Montréal celebrates Halloween in a big way

Isa Tousignant

Halloween is always a celebration in Montréal, but this year promises to break the mold. For its 375th anniversary edition, Montréal is putting all the city’s ghouls and goblins to work with live animation for all from October 27 to 29 in the streets of the Place des Festivals. So don your best do, get your little monsters dressed up in their best costumes, and hit the streets to scare up a good time!

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Historical haunting

When the Jacques Quartier Bridge was illuminated last May, it seems it disturbed one of Montréal’s oldest residents. Maybe it’s because over 400,000 Montrealers celebrated on the banks of the river in honour of the city’s 375th anniversary on May 17th – the hoopla woke the Trouble-Fête, a ghost that lives in the historic Craig pumping station, at the foot of the bridge. Since then, various sightings have been made of an unhappy, sleep-deprived spirit… and it has residents worried. How far will Trouble-Fête go to regain her slumber? Will she initiate an apocalypse that will see the dead and the living share Montréal’s streets? If so, legend has it that only the pure souls of children can counter her powers!


Friday: Waking the dead

On Place des Festivals on Friday, October 27, 2017, the Waking Dead take to the streets from 6 to 11 pm. The trouble-making Trouble-Fête promises to visit in the flesh (so to speak) during the big opening night of these Halloween celebrations, which have lots of grown-up fun in store, including a cocktail hour between 5 and 7 pm, makeup stations, DJs, fire-breathers, a Gothic choral performance, and a live music program as well as black light dancing once the sun goes down.


Saturday: Out come the zombies

On Saturday, October 28, 2017, the Zombie Parade takes to the Place des Festivals from noon to 11 pm. Don’t miss Canada’s biggest zombie parade, with over 10,000 participants! The professional makeup and preparations with animations start at noon, while the parade starts at 4 pm with no fewer than 10 special performances. A massive dance show featuring Gardy Fury follows, and then from 8 to 11 pm, it’s dancing time for all: the zombies and all their new friends will party to the sounds of Chocolat, Anonymus, Duchess Says and Pup, among others.


Sunday: Welcoming all witches

Get the kids ready for the fun on Sunday, October 29, 2017, when the Witches Gathering takes over from noon to 5 pm. Especially designed for kids from top to bottom, the afternoon celebrations at Place des Festivals start with a magic village on the Place des Arts Esplanade. Each witch-in the-making will be given a passport to collect stamps from the various workshops they participate in, be it magic-wand making, makeup, pumpkin decorating, quidditch – there’s even an enchanted forest! Starting at 4, there’s a parade for all the mini witches, animated with grandiose floats. Comforted for one more year by the sweet souls of all these kiddies, the Trouble-Fête will be lulled back to sleep for another year. We’ll celebrate at 5 pm with a closing show. Happy Halloween!


Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant, blogger

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal’s ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.