10 tuneful ways to spend the 20th Journées de la culture

September 29, 2016

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It has already been 20 years since concert halls, museums, workshops and studios started opening their doors to the public, giving everyone a chance to see how the creative life works and experience culture differently. In the Quartier des Spectacles, it’s like Christmas before time!

For this porcelain anniversary, Montrealers are invited to sing and dance: music is the theme of this year’s Journées de la culture. Belt out your favourite Leloup tune, revel in the flamenco of María Pagés, or groove to the sounds spun by Qualité de luxe.

Here are ten free activities to catch in the Quartier des Spectacles.


Grand karaoké Jean Leloup

Club Soda
October 2, 8 p.m.

Club Soda will become Paradis City, in tribute to Quebec’s king of rock. You’re the hero of this evening emceed by Stéphane Crête – while Leloup’s band plays, come up on stage to sing one of the star’s hits. Are you itching to belt out L’amour est sans pitié or Je joue de la guitare? Ages 18+.

Souffles – 10 chœurs pour un chant à créer

Place des Arts
October 2, from 2 to 5:30 p.m.

Choral music is the focus of this very special afternoon in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier. Starting at 2 p.m., the hall opens its doors to the public for singing and percussion workshops. At 3:30, Les voix statufiées, a human-statue installation with 50 choristers will introduce the Souffles concert, in which 250 voices from around the world will gather on stage and blend their different mother tongues into one.


October 1, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Munich-based punk-disco band Pollyester is visiting Montreal for the first time, and just played Pop Montréal. Here, the group will answer a few questions before giving an intimate concert for the Journées de la culture.

History and evolution of the pop song in Quebec

Grande Bibliothèque
October 1 at 4 p.m.

This presentation rewinds through the history of Quebec popular song, from the present day all the way back to New France. Reservation required.


CLOrk : Ariane Moffatt and the Concordia Laptop Orchestra

Musée d’art contemporain
September 30 at 6, 7 and 8 p.m.

Singer and musician Ariane Moffatt is in the habit of turning the stage into a laboratory. In this all-new series of three 30-minute concerts, she will perform with the Concordia Laptop Orchestra, which will be inspired by the artist’s voice to produce a stunning choral sound. This is sure to be anything but an ordinary concert!

SAT Fest: immersive short films

Society for Arts and Technology
October 1, noon to 5 p.m.

Any event at the Satosphere is a special event. This time, explore the worlds of 15 local artists through immersive short films. Ages 18+.

Augmented-reality park

Place des Festivals
October 1, from 3 to 6 p.m.

Enter the world of landscape architect, designer, and audio and digital artist Yannick Gueguen. With your smartphone in hand, play an immersive geolocated digital game in which ambient sounds influence interaction. It is 2016, after all. Will be cancelled in case of rain.

Guided tour of the Quartier des Spectacles

September 30 at 4 p.m. and October 2 at 10 a.m.

How did the Red Light district shape downtown Montreal? How are digital wizards transforming the Quartier des Spectacles today? What secrets do iconic sites like the Monument-National, Centre for Sustainable Development and Les Jardins Gamelin hold? From west to east, discover the ins and outs of the city’s liveliest square kilometre. Reservations required.


Public rehearsal by María Pagés

Place des Arts
September 30, from 6 to 7 p.m.

This is not something you get to see every day: during her visit to Montreal, Spanish flamenco María Pagés is holding a public dress rehearsal for her show Yo, Carmen. Reservations required.

Les Jazz Street Boyz, Samito et Qualité de luxe

Jardins Gamelin
October 2, from noon to 9 p.m.

Come to Les Jardins for a season-closing party to cap a fine summer. Traditional New Orleans-style jazz with the Jazz Street Boyz is just the thing to get the party started in high gear! Samito follows with a great groove and smart lyrics and hooks. Then the DJs of Qualité de Luxe – Kyou, Poirier and Mr Touré  – will get you dancing to the best Afropop, soca and dancehall.

There will also be plenty of activities for families and friends, including party games with Randolph and the FIL / ICI ARTV library.

Journées de la culture

September 30 to October 2