END THE SUMMER ON A HIGH NOTE WITH THESE FOUR FESTIVALS
August 8, 2019
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In August, the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles moves to the beat of some of Montreal’s most captivating festivals. The Montreal First Peoples Festival will transform Place des Festivals into a village of Nations, while the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal reaches out to every audience with its Classical Spree. The graffiti and urban art festival, Under Pressure, turns an entire street into hip-hop central, while the Fashion & Design festival takes over Place des Festivals.
There are countless ways to take a break from the daily grind in the Quartier des Spectacles this August. A look at four great festivals.
THE MONTREAL FIRST PEOPLES FESTIVAL: YOUTHFUL HOPE
August 6 to 14
Place des Festivals
Tradition meets new artistic practices at this 29th annual Montreal First Peoples Festival, featuring plenty of free concerts. Throughout the event, Place des Festivals will be decked out to honour the cultural, spiritual and artistic heritage of the land and its first peoples.
On Friday, August 9, Pierre Kwenders and Lydia Képinski will take the stage with Quantum Tangle, Lido Pimienta, the Young Feathers Singers and others, for the third annual Nikamotan MTL- Nicto concert, with an appealing mix of Atikamekw, Sámi, African and Afro-Colombian influences.
In collaboration with the First Peoples Festival, the OSM’s Classical Spree has invited Innu singer Florent Vollant and Métis multidisciplinary artist Moe Clark to explore diverse musical traditions with a group of Orchestre symphonique de Montréal musicians. Makusham! will take place this Friday, August 9, in the Cinquième salle at Place des Arts.
OSM CLASSICAL SPREE FESTIVAL : BINGE ON THE CLASSICS!
August 7 to 11
Place des Arts and Complexe Desjardins
The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal is back with its Classical Spree festival: a series of short, varied concerts to immerse young and old in the majestic world of classical music. Tickets are moderately priced, and in some cases free. This is an unconventional and thoroughly enjoyable classical marathon, where you’ll jump from musical discovery workshops to chamber music recitals and orchestral concerts. Here are a few picks from the dozens of concerts and free activities happening during the four-day event.
For children ages 6 to 12, Sophie Cadieux presents a story illustrated with musical pieces chosen with input from the public. The actress will be accompanied, on the Cinquième salle stage at Place des Arts, by Philip Chiu on piano, Dakota Martin on flute and Sandra Joseph on percussion (Saturday, August 10 at 1 p.m. In French). The same day, the Athlètes de la flûte à bec will inspire children ages 5 to 12 with their out-of-the-ordinary competitions, at Place des Arts’ Piano Nobile. Baroque, modern or pop: this adventurous quartet will play them all on their recorders, from the sopranino to the great bass.
The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal, conducted by Kent Nagano, is the star of many of the concerts, including an eagerly anticipated tribute to early 20th century composers Maurice Ravel and Béla Bartók at the Maison symphonique (August 10). Singer Marc Hervieux (Friday, August 9) and the choirs of the Alliance chorale du Québec (Sunday, August 11) will also share the stage with the famous orchestra during the Classical Spree.
UNDER PRESSURE FESTIVAL: HIP-HOP CULTURE ON AND OFF THE WALLS
August 10 and 11
Sainte-Catherine and Boibriand St.
The North American’s first urban culture festival takes over Boisbriand St. in the Quartier des Spectacles, behind the legendary Foufounes électriques, which will also host some of the festivities. Under Pressure has celebrated hip-hop culture since 1996 with graffiti and other visual arts, dance and urban music.
Check out the break dancing, hip-hop and popping competitions with their athletic dancers, watch the murals take shape and go see the Can I sneak it exhibition.
FASHION & DESIGN FESTIVAL
August 19 to 24
Place des Festivals
The Fashion & Design Festival is an open-air celebration of creativity. Runway shows, concerts, multidisciplinary shows, talks and a village of pop-up shops will take over Place des Festivals and the Wilder Building – Espace Danse. Here are some ideas for your catwalk adventure.
Wednesday, August 21, pop culture will be revised and updated by Gabrielle Laïla Tittley, aka Pony. The Montreal illustrator, designer and accessory creator gives her vibrant imagination a humorous twist in her show Pony – Au bout du feel , presented in Place des Festivals.
On Thursday, August 22, the spring-summer 2020 runway show by young designer Pedram Karimi promises to be a colourful affair, with the Montrealer collaborating with Toronto visual artist Wendell Bruno and DJ Empress Cissy Low.
The festival ends on Saturday, August 24 with a special performance by the dancers of Les Ballets jazz de Montréal, clad in the creations of Belgian designer Sarah Pacini, with whom Philippe Dubuc is now collaborating.