Osheaga co-founder Nick Farkas has a thing for string lights

See what else Farkas splurged on in the lead-up to the festival’s return
Lora Grady
Illustration by Selman Hosgör

After a two-year hiatus, Montreal’s Osheaga Festival takes over Parc Jean-Drapeau from July 29 to 31. Leading up to the event, co-founder Nick Farkas loaded up on plenty of coffee and doughnuts. He also dove into festival prep, buying show-stopping string lights to decorate the golf cart he uses to tour the packed park grounds.


I finally bought a new pair of tortoiseshell reading glasses ($505). My old ones had gotten so bloody scratched up that wearing them was like looking into a glazed nightmare. I headed to my optician, Alain Assedo in Westmount, and was like, “Help, I can’t see!”


I picked up some potting soil ($9) for the eggplants and tomatoes in my vegetable garden. I grew a 25-foot tomato plant two summers ago. My office in the Bell Centre, on the other hand, is basically a home for wayward house plants. I’m back to work now, but during the pandemic, I went in once a week to water them. It was just me, the plants and the security guard.


I’ve been collecting outdoor string lights for 25 years—it’s an obsession. I put them up over our deck every spring. This year, I decided on pineapple-shaped lights ($25), and I bought silver ones ($23) for my golf cart at Osheaga. The lights help us keep track of the carts. They’re surprisingly easy to lose.


My family and I live a 10-minute bike ride from downtown Montreal, so I cycle to work, but only if the weather is decent. I was a bike messenger for four years when I was in college, but I do not bike in the snow anymore. I bought a new chain ($35) from Velorang in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.


My wife, Leslie, has a milestone birthday coming up, so I took our daughter, Alex, to a shop called Suetables to get her mom a pair of earrings ($28). Alex is 15 going on 21, and she’s very knowledgeable about things like jewellery. Malcolm, my 12-year-old son, gave Leslie a black hoodie with two shrimps on the front ($60). It’s from Satay Brothers, a great Singaporean restaurant in St. Henri. We eat there quite often.


I buy a hell of a lot of coffee—cortados, macchiatos, espressos, cappuccinos. Every Saturday morning, I get coffee and croissants ($20) for the family from Café Bazin, which is next door to Antonio Park’s restaurant. It’s a special ritual that came out of the pandemic.


I bought mini doughnuts ($72) from DoughNats for Malcolm’s birthday party. They’re super small, so you can try a few different ones, and they have creative flavours like banana poutine and Mickey Mousse. I grabbed three dozen and they were a huge hit. Malcolm had two straight COVID birthdays, but this year we were able to have a party outside. Seeing him and his buddies running around the park—and not in front of a screen—was heartwarming.

—As told to Lora Grady

This article appears in print in the July 2022 issue of Maclean’s magazine. Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here, or buy the issue online here