Montréal summer cultural calendar

Leisure activities Culture, arts and heritage The city
  • The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
  • McCord Stewart Museum
Richard Burnett

Richard Burnett

Blockbuster museum exhibitions, live music concerts, theatre and comedy are among the many live entertainment choices in Montréal this Summer 2024.

POP MUSIC

July

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Hip Hop legend 50 Cent headlines the Beachclub in Pointe-Calumet (July 7), country icon Steve Earle solo and acoustic at MTELUS (July 11), Nigeria’s “King of modern Highlife music” Flavour at the Beanfield Theatre (July 14), the all-female Judas Priestess tribute band at Piranha bar (July 28), legendary rap duo Method Man and Redman headline the Olympia (July 19), and relive the 1980s with the Totally Tubular Festival starring Thomas Dolby, Thompson Twins’ Tom Bailey, Modern English, Men Without Hats, The Romantics, Bow Wow Wow, Tommy Tutone, Wang Chung and The Plimsouls' Eddie Munoz (July 23) at Place Bell, and smokey-voiced lovers-rock reggae icon Beres Hammond brings his Forever Giving Thanks Tour to the Olympia (July 27).

Other July shows of note:

The 44th edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal runs to July 6.

Le Balcon presents their inaugural edition of the SOULFEST Montréal music festival which runs from July 11 to 14 with outdoor concerts by headliners Kim Richardson & Dorian Sherwood, Slim Williams, Freddie James Project, Michelle Sweeney, and Dawn Tyler Watson.

Over in the SAT’s new gallery space, the Bell Orchestre Sound House presents an interactive audiovisual installation that summons the sounds of Bell Orchestre’s 2021 album, House Music. Runs to July 27.

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In a Mardi Gras-style carnival atmosphere, NEW ORLEANS BLUES is a multi-sensorial musical, historical and gourmet experience. With an all-you-can-eat Cajun meal concocted by top chef Paul Toussaint and a live show featuring 12 musicians and singers, directed by Normand Brathwaite, NEW ORLEANS BLUES runs at the Studio-Cabaret in the Espace St-Denis to September 1

August

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Heavy Metal double bill Lamb Of God and Mastodon (August 1), Rock Hall-of-Famers Heart (August 8), sneering post-punk icon Billy Idol (August 16), Hip Hop legend Missy Elliott (August 17), and hard rock godfathers Deep Purple (August 27) all headline the Bell Centre.

Other August shows of note:

Virtuosic instrumental rock trio The Aristocrats headlines Montréal’s iconic rock venue Foufounes Électriques (August 6), Oscar-nominated and Grammy-winning soul diva Andra Day at the Beanfield Theatre (August 16), and the American punk rock legends NOFX bring their farewell tour to the Olympic Park for two shows (August 24 and 25). Musical guests includes The Interrupters, Circle Jerks and The Real McKenzies (August 24), and Descendents, Good Riddance, Vulgaires Machins, The Sainte Catherines and The Flatliners (August 25).

The Village People, Boney M, Thelma Houston and The Trammps co-headline a disco edition of the charity Strangers in the Night Gourmet Gala, August 31 at Complexe Pointe Claire.

September

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1980s hard-rock legends The Cult (September 4), French pop and nu-disco band L'Impératrice (September 10 to 11), The Jim Cuddy Band (September 13), British rock band Idles (September 21 to 22), American punk rockers Bad Religion (September 23), and Boston hard rockers Extreme (September 28), all at MTELUS.

The Australian Pink Floyd Show (September 14), the chart-topping pop double-bill Charli XCX & Troye Sivan (September 16), The National and the War on Drugs tour (September 19), and PJ Harvey (September 21), and reggae royalty The Marley Brothers (September 30) all headline Place Bell.

American rapper-singer A Boogie wit da Hoodie (September 12), Heavy Metal godfathers and Rock Hall-of-Famers Judas Priest (September 13), Hans Zimmer (September 17), and Twenty One Pilots (September 25) all headline the Bell Centre.

Other September events of note:

Diane Dufresne: L’exposition immersive, Aujourd’hui, hier et pour toujours explores the work and legacy of the beloved Québec diva who celebrates her 80th birthday this year. Runs at Arsenal Contemporary Art Montreal from September 13 to October 13.

Balcon Cabaret Music-Hall

Local soul, jazz and hip hop

For those looking for dinner and a show under one roof, the city’s top soul and RnB musicians headline Le Balcon music hall and restaurant year-round. Regular headliners include music legends Freddie James, Kim Richardson, Dawn Tyler Watson and Michelle Sweeney.

Montréal’s premiere musicians and entertainers also headline live-music nightclubs Diese Onze and Upstairs Jazz Bar & Grill, both ranked by DownBeat magazine as two of the top jazz nightclubs on the planet. Montréal’s top jazz, soul and blues divas headline both venues which also have dinner menus.

Le Cypher X organizes the city’s premiere hip hop concerts while GrowveMTL presents jams featuring the city’s top musicians playing everything from disco to hip hop each Wednesday at Turbo Haüs.

Festival Montréal Complètement Cirque (Montréal Cirque Festival)

MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE

The 15th edition of the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE runs from July 4 to 14. Scroll down to the CIRCUS ARTS section for more info.

Montreal Comiccon

MONTRÉAL COMICCON

The star-studded Montréal Comiccon multi-genre entertainment and comic convention runs from July 5 to 7.

Carifiesta Montréal

CARIBBEAN PARADE

The Montréal Carimas Festival presents their Carimas Parade – formerly known as Carifiesta and Carifete – on July 6. The 47th edition of the parade runs on René-Leveque Boulevard from St. Laurent Boulevard to Peel Street where the Carimas Sizzle festivities will be held at Place du Canada. The parade and Sizzle festivities both start at noon.

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique

NUITS D’AFRIQUE

Founded by legendary Montréal promoter Lamine Touré, the 38th edition of the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique world music festival runs from July 9 to 21. Several hundred artists from some 30 countries will perform in eight concert series at six indoor venues as well as on two huge outdoor stages set up for free concerts in the Quartier des Spectacles. Click here for programming details.

L'International des Feux Loto-Québec

DAZZLING FIREWORKS

Montréal’s La Ronde amusement park located at Parc Jean Drapeau presents the 37th edition of L’International des Feux Loto-Québec until August 1. Click here for the complete schedule.

Osheaga, Music and Arts Festival

OSHEAGA & LASSO & îLESONIQ

The 2024 edition of the Osheaga Music and Arts Festival features headliners Noah Kahan, Green Day and SZA (August 2 to 4), the îLESONIQ electronic music festival features headliners DJ Snake and Tiësto (August 10 to 11), and the LASSO Montréal country music festival features headliners Eric Church and Sam Hunt (August 16 to 17). All three festivals are held at Parc Jean-Drapeau.

Montréal Pride

MONTRÉAL PRIDE PARADE

The largest LGBTQ+ Pride gathering in the Francophone world, the Fierté Montréal Festival runs from August 1 to 11. Their August 11 parade runs along René-Levesque Boulevard from Metcalfe to Alexandre-DeSève streets, symbolically beginning in the former downtown Gay Village and winding down in the heart of the current Village in the east. The parade starts at 1 pm. Do not forget to observe the minute of silence during the parade at 2:30 pm, to honour those lost to anti-LGBTQ+ violence and HIV/AIDS. Click here for your comprehensive Pride guide.

POP MONTRÉAL

The POP Montréal International Music Festival runs from September 25 to 29. Programming TBA. 

THEATRE

Montréal’s two big English-language theatres – the venerable Centaur Theatre Company in Old Montréal, and the Sylvan Adams Theatre at the Segal Centre for the Performing Arts in the west end – offer varied programming.

Agence evenko - Les Misérables

Cameron Mackintosh’s acclaimed production of Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg’s Tony Award-winning musicalLes Misérables includes the classic songs “I Dreamed a Dream” and “One Day More”. Based on the 1862 novel by Victor Hugo, and set against the backdrop of 19th century France, Les Miz follows the fortunes of the convict Jean Valjean who has been imprisoned for 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread. The sung-through musical is about broken dreams and unrequited love, passion, sacrifice and redemption in one of the most celebrated musicals in theatrical history. Runs at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier from July 31 to August 4.

Repercussion Theatre’s summertime Shakespeare in the Park tour presents Infinite Variety from July 11 to August 3. Click here for the touring schedule. Nearly all performances start at 7 pm.

Click here for more Montréal English-language theatre this summer.

DANCE

Drawing from the masterful scores of Mozart and Beethoven, Les Grands Ballets Canadiens presents Maestro, a three-part program featuring Petite MortSechs Tänze, and Complete. Runs September 12 to 15 at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier.

CLASSICAL STAGE

The OM at the foot of Mount Royal

Under the baton of Grammy-winning conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, the Orchestre Métropolitain presents their annual OM at the foot of Mount Royal free concert on August 6 at 7:30 pm. The program includes Carmen’s Suite No 1 by Georges Bizet, and Three Dance Variations from ”Fancy Free” by Leonard Bernstein.

The Orchestre symphonique de Montréal presents the 11th edition of their classical music festival La Virée classique OSM which runs from August 14 to 18. The Virée classique opens with the OSM’s traditional free concert at the Olympic Park’s Esplanade on August 14, Journey through the Mediterranean, which begins at 7:30 pm. The festival closes with the ticketed Verdi’s majestic Requiem at the Maison Symphonique on August 16 and 18.  The opening and closing concerts will be conducted by Grammy-winning OSM maestro Rafael Payare.

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Film buffs will enjoy watching the 1985 blockbuster Back to the Future on a big hi-def screen with a 70-piece symphony orchestra performing Alan Silvestri’s dazzling musical score live at Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier on September 1. The movie will be presented in its original English version with French subtitles.

MUSEUMS

Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal - Les quatre éléments dans le jardin d’Eden

The Montréal Museum of Fine Arts in the Golden Square Mile presents the Saints, Sinners, Lovers and Fools: Three Hundred Years of Flemish Masterworks exhibition from The Phoebus Foundation’s collection of early modern Flemish art transports visitors to the Southern Netherlands during a dynamic period of social, scientific, economic and artistic development (1400-1700). Runs to October 20.

The Olmecs and the Civilizations of the Gulf of Mexico exhibition at the Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex in Old Montréal explores the first known civilization of Mesoamerica, documenting nearly four millennia of history, trade and cultural traditions that are still shrouded in mystery. Runs to September 15.

Known as one of the pillars of 20th-century fashion photography, Norman Parkinson is the subject of the comprehensive exhibition Norman Parkinson: Always in Style which presents 79 of his best-known images at the McCord Stewart Museum in the Golden Square Mile. Runs to September 2.

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The PHI Centre presents The Horizon of Khufu: A Journey in Ancient Egypt, a unique VR expedition that brings together ancient history and new technologies to relive the reign of Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and explore the 146-metre-high Great Pyramid of Giza, Khufu’s final resting place built between 2,590 and 2,565 BC. Visitors wander through galleries and spaces inside the Great Pyramid before reaching its top for a breathtaking view of modern Cairo and the Giza Plateau, then board an Ancient Egyptian sun boat on the Nile to witness the funerary rite of Khufu 4,500 years ago. 

The Horizon of Khufu is located in the Old Port next door to the Montréal Science Centre. Children under 8 not admitted. The 45-minute immersive experience has been extended to September 1.

Click here for more Montréal museum exhibitions.

FAMILY ENTERTAINMENT

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The children-friendly permanent exhibitions at the Montréal Science Centre are all open, while its IMAX cinema screens films for all ages, including Australia 3D: The Wild Continent.

Click here for the screening schedules of the latest films.

Children of all ages can also discover new worlds at Montréal Space for Life, the largest natural-sciences museum complex in Canada which comprises the Botanical Garden, Planetarium, Biosphere, famed Biodôme and Insectarium. Purchasing fixed-time tickets online is highly recommended. 

CIRCUS ARTS

The 15th edition of the MONTRÉAL COMPLÈTEMENT CiRQUE festival runs from July 4 to 14 at both La TOHU and ESPACE ST-DENIS. This year’s theme is “Impossible is not a circus” (Impossible n’est pas cirque). Click here for the full program. And click here for an overview of the festival’s free outdoor shows and return of the festival’s 52-foot steel Giant – called “La Géante” – on the Place Ville-Marie Esplanade.  

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Cirque du Soleil presents KURIOS – Cabinet of Curiosities under the Big Top in the Old Port to August 25.

Montréal is the circus hub of North America. For the latest Montréal circus arts and concert news, click here.

CINÉMA

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The Society for Arts and Technology – called “The SAT” by locals – presents the 42-minute cinematic show Pink Floyd: The Dark Side of the Moon in surround-sound to celebrate the album’s 50th anniversary, in their Satosphere until August 8. Click here to book tickets.

The PARC AT MIDNIGHT cycle at the Cinéma du Parc offers nocturnal screenings in the great tradition of the famous rep-house “midnight movies” of the 70s. Films being screened this summer include Caligula – The Ultimate Cut starring Malcolm McDowell and Peter O’Toole (August 23 to 25).

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The Montreal Cinéclub Film Society screens classic movies at various venues every second week. Click here for the full program.

The 28th edition of the Fantasia International Film Festival runs from July 18 to August 4.

Co-presented by Fantasia, the Cinématheque Québécoise’s Science Fiction cycle – more than 100 films including the Planet of the Apes and Bladerunner originals – runs from July 2 to August 25.

The IMAX cinema at the Montréal Science Centre screens films for all ages, including Australia 3D: The Wild Continent. Click here for the screening schedules of the latest films.

LITERATURE

The Violet Hour reading series presents Here & Now with queer writers Matthew Fox (This Is It, out this fall from Great Plains Press), Liana Cusmano (Catch and Release, Guernica Editions 2022), Anthony Portulese and others, hosted by author Christopher DiRaddo at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura on August 8.

Lectures LOGOS Readings is a series of monthly multicultural readings hosted by award-winning author H. Nigel Thomas and renowned human rights advocate Maguy Métellus at the UNIA Hall in Little Burgundy.

DRAG SHOWS

The Fierté Montréal Festival presents the outdoor Soirée 100% Drag on August 9 at the Olympic Park: hosted by Barbada, MajestiX will showcase local drag royalty, followed by Drag Superstars hosted by Rita Baga, which will feature drag artists from various RuPaul’s Drag Race franchises. Free admission.

RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 14 winner Willow Pill headlines Le National theatre on September 22.

Montréal is one of the drag capitals of the world. Located in The Village, drag icon Mado Lamotte’s Cabaret Mado and Michel Dorion’s classic Bar Le Cocktail both book the best drag performers in the city nightly. Both venues are also two of the most popular nightclubs in The Village.

COMEDY

The notorious Pitbull of Comedy, legendary comic Bobby Slayton brings the Nasty back to Montréal with a solo show at Le 9e on July 19.

The Montréal’s Got Jokes | Montréal Comedy Festival presents more than 100 stand-up comics in some 40 shows in venues throughout Montréal, in their inaugural edition which runs from July 13 to July 31.

The mostly French-language ComediHa! Hello Montréal comedy festival runs from July 18 to 28. Click here for their programming schedule, including free outdoor shows in the Quartier des Spectacles.

American podcaster and stand-up comedian Theo Von headlines Theatre St-Denis with his Return of the Rat Tour on August 3, 4 and 10.

Support local, national and international comics at The Comedy Nest nightclub located in the historic Montréal Forum.

Richard Burnett

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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