Montréal is a lively place with festivals all year round, but it is especially busy during the summer months. It features countless festivals ranging from music to dancing, from food to pride, from highland games to Italian week. Voyalific will provide you with a list of all the best festivals still happening!
Unfortunately, the summer is winding down quickly… so here are a few festivals you may have missed. Keep an eye out for them next year!
Festival St-Ambroise Fringe de Montréal // Fringe Festival – May 29th – June 18th
Uncensored, unpredictable, and unapologetic. You can expect to see anything happen on stage at the Montréal Fringe Festival – the good, and the bad. This performance arts festival believes anyone should be able to express their own creative urges, and have an audience to do so. The Fest selects its line up through a judge-free lottery system, which randomly rewards applicants with a spot on the roster. This bypasses the politics of music, and allows talented acts to show the world what they can do. Attending this event is a gamble, with it’s hit-or-miss selection system, but with the modest admission fees it may be worth the risk!
Mondial de la Bière // Montreal Beer Festival – First or Second Week of June
This works as a kick-off to summer – a chance to sample hundreds of beer from around the globe. It provides things like chocolate beer, new lagers, and special brews made just for the festival. This event pairs up with Montreal’s hottest brew pubs to encourage some pub crawls after the fest closes down, and often leads to crawling home afterwards.
Mural Festival – June 8th – 18th
Have you ever taken a stroll down the iconic St-Laurent Blvd. ? It is beautifully decked with string lights above, and incredible murals on the sides of buildings and alleyways. This street of art work is attributed to the Mural Festival, with music, art, sidewalk sales and restaurants to take part in the festival. A wonderful event which leaves a lasting impression on the city.
Spectacular live painting skillz by @naveen.shakil for @muralfestival 's 2017 edition on Boulevard St Laurent here in Montréal. •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• •••••••• Check-out my website for more (Link in Bio) ———————————- Location: Montreal, Qc, Canada. ——————————————————————– #livepainting #livepaint #artonwalls #streetart #streetarteverywhere #streetartmontreal #montrealstreetart #muralfestival2017 #muralmontreal #mtl #mtligers #mtlphotographer #mtlshots #mtlblog #mtlmoments #mtlmoment #mtlblogger #montreal #narcitymontreal #montreality #muralfestival #muralfestivalmontreal #montreality #montreal #montrealismes #somontreal • • • • •
Les FrancoFolies – June 8th- 18th
Recognized as the largest French Music Festival in the world. It is one of Montreal’s largest, attracting almost one million spectators over the span of 10 days. It’s the best time to discover the French language of love in the form of song, and the several other free outdoor shows to enjoy. Acts include: Pierre Lapointe, Jean Leloup, Serge Fiori, Jane Birkin, Indochine, Beau Dommage, and many more.
• 🎤 : @_bagarre • 📍: @francofolies_mtl 2016 • 🇨🇦 : @montreal • 📷 : @geoffreybphotography • • • • • • • #bnwphotography #mtl375 #francosmtl #francofolies #mtl #montréal #stagephotography #concert #musicphotography #music #livemusic #live #livemusicphotography #photography #concertphotographer #singer #instamusic #musicphotographer #festival #gigphotography #nikon #bestmusicshots #musician #band #photooftheday #bandphotography #instagood #concerts #livephotography
L’international des feux loto-Quebec // Montreal International Fireworks Competition – July 1st – August 5th
Since 1985, this competition has remained one of the city’s top attractions, as it displays gorgeous firework shows in Montreal skies every Saturday evening throughout the summer. It is the largest pyrotechnics competition of this kind in the world, and with it’s loud, bright, and reoccurring nature, it is a hard one to avoid!
Osheaga – August 4th-6th
Of the Montreal summer festivals, Osheaga is arguably the most noteworthy. California has Coachella, and Montreal has Osheaga – it’s smaller scale but it still attracts the hottest acts in the music industry and plenty of boho chic fashion. It is held in Parc Jean-Drapeau every summer, typically in late July or early August. This year, music performances included: Lorde, MGMT, The Shins, Milky Chance, Glass Animals, Tove Lo, Cage The Elephant, Arkells, Danny Brown, The Weeknd, Vance Joy, Foster The People, and Local Natives – to name a few.
Until next year Osheaga ✌🏼 Had the best time being back home and running around all weekend long with @mvandersluis and @dynamiteclothing! ಂಂಂಂಂಂಂ To anyone who stopped us to say hi or take a picture with us at the festival thank you! We love meeting you! ಂಂಂಂಂಂಂ And to anyone who ever spots us or sees that we are coming to your city don't just watch from afar, please get in touch! It's so nice to connect and make friends in different parts of the world! ಂಂಂಂಂಂಂ In exactly 2 weeks we are off to Mallorca and Morocco and I would love to meet more of you! Anyone from Morocco here? I'd love some recommendations for Fez – Chefchaouen – Marrakech!! 😘 . . . #sheisnotlost #americanstyle #wearetravelgirls #ladiesgoneglobal #globelletravels #tlpicks #travelandleisure #beautifuldestinations #beautifulmatters #womenwhoexplore #womenwhotravel #traveltagged #youmustsee #lifewelltravelled #femmetravel #travelblogger #viaparadise #lightroomxlisa #bestfriendgoals #bestiegoals #osheaga #festivalfashion #twirling #hairgoals
ÎleSoniq EDM Festival – August 10th – 12th
Just missed it! This event is organized by the same persons who brought you Osheaga, providing Montreal with an edgier event. This is Montreal’s chief EDM festival, bringing Montreal some of electronic music’s hottest acts, with artists from other genres including hip hop and remix. Line up included : Lazarus, Tiesto, Porter Robinson, Afrojack, Migos, Claude VonStroke, Markus Schulz, Infected Mushroom, Rezz, and more.
Plaza St-Hubert Merchant Street Sales – August 17th – 20th
This may not be a festival, but it is something you don’t want to miss! St-Hubert Plaza is having a massive street sale, with all stores along the way to offer special sales and additional forms of entertainment. The sale begins at 10am during these three days. Don’t miss out on the deals!
Cette rue 👌🏽 . . . #mtlmoments #514 #igersmontreal #igerscanada #plazasthubert #montreal #so_montreal #montreal_gallery #montrealstyle #mtlshots #photooftheday #peopleofmontreal #streetphotography #streetvision #urbanstyle #theprettycities #citylife #travelphotography #discovercanada #createexplore #postcardsfromtheworld #beautifuldestinations #passionpassport #visualsoflife #artsofvisual #natgeoyourshot #natgeocreative #liveauthentic #livealoha #dailyhive
Montreal International Reggae Festival – August 18th – 20th
This summer, it is the 14th Annual International Reggae Festival held in Montreal, Quebec. This years acts include Friday: Sanchez, Inner Circle, Main Street Crew, Frasshill, Konshens, Charly Black, Linky First, Ricky T, Ding Dong, Ultimate Rejects, Maja Hype (host), Etana, Pressure, Tanya Stephens, LtStitchie, and RCity. If you recognize any of these names, then you’re clearly a reggae fan that shouldn’t miss this event!
Artists love performing at #MIRF, and our fans shower artists with love. Rated as one of the Top Reggae Festivals in the world, The 14th Annual Montreal International Reggae Festival Inc. is not to be missed! . . . . . . #dancing #goodmusic #festival #montreality #reggae #jamming #august #oldmontreal #pictureoftheday #reggaefest #hotweather #summertime #montrealmusic #outdoors #guitar #happyweekend
Défilé de la Fierté Gai //Montreal’s Gay Pride Parade – August 20th
Everyone is invited to this LGBTA tradition that has been going strong since as early as 1979. It originated when a group of 200 people commemorated New York City’s 1969 Stonewall Riots with Gairilla, a precursor to Montreal’s gay pride parade celebrations. It is “a show of the community’s solidarity, strength, and demand for the same respect, dignity and basic rights as those granted to heterosexuals”. During the summer months, the Gay Village also holds a number of outdoor bazaars. It hosts a final street sale from August 28th to September 3rd, allowing you to leisurely stroll down Ste. Catherine St. to take a look at clothes and other products on the block.
The village transforms in the summer with the street blocked off from traffic, to make way for art exhibits, street sales, performances, spontaneous busking action, and terraces. This street makes summer in Montreal a beautiful place to be.
Fashion Festival Mode et Design //Montreal Fashion and Design Festival – August 21st to August 26th
This Montreal Fashion Fest launches the city into fall fashion mode, providing visitors with the latest trends from local designers and high street brands to be seen in a series of free outdoor fashion shows and events. The festival features over 50 free outdoor events, including catwalk presentations, live music and DJ sessions, as well as industry talks you won’t want to miss.
Festival des Films du Monde // Montreal World Film Festival – August 24 to September 4
Considered the largest ‘fully independent’ film festival in the world. The founder, Serge Losique has worked hard to avoid funding from agencies or commercial sponsors for the event. At last year’s event, there were 400 films from 80 countries in competition, ranging from feature-length world premieres to short films and documentaries. Don’t show up to this event in hopes of seeing Hollywood’s elite lining the red carpets – as the MWFF does not cater to trends or commercial appeal, but instead aims for quality content and artistic credibility.
World Press Photo – August 30th – October 1st
Recognized as the most prestigious photojournalism competition in the world, with an exhibition featuring 150 award-winning images. It is located at Marché Bonsecours, admission is $13, and $10 for students. Hours run from 10am to 10pm, Sunday through Wednesday – 10am to midnight, Thursday through Saturday. At a time when journalism is drowned in accusations of fake news, and online photo theft is rampant, this event is needed to show that photojournalism is not dead. The captured photos are beautiful, heart wrenching, and thought evoking. It is a display of true talent, passion, and human life.
Electro Parade – September 2nd
Here comes Montreal’s (and North America’s) FIRST Electro Parade. This event is inspired by Berlin’s defunct Love Parade, and Paris’ Techno Parade, which have attracted upwards of 400,00 dancers. Be prepared for thousands of wild dancers invading the streets of Montréal to dance to electro, techno, and house tunes prepared by local and international DJs. The planners are hoping for it to become an annual tradition in the city.
Montréal Labour Day Weekend – September 1st – 4th
Labour day weekend typically symbolizes the end of summer, and that is something you can count on Montreal to do right. The province of Quebec is ride with business closures, countryside getaways, and a Nation wide sigh that summer is ending. Montréal packs the weekend with activities galore, outdoor options, street festivals, and indoor backups incase the weather does not coordinate. Start planning your labour day weekend now to make sure you end your summer right!
Tam Tams – May – October (Sundays)
Wondering what Tam Tams means? It is the name of a popular drum and dance activity held by locals every Sunday throughout the spring, summer, and autumn atop Mount Royal. Named after the French word for hand drums like the bongo or djembe, and originated in the late ’70s, early ’80s. It is rumoured to have begun with an African drumming workshop looking for a change of scenery, and moved their class to Mont-Royal Park beside the angel statue. Soon after, non-drummers joined in to dance along to the changing beat of the city, and Tam Tams has been a tradition ever since.
Full disclaimer : you may also see dark age revivalists fighting to the death with foam swords… so just be prepared to see that.
Les dimanches aux tam-tams – Mont Royal 🌿☀️ A Montréal, l'été, il y a deux écoles : ceux qui passent leur dimanche au Piknic Électronique et ceux qui le passent aux Tam-tams du Mont Royal. Nous avons été de la deuxième école mais selon @marine.caleb les deux valent le détour ! 👌😀 #tamtam #montroyal #tamtammontroyal #sunday #sunnyday #tomtom #montreal #mtl #mtlmoments #percussion #musique #music #leplateau #park #picoftheday #latergram #afterlight #city #buildings#happiness #goodvibes #sundayfunday #mountroyal
Piknic Electronik – May – September/October (Sundays)
Montréal has a booming nightclub scene, but night clubs aren’t for everyone. So what if you could have the same experience during the day in a park? On Sundays; house, techno, and progressive music are spun in the park, with a mix of family-friendly genres as well. It is recognized as an outdoor oasis and an electronic music hub. Held in the beautiful Parc Jean-Drapeau, with the central dance area located underneath a modern art sculpture, L’Homme. You may want to move closer to the swim-free waterfront area to give yourself some extra room to dance. This year, the event is being held in Plaine des Jeux, a different section of the park, due to ongoing construction around L’Homme.
Special appearances in 2017 include sets by Tiga (May 22), Jesse Rose (June 18), Chus & Ceballos (July 16), Seth Troxler (August 27), The Black Madonna (September 10), and Josh Wink (September 24).
OUMF Latin Culture Festival – September 7th – 9th
Festival is located on St-Denis St., between Sherbrooke St. and De Maisonneuve Blvd.; on Émery St. between St-Denis and Sanguinet Sts.; and on de Maisonneuve between Sanquinet and Berri Sts. in the Latin Quarter. It provides a last chance to cling to summer music festival vibes and experience the music and art influenced by Latin culture.
BVLD (Boulevard St-Laurent) — September 7th – 1oth
If you like shopping and the summer time, then I know you like summer street sales. St-Laurent street is a Montréal gem, with it’s cute coffee shops, great shopping, string lights, and art culture. This end of summer sale may be your last chance to snatch up these deals and enjoy the summer heat on the street. The event will feature terraces, great food, music, rides, giant inflatable ball games, and musical performances.
Shows De Ruelle // Lane Shows – July 27 and Aug. 10, 19, and 24
This event was formerly recognized as the Ruelle d’Hochelaga sidewalk sale. During these Thursday events, the lane Gaboury welcomes recognized artists from the emerging Quebec music scene as well as intimate shows – all available free of charge. This year’s programming is surprising and diverse; offering punk rock, hip-hop, Rock’n’Roll, and country-folk. The show (Aug. 24th) has a surprise artist for the last date! Expect good food, good beer, music, talented Quebec artists, and a lively audience. A musical event that should not be missed this summer.
- June 29: Alaclair Set
- July 13: Fred Fortin
- July 27: The Two Lakes
- 10th of August: Xavier Caféïne
- 24 August: Artist Surprise
MUTEK – August 22nd – 27th
This year marks Montréal’s 375th anniversary, and with Montréal’s thriving hub of electronic music and digital creativity, this event continues to grow. The program has been expanded to provide a refreshed commitment to live performances at the intersection of music, visual art, and technology. The international connections make for programming geared towards the cultural metropoles of London, Mexico City, Barcelona, and Berlin – to explore the multi-disciplinary links between Montréal and these capitals. The festival will continue to showcase their values of diversity, revelation, artistic ingenuity, and community. Events take place in the Quartier des spectacles, the Society for Arts and Technology, Monument-National, Métropolis, Édifice Wilder Espace Danse, and the free outdoor stage of the Esplanade de la Place des Arts.
Montreal Electronic Groove – August 31 -September 3
The global emergence of EDM (electronic dance music) has been embedded in Montréal’s local community. The MEG festival is a pioneering event, founded by Mustapha Terki and Jacques Primeau, and has run for 19 consecutive years. The event has hosted names like MIA, Tiga, Le Tigre, and Santogold. The festival also hosts talented young acts from Montréal and elsewhere, whom are still unknown to the general public. MEG takes pleasure in bringing their talent to the world. MEG Montréal will make you dance like never before and not care who is watching.
Le Festival YUL EAT – September 2nd – 4th
CALLING ALL FOODIES. This is your time and place. Located at the Clock Tower Quay, Old Port of Montreal, and if you can’t find it just follow the delicious smells until you do. The event features 76 local and guest chefs to share their talent and passion for food, 64 pop-up restaurants, food trucks, and kiosks, and over 100,00 food enthusiasts who attended the event in 2016. This is the 4th edition of the YUL EAT Festival, showcasing street cuisine at its best, worldly flavours, activities for kids, chef demonstrations, tastings, and all for the entry fee of $5. Great activity for foodies, or anyone who is hungry.
International Black Film Festival – September 27th – October 1st
The MIBFF aims to bring audiences the most beautiful work in new Black films, while creating space to debate major cultural, social, and socio-economic issues. At times like these, this event could not be more important to attend. This festival promotes a different kind of cinema experience, that hails from Canada and abroad, with work that does not necessarily have the opportunity to grace the big screen. It is cinematic work that moves us, raises awareness and takes an audience by surprise. “The MIBFF wants to deal with issues and present works that raise questions, that provoke, that make us smile, that leave us perplexed, that shock us…”
Watch the below video for a sense of what to expect.
Journées de la Culture // The Days of Culture – September 29th ‑ October 1st
Don’t miss this Quebec-wide culture festival. This event reaffirms the importance of arts and culture within the city of Montréal, by providing professional artists, artisans, cultural works, agencies, businesses, and the community at large a chance to participate in the festivities by organizing activities. All activities are free, open to all, and are aimed at fostering wider access to the arts and culture community. The activities are to be interactive and allow incursion into the the creative process and artistic awareness. The festival is put on by professional artists, craftsmen, and anyone else looking to get involved. It is an event for everyone, of all ages, all walks of life, and from all over the world. Once again, admission is free to participate in The Days.
Mois de la Photo September 7-October 14, 2017
La Grande Rencontre September 14-17, 2017
International tango festival August 16-20, 2017
Festival international de la littérature – September 22nd ‑ October 1st
Évenement Ru – Aug. 24th to 27th
Jardins de lumière – September 8th – October 31
So there you have it, a Festival List to end a beautiful summer in Montréal the RIGHT WAY.
We hope you attend as many as you can, and enjoy the last weeks of Summer fun.
Written by : Nicole Roach
Featured photo by : @alanya.at