It’s worth noting that this list is not exhaustive, and there are many other Montreal events that throughout the year that are also worth checking out. However, these ten events are some of the most popular and highly anticipated events in Montreal and are sure to provide you with an unforgettable cultural experience.
1. Montreal Jazz Festival
The Montreal Jazz Festival is one of the most renowned jazz festivals in the world. Held annually in late June to early July, the festival brings together jazz musicians from all over the world to perform in over 20 concert venues throughout the city. With over 500 concerts and close to 2 million visitors, the Montreal Jazz Festival is a must-attend event for any jazz enthusiast.
2. Montreal Museum Day
Montreal Museum Day is a free event held annually in late May. On this day, over 30 museums throughout the city open their doors to the public free of charge. Visitors can explore a wide range of exhibitions and collections, from contemporary art to natural history. This event is perfect for families, students, and anyone who wants to learn more about Montreal’s rich cultural heritage.
3. Osheaga Music and Arts Festival
Osheaga is a highly anticipated annual music and arts festival that takes place in Parc Jean-Drapeau, an island in the middle of the St. Lawrence River. The festival attracts some of the biggest names in music from around the world, with past performers including Florence + The Machine, The Weeknd, and Lorde. In addition to music, Osheaga also features art installations, food vendors, and other activities that make it a unique and immersive cultural experience. The festival typically takes place over three days in August, and is a must-attend event for music lovers and festival-goers alike.
4. Montreal Pride Parade
The Montreal Pride Parade is an annual event held in August that celebrates the LGBTQ+ community. The parade attracts over 300,000 spectators to line the parade each year and features colourful floats, music, and dancing. The event also includes a variety of other activities, such as concerts, art exhibits, and film screenings, making it a great event for everyone to enjoy.
5. Montreal International Documentary Festival
The Montreal International Documentary Festival, or RIDM, is a week-long event that takes place in November. The festival showcases over 100 documentaries from around the world, covering a range of topics from politics to social issues. The festival also includes panel discussions and workshops with documentary filmmakers, making it an excellent opportunity for film enthusiasts to learn more about the art of documentary filmmaking.
6. Montreal Fringe Festival
The Montreal Fringe Festival is an annual event held during May and June that showcases daily street independent theatre and performance art. The festival features over 800 performances across 20 venues throughout the Plateau-Mont-Royal including comedy, drama, dance, and more. The Montreal Fringe Festival celebrates years of boundless creativity and is a great opportunity to discover new and emerging artists from the local and international scene.
7. Montreal International Fireworks Competition
Since 1985, the competition consists of a series of biweekly fireworks displays that usually begins in late June and end in late July. The competition features fireworks displays from countries around the world. The competition takes place over several weeks, and each show is accompanied by music and other special effects. The event attracts over 3 million visitors each year, making it one of the most popular events in Montreal.
8. Montreal Comiccon
Montreal Comiccon is an annual event held in July that celebrates all things geeky and nerdy. The event features celebrity guests, cosplay competitions, panels, and more. Whether you’re a fan of comic books, movies, video games, or anime, Montreal Comiccon is a must-attend event for anyone who loves pop culture.
9. Montreal Burlesque Festival
The Montreal Burlesque Festival is an annual event held in October that celebrates the art of burlesque. The festival features performances from local and international burlesque performers, as well as workshops and masterclasses for those interested in learning more about the art form. The festival is a celebration of creativity, diversity, and body positivity, and is a must-attend event for anyone who wants to experience the magic of burlesque.
10. Montreal International Game Summit
The Montreal International Game Summit is a two-day event held in November that brings together game developers, publishers, and enthusiasts from around the world. The summit features panel discussions, workshops, and keynote speeches from industry leaders, as well as an expo showcasing the latest games and technologies. Whether you’re a professional game developer or simply a fan of gaming, the Montreal International Game Summit is a great opportunity to learn, network, and have fun.
In conclusion, Montreal is a city that has something for everyone, and these ten must-attend events are just a small sample of the cultural experiences that are available throughout the year. From music festivals to art exhibits, from parades to documentaries, Montreal is a city that celebrates diversity, creativity, and innovation. If you’re a culture vulture looking for your next adventure, then Montreal is the perfect destination for you.