The top 5 things to do in Montreal this summer
It’s a simple equation: Montreal + summer = festivals. Here are our 2015 favourites.
1. TUNES TO SOOTHE THE SOUL
Montreal International Jazz Festival | Quartier des Spectacles | June 26 to July 5
A common misconception about Montreal’s International Jazz Festival is that a) it costs money to attend, and b) it only features jazz.
In fact, amid the annual pilgrimage of jazz enthusiasts, you’ll find anything from symphony orchestras to reggae MCs. And some of the best open-air concerts are free (in both senses of the word).
2. CINEMA UNDER THE STARS
Cinéma urbain à la belle étoile | Place de la Paix | Tuesdays at 9 p.m. / June 9 to September 8
Curious about all the film fests taking place around town? (FIFA, RIDM, Film POP…) Well, here’s your outdoor, zero-cost sampler!
For the 10th year in a row, the Société des arts technologiques is hosting a series of starry screenings — 13 to be exact. The selection ranges from handpicked music bios (Nick Cave doc 20,000 Days on Earth and the Oscar-winning 20 Feet from Stardom) to a 30th-anniversary showing of Back to the Future.
3. THE WORLD’S BEST FIREWORKS?
L'International des Feux Loto-Québec | La Ronde | July 1 to August 1
If fireworks take you back, this is the festival for you. Although you can purchase tickets to watch the international show up close, us locals tend to enjoy them for free, from a wide variety of spots throughout the city.
Try the Jacques-Cartier Bridge: it’ll be blocked to cars so pedestrians can take in the colourful display. Or you could brave the Metro and hop off at Papineau, then take a short walk to the waterfront. Rooftop bar terasses will also offer optimal viewing.
But no matter where your search takes you, you’re bound to “ooooh” and “ahhhh.”
4. YOUR CULT QUOTA
Fantasia International Film Festival | Multiple locations | July 14 to August 4
Quentin Tarantino’s favourite (“the most important and prestigious genre film festival on this continent”) is back for the nineteenth time and it really is better than ever.
This is not a fest for the faint of heart. There will be the horror, fantasy, action, anime and sci-fi; guts, gore, nudity and people in costume/funny masks.
The best part? It’s close to home: most of the screenings take place at Concordia’s J.A. DeSève Cinema, D.B. Clarke Theatre and Alumni Auditorium.
5. TOTALLY RANDOM AND POTENTIALLY AWESOME
Montréal Complètement Cirque | Across town | July 2 to 12
The circus is coming! The circus is coming! But where is it coming? All around town, actually: from Verdun to the Quartier Latin, death-defying acrobats, clown pianists and highly skilled hula hoopers are taking over entire Montreal streets.
This is one spectacle it’ll be hard to miss.
Stay up to date with what’s going on in Montreal by subscribing to La Vitrine’s newsletter.