Montréal Pride’s all-star "360 Edition"

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 Pride is the largest LGBTQ Pride in the Francophone world, whose 2020 digital "360 Edition" runs  from August 10 to 16.

In 2019, some 3.4 million visitors attended Montréal Pride, and this year tens of thousands of people worldwide are expected to view more than 60 events online, including free concerts by Melissa Etheridge, Adam Lambert and all the Queens from the blockbuster RuPaul spin-off Canada’s Drag Race, including Montréal’s very own Rita Baga and Kiara.

Below are some 2020 Montréal Pride programming highlights:

Seven days, seven themes

Montréal Pride’s “360 Edition” presents ambassadors who will spearhead daily activities – Vox pops, informational capsules, presentations and festive activities – on the festival’s various platforms (Twitch, Facebook, MAtv, Instagram, YouTube and GoToMeeting).

Each day will focus on a different theme, and Montréal Pride festival ambassadors will also take questions from festivalgoers during live online Q&A sessions: Family Constellations with Annie Pullen Sansfaçon, Université de Montréal professor and holder of the Canada Research Chair on Transgender Children and their Families (August 10); FemmXs with performance artist and avant-garde curator Elle Barbara (August 11); Bear-Leather-Fetish Communities with Ms Leather Montréal 2017 Dominique Lavergne (August 12); Queer, Trans, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour (QTBIPOC) with Congolese-Canadian singer-songwriter Ngabo (August 13); Drag Communities with Montréal drag legend Miss Butterfly (August 14); Showcasing our different realities with burlesque performer Rosie Bourgeoisie and deaf multidisciplinary artist Pierre-Olivier Beaulac Bouchard (August 15); and closing day Pride festivities with DJ, soul singer and Montréal Pride spokesperson Sandy Duperval (August 16).

Black Trans Lives Matter

Under the curatorship of Uwayo Dushime, AfroPride presents one hour of daily programming dedicated to the Black Queer Trans Lives Matter movement beginning at 10 am on Montréal Pride’s YouTube channel.

Closed Circles will also be organized and facilitated by Kama La Mackerel and Vincent Mousseau.  

Latinx Pride 2020

Celebrate the Latinx communities at Orgullo Latinx 2020 (Latinx Pride 2020), organized by Montréal-based Latino Burlesque Canada, the only Latinx troupe in North America, starring Anaconda La Sabrosa, Black Mamba, Castro, Cherry Top, El Toro, Lolita Blanca, Miami Minx and Salty Margarita, on August 15.

All-star concerts

Rock legend Melissa Etheridge headlines a special one-hour free concert on August 11; the Canadian Opera Company presents Hadrian (6:30 pm ET) with a live Q&A session (9 pm ET) with Rufus Wainwright and Daniel MacIvor on August 10; Queen frontman Adam Lambert and Polaris-nominated Canadian rapper Backxwash perform live on August 16; and legendary supermodel and actress Dominique Jackson from the Pose TV series will perform at the Excellence concert on August 13, featuring queer and trans artists of colour.

Montréal, drag capital

If you love drag, tune in on August 14 when local drag legend Michel Dorion hosts his annual Illusion show beginning at 8 pm. Guest Québec drag artists this year include Aizysse Baga, Amy Haze, Big Sissy, Bijuriya, Emma Déjavu, Gisèle Lullaby, Heaven Genderfuck, Kiara, LaDrag On-Fly, Luss Martin, Marla Deer, Matante Alex, Océane, Peach, Prudence, R.V Métal, Rock Bière, Sasha Baga, Suki Doll, Tracy Trash, Uma Gahd, Velma Jones and Zenith.

Then at 10 pm, do not miss Drag Superstars – Canada’s Drag Race Edition, a 60-minute special hosted by the “Queen of the North” herself, Brooke Lynn Hytes, and featuring the 12 drag finalists from the inaugural season of Canada’s Drag Race: Anastarzia Anaquway, Boa, Ilona Verley, Jimbo, Juice Boxx, Kiara, Kyne, Lemon, Priyanka, Rita Baga, Scarlett Bobo and Tynomi Banks.

DJs for dancefloor divas

Dancing queens will enjoy music spun by DJ Giant (August 10), Misstress Barbara (August 11), Jack Chang (August 12), DJ Nalee (August 13), Sissy Superstar (August 14) and Odile Myrtil (August 15), starting at 6 pm daily on Montréal Pride’s Twitch account.

The closing T-Dance (August 16) will feature a DJ set by A$h Banks.

Literary arts

Montréal Pride’s annual Fierté littéraire (Literary Pride) series returns with several events, notably the French-language On rit p’us, on lit avec Barbada. Ok, on rit encore un peu. Beaucoup même showcasing the next generation of literary talent from the LGBTQ2+ communities, and hosted by drag legend Barbada de Barbades on August 14.

English-language literary events include The New Face of Queer Lit panel discussion with four Canadian queer, trans and/or non-binary writers on August 13.

The bilingual The Violet Hour (August 13) features short readings by LGBTQ+ writers in Nicholas Dawson, Peter Dubé, April Ford, Kama La Mackerel and Rachel Matlow, hosted by Christopher DiRaddo.

The politics of Pride

Montréal Pride officially launches its 360 Edition with an Indigenous Opening Ceremony on August 10 at 11 am, followed by speeches and the presentation of this year’s political and social demands.

This year’s Grand Marshals are celebrated Québec film and television actress Debbie Lynch-White and her spouse Marina Gallant, bestselling author Simon Boulerice, and married Indigenous, two-spirit couple Anthony Johnson and James Makokis from Alberta, who won The Amazing Race Canada in 2019.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Montréal’s Pride parade and Community Day have been postponed to August 2021.

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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