MONTREAL — The “biere” is flowing. The cars are zooming. And beautiful music is filling the air.
Here’s what to expect for the first half of summer festival season in Montreal.
CHAMBER MUSIC, GRAND PRIX
The 19th edition of the Montreal Chamber Music Festival continues its monthlong stint of beautiful music through May 31. The festival programming offers a classical series, a jazz series and a nod to Canada’s great pianists, among others. For the complete lineup, visit www.festivalmontreal.org.
Festival TransAmeriques offers an eclectic array of contemporary dance, theater and art. What to expect? The likes of “Les Thermes,” an art installation located at Quartier des Spectacles that offers a swimming pool filled with 25,000 balls inscribed with quotes from Stoic philosophers. Yes, you can take a plunge. This year’s eighth edition takes place May 22 through June 7. For more info, visit www.fta.qc.ca.
Truly a specialized Montreal original, Elektra and Mutek have combined contemporary forces and presents EM15, a festival dedicated to the creativity of digital sound, music, audio-visual arts and new media. EM15 showcases more than 100 Canadian and international artists from May 27 through June 1. New this year, EM15 has teamed up with Musee d’Art Contemporain, which will serve as the main headquarters for festival activities. Visit www.em15.ca.
Fulfill your need for speed as the Montreal Grand Prix rolls into town June 6 through 8. Jean Drapeau Park, specifically Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, hosts high octane Formula One-style racing while Crescent Street hosts the nonstop downtown party complete with live music, car displays and packed outdoor terraces. Visit www.grandprixmontreal.com or www.crescentmontreal.com.
Festival Mondial de la Biere, or the International Beer Festival, features some 500 beers from more than 120 breweries from around the world. This year’s 21st edition runs a bit later this year from June 11 through 15 at Palais de Congres, one of Montreal’s main convention centers located on the border of Chinatown and Old Montreal. There’s live music and tasty finger food, too. Admission is free. Tasting coupons cost $1 each; one tasting ranges from two to six coupons. Visit www.festivalmondialbiere.qc.ca.