Montreal's Pride Festival Is Making A Fierce Comeback & Promises A Parade This Summer

There are 15 major free shows on the lineup, and over 150 artists!

MTL Blog, Associate Editor
​People hold up trans and rainbow pride flags near a balloon arch. Right: Dancers at the Mundo Disko stage.

People hold up trans and rainbow pride flags near a balloon arch. Right: Dancers at the Mundo Disko stage.

After a challenging year that saw the cancellation of its renowned parade, Montreal's Pride Festival is ready for a vibrant and triumphant return.

Bursting with colour and creativity, the festival is set to transform the city into a carnival that stretches from the main festival site at the Olympic Park's Esplanade, all the way to the pulsing heart of the Village and other hotspots, like the Montréal Casino, Club Soda and Jardins Gamelin.

From August 3 to 13, Fierté Montréal is bringing a spectrum of festivities as diverse as the people it represents. The festival promises a celebration of resilience, diversity and the unwavering spirit of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. In total, 15 major free shows are planned, with over 150 artists ready to light up the stages and streets of the city.

The party kicks off at Jardins Gamelin, with an Opening Ceremony spotlighting Indigenous artists, followed by a free dance party in collaboration with the Glitterbomb collective. The night will then sparkle with "Me joke-tu?", a comedy show showcasing local queer comedians, hosted by Acadian drag artists Sami Landri and Chiquita Mére at The National.

You won't want to miss the XoXo concert at the Jardins Gamelin or the Pride Party at the Montréal Casino. Themed parties at Club Soda, Le National, and the SAT's Satosphère will keep the city pulsating until the wee hours. Then, get ready for a weekend wrap-up with Blush, an event dedicated to encouraging intergenerational queer exchanges at Jardins Gamelin.

On August 9, the Olympic Park will come alive with the opening of the Festival's main site. Musical talents like Édith Butler, Lumière, Coco Béliveau, Klô Pelgag and Joe Bocan, among others, will light up the TD Stage, while a mix of lyrical and drag artists perform opera songs and musical theatre numbers at the Loto-Québec Stage.

On August 10, the Drag Superstars show promises to be a stellar event hosted by Rita Baga. Featuring worldwide drag royalty, including Jimbo, Gisèle Lullaby, Icesis Couture, Aquaria, Yvie Oddly, Heidi N Closet, Alexis Mateo, Envy Peru, Drag Couenne and many more from various RuPaul's Drag Race franchises.

The festival will also offer the chance to meet a wide variety of community organizations and groups during the Community Days on August 11 and 12. A special show, DistinXion, will also take place on the TD Stage on August 11, featuring globally renowned artists like Aimé Simone, Nahkane, Mýa, Vivek Shraya and Idman.

On August 12, you can celebrate local talent with MajestiX, hosted by drag kings Rock Bière and RV Métal, and enjoy the SucceXion show at the Loto-Québec Stage.

On the last day of the festival, the Pride Parade will take place down Boulevard René-Lévesque, followed by the great T-Dance on the TD Stage. The Closing Show will highlight the Montreal-based queer artist RÊVE.

Brace yourselves, because this year, the comeback of Montreal's Pride Festival looks to be anything but subdued.

Montreal Pride

When: August 3 to 13, 2023

Where: Various venues

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Sofia Misenheimer
MTL Blog, Associate Editor
Sofia Misenheimer is an award-winning writer, editor and former radio journalist with a passion for finding hidden gems in the city.