6 ART Things to Do in Montreal | Art & the City May 2021

“It’s gonna be May!” I hope you read that in the obligatory Justin-Timberlake-of-NSYNC-era voice. That being said, a fresh new month brings new opportunities for awesome new events in arts and culture. As such, I present you the 6 ART things to do in Montreal this month. Let’s get right down to business, chronologically!

1. Festival Accès Asie

First of all, it’s May and that means: Asian Heritage Month! It also means Festival Accès Asie is back for its 26th year. More specifically, the art festival promotes Asian arts, cultures and histories through various forms of art spanning from visual arts to music, to film, to culinary arts and more. This year, most events are virtual and free with a handful of LIVE options. In fact, out of the many great activities offered by the Festival, these are the ones I am looking forward to most:

  1. Transpacific Night in Town: Retro Japanese and Korean hip-hop
  2. ‘Nippon Shôwa’ Night: Psychedelic pop & rock from 1960s Japan
  3. The Nocturnes: Artworks of Azalia Kaviani, visual artist and dancer of Iranian origin living with cerebral palsy
  4. Double tea ceremony: A Japanese and a Chinese tea master each present a tea ceremony traditional to their respective cultures
  • Dates: May 6 – 29
  • Cost: most events Free

2. Vue Sur La Relève Festival

Promo Poster: Vue sur la Releve Festival, 25th Edition

Next on the list is Vue Sur La Relève, a festival that highlights up-and-coming talent on the Montreal performing arts scene. This 25th edition of the festival will be one hundred percent virtual. Furthermore, for their 25th anniversary you have access to all 25 performances for 25$!

  • Dates: May 5 – 18
  • Cost: 25$

3. La Fréquence – Drive-In Dance Party at LaRonde

Live DJ 6 things to do montreal art & the city May 2021
Promo Poster : La Fréquence Festival

Since we are in a complete music vibe these days, let’s go on a sweet little road trip, shall we? How about an island party? Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about… LaRonde! Gotcha 😎 What’s an Art & the City article without my special brand of humor. As the subtitle mentions, La Fréquence is a drive-in (socially distant) event presented by the Festival Musique et Arts Techno. Reminisce about going out dancing with live techno and urban artists and DJs that will get the party started in your cars!

  • Dates: May 8
  • Cost: 35$-80$

4. Notas de Viaje – Live Performance

live music concerts 6 things to do in montreal art and the city May 2021
Jonathan Goldman & Juan Sebastian Delgado. Photo: Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur

Now, we walk further down the musical path at the Chapelle Historique du Bon Pasteur. The beloved venue continues to deliver quality and variety with their upcoming concert “Notas de Viaje“. This concert is inspired by the diary Che Guevara kept during his notorious voyages through Central America in the 1950s. During this concert, you will enjoy the sounds of the cello and the bandoneon, a popular instrument in Argentina and Uruguay often used for tango music.

  • Dates: May 13
  • Cost: Free online (Live concert, limited seating 2$, tickets on sale May 4th)

5. Montreal History Festival – First Edition

6 ART things to do in Montreal Art & the city May 2021 - Festival d'histoire de Montreal first edition
Photo: Les musées d’histoire de Montréal

From musical travel notes, we head over to the new kid on the block in the Montreal festival circuit. If you love history as much as I do, I am sure you’ll be as thrilled that this month will host the first ever Montreal History Festival! The newcomer’s mission is to invite Montrealers to explore the city’s history in its many forms.

Therefore, you can take a guided walking tour of Golden Square Mile castles or uncover clues in a scavenger hunt from 1710. Then, you can go watch Stanley Kubrick’s “Paths of Glory” and discuss historic filmmaking with the experts at the Cinéma du Musée. Finally, there will be a good selection of online events as well.

  • Dates: May 14 – 16
  • Cost: mostly Free or 10$-20$

6. OPENWORLD: Video Game Music LIVE in Concert

OPENWORLD concert. Image: Place des Arts

Last but not least in the 6 ART things to do in Montreal this month is OPENWORLD, a live concert of video game music where talented classical musicians bring to life iconic video games, from the 90s classics to the titles of today. Video game lovers rejoice! I think this would be such a wonderful experience, to feel like you are a part of the soundtracks of your favorite games like Super Mario 64, The Legend of Zelda and many more.

  • Dates: May 30
  • Cost: 58.75$

BONUS – Santa Teresa Music Festival

It may not be in Montreal, but if you’re in the Sainte-Thérèse area, the Santa Teresa Music Festival is worth the trip. Live music, incredible acoustics and a gorgeous historic venue, what’s not to like?! To get a good idea of what to expect, you can also check out our article about the Festival right here.

  • Dates: May 19-23
  • Cost: 67.24$ for a 2-person ticket (mandatory)

Finally, don’t hesitate to reach out and share your experiences if you’ve attended any of these 6 ART things to do in Montreal this month and I will see you in June for the next Art & the City!

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