The festive reputation of Quebecers is second to none. During summer season, they happily hit the road, invade terraces and embrace their indulgences. At the heart of the festivities, culture often has the upper hand. Here now some calorific suggestions for a summer that is anything but uneventful.
By Nicolas Gendron
Change of scenery on the big screen
When Mother Nature is warming up for summer, the open air movie theaters start popping up everywhere. Besides the recognized Montreal festivals like the RIDM and Cinemania, which extend their program by showing documentaries and French films in the city parks, it also pays to leave the city to discover the cinema (or as the French call it “le 7e art”) from a different angle. For 8 years, Percé is the theater of Percéides, a festival that showcases the enchanting scenery of the region, to shine a light on the young Gaspésien film and the best of auteur theory. In Magog and its surroundings there is also a “new kid on the block” that is full of promises: the “Festival Ciné-Vue”. This festival is going to show movies on top of Mont Orford, on a train or in the lavender fields. In other words, it’s time for the movie stars to meet the stars in the sky.
RIDM “en plein air”, from June 16 to August 18, 2016
Cinemania, summer projections until August 23, 2016
“Les Percéides”, 8th edition, from August 24 to August 28, 2016
“Le Festival Ciné-Vue”, 1st edition, from August 1 to August 7, 2016
Lace & sea salt
Allow me to be a little chauvinistic, and invite you to my beautiful region of “Centre-du-Québec”. Two flagship events in Victoriaville are partnering up to create a unique event that is at the same time cultural and great for foodies: the “Festival des Fromages” and the “Fêtes Victoriennes” are reborn under the name of “Fromages, Bouffe & Traditions” and this festival is taking place at the “Parc de la Vélogare”. Quebec cheeses are revisited by the restaurateurs of the area, while the storytellers compete against each other. The Victorian High Mass is back, with its Gregorian chants and colorful sermon by popular Bishop Gravel. Foodies and theater lovers will get their money’s worth between the artisans and the period costumes. This is the perfect opportunity to fully indulge in your guilty pleasures.
“Fromages, Bouffe & Traditions”, 1st edition, from June 17 to June 19, 2016
Yesterday and today
It’s already been 350 years since the construction of the first Fort Saint-Jean in 1666! To celebrate its 350 anniversary, the city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu announces celebrations of all kinds, including the arrival of Gregory Charles, a historical re-enactment at the Royal Military College and a big family party called “La Boom d’été”. On May 18, the day of its founding, Montreal has officially launched its 375th anniversary – a year too early – with a mesmerizing multimedia tour called “Cité Mémoire”. Led by Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon (Icarus, Toruk, NORMAN), in collaboration with playwright Michel Marc Bouchard, this crazy project comes to life at dusk before the eyes of every curious person, with the help of a smart phone app. From Marguerite d’Youville to Leonard Cohen, from Maurice Richard to Oscar Peterson, for the next four years the history of the city comes to life on the ground, the trees and the walls of Old Montreal. An absolute must!
The 350th anniversary of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, all summer
“Cité-Memoire”, every evening in Old Montreal, as of today
The art of making the jump
After jazz, humor and video games, in 2010 the city of Montreal has ventured into the world of circus. With the TOHU in the foreground, the whole circus milieu came together and “gave birth” to “Montréal complètement cirque”. Acrobats, clowns and other amazing artists perform in theaters and in the streets to impress the spectators. Since last year, its most famous cofounder, the “Cirque du Soleil” has also initiated a tribute series, in the “all new and beautiful” Cogeco amphitheater in the heart of Trois-Rivières. In the spotlight, “Beau Dommage” gives way to “Garou le fou”, alias Robert Charlebois, in an original creation entitled “Tout Écartillé”. Let’s bet that the “Bougalous” will be dancing on the wings of an angel or “au sud du sud au soleil, bleu, blanc, rouge …”
“Montréal complètement cirque”, 7th edition, from July 7 to July 17, 2016
“Tout Écartillé”, Trois-Rivières, from July 13 to August 13, 2016
Quebec in motion
Whether it is on a motorcycle or by having a family picnic along the St. Lawrence River, the King’s Road is ideal to rediscover the province in its most welcoming light. This 280 km long scenic route starts in Quebec City and runs through the Mauricie and Lanaudière region, honoring the Quebec heritage with its ancestral houses, mansions and old churches, and don’t forget nature’s beautiful landscapes that are too often overlooked. Those who like bigger crowds can always stop at the “Festival d’été de Québec” to see the likes of Sting or Fred Pellerin on the Plains, or enjoy an outdoor yoga session thanks to the “Festival de Lanaudière”. The King’s Road website has a very instructive interactive map, as does the website from Tourism Quebec linked to the viral campaign they launched this spring and that has been viewed more than 2 million times. Remember the blind tourist who discovered the province through a remarkable sensory trip? Now go on and try to do the same!
The King’s Road
“Le Festival d’été de Québec”, 49th edition, from July 7 to July 17, 2016
“Le Festival de Lanaudière”, 39th edition, from July 9 to August 7, 2016
Blind Love, interactive documentary from Tourism Quebec
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