By Sergio Martinez – mtltimes.ca
Car race fans are counting the days to the big annual event in Montreal, but this is not only about daring manoeuvres on the race track. The Montreal Grand Prix is also a great occasion to party and to have fun all over the city. Some of these celebrations have already become a tradition on its own, take for instance the annual festival at Crescent Street. To that add now ABGE, the three-day celebration at the Old Montreal’s Auberge Saint Gabriel owned by Guy Laliberté, Garou et Marc Bolay, in partnership with producers Nic Urli (Jatoba, Flyjin, Hà & École Privée) and Vincent Drolet (Circo de Bakuza). This event is now in its sixth year, and a jubilant Garou remarks that “for the first time this year, ABGE is the only event on the island of Montreal recommended by Octane, official promoter of the Grand Prix du Canada. It is an honour, but also a pledge that the celebration will be memorable!”
The official opening is Thursday, June 9 with hosts Francisco Randez, Felipe St-Laurent and Cindy Simard in command of the red carpet ceremony. On the gastronomy side, chef Cindy Wollenschlaeger will be presenting a traditional South African-style BBQ with spiced lamb and apricot sosaties. The same chef will be in charge of a Brunch Bagatelle, on June 10, featuring a South of France menu. In the evenings from June 9 to 12, the kitchen will pass to the hands of Ola Claesson, a chef of Swedish origin who will be offering a Festive Feast consisting of a variety of fish, meat, and surf and seafood dishes. Cocktail time will be on June 10 at 5 p.m.
The closing party—termed “ultra VIP” by the organizers—will take place on Sunday, June 12. The night will be marked by the presence of Victoria’s Secret model Devon Windsor and as in previous years, the expected attendance of the Grand Prix participants and other celebrities (Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Bono, have attended in previous years). The party will feature live music as well as the participation of DJs Marquee NY and Liv Miami.
The venue itself seems interesting and appealing, to say the least, as we read from ABGE’s website: “Step into a decadent world of unexpected pleasures and let your most opulent fantasies run free. Immerse yourself each night in a tantalizing and intimate atmosphere inspired by the bordello. A sumptuous mix of modern glamour and old-world elegance. Leave your inhibitions at the door.” Wow!
The Auberge Saint Gabriel is located on 426 St Gabriel St. Old Montreal. For detailed information about this event including prices, schedule, and menus visit the website www.abge.ca