It's also a call to fight racism and homophobia.
Montreal may not have had an official Pride parade this year, but the downtown core will come to life with queer musicians, artists and street performers from October 7 to 9. Carnaval des Couleurs is a celebration of multicultural LGBTQ+ communities and a call to fight both racism and homophobia. You can catch a free show by local DJs, drag stars and circus troupes, or participate in an engaging talk, throughout the weekend at the Quartier des Spectacles, which is hosting the annual festival for the first time.
Street performers at Carnaval des Couleurs.@davidwallyrawalia | Instagram
Participating artists include Montreal-based DJ and singer Sandy Duperval and singer-songwriter Corneille. Canada's Drag Race contestant Oceane AquaBlack will take the stage on Saturday with a performance by local drag legend Michel Dorion and guests on the Sunday. You can also catch shows by singer-songwriter and pianist Florence K, singer Jonas Tomalty and an Indigenous showcase by Samuel Ojeda. Cuban music group Me Llamo Son will play on Sunday and the event will close with performances by Elizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite and guest musicians Steven Levac and Ricochet.
The extravaganza will be accompanied by an interactive conference program over the weekend spanning four thematic workshops: the fight against homophobia, the fight against racism, the fight against hate on the Internet, and the effect of discrimination on mental health.
Attendees can also watch an open-air screening of "Viva Argentina!" on both Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m., followed by a presentation by director André Maurice. The film captures the country's dance culture with an iconic finale of Argentine tango danced at night.
"The Carnaval des Couleurs is not-to-be-missed," said Robert J. Vezina, President of BBCM Foundation, the non-profit organization which organizes the event.
"The line-up features well-known artists, in a context of cultural diversity and inclusion, and all for free," he said.