7 Things To Do This May in Montreal
In Montreal, there is always some sort of festival or event taking place – whether it be 30 degrees (yup, we use Celsius!) and sunny or below freezing. Montrealers love their concerts, exhibits, lectures and festivals. Now that summer is on its way (the sky is so blue, and the sun is shining – even if there is still some leftover snow!), it’s the perfect time to walk the city and take part in one of the many events planned during the month of May.
Here are 7 of the top things to do in Montreal this May:
I wrote about the Pompeii Exhibition in the February in MTL edition, because the exhibit started in February – and it runs until September 6th. So really, you have all summer to check out the fabulous relics and remains of Pompeii whilst in Montreal. I went and I was touched – to see the personal items, statues and even a petrified loaf of bread from a civilization that was literally blown to smithereens – now that’s something. What I like about this exhibition is that in addition to the items on display at the Fine Arts Museum, there are also film screenings and lectures on the subject. Check out the itinerary here – events are added periodically.
Image by Cirque du Soleil
Cirque du Soleil’s LUZIA
Cirque du Soleil was founded in Quebec, and the newest show, LUZIA, is premiering in Montreal this spring (April 21st). LUZIA is inspired by Mexico (the musician and guitarist of the show is from and lives in Mexico) and will be performed under the “grand chapiteau” (big tent). I’ve always wanted to see a show under the tent (I had the opportunity to see a show at the Bell Center) – I can only imagine how immersive the experience is in such an intimate space.
Photo by Adam Levine via Creative Commons
Food and Drink Festivals
April 29 to May 8, 2016
Lately it seems like every day is a National something Day (or week) – which admittedly, is really fun. This May, Montreal is hosting a Grilled Cheese Festival and La Bière Week (both April 29 to May 8, 2016). Throughout the city, restaurants will participate in the “Grilled Cheese Festival”, and we the people, vote for our favourites.
For those of us who aren’t that into cheese, I’m hoping that local vegan restaurants will play along and make some epic cashew cheese or Daiya sandwiches! As for “Beer Week”, Atwater Market is welcoming 20+ local microbreweries – taste local brews for cheap (3 tastings for $1). Half the funds will be donated to the Children’s Hospital; I’m reminded of the Friends episode where Phoebe, at a charity event for children, drinks alllll the alcohol (“I’m just helping the kids – the more I drink, the less there is for the kids to drink”).
Starts May 17th (until September 27th)
Food (trucks), live electronic music, dancing – all outdoors at an urban park, and just 10-minutes from downtown Montreal. Every Sunday (from 2 pm to 9:30 pm), thousands of people gather for the event. Piknic has been so successful that the event is now in cities like Barcelona, Dubai and Lisbon (to name a few).
Photo by MAC
Les Nocturnes du MAC (The Nocturnes of the Museum of Contemporary Art)
May 20, 2016
The MAC has begun hosting evenings at the museum – drinks, finger food and the exhibits – from 5 pm to well after midnight (2 am). Quite a classy way to spend a night out, don’t you think?
May 29, 2016
One day a year for the past 30 years now, all of the city’s museums are open to the public for free! Of course, this means that there will be a ton more people out and about, whether you’re driving or taking public transport. But really, it’s a lot of fun – you can museum hop, see a couple of things at a handful of museums and it’s likely that there will be exhibitions and/or presentations for the occasion. Right now the event calendar is TBA – so keep an eye out!
Photo by Limarie Cabrera via Creative Commons
Peruse the Markets
Montreal has some of the best markets – the Jean Talon Market in Little Italy is actually one of the biggest outdoor markets in North America. Since the weather is warming up in the month of May, it’s very enjoyable to stroll through the stands of local and imported produce and other goods, pick up a bouquet of fresh flowers and grab a bite at one of the many surrounding cafés or restaurants.