What to Do in Montreal : July Festivals and Events 2021

Thank you messages for Vaccine. Photo Nancy Berman. Thank you messages for Vaccine. Photo Nancy Berman.

With the Habs already down two games, it’s not looking great. And even if the Forum’s ghosts revive and bless us with four straight wins to Stanley Cup-dom, we could sure use some things to do after the games end. July continues to bring back festivals at a slow but steady clip, and a few favourites are ready to welcome you in person if you book in advance.

Piknic Electronik

July 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, and 31

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 Paolo Rocco, Poirier, Tupi Collective, RegularFantasy, and yes, many more. $20. Check it out HERE.

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.

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.

Mtl en Arts

June 30 – July 4, 2021

Multidisciplinary arts festival offers an open air art gallery along St. Catherine St. It has of course grown to include film, installations, live demonstrations, and much more. Along St. Catherine street check out some of the live events and 10 large format works made before the public eye. Details can be found HERE. 

 The International Festival Nuits D’Afrique 

July 6 – July 18, 2021

Music the draws on the rhythms of Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America comes to the city. Among those performing, Afrodizz, Senaya, Boulila, and Moridja. And yes, these can be seen at places like Club Balattou and Le National. What a good time to be celebrating 35 years! Info HERE.

Montréal Complètement Cirque/International Festival of Circus Arts

July 8 – 18, 2021

Since we can’t all just run off to join the circus, we can at least go and watch one. With one of the only circus training schools in the country here in Montreal, we get outstanding performers. Some shows to catch are by Flip Fabrique and Lion Lion Lion. There are usually free shows around Quartier des Spectacles and Rue St. Denis where you can catch some daring performances on building rooftops, or perhaps try out some circus performance yourself. Details HERE.

Pop Montréal Dans la Ruelle

July 9
Behind Ursa (5589 Ave Du Parc)
, 8 p.m.

Janette King and Wake Island take over the ruelle behind POP Montreal and Ursa for the third concert in a series of pop-up hybrid concerts. Those unable to make it to the live show can stream on Facebook.

Montreal Just for Laughs

July 15 – July 31, 2021

The Festival is still centred around Quartier des spectacles and there are shows. Yes, ladies and gentlemen and those who are neither, there are actual comedians performing on stage in a way that will allow for you to heckle and be heckled in return. Who can you see… it’s a little hard to figure out from the website, but soon it should be obvious what is digital and what isn’t. Info HERE.

Zoofest/Off JFL

July 15-24

Tickets are limited, but yes, you can see live comedy in both English and French. Lots of local artists and a few not so local ones. Among the shows available: Rodney Ramsey hosts the Discovery Series, Mégan Brouillard hosts the Tik Tok Stand up featuring Quebec tik tokeurs, and JC Surette and Derrick Frenette match l’Abitibi against l’Acadie. For tickets, click HERE.

Upcoming and Announced

Fantasia Festival

August 5 -25

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.

Montreal Fierté / Pride Festival

August 9 – 15

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.

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.

FMD — Montreal Fashion and Design Festival

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.

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. 


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.

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. 

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. 

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