Pride is going online this year. In accordance with the Government of Quebec's social distancing measures, organizers at the Pride Festival decided that the best way to celebrate LGBTQ+ people and diversity would be to host a "360 Edition" from August 10 to 16. The Montreal Pride Festival, along with many other local summer festivals, had to adapt when the government announced that all major summer events could not take place before September.
"The importance of Pride goes beyond any physical or in-person gathering," said festival organizers in a press release.
A variety of online conferences, workshops, and activities are planned over the six-day festival.
"The Pride movement was born out of adversity and has since overcome major historical challenges; its spirit cannot be postponed nor cancelled," said Éric Pineault, president of Montreal Pride.
"The communities of sexual and gender diversity — especially those whose rights and freedoms are not fully recognized and whose visibility is often limited to the festival’s duration — can not only celebrate social advances that concern them but also use this moment as an opportunity to advocate on behalf of their rights while they gather together in a different way, this year."
Montreal Pride will adapt its programming to best suit an online forum.
Full details will be released in June. Montreal Pride ensures that even though there won't be a parade or public gatherings, the programming will reflect what people have come to expect from Pride.
Pride joins Osheaga, Just For Laughs, the Jazz Festival, and many others in a long list of popular Montreal summer festivals to be cancelled, postponed or reimagined due to the health crisis.
The government says that the only way we can even begin to go back to normal is if infection numbers stabilize and the public respects health guidelines such as social distancing, mask-wearing, and frequent hand washing.