Free outdoor summer shows in LGBTQ+ Village

Richard Burnett

Richard “Bugs” Burnett is a Canadian freelance writer, editor, journalist, blogger and columnist for alt-weeklies, mainstream and LGBTQ publications. Bugs also knows Montréal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.

Montréal’s LGBTQ+  Village presents free outdoor concerts by drag queens and kings, circus acts, ballet dancers and marquee entertainers like pianist Nick Burgess all summer long to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the famed gaybourhood’s kilometre-long pedestrian mall on Sainte-Catherine Street.

Follow the yellow brick road

For its 15th year, the pedestrian mall is open until October 4 and stretches east from Place Émilie-Gamelin near Berri-UQAM metro station to Papineau Avenue.

The pedestrian mall and surrounding area is filled with more than 40 patios, with LGBTQ and queer-friendly establishments to suit all tastes and thirsts.

The layouts of all bars and patios have been redesigned with physical distancing in mind, and numerous COVID pandemic safety measures have been put in place at all establishments to ensure the safety of patrons and employees. Click here for the latest Québec government guidelines for Montréal bars and restaurants.

The outdoor shows will be presented from Thursdays to Sundays until September 5, on Sainte-Catherine and Atateken streets.

Concert highlights

Headliners include renowned pianist Nick Burgess.

The Cirque Hors Piste and Cirkus Queer will perform circus arts over several dates, while 28 ballerinas from l’École supérieure de ballet du Québec will perform two shows, on July 18 and 25.

A constellation of drag stars – notably drag queens Tracy Trash, Marla Deer, Barbada de Barbade, Sasha Baga, Gisèle Lullaby and Rainbow Drag, as well as drag king Rock Bière – will co-headline several themed evenings: Disney, Disco, Rockabilly, Superheroes and Hollywood, among others.

There will also be tango dancing, voguing and cabaret variety shows.

In all, some 800 artists will perform on Sainte-Catherine and Atateken streets until September 5. For the full calendar, visit village-montreal.ca.

The Walls Have Ears

Beginning August 1, the Québec Gay Archives presents the outdoor photo exhibition “Les murs ont des oreilles” (“The Walls Have Ears”) along the pedestrian mall. Thanks to backlit panels, visitors will discover the history behind some of The Village’s most emblematic sites.

Village Motel at Galerie Blanc

As you are strolling by, check out the Galerie Blanc open-air art gallery at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Wolfe streets. Their current Village Motel exhibition features the works of artists Christto & Andrew (Qatar/Denmark), Genevieve Gaignard (USA), Noah Kalina (USA), Elise Mesner (USA) and Maya Fuhr (CA), and was conceived and commissioned by artist Alexandre Berthiaume (QC) who also created the iconic Village Motel installation. The gorgeous Galerie Blanc is an oasis in the Village, free and accessible at all times, year-round.

Richard Burnett

Richard “Bugs” Burnett is a Canadian freelance writer, editor, journalist, blogger and columnist for alt-weeklies, mainstream and LGBTQ publications. Bugs also knows Montréal like a drag queen knows a cosmetics counter.

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