Your guide to Montréal’s amazing fall festivals

Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara was the Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

This article was updated on October 3, 2023.

Fall in Montréal is nothing if not colourful, and when it comes to music, food, film, literature, the performing arts and more, the season brings with it a crazy rich bounty of fun and festive cultural activities. Let the following be your comprehensive guide to all the fall festival goodness on tap…



Gardens of Light (until October 31, 2023)

Hundreds of colourful silk lanterns create evenings of pure enchantment during this extremely popular annual fall spectacle at the Botanical Gardens. Much more than an illuminated path, Gardens of Light is an authentic gateway into three inspiring cultures (Chinese, Indigenous and Japanese).




Festival CORRIDOR (September 30 to October 8, 2023)

The Festival CORRIDOR's first edition is a celebration of art and culture, with multiple venues showcasing their offerings from Old Montréal through Griffintown to the Atwater Market. Visitors can stop by the Musée Pointe-à-Callière, le Centre Phi, le Fonderie Darling, and more to witness various artistic installations and enjoy free guided tours. Additionally, participating venues offer exclusive discounts and deals to festival-goers. The majority of Festival CORRIDOR events are free, providing a fantastic opportunity to explore this part of the city.


Festival du Nouveau Cinéma (October 4 to 15, 2023)

Lively, bold and innovative are just a few of the words that describe this very popular annual event that has been giving cinephiles an eyeful for going on 51 years now. Every year, the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma screens over 200 works from 60 different countries, treating audiences to works of diversity and originality by emerging and major filmmakers.


Kampai Montréal (October 5, 2023)

Join in the celebration of Japanese culture and its beloved nectar at Kampai Montréal's Sake Festival, the only event of its kind in Quebec. With an impressive selection of over 150 sakes and spirits from Japan, including rare and private imports, you're sure to find a new favorite. Indulge in the delectable offerings from some of Montréal's finest Japanese restaurants, making for an unforgettable evening.


Phénomena (October 6 to 20, 2023)

Phénomena is a no-holds-barred interdisciplinary and bilingual festival created to give voice to unclassifiable, innovative and atypical artists. The fest hosts cabarets, theatrical and whimsical performances, puppeteering, artistic happenings, dance, installation art and more by both emerging and established artists.



Ramen Ramen Festival (October 9 to 22, 2023)

If you guessed that Ramen Ramen Festival is a festival dedicated to celebrating this iconic noodle dish from Japan, you’d be correct! During the nearly week-long event, ramen shops and pop-ups will be invited to showcase their own original ramen creations, and festivalgoers can vote for their favourites.


MTL Connect (October 10 to 13, 2023)

Innovative ideas are in full bloom during this week-long showcase of digital installations, exhibitions and trends. MTL Connect aims to look at burning questions related to digital development, focusing on its economic, social, cultural and environmental impact across sectors.


Montréal Burlesque Festival (October 13 and 14, 2023)

Bringing back the glitz and glam of bygone, Prohibition-era cabarets, the Montréal Burlesque Festival will feature three days and three nights of razzle-dazzle sensuality, sugar and spice at the downtown Club Soda in the Quartier des Spectacles. A roster of top performers from around the world take you on a bedazzled journey of romance and seduction, showing off their best assets along the way.


La Grande Dégustation de Montréal (October 19-21, 2023)

It’s tippling time! This three-day tasting event is a unique gathering where wine producers, distillers and brewers come together to share their passion with wine, beer and spirit lovers and connoisseurs. La Grande Dégustation de Montréal offers a rare opportunity to meet producers from all around the world and discover a vast array of great products.


Montréal Intercultural Storytelling Festival (October 20 to 29, 2023)

Happening in more than 30 theatres and venues, this year's edition of the Montréal Intercultural Storytelling Festival offers a rich and diverse program for audiences of all ages with more than 50 artists from all over the world.




CINEMANIA (November 1 to 12, 2023)

Go crazy for French film at CINEMANIA. This must-attend event screens the best of this year’s francophone cinema complete with English subtitles. Each edition includes feature fiction films, several documentaries, short films, masterclasses, conferences and special events.


MTLàTABLE (November 3 to 19, 2023)

Tourisme Montréal is thrilled to announce the return of its popular restaurant week MTLàTABLE, in its original version, for a 11th edition this year. You won’t want to miss this flagship event of Montréal’s culinary scene, so follow MTLàTABLE on social media, or keep an eye on the event website, to see when the list of participating restaurants is revealed. More info to come!


Mundial Montréal (November 14 to 17, 2023)

The world is your (musical) oyster at the annual Mundial Montréal, which showcases the best in new global music. Known as North America's World Music Summit, the annual music industry gathering features one-of-a-kind concerts, a conference and networking events while shining a spotlight on over 100 gifted musicians from every corner of the world.


Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) (November 15 to 26, 2023)

One of North America’s leading documentary film festivals, the Montreal International Documentary Festival (RIDM) presents more than 150 Canadian and international documentaries that illuminate every corner of our world, pose thoughtful questions, and mine reality’s emotional depths. The program is for filmmakers and audiences alike, featuring groundbreaking films, retrospectives, discussions, new technologies and special events.


image + nation (November 16 to 26, 2023)

Canada’s first LGBTQ+ film festival turns a fabulous 35 this year! An annual celebration of international LGBTQ+ cinema, image + nation unveils big hits and hidden gems while striving to encourage connection and reflection between LGBTQ+ people, nurture queer storytellers and promote queer culture both locally and internationally.


Bach Festival (November 17 to December 3, 2023)

Lose yourself in the works of this musical giant in some of Montréal’s most prestigious venues when the Bach Festival presents more than 30 concerts featuring hundreds of incredible musicians, singers, conductors and other performers.


Salon du Livre (November 22 to 26, 2023)

A real page-turner, Montréal’s literary event calendar reaches its climactic conclusion with the Salon du Livre. Come and meet your favourite authors and discover new ones during the salons many events, including roundtable discussions, literary debates and public readings.



Festival d'Art dans les Ruelles (August 28 to September 11, 2023)

Montréal’s “ruelles” (the lively back alleyways and intriguing small streets that permeate most city neighbourhoods) are the setting for the Festival d'Art dans les Ruelles. The fest has a broad and colourful programme of short, eclectic artistic performances ranging from music to dance to circus and more taking place right across the city, so keep your eyes and ears open for these sensory surprises!


JOAT Festival (August 30 to September 5, 2023)

JOAT, the international street dance festival will be back in the Quartier des spectacles. Initiated by Handy “HYA” Yacinthe, the JOAT Festival proposes a new edition carried by the street dance culture as a cultural and social factor. The festival offers seven days of programming and activities featuring more than 150 artists who immerse you in the world of street dance: high-level battles, breaking, popping, hip hop, beatmakers, youth battle, introductory street dance workshops, master classes, exhibition!


BLVD Festival (August 31 to September 3, 2023)

Who doesn’t remember how fun it was to be five? And for this edition of Saint-Laurent Boulevard ’s aptly named, family friendly BLVD Festival, skill-testing games, a treasure hunt adventure, skateboard lessons, a skateboard competition, DJs, photobooths and an inflatable playground will all be part of the late-summer fun.


Les Coups de Théâtre Festival (September 1 to 10, 2023)

An international event that’s presented only every two years, Les Coups de Théâtre Festival offers young audiences the opportunity to experience exceptional live theatre from Montréal and abroad, showcasing it in myriad forms — musical, acrobatic, puppets, dance and more — through bold, diverse and high-calibre productions.


Psicobloc (September 2 and 3, 2023)

You won’t use much more than the edge of your seat and your heart’s going to make its way to your throat and stay there at Psicobloc, as over 300 international climbers try their darnedest to scale a 65-foot wall overhanging the Parc Jean-Drapeau swimming pool. I’m feeling dizzy just thinking about it.


Festival Quartiers Danses (September 6 to 17, 2023)

When Van Halen covered “Dancing in the Street,” they likely weren’t envisioning the Festival Quartiers Danses, which takes the idea to a whole other level, bringing contemporary dance to spaces where it’s not normally found: streets, parks, public markets, museums, daycares and more. 


Montreal Ukrainian Festival (September 9, 2023)

The Montreal Ukrainian Festival features performances by Ukrainian, Canadian and local Québec artists, singers, dancers, comedians and choirs. The festival also keeps festival-goers busy with  a variety of kiosks featuring Ukrainian cuisine, folk art and crafts, local businesses and information booths. To keep the young ones entertained, the festival offers a supervised children’s area with games, face painting and other fun activities. 


Martinique Gourmande Festival (September 12 to 24, 2023)

Indulge your Caribbean dreams at Martinique Gourmande Festival, which unites chefs, mixologists, caterers and artisans from Martinique and Quebec for a rich, multi-sensory culinary and cultural experience celebrating the flavours of the island.


Yulrumfest (September 16, 2023)

On 16 September, Montreal will be hosting the 6th edition of the Yulrumfest, a multicultural event that will give newcomers and enthusiasts alike a chance to get to know and appreciate not only rum, but also its traditions, history and production. "Yulrumfest is an NPO that promotes cultural diversity through hospitality, curiosity, passion and the essence of this spirit.


Festival international de la littérature (September 20 to 30, 2023)

Nearly 200 authors and artists from all disciplines and from all around the world gather in Montréal every year for the Festival international de la littérature. The jam-packed annual festival includes readings, dance performances, musical events, roundtable discussions and art exhibitions.



MAPP_MTL (September 27 to October 1, 2023)

Montréal’s international projection mapping festival, MAPP_MTL, takes mapping (a projection technique in which video is mapped onto surfaces such as buildings) to a whole new level. The fest functions as an open laboratory that showcases local talent and invites festivalgoers to take an active part in the mapping at a series of mostly free indoor and outdoor events.


Montreal International Black Film Festival (September 27 to October 1, 2023)

North America’s only bilingual Black cinema festival, the Montreal International Black Film Festival is Canada's largest film event dedicated entirely to Black cinema. It offers a fresh new look at Black cinema from all four corners of the globe, and showcases many of the world’s finest film productions.


POP Montréal International Music Festival (September 27 to October 1, 2023)

The last major music fest before the cold weather rolls in, the POP Montréal International Music Festival is a wide-ranging festival of indie rock, folk, electro, hip-hop, punk, R&B and new music that defies genres, never mind the word “pop.” With venues ranging from classic theatres to intimate local bars, and from rooftops to after-hours haunts, the festival traverses the city and its multiple music scenes.


Journées de la Culture (September 29 to October 1, 2023)

Over the course of three days, an incredible range of artists, artisans and cultural workers invite you to more than 3,000 free activities throughout the province of Québec at the Journées de la Culture. Discover a fascinating array of arts and culture through experimentation, observation and exchange.


Jamie O'Meara

Jamie O'Meara was the Editor-in-Chief at C2 Montréal and the former Editor-in-Chief of alt-weekly newspaper HOUR Magazine.

Enjoy the best of Montréal

The Tourisme Montréal newsletter gives you the inside scoop on everything happening in the city.

Moments nearby