Montreal makes the most of summer by filling every single day of August with festivals and events that don’t stop. To begin, Pride takes over the city. Rainbows abound. Montreal is a sex positive kind of a place to begin with, so this is a next level celebration of love and sexuality in all its forms. Big music festivals in Montreal come weekend after weekend at Parc Jean Drapeau no matter what genre you prefer : Osheaga, Île Soniq, and Lasso Fest. Why not go to all three. Plus, there’s the world’s best genre film fest, Fantasia. Find out the details about these festivals and more below.
It seems like every night of the week, there’s a place to catch a free film during the month of July. Cinema can be seen in many public parks on different nights of the week thanks to Cinema Sous Les Etoiles, with the schedule HERE. Film Noir Au Canal screens Hitchcock and other suspense films every Sunday from July 16 to August 20 at Square St. Patrick. Details HERE. Also, you can catch documentaries with RIDM en plein air at different spots in July and August. Details should appear HERE. If you like your music with cinema, or your cinema with live music, check out the Ciné Concerts outside the SAT. Details HERE. Cinemania (French films subtitled in English) also tour different parks. Details TBD. Another spot to watch is in NDG at NDG Park and Jean Brilliant Park. Details TBD.
Cinéma sous les Étoiles
June 28 – August 31, 2023
If you like watching a film outdoors on a beautiful summer evening, the Cinéma sous les Étoiles will allow you to catch documentaries in parks around the city. For schedule and offerings , check out the website HERE.
May 21 – October 1, 2023
Plaine des Jeux
Everyone’s favourite outdoor dance party rages on every Sunday and a few other days here and there in conjunction with major summer events. Enjoy local and international DJs mixing beats on stage. Season tickets are available and student tickets are a merciful $100. Information HERE.
May 25 – Sept 17, 2023
The park and its cultural and citizen-driven activities is one of the nicest spots to chill in the city. Things to do include karaoke, concerts, dance parties. This year check out bands like the Tupi Collective, Bel and Quinn, Velours Velours, and Voyage Funktastique Open every day with something happening most of the time, be certain to find out more HERE.
Marché des Possibles/Entrepôt 77
June 23 – Sept 24, 2023
77 Bernard Est
This weekend market that combines vendors with food with drink with performances and events run by the POP Montreal gang. The vibe is local and the offerings always delightful. Info HERE.
Fireworks : L’International des Feux Loto-Québec
Thursdays June 29 – August 10, 2023, and Sunday July 30, 2023 (June 29, July 6, July 13, July 20, July 27, July 30, August 3, August 10)
Fireworks just make the sky pretty. For about 45 minutes at a go, check out what every country has to offer in terms of display. You can get tickets to see it, or just hang out in the old port and watch for free. The opener is an homage to Boy and Girl Bands, Ukraine’s show is July 6, and August 10 ends with an homage to Metallica. Info HERE.
July 20 – August 9, 2023
1550 St Catherine Ouest
The best in genre film (and by genre, those genres are horror, thriller, sci fi, fantasy, anime) and films out of Japan, China, and Korea are screened before audiences that meow in anticipation and applaud the ramen commercial. IMHO, it’s the best cinema crowd you will ever encounter, and besides, the films are great. Directors and actors are often in attendance and many films are world or north American premieres. More info HERE.
Festival Arts Saint-Sauveur
July 26 – August 6, 2023
Since many people journey to the Laurentians in the summer, you might want to stop in Ville de Saint-Sauveur to catch their arts festival. Dance is the focus. Check it out HERE.
Montréal Pride / Fierté Montréal
August 3 – 13, 2023
Whether you identify as LGBTQAI2S+ or something else, chances are you’ve got a home at Montreal’s Pride festival. This huge celebration includes a parade, special events, lots of music, a community picnic, and just a fabulous party. Some of the events include a park puppy-play, performances by lesbian choirs, draglestque latinx, and plenty of parties. Click HERE for info.
Aug 4 – Aug 6, 2023
Parc Jean Drapeau
MUSIC. 3 DAYS OF MUSIC! And art. And rides. This year, Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, and Rufus du Sol are headlining. But also great stuff like Sofi Tukker, Carly Rae Jepsen, beabadoobee too. Info HERE.
August 4 – 20, 2023
Ciao belli. You no longer need to make your way up to little Italy to celebrate all things Italian. This time, the ItalFest is moving around from the West Island to Quartier des Spectacles with many stops along the way. Let’s face it — food is kind of front and centre for this one. But this year, a lot of the program will be given over to music and cultural events as well. For info, click HERE.
August 4 – 13 , 2023
The annual tennis tournament alternates between men and women’s. This year, the men are in Montreal. While there’s no telling who will play in the event, usually a few of the big names appear. Tickets start at $15 on the first day and begin at $179 and up for the finals. Information HERE.
August 4 – 7, 2023
Get your spicy hips out to shake. You know they don’t lie. Come out to the Salsa Fest. An international panel of judges will assess who has the best salsa and bachata out there. Details HERE.
Montreal Trans March
August 5, 2023
Place du Canada
Trans people face sexism, prejudice, shame, and violence at numbers that far exceed others. Trans lives are precious. March in support of body autonomy and gender affirmation. Details HERE.
The Montréal Highland Games
August 6, 2023
Douglas Hospital, Verdun
If you’ve never seen a big man toss a big log, you haven’t lived. And he’ll do it in a kilt. Aside from caber tossing, there’s stone tossing and putting the stone. Also medieval combat, pipe bands, tug of war, and highland dancing. For all things Scotland (and a bit o’ Ireland too), come check it out. Info HERE.
International First Peoples Festival
August 8 – 17, 2023
Place des Festivals
The cultural centre of Montreal celebrates the artistic creation and cultural renaissance of indigenous peoples around the world. Music, dance, food, a bazaar, and more are all part of the programming. For info, click HERE.
August 10 – 13, 2023
Place Jacques Cartier, Old Port Montreal
A celebration of Eastern and Middle Eastern culture, including North Africa, the Orientalys is a free festival at the Old Port. Performances showcase the variety and talent of the Middle East and North Africa, India, and Asia with a focus on Medina. Details HERE.
Aug 11-13, 2023
Parc Jean Drapeau
If you didn’t get enough of your dance on at OSHEAGA or you’re happy to skip anything you can’t dance to, Île Soniq was made for you. Two straight days of the fabulous EDM and DJs. Headliners include Martin Garrix and The Chainsmokers, but DEMAU5, Afrojack, Claptone, and more are on the roster. Get those glowsticks out. The event beings August 11 in the city and shifts to Parc Jean Drapeau for August 12 and 13. Info HERE.
August 11 – 13, 2023
Palais des Congrès
Manga, anime, and all things Japanese take over Palais des Congrès for one of the quirkiest and fun festivals. Dress up like your favourite character or find ones who share your passion. Get autographs from your favorite voice actors and cosplayers. Dance all night until 4 a.m. at the festival’s famous balls. More info HERE.
International Balloon Festival of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu
August 11 – 20, 2023
5, Chemin de l’Aéroport Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu
The sky fills with colourful balloons that gracefully float up and around at this cool day trip of a festival. Music makes the event with performances by bands like Ceelo Green, Bleu Jeans Bleu, Les Cowboys Fringants, and Rick Ross. Check out the details HERE.
August 12 – 13, 2022
North American’s longest and largest graffiti and hip hop festival, brings dance competitions, symposia, exhibitions and the gorgeous street murals to St. Catherine in a celebration of urban culture. Like a New York City block party of the 70s, walk down St. Catherine Street and see the artists at work as they race to make their mark. More info HERE.
OSM Classical Spree / Virée Classique
August 16 – 20, 2023
Olympic Parc Esplanade
Rafael Payare and the OSM invite you to the Esplanade of the Olympic Park to celebrate the start of the classical season on August 16th to kick off the summer season of the OSM with four days full of free events including an introduction to Inuit throat singing, drumlines, zine making, and more. There are many free outdoor performances as well. Info HERE.
August 18 – 19, 2023
Parc Jean Drapeau
In the big festival site on the big park to the south, Montreal welcomes roots and country sounds for two days. Kane Brown, Chris Stapleton, Jake Owen, and The Brothers Osborne headline. Details HERE.
Diner en Blanc
August 17, 2023
Want to dine in white with 6000 other people? Yes. Huge picnic tables are set up at a secret location and guests arrive with their food, entirely dressed in white for an elegant evening. The emphasis is on class. There is no beer, no hard liquor, only wine. Stemware and dinnerware required. It’s a beautiful way to eat. More info HERE.
August 17 – 20, 2023
Clock Tower Quay, Old Port of Montreal
Celebrate African music, culture, art, and cuisine at Festival AfroMonde. A 5 km parade of traditional and festival costumes is part of the event, along with great performances. For information, click HERE.
August 18 – 20, 2023
13665 Boul de Pierrefonds
Make your way to the west island to sink your teeth into some juicy ribs. Whether you like yours dry or slathered, spicy or sweet, there’s ribs here for you. It’s a fundraiser, so calories don’t count. Details HERE.
August 22 – 27, 2023
Place des Arts
Showcasing digital experiences in music and art, Mutek curates some excellent experiences. Over 80 performances will take place around Place des Arts in venues like the SAT, MTELUS, and Place des Arts. Of course there’s some free shows as well. The Nocturnes, though bring together music and VJs, and are bring the world of electronic music to Montreal. Info HERE.
August 25 – 27, 2023
Urban sports — which really means skateboarding and bouldering — are at the heart of this action packed festival. Watch highly skilled athletes do cool, adrenaline heavy stuff. Best of all, it’s free. Live vicariously through the athletes. Info HERE.
MAD and FMD / Mode and Design Festival
August 24 – 27, 2023
Quartier des Spectacles
All the glam of fashion week, but done with Montreal cool and creativity. Montreal’s fashion festival has conferences, catwalks, and films all related to film. The fashion and design items for sale are a good reason to head down and see what’s happening at the Quartier des Spectacles and pick something up by a local designer. There’s even a fashion truck launching. For info, click HERE.
August 26, 2023
5959 Blvd Monk
K pop fans in the house put those hands together! A dance competition lets competitors win prizes, but there’s also plenty of swag to be bought for those not dancing. Details HERE.
August 27 – Sept 1, 2023
Women in comedy is serious business and what better way to support the female comics of Montreal than by attending a show at Ladyfest. Women, femme, non-binary, and women-identifying comedians take over at key venues for sketch, improv, and stand-up. Check out the shows HERE.
Festival Arts Ruelles
August 28 – September 10, 2023
An alleyway near you will be featuring music, dance, theatre, poetry, podcasts, or another form of art during this festival. Different neighbourhoods get special attention each day with performers taking over the ruelles. Info HERE.
Aug 29 – Sept 3, 2023
Club Soda and Place des Arts Esplanade
Hip hop, break, and popping — urban dance styles that seem to defy all the rules — are at the heart of this dance competition. The breaking battles to secure the 16 competition slots in Club Soda takes place in Place des Arts. But only one will win in each category. Find out more HERE.
World Press Photo
August 30 – October 15, 2023
Marché Bonsecours (325 Rue de la Commune East)
Challenge yourself with the gorgeous photojournalism on display at the World Press Photo exhibit. This prestigious exhibition features 150 prizewinning photographs on display. Some capture world news events, others make small events into world news. It never disappoints. More info HERE.
Montreal Trad Festival
August 30 – September 3, 2023
Maison de la Culture Ahuntsic (10300 Rue Lajeunesse)
Bringing together chiefly musicians from Montreal and Quebec, this festival celebrates the tradition of trad music. If you’ve never heard it, it’s high spirited, lively music made with fiddles, guitars, tapping feet, singing, and sometimes more. It combines both old traditions and new innovations. Information HERE.
Montreal Fetish Weekend
August 31 – September 4, 2023
In the kink and fetish friendly city that is Montreal, Canada’s largest international gathering of sex positivity takes place. There is a Fetish pride parade, play parties, workshops, marketplaces, and more. Details can be found HERE.
Focusing on social justice and queerness, pervers/cité has a mandate to include all, with a focus on those who feel marginalized. This year’s pervers/cité has yet to define its dates or determine its schedule but it is generally It’s a mish-mash of events with a strong message. To find out more, see HERE.
Estival du Nouveau Cinéma
August 31 – Sept 3, 2023
Quartier des Spectacles, Esplanade Tranquille
This event is tied with the Festival du Nouveau Cinema which takes place in October. This short, free event offers screenings at the Esplanade Tranquille Info HERE.
September 2 – 3, 2023
Aquatic Complex at parc Jean-Drapeau
If you’re gonna do risky free bouldering, might as well do it over a body of water. Two climbers will race up an 18 metre (65 foot) wall without any protective systems. Whether you fall or make it to the top, you still end up in the pool because dropping down is the only way to go. Info HERE.
September 2 – 4, 2023
Clock Tower Pier
Who doesn’t love a taco? It’s the perfect hand food, no plate needed food. It’s simple… a bit of corn or wheat container stuffed with deliciously treated meat and/or vegetables and/or grains. Sample the whole range of variety at the taco fest. Info HERE.
Montreal Electric Groove (MEG)
Sept 7 – 10, 2023
Get your dance shoes and glowsticks on at the MEG festival. With a line up of DJs that will keep you moving. Look for Ben UFO, Einmusik, and Nora en Pure and plenty more. For more information click HERE.
MAPP MTL Festival
Sept 27 – 30, 2023
Montreal Heels Festival
November 16 – 19, 2023
A festival dedicated to Heels, a new style of dance that combines jazz, burlesque, groove. Take classes or watch performers, and learn about this hot crave. Info HERE.