Summer 2022 is festival season in Montréal!

Mark Hamilton

Mark Hamilton is the community director for QueerMTL, an internationally-touring musician with his projects Woodpigeon and Frontperson  and a graduate studies student of history researching LGBTQ+ activism in the city. He’s lived in Montréal since 2015, during which time he’s most often spotted atop a BIXI bike usally running a few minutes late.

This article was updated on July 13, 2022.

Along with its foodie scene, French flair and fun for the whole family, Montréal is known around the globe as a true festival city—and summer 2022’s calendar is packed to the brim! Featuring film, music, dance, theatre, art and performance, Montréal’s festivals make up a vital part of the city’s DNA, and every park, theatre, nook and cranny is buzzing with things to see and do all summer long. We suggest getting your pocket calendars in hand—your summer’s about to get a whole lot busier.

June is the gateway to summer

Festival TransAmériques (May 25 to June 9, 2022)

Montréal has long been a hotspot for performance art and experimental dance, and the Festival TransAmériques leads the way with a fulls late of exclusives and premieres. The 2022 program features Re:Incarnation by Lagos-based dance troupe Qudus Onikeku, Lars Jan’s Holoscenes, Andrew Tay and Stephen Thompson’s Make Banana Cry and the theatrical piece Laboratoire poison by Brussels’ Adeline Rosenstein.

Festival Go Vélo (May 29 to June 5, 2022)

Montréal was ranked in the top 20 biking cities in the world by the Copenhagenize Index, and every summer a primary mode of transport is atop two wheels. The Festival Go Vélo’s annual calendar of guided bike tours—including both the iconic Night Ride and car-free pedals through the heart of the city—make for the ultimate in urban biking.

St-Ambroise Montréal Fringe Festival (May 30 to June 19, 2022)

Featuring over 700 street performers and musicians, the Montréal Fringe Festival injects an added dose of excitement into the Plateau-Mont-Royal quartier for three weeks every summer. We’d suggest simply wandering through the hood—during Fringe, everywhere’s a stage and there’s surprises around every corner.

Suoni Per Il Popolo (June 3 to 29, 2022)

An annual exploration of Montréal’s more experimental musical side, Suoni Per Il Popolo offers mind-expanding experiences and a focus on community. Welcoming and altogether original, Suoni guarantees unforgettable, boundary-expanding experiences.

Yatai MTL – La semaine Japon (June 6 to 12, 2022)

Bringing together Montréal’s Japanese cultural, artisanal and restaurant communities, Yatai MTL brings Japan’s best to the city. Besides dotting the map with participating businesses, Yatai also takes over the Mile End’s Le Marché des Possibles on June 10-12 with food trucks and performances. Follow their Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest pop-ups and special announcements.  Itadakimas!

MURAL Festival (June 9 to 19, 2022)

We’ve all heard the expression about watching paint dry as the ultimate in boredom, but Montréal’s MURAL Festival turns that adage on its head entirely. More than a mere block party on busy Saint-Leonard Boulevard, MURAL invites top international graffiti artists to come and literally change the landscape of the city with wall-size artworks that in many ways, also tell the story of Montréal in vibrant colour.

Festival Eurêka! (June 10 to 12, 2022)

Montréal’s family science festival is back, offering online programming and in-person activities for kids and adults alike. The fest’s Virtual Eurêka game platform for 8 to 12 year olds lets participants build a boat and sail through a series of scientific discoveries. Check the festival website for further fall in-person events!

Francos de Montréal (June 10 to 18, 2022)

Bringing the best in French-language music to Montréal’s core, Francos de Montréal boasts over 250 performances in 10 chanson-filled days. This year’s headliners include Pierre Lapointe, Damien Robitaille, Ichon, Salomé Leclerc, Rymz, MC Solar’s new Big Band project and Lary Kidd. For full lineup see their website and get ready to sing along en français!

Festival des Musiciens du monde (June 16 to 19, 2022)

Over the course of four nights, the Centre des Muciens du Monde’s annual program of global music performances guarantees new discoveries, beloved music and folk dances and rare instruments from all over the globe. The centre’s online workshops get audience members performing too.

Montreal International Portugal Festival (June 17 to 19, 2022)

Dive into Portuguese language, culture and enjoy some of the most famous Portuguese gastronomic specialties. Bring the kids and meet their popular mascot, the Portuguese Rooster.

L'International des Feux Loto-Québec (June 25 to August 6, 2022)

After a two-year hiatus, the International des Feux Loto-Québec, Montréal's beloved fireworks festival, will be back from June 25 to August 6 to light up the city's skies. One of summer’s most-anticipated events, the festival will be presented at Lac des Dauphins at La Ronde on Wednesday and Saturday evenings. This year's program will include the participation of six world-class pyrotechnic companies who will compete to win the hearts of spectators and the Gold Jupiter trophy, the most prestigious award in the industry.

Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (June 30 to July 9, 2022)

For 42 years, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal has expanded the definition of jazz, spotlighting acts as varied as Anderson .Paak and the Free Nationals, Bob Dylan, Tanya Tagaq and Diana Ross. 2022 offers unmissable opportunities to experience the likes of Jean-Michel Blais, Woodkid, Bebel Gilberto, Gregory Porter, Jesse Cook, Ôlafur Arnalds, Pat Metheny, Alicia Moffet and George Thorogood & the Destroyers. Nick Cave lovers also won’t want to miss a rare showing of Stranger than Kindness: The Nick Cave Exhibition at the Maison du Festival. Now that’s what we call range. Check out the full schedule of performers and reserve tickets at the festival’s website.

 

Festival season heats up in July

Mtl en Arts (June 29 to July 3, 2022)

Every Mtl en Arts the pedestrianized Ste-Catherine Street through Montréal’s Gay Village transforms into the largest open-air arts gallery in Eastern Canada. Join hundreds of artists (with many offering works for sale) as they take their creations to the streets in the summer sun, and find your next masterpiece in the process.

Carifiesta (July 2, 2022)

The Caribbean Carnival is back in Montreal for its 45th edition, with an energetic and colorful parade that will animate Sainte-Catherine Street from Guy Street to Phillips Square on July 2.

TOHU – Montréal complétement cirque (July 7 to 17, 2022)

If you’re wondering why Montrealers keep their eyes to the skies for 10 days every July, the answer is simple: to not miss the show! The city itself is under the Big Top during Montréal complétement cirque, as the world’s top circus performers transform parks, streets and the air into one giant shared circus arena.

Comiccon (July 8 to 10, 2022)

A must for fans of pop culture, Comiccon is back for a 12th edition this summer. Taking place at the Palais des congrès de Montréal, this three-day convention brings fans together with comic creators, science fiction and fantasy authors, film and television directors, producers, writers and creators from all aspects of the popular arts.

Festival International Nuits d’Afrique (July 12 to 24, 2022)

For its 36th year, the Festival International Nuits d’Afrique promises another stellar program of over 100 performances, workshops and other activities with the African, Caribbean and Latin American diaspora in the spotlight. Bring your comfiest shoes, because you’ll be up on your feet dancing all evening!

Just For Laughs (July 13 to 31, 2022)

We’re not kidding when we say Montréal’s Just For Laughs is the world’s top comedy festival. But don’t take our word for it—just follow the laughter from the city’s theatres, clubs and streets. For it’s 40th anniversary, the JFL 2022 in-person reboot guarantees guffaws and mirth galore, featuring Bill Burr and Kevin Hart at the epic-size Bell Centre.
 

Zoofest (July 14 to 31, 2022)

Since its founding in 2009, Zoofest has embraced an anything goes attitude to its programming and events. Running simultaneously to the massive Just For Laughs and OFF-JFL events, Zoofest brings over 125 additional performances ranging from burlesque to theatre. Consider the envelope pushed!

Festival Fantasia (July 14 to August 3, 2022)

One of Canada’s most beloved film festivals, the Fantasia International Film Festival puts the focus on genre cinema. Three weeks of thrills, chills and bloody spills paired with filmmaker Q&As and other activities, mark Festival Fantasia as the movie event of the summer.

Osheaga (July 29 to 31, 2022)

A yearly must-do on North America’s music festival circuits, Osheaga brings the top trend-setters to Parc Jean-Drapeau for three days of multi-stage performances of a lifetime. This year’s lineup includes headliners Montréal's own Arcade Fire plus Dua Lipa and A$AP Rocky, alongside fan favourites Mitski, Caribou, Wet Leg, Charli XCX, Pierre Kwenders and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs.
 

The Montréal Highland Games (July 31, 2022)

The Montréal Highland Games return to the Douglas Hospital grounds in Verdun on Sunday, July 31, after a two-year hiatus. This family-friendly festival invites Montrealers of all backgrounds to celebrate Scottish sport, music and culture, with everything from Celtic music and pipe and drum bands to Highland dancing, medieval combat and classic Scottish athletics.

 

Move your feet in the August heat

ÎleSoniq (August 5 to 7, 2022)

The leafy expanses of Parc Jean-Drapeau transform into the biggest outdoor nightclub dance floor when ÎleSoniq takes over in early August. As always, headliners like Swedish House Mafia, Illenium and Eric Prydz share the stage with the latest up-and-comers in electronic music, and 2022 also sees locals DVBBS and Black Tiger Sex Machine perform to some of the biggest crowds in their careers.

Montréal Pride (August 1 to 7, 2022)

One of Montréal’s biggest annual parties, Montréal Pride features a rainbow of internationally beloved musicians and drag queens, endless joy in the Gay Village quartier (in full effect on Community Day) and the powerful moment of silence during the Parade commemorating the 2SLGBTQ+ community’s history. Last but not least, dance your cares away and get your flirt on at the closing outdoor T-Dance set to the sounds of some of the world’s top DJs.

ItalfestMTL (August 5 to 21, 2022)

For its 29th edition, ItalfestMTL offers two weeks of community pride in Little Italy and beyond. Food, culture and performances bring Montréal’s feisty Italian community out in force to eat, dance and play the summer nights away. Ciao bella!
 

LASSO Montréal (August 12 and 13) 

Dust off your 10-gallon hat and get ready to kick up your heels at LASSO, Montréal’s hottest new summer festival! Held at the impressive Espace 67 in Parc Jean-Drapeau, this country festival promises boot stomping, knee slapping, hand clapping performances from a slew of country’s hottest stars, with a lineup that draws from across the spectrum of country genres. International superstars like Luke Bryan are set to headline this kickoff edition alongside local luminaries from the Canadian, Québec, and Montréal country scenes.

Jackalope (August 19 to 21, 2022)

Simply put, Jackalope should appear in the thesaurus as a synonym for Action and Adrenaline. Get ready for some of the world’s most daring athletes as they demonstrate their skills at bouldering, skateboarding and other action sports leaving audiences slack-jawed in the process. 

MUTEK (August 23 to 28, 2022)

23 years after its first edition, MUTEK has long established its reputation as a world-leading festival of electronic music and digital art. Adored by both audiences and artists, MUTEK sets the standard for avant garde music and virtual experiences.
 

Psicobloc (August 27 and 28, 2022)

You’ve never seen free-climbing like what you’ll experience at Psicobloc, as over 300 climbers from around the world ascend a 65-foot overhanging wall. But worry not—if they slip and tumble, the deep end of a swimming pool guarantees a soft (albeit wet) landing. Be prepared to spend the day on the edge of your seat! 

Montréal Fashion & Design Festival (August 25 to 28, 2022)

Just one look at the Festival Mode Design’s ultrachic Instagram and you’ll know you’ve found fashionista heaven. Using the Quartier des Spectacles as its catwalk, #FMDMTL’s fashion shows, pop up shops and events keep you on the cutting edge of style while mingling with Montréal’s most fashionable.

Mark Hamilton

Mark Hamilton is the community director for QueerMTL, an internationally-touring musician with his projects Woodpigeon and Frontperson  and a graduate studies student of history researching LGBTQ+ activism in the city. He’s lived in Montréal since 2015, during which time he’s most often spotted atop a BIXI bike usally running a few minutes late.

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