What to Do in Montreal : August Festivals and Events 2021

The Pride March - Fierté Montréal 2021 Photo by Angelique Koumouzelis

Is it August? Sure feels hot out there. We’re really late on getting the August listings up and some of the best things have happened already. But not to worry, there’s still plenty of stuff to do.

Festival Go Vélo Montreal

June 3 – August 29, 2021

Montrealers are dedicated bikers. Our bike paths are well maintained and ever more numerous. We are the proud home of the Bixi. Go Velo encourages people to get out on their bikes and ride like the wind. The highlight for many is the Tour de l’Ile, when the goal is to bike the whole island (or part of it) along a specified route with many others. It’s like a biking marathon. The Tour La Nuit does something similar, but at night. Information for events HERE.

Les Escales Improbables

June 11 – August 31, 2021

Dance, art, public walks, and theatre take place in unique spots throughout the city. This beloved event has adopted to the COVID situation by providing both on and off line programming. Find out about this year’s offerings HERE

Cinéma Public Le LIVART

June 22 – Aug 13

A series of outdoor screenings will take place on big screens in a laid-back, safe atmosphere. Films start at sunset and food is available for pre-purchase. Check out Wuhan Wuhan, Social Hygiene, Goddess of the Fireflies, and more. Films are for the most part in French with English subtitles. Directors and actors may be in attendance. The list of all films and tickets for purchase are available HERE.

Marché Asiatique de Montréal

August 12 – October 3, 2032
Thursdays (17-23), Fridays(17-23), Saturdays(12-23), and Sundays (12-23)
Place des Souhaits, Chinatown

Food market with inexpensive food fills the streets of Chinatown for a small feast of tiny bites. This is always worth checking out and a chance to get some yummy stuff. Info HERE.

Piknic Electronik

August 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29

Mind blown when word got out that Piknic Electronik was back. DJs are back so get your tickets and go dance the afternoon or evening away at Parc Jean Drapeau. A few performing in the coming weeks include Felix Da Housecat, POE, Kris Tin, and Jacques Greene, and yes, many more. $20. Check it out HERE.

Montreal First Peoples’ Festival/Présence Autochtone

August 3- 11, 2021
Quartier des Spectacles/Place des Arts

This joyous event celebrates the first peoples of the Americas and indigenous people everywhere. Concerts, food, cinema, and more take over Place des Arts. There’s plenty to see for free. Information HERE.

Fantasia Festival

August 5 -25, 2021

Movies that have a distinctly Fantasy-Asian vibe to them, but include a wide range of cinematic experiences from horror to sci fi to action/adventure. A good bunch come from Asia, but plenty don’t. A not-miss film festival in Montreal. Info HERE.

Ital Fest MTL

August 6 – 22, 2021
Little Italy

Mamma Mia, Italian food can’t be beat, and its culture is beloved by more than just those of Italian descent. Ital Fest MTL pulls into Little Italy for food (of course), performances, and street fairs. Events include the best cannoli contest, Italian bands, and a fashion show. Oh, and the Fiats. So many little Fiats on the road. More info HERE.

Montreal Fierté / Pride Festival

August 9 – 15, 2021

Montreal loves a good party and Pride is one of the city’s best. This year, the festival warmly celebrates everyone of the 2SLGBTQl+ communities. There are digital and non digital events, and the website mentions that the 2021 lineup includes rita Baga, Maxime Landry, Sandy Duperval, Jeremy Dutcher, Tamara Weber, and others. Look for 5 DJ sets, 32 community projects, and 4 large scale spectacles. Hearts! Info here.

Digital Cry mural. Mural Festival 2021. Photo Rachel Levine
Digital Cry mural. Mural Festival 2021. Photo Rachel Levine

Festival Mural

Aug 12 – 22, 2021
The Plateau and Mile End

Taking inspiration from graffiti artists and under the banner of urban art/street art, Montreal allows an international crowd to paint our buildings. The results are some outstanding works that spread from Place des Arts up to Mile End, each one hanging around for a few years before being replaced. DJs and street culture generally mesh well with this one. There are even guided tours. Info HERE.

Triathlon International de Montréal

Aug 13 – 15, 2021, Old Port

Elite and amateur athletes compete for world bests and personal bests in the annual Montreal triathlon. Swim, bike, run, and sweat. For more details, click HERE. 

FMD — Montreal Fashion and Design Festival / Festival Mode + Design

August 17 – 22, 2021
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. For info, click HERE.

Festival Jamais Lu

August 19 – 28, 2021

Montreal’s annual reading festival of the authors you may have never read… because the focus is on the spoken word (theatre, performance, poetry, slams). Among the events are “Jusqu’où te mènera l’avenir?” and “Tribune Solonnelle pour mondes nouveaux.” Info HERE.


August 19 – 22, 2021
Quai de l’horloge du Vieux Port

Take a trip east, whether to Maghreb or Japan without going further than Quai de l’horloge du Vieux Port. Online and offline music, animations, and workshops presented by the Bank Group. Youba is back! Info HERE.

Spontaneous Fashion Show / Au Fil Du Temps

August 21, 6:30 p.m.
St. Catherine Street

It’s part of the Festival Mode et Design, but deserved its own mention. A spontaneous fashion show will take place on St. Catherine street. Free, just like we like it. Info HERE.


August 24 – Sept 5

Montreal’s celebration of electronic music, along with related subjects like XR, AI, immersive creativity, and crypto art get their annual festival at Mutek. For information, keep an eye on the Mutek website HERE.

Upcoming and Announced

Festival Zéro Déchet / Zero Waste

September 3 – 5, 2021
Parc LaFontaine

Celebrate the end of plastic and disposable goods and focus instead of the reduce, recycle, and reuse manta. Stores throughout Montreal have gone to zero waste where you can bring your own bags. This even brings together 40 businesses and non profits that focus on zero waste. Workshops, panels, conferences are all included. Info HERE.

Gardens of Light : An Ode to the Moon

Sept 3 – October 31, 2021

From 7:30 – 10 p.m. in the fall, take a walk around the Jardin Botanique and enjoy lanterns and light displays. The tradition returns with 500 people allowed in every half hour. Information can be found HERE. 


Sept 8 – 19, 2021
Square Dorchester

The public is invited to check out this contemporary art exhibition outdoors. 22 artists will showcase their work in this village like atmopshere. Among those showcased, expect to see paintings, textile work, installation work, photography, and sculpture. Info HERE. 

Montreal International Jazz Festival

Sept 15 – 19, 2021

It’s not exclusively jazz but it’s an anything goes kind of event with free programming and paid events that blow people away year after year. Tickets and schedules HERE. 


August 20 – 22, 2021

Manga, anime, and all things Japanese usually take over Palais des Congrès, but this year you can cosplay at home for this quirky festival. Dress up like your favourite anime character or find ones who share your passion. Enjoy meeting others in the animated lobby! Buy swag in the exhibition hall. More info HERE

Les Francos de Montréal

Sept 19 – 21, 2021
Place des Arts

Beloved Montreal music festival featuring French-language performers that takes place downtown around Place des Arts. Keep an eye on the website for upcoming performers HERE. 

Grève Mondiale Pour le Climat / Climate Strike 2021

September 24, 2021
George Étienne Cartier monument

If you haven’t noticed, the world is on fire? No one would time travel to 2021 given the option. But, somehow we keep on keeping on. Come out and lend your voice and your presence to saving the planet. Info HERE.

Île Soniq

September 24 – 26, 2021
Parc Jean Drapeau

All that infrastructure at Parc Jean-Drapeau serves several major festivals. EDM your heart out for two days of dancing on the little island that can. Deadmau5 vs Testpilot, Paul KalkBrenner, Rezz, Zeds Dead, and just wow some crazy headliners. More info HERE.

Osheaga Les Retrouvailles / Get Together

October 1 – 4, 2021
Parc Jean Drapeau

If you’re missing Osheaga, well, everyone is. Fortunately, the gang is getting together to offer a limited capacity mini-Festival at Parc Jean Drapeau that includes Charlotte Cardin, Jessie Reyez, and Half Moon Run. Osheaga sponsored events are taking place throughout the summer at places like L’Astral and MTELUS. Info HERE.

Monthly Festival Links


For Montreal Rampage’s daily events calendar, click HERE. If you have an event you would like to include, send an email to [email protected]