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What’s on this week: 26 May to 1 June

09:43 25/05/2023
Another long weekend beckons… Brussels is invaded by jazz musicians and a slew of exhibitions open around the country, alongside maritime and culinary activities

The renowned Brussels Jazz Festival returns to the city with a huge array of talent across multiple venues, including a 1,500 capacity stage at the recently renovated Place de la Bourse on Boulevard Anspach. Over 150 free concerts and gigs will be on offer at five open air stages in city squares as well as more than 20 cafes and clubs, which have all been chosen to reflect the capital’s famous nightlife. The five squares, each with their own character and style of music are the Grand Place, Sainte-Catherine, Place de la Chapelle, the Place de la Vieille Halles aux Blés and of course Place de la Bourse. 26-28 May, multiple venues


A very unusual exhibition is staged by Botanique, with the art collectors Serge and Chantal R Patt curating works themed around the name of ‘Marcel’. The brothers from Brussels have shown a real humour with their acquisitions from Marcel Mariën, Marcel Duchamp, Marcel Vandeweye and others with the same moniker. The whole exhibition, unsurprisingly entitled, The Marcels is not limited to traditional paintings and is a real treat for lovers of eclectic and contemporary art. Until 30 July, Botanique, Rue Royale 236 (Saint-Josse)


Forest’s Volxem district is a hotbed of contemporary art venues. On Saturday, three of its institutions, WIELS, the Clearing Gallery and the A Foundation get together to offer a day of art, food and conviviality. For a single €5 ticket, visitors can enjoy six different exhibitions, including the multidisciplinary Night in the Garden of Love (pictured)by Shezad Dawood, as well as a series of performances and guided tours. The admission price includes a drink at Clearing and an ice cream or a waffle at A Foundation. Special lunches are also available at Clearing and WIELS for an additional cost. 27 May 11.00-19.00, Avenue Van Volxem 354 (WIELS); Avenue Van Volxem 304 (A Foundation); Avenue Van Volxem 311 (Clearing), Forest


If you would like to delve into very heady stuff this collective show is for you: Face B in the Sablon presents Tell All The Truth But Tell It Slant, Ohme’s new artistic-scientific exhibition. It explores the concept of truth and the subject of the construction of knowledge, through the relationships between art, technology, science and society. Faithful to its artistic and scientific positioning, Ohme brings the arts and sciences closer together with some 15 works by Belgian and international artists. They all raise questions relating to the links between truth and knowledge, the opposition between certainty and doubt, the traps of lying, the writing of history and the complexity of various belief systems. 26 May to 9 July, Rue Lebeau 18


A group of Brussels diplomats reveal their creative talents in Beyond the Horizon: An Art Exhibition on Freedom. The Brussels Circle of Diplomatic Artists (BRUCODA) explores the theme of freedom through a a diverse collection of paintings, sculptures, poems, graphics and photographs, including this work by Claus Siebeneicher (pictured). It’s open to all art enthusiasts, collectors and diplomatic corps personnel. 26-28 May, W:Halll, Avenue Charles Thielemans 93 (Woluwe-Saint-Pierre)

CORE Festival

Tickets are still available for the second edition of the boutique CORE Festival this weekend. It offers a captivating and eclectic mix of music in the magical woodland setting of Osseghem Park at the foot of the Atomium. A new concept launched by Tomorrowland and Rock Werchterthe programme features indie, hip hop, electronica, hyperpop and alternative dance music, performed across five stages. Angèle and Little Simz are among the line-up of Belgian and international musical talents. Art, sound and light installations are an additional sensory attraction, complemented by a mouth-watering line-up of original food trucks, offering tempting world cuisine. 27 & 28 May, Osseghem Park (Heysel)

Brussels 20km

If you’re not participating in the popular Brussels 20km on Sunday, cheer on the runners and support the numerous charity initiatives - the event raises over €2 million for great causes. It’s also a brilliant and atmospheric day out: DJs and live bands rock Bois de la Cambre as well as Cinquantenaire Park, site of the start and finish, where you’ll find stands and refreshments. More than 30,000 runners and walkers, representing around 139 nationalities, are routed past the capital’s most beautiful monuments and city parks. Warning: streets will be blocked off for the duration of the event. 28 May, across Brussels


A fun social experiment in the form of a dining experience, that’s Brussels’ Imagination Club’s Deep Conversations. It unites a random group of people who dive straight into an unusually deep conversation over dinner. This unusual social experiment sees each participant partnered with another diner; each table will have a set of profound questions that wouldn’t normally be asked when two people meet for the first time. After about 90 minutes, everybody will come together for a feedback session to see how each pair’s conversation evolved. The social experiment is based on Oxford University professor Theodor Zeldin’s Conversation Dinners. 31 May 18.45-21.00, Kamilou, Arts-Loi, Rue Joseph II 36

Wajdi Rihani-Skander Jenhani

Full Circle welcomes an interesting musical pair on Friday. The piano-guitar duo, Wajdi Riahi & Skander Jenhani, are two Tunisian musicians who create the beautiful sounds of North African and American jazz, for an evening filled with an original mix between two beautiful musical instruments and several musical cultures. Dinner option available. 26 May 20.00, Full Circle House, Chaussée de Vleurgat 89 (Ixelles)


Festival Resonances

A jewel of a chamber music festival takes audiences on a unique musical journey. Every year, the Resonances Festival gathers talented international musicians to rehearse at the gorgeous Château de Halloy before staging intimate performances of chamber music in the 12th-century manor’s former stables. It includes music by a variety of classical composers, an open masterclass and a festive dinner with the musicians. The manor’s bar and restaurant are open after every performance. 26-29 May, Château de Halloy, Route du Chateau de Halloy (Ciney)

Festival Resonances

As a prelude to the annual summer classical musical celebration Festival Musical de Namur, the Walloon capital’s new concert hall hosts Festival Namur si Juin. It showcases the talents of the CAV&MA (Centre d’Art Vocal & de Musique Ancien), including the Namur Chamber Choir and its ambitious productions. The festival offers five concerts, opening with Le Don de la Vie éternelle by Antonio Draghi under the direction of Leonardo García Alarcón, the famed Argentinian conductor who has made his home in Belgium. 1-17 June, Namur Concert Hall, Rue Rogier 82, Namur

Ostend at Anchor

Ships ahoy! The largest maritime festival in the region gathers in Ostend harbour to the delight of all nautical fans. Ostend at Anchor sees some 150 historic ships from various surrounding ports in the channel and the north sea celebrate their heritage. There’s a focus on innovative techniques at sea as well as Venetian shipyards. Discover classic ships and crafts, enjoy performances and delicacies from the sea and browse the many stands selling maritime crafts and artwork as well as seafood delicacies. 1-4 June, Ostend Harbour, Natiënkaai


For its fifth edition, the culinary festival Fourchette (Taste the experience) brings together 15 renowned Michelin-starred Belgian chefs serving up two five-course menus (€125 per menu). The venue is one of the best-preserved industrial sites in the city’s former 19th-century port. The three-day fine dining experience in Ghent does not operate a fixed seating system so diners can turn up when it suits and choose a cosy spot to enjoy the gourmet delights. There’s an evening service on Saturday, lunch service on Sunday and Monday. Drink vouchers can be purchased in advance. 27-29 May, Loods 20, Muide, Ghent

Les Epicuriales

Liège’s gastronomic tour, The Epicuriales, returns for its 17th edition in Parc de la Boverie this weekend. Each participant can sample a range of appetisers (savoury and sweet) at affordable prices and prepared by some of the country’s best chefs. Until 29 May, Parc de la Boverie, Liège

for-evermore-2023-In Flanders Fields Museum

In Flanders Fields Museum stages a new exhibition, For evermore, dedicated to the cemeteries that are dotted around the region. The site of some of the bloodiest battles in World War One, this corner of West Flanders continues to commemorate its past, recognising the emotional attachment shared by many families around the world. This thematic exhibition also raises questions about military commemoration. In Commonwealth cemeteries, the Stone of Remembrance bears the message, "their name liveth for evermore". Does remembrance have an expiry date, it asks? Until 18 February, Grote Markt 34, Ieper (Ypres)

Written by Sarah Crew, Richard Harris, Damien Maguire, Louis Kernoa-Pascoe