Montreal is a Party | The press

Posted at 5:00 am

She won’t sit down, it’s been taking too long Forced immobility, tonight life begins again
It has to move, it has to tremble, it has to sweat again
At night in the pub brothel Scruffy in the dark We’ll have to learn to drink again
You need to breathe again…

– Breathe againClara Luciani

This weekend is the official start of summer. And it was the French singer Clara Luciani who set the tone with her song a few days ago on the Francos stage Breathe againa true hymn to a certain return to “normality”.

It’s our first real summer in two years.

The pandemic has not gone away, cases are even increasing (and we must remain vigilant if we want to avoid unpleasant autumn surprises), but let’s admit that the desire to put it on hold for a few weeks is stronger than all.

Tourists have returned to Montreal with the Formula 1 Grand Prix. The terraces are full, pedestrians have taken over the streets and hotel occupancy in the metropolis is almost 100%.

The heart of Montreal beats to the rhythm of outdoor shows and its residents seem to have found their smiles again. It’s hard to believe that six months ago the streets were empty and our morale was low.

In January, a poll by the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ) painted a rather bleak picture of our collective mood. We used “general uneasiness” to describe the state of mind of Quebecers who had just been imposed a new lockdown to deal with the fifth wave caused by the Omicron variant.

A darkness that seems far away today.

In the next two months, in keeping with human nature, we will try to forget about COVID-19 and its BA.4 and BA.5 variants, the war in Ukraine, tornadoes, heat waves, etc., rising fuel prices, falling stock markets , looming recession, increasing gun violence and the real estate crisis…

The party has regained its rightful place and it’s not the roadworks and the orange cones that will prevent us from enjoying it, oh no!

For this weekend only, here’s a rundown of the activities Montrealers are invited to.

• The Francos

• The Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix

• The Mural Festival

• The captivating Frida Kahlo exhibition

• The exhibitions of Mika Rottenberg at the Museum of Contemporary Art and Nicolas Party at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

• The Saint-Ambroise Fringe Festival

• Animations on the Avenue du Mont-Royal, pedestrian street for the summer

• Gourmet weekend on rue Saint-Denis

• Opening of the Plage de l’Horloge in Old Montreal

• Activities in Monk Street, pedestrian zone for a day

• The Piccola Festival on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in Little Italy

• The mini festival in the Hochelaga district, which highlights emerging artists

• The International Portugal Festival…

Festivals in the metropolis and elsewhere in Quebec will follow one another over the next few weeks.

In Montreal alone you can attend one or more of these events: the International Jazz Festival, the International Festival Nuits d’Afrique, the Just for Laughs Festival, the Montreal Complete Circus Festival, Piknic Électronik, the International des Feux Loto-Québec, Osheaga, IleSonik, MUTEK, Festival Mode et Design… And almost all of these events offer an area with free activities.

The City of Montreal has also announced free admission to downtown subway stations on the Green and Orange Lines every weekend through September 5. We are also promised a sustained commitment to cleanliness, a matter of good looks before visiting. It will not be a luxury!

All of this excitement is balm to our pandemic-worn minds. A happy and sunny parenthesis to be enjoyed.

This festive atmosphere also reminds us that Montréal, for all its flaws and challenges, remains a friendly metropolis where life is good, especially in the summer. Let’s take this opportunity to breathe again.

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