After going virtual in 2020 and being cancelled in 2021 as a result of the COVID pandemic, the Montreal Ukrainian Festival makes a triumphant return on September 10 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at a new venue, which is Maisonneuve Park, located at 4601 Sherbrooke Street East.
However, this year’s festival coincides with the ongoing war in Ukraine against Russia, which has been going on since this past February. “When we started work on this year’s festival, we faced the problem of how to promote the festival in a time of war. We then decided to hold the festival as a way of thanking the people of Quebec and Montreal who opened up their hearts and their homes to the Ukrainian refugees, who are mostly women and children, who fled the war,” said Greg Bedik, President of the St. Volodymyr Cultural Association, during a recent phone interview. “As well, we wanted the festival to be a way to welcome these newcomers to Montreal, and give them a day of respite where they can have fun, enjoy themselves and relax a little. That’s why this year’s edition is under the theme ‘courage has two colours’.”
Festivities will kick off the day before on September 9 at Percival Molson Stadium during the Montreal Alouettes – B.C. Lions game. For $25 a ticket, fans are encouraged to wear their blue and yellow for a night of football fun, which includes a tailgate party and seating in a special designated section of the stadium.
Mr. Bedik encourages families from the immediate neighbourhood where the park is located, as well as across the city, to attend the festival, which is expected to attract around 25,000-30,000 people throughout its 11 hours on September 10. Attendees will be treated to Ukrainian delicacies, photo booths, childrens’ activities, crafts, merchandise, accessories, giveaways and so much more that will occupy the 70 kiosks that will be spread out on the festival site. There will also be an impressive line-up of live entertainment throughout the day by more than 200 performers, singers and dancers, including the l’Orchestre classique de Montreal (OCM) and the Universite de Quebec a Montreal (UQAM) choir, who will perform a special song in Ukrainian that has been heard widely during the war.
“This is going to be the biggest festival we ever had, which will also be a great time for all the family,” said Mr. Bedik. “So wear your blue and yellow and join us this Saturday.”
For more information, go to www.ukefestmontreal.org.
West Island Theatre production of ABBA’s ‘Mamma Mia’
Fans of the 1970s Swedish super group ABBA should not miss the West Island Theatre Association’s (WISTA) production of the hit Broadway musical based on the songs of ABBA called “Mamma Mia!”. The show will have a six-performance run on September 9, 10, 16 and 17 at 7:30 p.m. – with matinees on September 10 and 17 at 1:30 p.m. – at the Louise Chalmers Theatre, located at 501 St. Jean Boulevard in Pointe Claire. The story centres around Donna Sheridan, who is concerned about her daughter Sophie, because she wants to find out who her real father is just before her wedding takes place. And to make things more complicated, Donna is visited by three of her old flames in the midst of the wedding festivities that takes place on a Greek island, and the narrative gets some help from a number of ABBA’s greatest hit songs to explain the complications and twists of this quirky romantic comedy. For more information, or to purchase tickets, go to www.WISTA.ca/tickets.
Kevin Smith is coming to Montreal
Comedian/writer/director Kevin Smith (one-half of the popular movie comedy duo Jay and Silent Bob), will be coming to Montreal on October 17 to present his newest movie “Clerks III”, as part of his Clerks III: The Convenience Tour of selected markets. Presented by Just For Laughs, MRG Live, Lionsgate and Fathom Events, the Montreal leg of the tour will take place at the L’Olympia on St. Catherine Street East, starting at 7 p.m. The live event will include a screening of the movie, followed by a Q&A session with Kevin Smith. Tickets are $52.50, and can be purchased by going to www.ticketmaster.ca.
Montreal premiere of “Papillon”
The MainLine Theatre kicks off its 2022-2023 season with the Montreal premiere of “Papillon”, which will be presented by Bouge d’ici from September 22-24 at the theatre, located at 3997 St. Laurent Boulevard. The 50-minute production combines street and contemporary dance, as three dance solos, accompanied by a live experimental soundtrack, explores the balance between order and disorder. And the MainLine brings back its Halloween tradition of presenting the always entertaining live version of Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show for a 12-day run from October 19-31. For more information, go to www.mainlinetheatre.ca.