Montréal Pride shows its colours

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.

This article was updated on March 18, 2022.

Hundreds of thousands of revellers are expected to attend Montréal Pride, the largest LGBTQ gathering in the Francophone world, from August 1 to 7.

The major performances and activities of the 15th edition of the Montréal Pride Festival will take place on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park as its main site, as well as in the Gay Village and downtown. 

 

The parade

Following the cancellation of Montréal Pride’s 2020 parade because of the COVID-19 pandemic, then a live in-person retro Pride March in 2021, this summer marks the return of the Montréal Pride parade downtown. The 2.9 km long route on René-Levesque Boulevard will symbolically begin in the former Gay Village downtown at 1 p.m. and wind down in the heart of the current Village in the east.

 

Community Days

This year Montréal Pride hosts two Community Days on August 5 and 6. During Community Days, kiosks for the many exciting organizations, community groups and sports teams catering to the LGBTQ communities will line the Sainte-Catherine Street pedestrian mall between Saint-Hubert and Papineau streets in the Village, daily from 11 am to 6 pm.

Opening and closing concerts

Montréal Pride’s opening show stars Québec icon Diane Dufresne headlining a free concert on the big outdoor stage at the Olympic Park’s Esplanade on August 3. Other guests that night include Congolese-born Montréal musician and DJ Pierre Kwenders.

The most followed drag queen on social media worldwide with 35 million followers, Brazilian singer-songwriter Pabllo Vittar will close the festival with a free show on the big outdoor stage on August 7, following the post-parade Mega T-Dance at the Olympic Park’s Esplanade.

Showcasing diversity

New York multimedia performance artist and gender nonconformist Alok headlines Le National theatre on August 1, and FeminiX will showcase female performers at the Olympic Park’s Esplanade on August 6.

Additional concerts and events will be announced soon.

 

24th International AIDS Conference

During the 24thInternational AIDS Conference being held in Montréal from July 29 to August 2, Montréal Pride is presenting three cultural events:

Choreographer Dave St-Pierre presents Rapture, an atypical contemporary dance work that will pay tribute to the millions of people who have tragically died of AIDS. Rapture headlines Le Monastère from July 27 to August 6.

The exhibition Art, Activism and Resilience explores HIV, AIDS and sexual health through the activism and resilience of the LGBTQ communities. Many art works will be displayed online as well as on outdoor panels in the Village from June 12 to September 1.

Over at the PHI Centre in Old Montréal, INVERSE/THE FUTURE IS OFTEN A STEP BEHIND is an experimental documentary exhibit by Nicolas Jenkins, the renowned artist who organized Montréal’s famed Sex Garage loft party, widely considered to be Montréal’s Stonewall.

Jenkins’ multigenerational portrait of queer lives deals with racism, sexism, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, and the stigma of HIV and AIDS. The exhibit runs from June 30 to August 28. Free admission.

 

Click here for an alphabetical listing of all Montréal Pride programs and events.

Fierté Montréal Pride runs from August 1 to 7. Full programming details are available online at fiertemtl.com.

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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