The Bulletin: Big festivals becoming 10,000 tiny festivals [Issue #35]

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

July 27, 2023- Read time: 9 min

You ever have one of those friends who never seems to be able to sit down? Maybe you at least know the type: Always on the go, always making plans, go go go, buying tickets and keeping reservations, completely unaffected by fatigue or hunger or age and living in this city like they're constantly a kid.

That's Montreal in a lot of ways: Sometimes you just have to be amazed by the energy we put out for culture, so much that it'd rival the province's hydroelectric dams if you could plug into it. Even as some of the year's biggest festivals of the year are coming to a close, there's a massive amount of stuff happening, from Haitian culture festival and symphonic orchestra performances in parks to conferences of designers and artists to skateshoe-sponsored arts fairs in the Rialto.

Mind you, you don't have to do any of that. You want to bike out to Île de la Visitation and disconnect? Go ahead. You want to pop mush on the mountain and watch the sun go down from one of its plateaus? No problem.

Disconnect. Reconnect. Misconnect. Interconnect.

It's all good.


  • Montreal's world-famous Fantasia International Film Festival continues with a wide selection of international genre cinema. No Nike Cage, though.
  • Just For Laughs is coming to an end this weekend: Go see one of the many, many comedians taking stage, plus the Zoofest & OFF JFL events.
  • For the Bonfires & Bonnes histoires summer series, join Rachel Cheng and Christophe Dubois as they guide the audience in a conversation about how food intersects with our relationship with nature.
  • The annual assembly of global creative leaders FORUM is back, bringing together designers and artists on a mission to network, educate, and create.


  • OSM in the parks is heading to Parc Jarry to perform a range of classical music—for free.
  • Dive into a world of Quebec cider with Soif de cidre Montréal, taking place at the Lachine Canal's Hangar 1825 all weekend.
  • Catch the end of the Haiti en Folie Festival, the best of Haitian culture in one week, offering everything from literature to gastronomy and music.
  • Ciele Athletics is hosting a 'back alley battle' with Puma at espace | MTL with the "sketchiest 400 meter(ish) loop you've ever witnessed."
  • Village au Pied-du-Courant, our premiere urban beach project located alongside the Saint-Lawrence River, is throwing parties all weekend.
  • Live in Verdun, or care about it? Get together and stand up against the wave of renovictions with a class-action neighbourhood barbecue.
  • Head out of town to check out the 2023 Orford Music Festival.


  • House of Vans Montreal, a celebration of art, music, fashion, and community, will be taking place at the Rialto Theatre with an event that's free and open to the public.
  • The wine events, curation and tastings of Good Wine Good Music Good Friends is taking over at the MR-63 terrasse with their event Wine Down.
  • Explore the work of Dempsey Bob, known throughout Canada and internationally as one of the most accomplished carvers on the Northwest Coast, at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Catch the last day of circus performances at the giant sculpture downtown, found at the base of Place Ville-Marie.
  • The Zebrance Safari House returns to Club Pelicano with resident DJs La Berthe and Blaise-Us as well as two special guests.


  • Relax at the end of the weekend with a performance by the United States at L’International des Feux Loto-Québec.
  • Late at night, Cinema l'Amour will celebrate its 42nd anniversary by screening the first movie to ever hit its screen, Ecstasy Girls.
  • Love dogs? After the success of the very first Hoch'Gala Canin last summer, the event is returning for some poochy outings.
  • Over at Piknik Élektronik, Chris Avantgarde, Hikcy & Kalo, and Aurora Halal will be performing.

Image: Hiatus / Patricia Brochu


This section dishes out the scoop on restaurant openings, new menus, old classics—you name it.

  • We're calling it: Grab some classic Mexican street food with one of the city's best sources for huitaloche, the 'farm-to-mouth' hole in the wall Vivace.
  • Hiatus, the restaurant sitting on the 45th and 46th floors  of Place Ville Marie, where the observatory used to be, is softly opening as of July 27.
  • Take a trip to Big Sur with the new café Côte Mtl, a slick and surfy spot to sip coffee near Concordia University.
  • Following a revamp, Hotel Nelligan and Hotel Place D'Armes were named the two best city hotels in Canada by Travel + Leisure magazine.
  • L’aPero buvette is hosting a Friday Soirée glouglou with grilled corn, burgers, and wines for cheap.
  • On Sunday, Le Plongeoir is serving 6 cuvées from Olivier Boulin by the glass for one night only with a huge assist from the one and only @_whinemom_
  • Also on Sunday: Elena and Parcelles are doing a pizza pop-up on the terrasse of Boxermans in Outremont.
  • Tiamo, an Italian restaurant taking over the spot that once was home to the pizza-forward Moleskine, is open as of July 26.
  • Have you checked out the new and improved Brasserie du Ciel?

+ A new beer in town, baby 🍻

It's been a year since WILLS opened in Mile-Ex, taking up residence in the large industrial space that once housed the Brasserie Vieux-Montréal and former local favourite Alexandraplatz. Now, they've released their own beer. (The Main)

WILLS: A New Hub for Balanced Beer in Mile-Ex
Montreal’s newest microbrewery opens up about what it means for the city.

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

Big Break in Little Chinatown

The heart of Montreal's Chinatown has just been classified as a heritage site, strengthening the protection of its several century-old buildings mostly located along rue De La Gauchetière, between rue Saint-Urbain and rue Jeanne-Mance. (La Presse)

Montréal | Le cœur historique du Quartier chinois protégé
Le cœur du Quartier chinois de Montréal vient d’être classé comme site patrimonial, renforçant la protection de plusieurs édifices centenaires qui s’y trouvent.

The Montreal Canadrip

The Habs has a new line of merch that imagines its logo through the prism of local delicacies like bagels, poutine, smoked meat and hot dogs. We didn't say it was particularly cheap to buy any of it, though. (Montreal Gazette)

The Habs put out merch inspired by Montreal food, and we don’t hate it
Turns out the Canadiens and poutine are two great tastes that taste great together.

To put it in terms Montreal can understand

Nearly one million hectares of forest have been decimated by the forest fires in northern Quebec, equivalent to 3500 times the Mount Royal Park or 20 times the entire island of Montreal. But that's only part of the story. (Journal Métro)

Les feux de forêt ont brûlé l’équivalent de 3500 parcs du Mont-Royal
La superficie brûlée est équivalente à 3500 fois le parc du Mont-Royal ou à 20 fois l’entièreté de l’île de Montréal.

"Ice cream so good"

News this week had a hot minute focusing on the Montreal NPC TikTok star Pinkydoll who's reportedly making as much as $4,000 a day when she reacts to whatever her audience pays her to do. Even the New York Times picked up the story. (CBC Montreal)

How Montreal’s Pinkydoll is profiting from a bizarre trend on TikTok | CBC News
A Montreal woman is gaining exposure – and making money – by performing unusual sequences requested by fans live on TikTok. She’ll say, “Yes, yes, yes!” And then, in quick succession, she slurps, then shouts, “Fire! Fire! Fire! Fire!” It all relates back to a virtual trend called NPC streaming.

Is it Circus or Cheugy du Soleil? 🤡

Everything and everyone seems to be grappling with how to capture the imaginations of the Tiktok-soaked brains of Gen Z right now, and that includes Montreal's own world-famous circus company Ciruqe du Soleil. (New York Times)

Image: Cirque du Soleil / Marie-Andrée Lemire

Adios, beaches.

Tiki fever reached Quebec in the late 1950s, leading to storied established like Kon Tiki, a pop-Polynesian restaurant serving then-exotic cocktails amid Maori masks, New Guinea spears, and Tiki statues. Cooler still, some of that time's Tiki-inspired places still exist. (Encyclopédie du MEM)

Le Kon Tiki, restaurant pop-polynésien
Au courant des années 1950, le style « pop-polynésien » gagne Montréal. Dans un décor inspiré du Pacifique, le restaurant Kon Tiki offre l’illusion de l’exotisme à ses clients.

Read the end of this paragraph with the Law & Order sound.

Back in 1949, Le Devoir published a series of articles decrying lax policing and the spread of organized crime in the city. This led to an inquiry, which in turn led to the publishing of photos of brothels, gambling dens and mugshots of people who ran them, often in cahoots with the cops. These are those photos. (Flashbak)

Prostitutes And Madams: Mugshots From When Montreal Was Vice Central - Flashbak
Photos of brothels, gambling dens and mugshots of people who frequented them, often in cahoots with the cops…

Skateboarding: A photo essay

In 2019, the Van Horne overpass's skatepark officially opened for the first time as the largest street-style park in Quebec. Since then, the park has grown into a beloved spot for skateboarders. Chill and check out these sweet shots. (The Link)

An Afternoon Under the Van Horne Overpass | Sports
On top of being an incredibly versatile spot for skateboarders, the Mile-End skatepark is a beautiful place to be. The uniqueness of the gem lies in its endlessly colourful and characteristic industrial look.

When appetites increase, violence erupts

The Mafia of Montreal was once the apex of Canadian organized crime and the envy of mobsters around the world. Following deaths in its leadership, its organization is in splinters, leading to public warfare to win it back. (National Post)

Mob wars: Montreal gripped by reckless and dangerous violence
The Montreal mob was once the apex of organized crime. There are few clearer signs of losing control than messy public wars to win it back.

This was written by AI—or was it?

It's harder than ever to tell the difference between AI-generated and human-made content. Valérie Pisano of the Montreal-based AI research institute MilaQuebec says mandatory labelling can help keep internet users informed. (Maclean's)

How can we tell whether content is made by AI or a human? Label it. -
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT are now able to create text, speech, art and video as well as people can. We need to know who made what.

And that wraps yet another weekly bulletin. We’ll be back with more curiosities, local stories, and events to discover next week.

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