The Bulletin: A downtown punk takeover, a cocktail festival, and a surfboard studio [Issue #77]

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 16, 2024- Read time: 9 min
The Bulletin: A downtown punk takeover, a cocktail festival, and a surfboard studio [Issue #77]You catch that aurora borealis at this time of day, at this time of year, localized entirely above your hemisphere? | Photograph: @grandgeur / Instagram

You ever think about what happens when a heart starts beating?

To be a full-fledged organism out of a handful of cells, complete with functioning tissues and organs is one thing. It's a messy yet highly synchronized process that requires every cell to organize precisely together, one that’s especially dramatic in the heart, where cells start beating in perfect unison.

We're thinking about this as the city really starts to activate. This weekend's already revealing a bunch of music festivals and activities that'll light up the night as brightly as last week's Northern Lights, while restaurants and bars all across town are reopening their terrasses. We are BACK, baby.

The blood is pumping throughout the vessels of our streets—read on to find out where it's heading.

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Activities, parties, points of interest, art exhibitions, you name it: These are the weekend events you don't want to miss.



  • Pouzza Fest's punk rock music festival is taking over downtown with over 175 bands performing in different venues all within walking distance of each other.
  • The Angus Market is returning and celebrating its first day back with vendors new and old, plus some musical performances.


  • NDG Porchfest, a weekend for NDG residents (and friends) to discover local musicians as they perform on neighbourhood front porches, is back.
  • Retro-Spection is hosting a large outdoor market in its backyard in Verdun with a big vintage selection at $5, $10, and $20.


  • Piknic Électronik is back in action, starting with performances by Ahmed Spins, Elif, Nico Moreno, Ferias, VTSS, Martyn Bootyspoon, and much more.
  • Fiery tunes of three bands doing new takes on traditional dance and romani tunes from Bulgaria, Serbia, North Macedonia and Greece is happening at BalkanFest.

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This week, we're looking at Miracolo; story's below. | Photograph: Audrey-Eve Beauchamp / @audreyeve.beauchamp


Scope the latest restaurant openings, recommendations on where to eat, plus new menus, old classics, and everything in between.

Get schooled on cocktails

This'll be the first festival of its kind in Montreal, with pop-ups, masterclasses and seminars covering everything from the evolution of the martini to the intricacies of cognac and the rise of zero-proof and low-ABV cocktails, pairing dinners, and more. (The Main)

Montréal Cocktail Fest: Mixology culture from around the world converges on the city
From May 19th to May 22nd, the Montréal Cocktail Fest’s inaugural edition in 2024 features pop-ups, pairing dinners, custom spirits and more from addresses both local and international.
  • Le 9e, the landmark ninth-floor restaurant atop the Centre Eaton de Montréal, reopens on May 17—reservations at its restaurant Île de France seem to be booked solid until July, though.
  • Menu Extra and Pasta Pooks are back at it this summer with a pop-up on Sunday with all kinds of choice Italian food and drink.
  • On May 19, Salle Climatisée is going a daytime coffee and cake event with La Cabra and Café Olive. No reservations necessary, and they'll have wine open too.
  • Filipino standout spot Buboy is celebrating its one year anniversary with a special event and lots of XO lobster lomi noodles.
  • On May 20, Majestique is going to mix things up with a Korean pop-up featuring Saint-Henri's 9 Tail Fox.
  • You wanna head out of town during the long weekend? Frelighsburg's Passe-Montagne is hosting a long-awaited pop-up with Sutton's Tartinizza on May 20.
  • The Jean-Talon Market's got a new poutine bar to check out with Casa.
  • On May 19, Savsav in Saint-Henri's doing their second Brunch Dansant, an event combining breakfast and sound.
  • Montreal's nostalgic bar extraordinaire Taverne Cobra is reopening.

C'mon baby, light my fire 🔥

When it opened back in January 2024, that wet and cold month of sloche in Montreal, Miracolo lit up Saint-Laurent Boulevard like a fireplace. And it did so by design. If you haven't been yet, don't miss out on this spot. (The Main)

Miracolo: The restaurant, cathedral, temple, and theatre of Montreal’s Plateau
Miracolo has all the kinetic and sensual energy of a fire, lit along the Plateau’s central and historic thoroughfare.

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Here, you'll find a weekly round-up of the latest local news, from entertainment to current affairs and more.

Montreal from an illustrator's perspective

There’s no style quite as playful as Benoit Tardif’s: Vibrant, whimsical, and characterized by bold colors, imaginative scenes, and a playful use of characters and elements—who better than him to give a guide to the city from his professional perspective? (The Main)

Benoit Tardif: An Illustrator’s Guide to Montreal
From spots to work and places to print to undercelebrated artistic curios, few people are better to offer a guide to Montreal from an illustrator’s perspective than this enigmatic artist.

Surf's up in Saint-Henri 🏄

Seeing surfboards at the September Surf café today won’t be unusual for anyone who’s known the place since its beginnings in 2016, but for Mitch Martin and the handmade surf shop Brainchild that supplies those boards, it’s coming full circle. (The Main)

Brainchild: A surfboard studio passion project rekindled in Montreal’s Sud-Ouest
Where Mitch Martin gets back to one of the founding ideas behind Little Burgundy’s September Surf Café.

Break it down now

Week after week during the summer months, you can count on the Montreal streets to come alive with music and art. Even though comedy fest Just For Laughs is taking a one-year break to sort out its financial woes, there’s still plenty to do and see in town. (Montreal Gazette)

It’s festival season again! Here are some of the best in the city and beyond
From major music fests to smaller, indie parties, bookmark this handy calendar curated by The Gazette newsroom

Rumble in the Jacques

The capital and the metropolis, the big village and the big city—it's said there's always been a rivalry between Quebec City and Montreal. It was in the last quarter of the 20th century that this Nordic–Canadian rivalry reached its climax. (Journal de Montréal)

Just askin' DALL-E to depict the rivalry between Montreal and Quebec City.

We got a long way to go

It's a big point of local pride, but how does Montreal's metro compare with systems found around the world? Heck, what about its bus and REM systems? Take a ride and see how it might not be as excellent as some might think. (Le Devoir)

Comment se compare le métro de Montréal
Le métro de Montréal dans le peloton de queue des réseaux internationaux.

Just a lil' pledge

Mayors from Montreal, Chicago and Milwaukee signed a declaration this week, backed by more than 260 mayors, to transform the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin into a "blue-green economic corridor of the 21st century" worth "$6,000 billion in economic output annually". (CTV News)

Montreal, Chicago and Milwaukee mayors pledge ‘blue-green economy corridor’
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante, Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson and Milwaukee Mayor Cavalier Johnson will sign a declaration on Wednesday afternoon, backed by more than 260 mayors, aimed at transforming the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence basin into a ‘blue-green economic corridor of the 21st century.’

Rejuvenated spaces

Montreal’s architectural renaissance in the 1960s and 1970s brought with it iconic landmarks that signified a bold redefinition of urban space. Today, these historical benchmarks are inspiring a new wave of architectural thought. (Sharp Magazine)

Legacy Lines: Montreal’s Sustainable Blueprint
Like Rome, Montreal wasn’t built in a day. Architect Nicolas Lapierre of L’Abri explores the city’s history of sustainable building.

You're gonna rire

Sugar Sammy's gone from McGill University student and club promoter to performing over 1,900 shows in more than thirty countries in four languages. In 2017, a GQ France headline declared that “the funniest man in France is a Quebecer.” (The Walrus)

The Insult Comedy of Sugar Sammy | The Walrus
The Montreal comic has enraged politicians and received death threats. He also proves that stand-up can be a great unifier

Fight for your right to party

Places known for fueling Montreal’s indie revival in the early 2000s are shuttering because of noise complaints and a runaway rental market. There are still holdouts like l’Escogriffe, Rockette and Turbohaüs, but each owner will tell you they’re just a bad month or two away from insolvency. (The Rover)

Not Dead Yet: the Fight for Montreal’s Nightlife – The Rover
Seeing talented bands in tiny venues, surrounded by the city’s finest troublemakers, is the kind of thing we need to hang onto.

Downtown's beating heart

Little known to Montrealers, the Montreal energy center on Robert-Bourassa Boulevard has supplied downtown with steam since 1947. Imagine one place that's been pumping heart through the city centre for so long. (Radio-Canada)

La centrale qui réchauffe le centre-ville de Montréal | Info | Radio-Canada
C’est une infrastructure méconnue des Montréalais. La centrale d’énergie de Montréal trône à l’entrée de la ville, sur le boulevard Robert-Bourassa. Depuis 1947, elle alimente le cœur du centre-ville. Des chaudières au gaz naturel chauffent de l’eau, qui se transforme en vapeur et qui est envoyée par tuyaux jusqu’aux édifices du centre-ville : la Place Bonaventure, l’École de technologie supérieure, le 1000 De La Gauchetière, la Place Ville-Marie. Ces chaudières seront converties à l’électricité grâce à une subvention de 10 millions de dollars de Québec. Reportage de Carla Oliveira.

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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