pop to Casa del Popolo. Ready yourself for the return of 80s-electro-pop icons Depeche Mode, with openers Warpaint, at the Bell Centre on Tuesday, September 5. See Montréal's own Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade on home turf at the Bell Centre on Wednesday, September 6. Also on Wednesday, Tim Darcy (frontman of Ought) plays songs from his new album Saturday Night at La Vitrola. And spend Thursday night at the symphony with Yannick Nézet-Séguin & l'Orchestre Métropolitain playing Fantastique Bruckner at the Maison symphonique or go wild with old-school California punks Descendents at Métropolis.

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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