Richard "Bugs" BurnettWhat’s on in Montréal courtesy of Tourisme Montréal


Beyond the Sea

Beyond The Sea
at Hudson Village Theatre

The Hudson Village Theatre’s 2023 summer season includes playwright Kristen Da Silva’s Beyond The Sea which tells the story of a pair of strangers who begin a conversation on a pier in a small town that could change their lives. Stars two superb Montreal actors, Julie Tamiko Manning and Quincy Armourer, directed by Dean Patrick Fleming. Runs July 5 to 16.


There are several terrific museum exhibitions in Montreal this summer, my current favourite is the Becoming Montreal: The 1800s Painted by Duncan exhibition displaying more than 100 watercolours by James Duncan who documented the colonial city’s 19th century evolution during a remarkable 50-year career, producing panoramic views that predate the invention of photography.

This first retrospective of Duncan’s work reintroduces the public to a painter who was quickly forgotten after his death. Duncan’s body of work lovingly captures our city and its people. Visitors will recognize many of the landmarks captured in his remarkable paintings.

The McCord has also published the exhibition’s superb accompanying book James Duncan (1806-1881) – Painter of Montreal, the first monograph dedicated to Duncan, giving the painter his just due at long last. This must-see exhibition runs to April 2024.


Created in 2010, Montréal Complètement C!Rque presents more than 100 shows from July 6 to 16. At the TOHU during the festival, Australia’s Gravity & Other Myths presents the North American premiere of their ground-breaking show The Pulse (July 5 to 8) starring 24 Australian acrobats and 36 Catalan singers from the Orfeò Català Girls’ Choir.


Some of the biggest names in entertainment headline the 41st edition of Just For Laughs from July 14 to 29 at various venues. Gala hosts this year include Russell Peters (July 26 and July 27), Eddie Izzard (July 28) and Saturday Night Live alum Leslie Jones (July 29). The Just For The Culture show headlines Club Soda (July 18 to 26) with host Alonzo Bodden. The raunchy Nasty Show returns to Club Soda (July 18 to 26) with host Mike Ward.

Christopher Castellani

Christopher Castellani will discuss his bestselling historical novel Leading Men


Leading MenIn a public Q&A session with Montreal author Christopher DiRaddo, Italian-American author Christopher Castellani will discuss his bestselling historical novel Leading Men which tells the story of Frank Merlo, the somewhat forgotten working-class Italian-American who was transformational in the life and work of famed American playwright and literary icon Tennessee Williams. Leading Men is currently being adapted into a film by Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name. The event will be held at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura Montreal on July 13 at 7 pm. Free admission. Books will be available for purchase.


The Film Noir au Canal cult crime film festival at Square Saint-Patrick on the banks of the Lachine Canal kicks off its 7th edition on July 16 with a screening of Kiss Me Deadly (1955) about private eye Mike Hammer, presented in its original English version with French subtitles. Free admission.

The 27th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival runs from July 20 to August 9 at various venues.

The Cinémathèque québécoise screens 86 horror classics from July 1 to August 31 in their Horror Stories series, including Dracula (1931) starring Bela Lugosi, Night of The Living Dead (1968) directed by George Romero, Psycho, Carrie, The Thing and Nightmare on Elm Street.


Hip-hop icon Drake (July 14 and 15 at Bell Centre), L.A. punk-rock legends Social Distortion (July 23 at MTELUS), and Montreal soul queen Michelle Sweeney (July 29 at Upstairs, 7:30 and 9:45 pm).

The 37th edition of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique presents 700 musical artists from 30 countries headlining 13 days of indoor programming and 6 days of free outdoor programming in the Quartier des Spectacles from July 11 to 23. Ticketed indoor shows include world-music icon Angélique Kidjo (July 12 at MTELUS).

Dubbed “Mr. Montreal” by the CBC, arts and culture journalist and columnist Richard “Bugs” Burnett knows Montreal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.