The Bulletin: Festival season is officially upon us [Issue #26]

The Bulletin is a collection of what's happened, what’s happening, and what’s to come in and around Montreal.

The Main

The Main

May 25, 2023- Read time: 8 min
The Bulletin: Festival season is officially upon us [Issue #26]The Great Antonio Barichievich was known for pulling Montreal buses around. / Photo: Courtesy of McCord Museum

Festivals beginning. Line-ups announced. Street closures. Reunion tours. Revved engines. 30 degree weather that’s about a month early. That guy popping off bottle rockets in the middle of Jarry Park at 4 a.m. (you know who you are!).

There is a moment during what the calendar calls spring in Montreal that preemptively becomes summer. Call it a vibe, or a switch we flip unconsciously in our collective head: We shed layers, we grab roadies from deps, we strike up conversations with strangers, and suddenly everything gets a whole lot sexier.

That’s all in keeping with this week’s news, as events have expanded to include (gasp!) Thursdays and our stories largely point to how we could be more or how we’re doing more. There's so much happening on Sunday alone that you may need to clear your calendars entirely.

Speaking of which: See you in that field of 10,000 sunflowers.

Read on for more.

Weekend events you don’t want to miss

Not seeing something on the list you think we should know about? Hit us up by Instagram to let us know.


  • Montreal author Toula Drimonis will be joined by Le Devoir's Marie-Ève Brassard at Librairie St-Henri Books in what should make for an exciting conversation about her most recent work.
  • Ville-Émard's newest hotspot Café Monk is donating $1 to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada for every West Shefford beer sold. Stop in for a beer and a good cause!
  • Rug makers @hotjellygoods will double act by hosting a comedy improv night at retail gallery space Chaque Mois as part of this month's artisan showcase.
  • Don't miss the launch event for the 9th edition of Jardins Gamelin, the ephemeral space that occupies part of Parc Émilie-Gamelin every summer.


  • There's a new festival in town, and this one is all about coffee, coffee, coffee. Over the course of three days, 30 micro-roasters will showcase their products at WIP in celebration of independent cafés.
  • The Montreal Comic Arts Festival will again set up tents on the stretch of Saint-Denis between Gilford and Roy to welcome over 250 artists and 160 exhibitors throughout the weekend.
  • Festival TransAmériques, an international festival of dance and theatre, has a couple of free outdoor shows happening over at Esplanade Tranquille.
  • Several bands will join forces at the Corona Theatre for a spectacular tribute to the vibrant new wave era of the early to mid-1980s in Montreal.


  • For two days, MILE END EN FÊTE will fill the hipster neighbourhood with a ton of activities including concerts, live painting, projection mapping, and more to promote Mile End and its merchants.
  • Head down to Hangar 1825 on the Lachine Canal for the 2nd edition of Soif de cidre, an alcohol-fuelled event featuring 30 cider producers.
  • Pass by Le Livart to check out the 2023 collection of Art Volt, a platform supporting recent alumni of Concordia’s Fine Arts program.
  • The 2023 season of OfF Piknic 2023 gets underway at Parc Jean-Drapeau with performances by techno DJ Charlotte de Witte and others.
  • Back again for another weekend show, Latin music festival Fuego Fuego kicks off at the Parc Olympique with headliners scheduled to perform over two days.


  • Hochelaga's café-wine bar SUPERNAT is hosting a block party for its 1st birthday. Expect tacos, a live DJ set, and looots of vino.
  • The collab launch of the Lieux Communs x Zamalek '22 hibiscus piquette will go down on the terrasse of Pumpui, starting at noon.
  • Catch a screening of Quebec-made documentary The Hearing and stick around for a Q&A or panel discussion at either Cinéma du Musée or Cinéma Public.
  • CastelFranco is throwing the 2nd edition of BONG DIA over at La Rama Records alongside Stronzato pizza. Bring your own chair?
  • Seven vendors are getting together to throw the first edition of Le Vintage Club in the Village, where you can expect everything from vintage clothing to wine courtesy of Vinorama's thoughtful curator.
  • Bar Wills is celebrating the launch of MORE THAN CAKE, a book by Natasha Pickowicz, with a festive event full of burgers, beats, books, and—duh—cake.
  • And, last but not least, the croissant competition of your dreams will take place to crown the winner of Montreal's best of the best.

What you need to know

ICYMI: A weekly round-up of the latest local news, from food and entertainment to current affairs and more.

All that could have been

Using one of the latest engines for 3D visualization, Moshe Safdie and his architecture firm have been able to digitally recreate Habitat 67 based on its original concept that was first envisioned 56 years ago. (Unreal Engine)

Exploring Hillside: a new vision of Habitat 67
The Hillside Sample Project is a virtual recreation of Moshe Safdie’s original vision for Habitat 67, made with Unreal Engine and RealityCapture. Explore it via walkthroughs, UE files, and more.

Money can't buy happiness, but it can pay for plastic surgery

After a decade of delays, the city is finally getting the recovery of decrepit, overgrown, crumbling urbex gem that is the former public plaza and open-air amphitheatre known as Place des Nations off the ground. Here's why you should take one last look at it. (Cult MTL)

Go visit Place des Nations: Montreal’s post-modern, retro-futuristic ruins
Place des Nations, Ile Ste-Hélène’s open-air amphitheatre (and an Expo 67 relic), will soon be renovated and revived by the City of Montreal.

Nationwide initiative aims to save indie cinemas

As streaming services and large entities like Cineplex continue to dominate the lion's share of the cinema industry, the Network of Independent Canadian Exhibitors is calling on citizens to write to their local politicians to make sure indie theatres can survive—and overcome–some of the current barriers. (The Main)

Montreal’s Indie Cinemas Need Your Support
Independent theatres have been part of Montreal’s cultural landscape since the beginning of the 20th century, but is their future secure? One initiative is trying to ensure they don’t go anywhere.


Well, sort of: The city's biggest earthquake on record from September 16, 1732 is helping researchers predict the impact if another one struck today. Why? Montrealers may not realize it, but eastern Canada is one of the country's regions most prone to earthquakes. (Montreal Gazette)

Here’s what would happen if a 5.8-magnitude earthquake hit Montreal
The city’s biggest quake on record — on Sept. 16, 1732 — is helping researchers predict the impact if another one struck today.

There's an app for that

“Parky AI”, a new tool to help decipher Montreal parking signs, was born after the company's CEO got a parking ticket that he blamed on confusing signs. While that might seem comical, it was downloaded 10,000 times in its first week. (CTV News)

Montreal team develops app to help you decipher perplexing parking signs
A Montreal app developer has released a new tool to help you decipher Montreal parking signs. “Parky AI” was born after the company’s CEO got a parking ticket, which he blamed on confusing signs.

I am the night.

Following largely successful parties that permitted dancing and alcohol well past the limits of your average bar, organizers are saying that Montreal is not doing enough to support a nightlife scene that could be far more vibrant than it already is. (Le Devoir)

«La nuit se réfléchit de nuit»
Entrevue avec un pionnier des études sur la vie nocturne, de passage en ville pour l’événement MTL au Sommet de la nuit.

It's basically art at this point

The dilapidated century-old buildings at one entrance to Old Montreal are proving to be a thorn in the side of developers and politicians. In the hands of the Palais des Congrès, demolition is being considered despite their heritage value. (La Presse)

Vieux-Montréal | « Ça fait dur »
Des immeubles centenaires délabrés défigurent une entrée du cœur historique de Montréal, déplorent plusieurs observateurs

If you grow them, they will come

Part of a larger, five-year urban development plan to attract businesses and people, north end Montreal's La Prairie Louvain is hoping that 10,000 sunflowers will draw us all in to the Ahuntsic–Cartierville borough this summer. (CBC Montreal)

A field of 10,000 sunflowers is coming to Montreal this summer | CBC News
The SDC District Central is hoping to transform the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough by creating several sunflower fields. The first, called La Prairie Louvain, is set to bloom in mid-August.

Take a bite outta the clouds

Since closing the observatory on the 45th and 46th floors of the PVM in 2020, Ivanhoé Cambridge (the folks behind the Le 9e's revival in the Eaton Centre) has made plans to turn it into the cheekily-named three-floor dining option Hiatus, all part of a bigger plan to revitalize the downtown core. (Cision)

Major culinary attractions to open this summer on the top floors of Place Ville Marie
/CNW/ - With summer fast approaching, Ivanhoé Cambridge is excited to announce major culinary attractions will be opening soon on the top floors of Place Ville…

One of the legends

On this day more than 40 years ago, the Gazette ran a photo on the front page showing the Great Antonio Barichievich doing one of his famous public stunts: Pulling buses by chains. That led us to find this documentary on the strongman and professional wrestler who died in 2003. (YouTube)

Posts of the Week

Our favourite moments from Twitter.

That wraps up this week's edition. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.

And if ever you catch something we should know, reach out to us on Instagram.

Thanks for reading.

What does Snoop Dogg eat when he's in Montreal? Smoked meat every day.