7 ART Things to Do in Montreal | Art & the City June 2021

June is here! And with it the hopes of sunshine and a return to semi-vibrancy for the best summer city in the biz. Montreal sure knows how to do the summer season right and pandemic or no pandemic, there will be MUCH to explore. So, without further ado, let’s check out the 7 ART things to do in June 2021 in Montreal!

1. Japan Week – YATAI MTL

Starting off strong with the first ever Montreal Japan Week organized by YATAI MTL! Yatai is an NGO whose mission is to celebrate Japan as well as Montreal’s multiculturalism. Usually there is a big Yatai event in the park, but this year it’s more of an a la carte experience. More precisely, you can explore Japanese street food and products through special menus or discounts at various stores and restaurants all around the city. I’m talking matcha bars, izakayas & ramen spots, sake tastings, tea shops, kimono shops and the list goes on! How good does Kawachi bankan zest ice cream sound?!

**Secret password: Mention the word “Sakura” at the O-taku Manga Lounge (3623 Saint Denis) and get a free bubble tea!

  • Dates: 7-13 June
  • Cost: Varying $

2. Museum of Other Realities

Museum of Other Realities experience. Photo credit: MOR

Our second stop is the virtual reality experience Museum of Other Realities. In fact, this is one of 3 simultaneous immersive experiences taking place this summer at ELLEPHANT. This gallery is all about “where contemporary art and technology meet”. Here, the analog meets the digital, the robotic, the VR, the AR and all that good stuff! The other two shows are pretty cool too:

  1. Stochastic Generator by Jean-Pierre Gauthier: an interactive musical installation
  2. The Perennials by Jenn E Norton: plants, flowers and fungi interact in in augmented reality
  • Dates: June 9 – July 31 (you make an appointment beforehand)
  • Cost: 16.93$

3. Françoise Sullivan “Les années 70” Exhibit

To continue our journey, we head to the UQAM Gallery for the Françoise Sullivan “Les années 70” exhibit. Sullivan is not only a dancer and visual artist, she is also an important figure of the Quebec art scene. To clarify, she was a co-founder of the Automatistes group and co-signed the Refus Global manifesto. This manifesto basically declared artistic independence and freedom of expression in 1950s Quebec which was in complete defiance of the Church. It sparked an art revolution in our province!

Later on, in the 1970s, Sullivan spent a lot of time in Italy and got a lot of inspiration from its contemporary artists (her “Italian period”). At that time, her focus was more on photography and film which is what you will discover in this exhibit.

  • Dates: Until July 17
  • Cost: Free – Reservation Required

4. Interlaced Lines – Fonderie Darling

Our following stop is at the Fonderie Darling for the Interlaced Lines double feature. More specifically, you can discover the “connection between to generations of artists” in the two following exhibits:

  1. Firstly, there is Before the storm by Sarah Stevenson: Vibrant floating sculptures both delicate and rigid at the same time
  2. Secondly, there is Of things as they happen to be by Jeanette Johns: Exploring the infinite possibilities of the grid
  • Dates: Until August 22nd
  • Cost: 5$

5. Mardis de l’humour

Promo Poster Les Mardis de l’humour

Up next, how about we got get our drink and laughter on?! Quebec comedian Ben Lefebvre, along with five other comedians, will be hosting Les mardis de l’humour on the Montreal Cowork terrasse. Such a classic Montreal summer night activity!

  • Dates: Every Tuesday evening in June and July
  • Cost: 22.23$

6. Chateau Dufresne

Photo credit: Château Dufresne Museum and Historical Heritage Site

Furthermore, the 7 art things to do in June 2021 list continues with what I consider to be a hidden gem. Have you ever been to the Château Dufresne? What began as an eminent 1920s private residence is now a museum and Historical Heritage Site. A gorgeous one at that! Located steps away from the Montreal botanical gardens, the Château invites you to experience its sumptuous Beaux-Arts architecture and opulent interior decor. Also, they host a few small exhibitions as well. Fun fact: this was a “cultural focal point for the Quiet Revolution, as well as a museum that brought Québec into the modern era.”

  • Dates: Open Wednesdays to Sundays
  • Cost: 14$

7. CARPE DIEM – Not Your Usual Mural Walking Tour!

Mural: Dan Buller / Rupert Bottenberg. Photo: Carpe Diem Tours

Last but not least, did you know that the awesome MURAL Festival is not the only place to see mural artworks in Montreal? Since I love a good walking tour and learning about the mural art, I had to include Carpe Diem in this list. Its passionate founder offers tours to locals and visitors alike, teaching them about the murals, mosaics and graffiti in Montreal’s lesser known Centre-Sud borough!

  • Dates: All Summer
  • Cost: 24.35$
Jano Lapin Gallery. 3819 Wellington St. #200

Finally, a little bonus to the list of 7 Art things to do in June 2021 in Montreal: you only have until June 20th to check out the ✨My Magic Reality Exhibit✨ at the Jano Lapin Gallery in Verdun – you can read all about it here!

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