What to Do in Montreal : June Festivals and Events

PIknic Electronik. June 18. Sebastian Mora. PIknic Electronik. June 18. Sebastian Mora.

June in Montreal is like every good holiday you can possibly imagine plus some you can’t. Every day, every weekend, something amazing in happening with a carnival of festivals. Come out and play and savour the joie de vivre that is this city. Also, the crowds.

PIknic Electronik. June 18. Sebastian Mora.

Nic Falardeau. PIknic Electronik. June 18. Sebastian Mora.

Piknic Electronik

Sundays, Through September 2018

Parc Jean Drapeau

DJs from around the world perform for the Sunday crowds who want to bliss out in the sunshine and on into the evening. June DJ headliners and support include Marcel Dettmann, Matador (Live), Claptone, Tommy Kruise, Ryan Playground, Poirier, and so much more . Not bad for a way to party your way into Monday. Click HERE for details.

Montreal Digital Spring/Printemps Numérique

March 21 – June 21, 2018

Montreal celebrates all things that beep, bop, light up, and involve bits, bytes, and digital whateverness. It’s an umbrella event that covers many smaller ones. Conferences, exhibitions, and installations are at the fore. Details HERE.

The Gay Village Pedestrian Street Opens

April – September

St. Catherine Street

The Gay Village closes to cars and opens to foot traffic this weekend. Terraces open, and free art exhibits, street sales, and street performers arrive.


May 23 to June 7 2018

When dance met theatre, we got the Festival TransAmériques. This festival invites an international roster of performance groups to the city and combining them with select local ones. Windigo, Tom Na Fazenda, and Betroffenheit are some of the events taking place in June. Tickets and schedule HERE.

Festival Go Vélo

Bixi Bikes. Photo Rachel levine

Bixi Bikes. Photo Rachel levine

May 27 to June 3 2018

Put your pedal to the metal with Montreal’s celebration of two wheels (and sometimes three and sometimes one). The Festival Go Vélo’s highlights provide the opportunity to bike the island with hundreds of others. The Tour la Nuit allows for a night bike through a predetermined route (June 2) while the Tour de L’Ile (June 4) offers multiple routes ranging from 30 km to 50 km, and a special 50 km express for those who want to hustle their way along. All details HERE. 

Festival des Arts Vivants/OFFTA

May 25- June 3, 2018

This year’s OFFTA includes four special events, 16 shows and performances, and ten satellite activities. The opening starts at Monument National with a cinq à sept, and ten days of theatre, dance, and other interdisciplinary arts follow. The Indigenous Contemporary Scene teams up for public art interventions. The festival ends with its MixOFF, that allows artists to work together on a project. Information, schedule, and tickets HERE. 

Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Cul de Sac. Bouffon de Bellefeuille. Montreal Fringe Festival 2017. Cafe Campus. Photo Rachel Levine

Montreal St. Ambroise Fringe Festival

May 28 to June 17 2018

Don’t take our word for it. Find out for yourself why this is the most exciting theatre festival in the city. Local comedians, actors, dancers, magicians, clowns, improvisers, and performers join those from further afield (some of whom who do nothing but perform in Fringe Festivals around the world) to stage productions that clock in at around an hour or less. Many types of passes are available and the vibe is unbelievable in this happy mish-mash of crazy goodness and questionable weirdness. Art, music, and other events are generally part of this festival too. Information HERE. 

Pavé Poesie

Early in June

Rue Mt. Royal

Let the poetry into your heart. Mt. Royal transforms itself into a giant chapbook for Pavé Poesie. Readings under the big tent, a slam competition, books of poetry for sale, and plenty of events are usually on offer. Keep an eye HERE for details.

Suoni per Il Popolo

Photo by Joshua McLeod.

Suoni per il Popolo Photo by Joshua McLeod.

June 1 to June 19 2018

Sala Rossa, Casa del Popolo, La Vitrola, and more

Because of solid ongoing eclectic local programming at these venues, it’s sometimes a little hard to figure out when this annual music festival starts. However, during the course of the festival there is an emphasis on experimental, ambient, free form and lo-fi music. A further focus is put on Canada, and more specifically Montreal. In addition to music, there is a film series and other performers who are included in the programming. Tickets for all shows can be found HERE.

Latin Fest Culturel et Gastronomique de Montreal

June 2, 2018

Centre Communautaire ELgar (260 Rue Elgar)

Yup, food and dance, and just all around all things related to South America and the people and places that identify as Latin. Should be super. Details HERE.

La Fête des Restos

June 4, 2018

Terrasses Bonsecours

Everyone knows that Montreal’s food scene is where it’s at. Get a chance to sample 12 different restaurants for a very affordable $35. Among those participating are TasteItaly, Ikanos, Bird Bar, Cafe Olimpico, and more. Details HERE.

Festival Le Mondial de La Bière

June 6-9 2018

Palais de Congres (201 Viger St; Place d’Armes metro)

Drink and be merry and get out your abacus. The festival’s numbers speak for themselves. Over 529 different beers, ciders, hydromels, and more products are available, with 250 new beers. Over 90 different breweries  will be offering you those amazing products (38 of which are from Quebec). If you like beer (or just want to get sloppy in the middle of the day while drinking a beer), this one is for you. Click HERE for details. Tasting coupons are $1, admission is free.

Effects MTL

June 5 06, 2018

How many programming studios do we have in the city? Never enough. Well, the VFX and animation industries are having their gathering in the city at Palais de Congres. Check info HERE. 

Festival Grand Prix Sur Crescent

June 7-9, 2018

Crescent Street

Most Montrealers claim to stay far away from this bash that takes over Crescent for a three day bros and hos display. If vaping, Red Bull, getting pumped, and checking out sports cars is your thing, I know where to find you. Info HERE.

La Franco Follies

June 8 to June 17 2018

It’s not a comedy festival (it’s not foolies!), but a music one. Place des Arts and some major performance venues open their doors to those who chanter en français! There are plenty of free shows as well. This year, check out Marc Dupré, Dany Placard, Émile Bilodeau, Roch Voisine and many others.  Information HERE. 

Festival Mural

Mural Festival 2016. Photo Rachel LEvine

Mural Festival 2016. Photo Rachel Levine

June 7 – 17 2018

Taking inspiration from graffiti artists and under the banner of urban art/street art, Montreal allows an international crowd to paint our buildings. The result are some outstanding art works that spread from Place des Arts up to Mile End, each one hanging around for a few years before being replaced. Ben Eine, Tristan Eaton, Whatisadam, Smithe, MIchael Reeder, and Sandra Chevrier will be among those given space to make great public art with spray paint. DJs and street culture generally mesh well with this one. There are even guided tours. Info HERE.


Montreal Grand Prix

June 8-10 2018

Along with the Crescent crowd comes the rest of the Grand Prix. F1 Cars racing around the Gilles Villeneuve circuit for 70 laps to glory can be heard everywhere in the city. People buy tickets, though, and watch. Supposedly it’s exciting. At night, they go to Club La BOOM, Hotel 10, and Club Muzique to DJ it out. It’s supposedly a jet set event that bring tremendous revenue to the city. Most Montrealers restrict themselves to hearing the noise from the cars from anywhere downtown during the races. Perhaps I don’t run with the right international crowd. Info HERE.

Eureka Festival

June 8-10 2018

Old Port Montreal

For those who like to geek out into all things science and natural wonder, and for those parents who want their kids to get a STEM degree, check out this science festival. It’s family friendly. The Eureka festival includes events of programming, workshops, and demonstration. More info can be found HERE.


June 9-10, 2018

Espace Cormier/Loft Hotel (314 Sherbrooke E)

Quite seriously, there is a festival celebrating female genitalia. Le Vagin Connaisseur has a two-day festival with the goal of honoring equality and regard for all bodies. There are lectures, conferences, workshops, art, photography, and more Info HERE.

Annual Dragon Boat Challenge 2018

June 10 2018, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Row, row, row the dragon boat to raise funds for the Missing Children’s Network. If that sounds like fun, find out info HERE. 

Bloomsday festival

June 12-16 2018

James Joyce gets celebrated with walking tours, films, music, and conversations. Check out this cool lit festival. More info HERE. 


Montreal Folk Festival sur la Canal

June 14 to June 17 2018

I volunteered for this festival in its first year by the St. Ambroise brewery and have seen it grow ever since. It’s a chilled out chance to watch some more mellowed out music with an acoustic feel, even if it’s played on electric guitars. Think singer-songwriters and bands that like flannel. Plenty of locals step up and some of this year’s bigger names are Plants and Animals, Mandolin Orange, and Josh Ritter. Tickets, which start at PWYC, are HERE.


June 18-22 2018

Students from 35 countries ranging from elementary to post doc will bring forward 5000 different robots to compete. There are more robots than people at this event. Check it out HERE.

Italian Contemporary Film Festival

June 18-22, 2018

Cinemathque Quebecoise (335 Maisonneuve E) and Guzzo Cinemas (5940 des Grandes Prairies)

If getting off the city streets and into a nice air conditioned movie theatre sounds like the best way to spend a day, check out this film festival celebrating Italian cinema. Info HERE. 

Marché des Possibles

June 22 – July 29 2018

5635 St Dominique

It isn’t so much of a festival as a weekend market that combines vendors with food with drink with performances and events run by the POP Montreal crowd. The vibe is local and the offerings always delightful. Some weekends its yoga, some it is music. Info HERE.

Montreal Baroque Festival

June 21 to June 24 2018

This year’s festival celebrates the work of Georg Frederic Handel. Rarely heard music by Handel including his keyboard works, sonatas for flute, recorder, violin, and gamba, as well as oratorios and masques will be performed. Concerts and tickets HERE.

John Jacob Magistery @ Montreal Jazz Fest 2016. Credit: Joel Mak

John Jacob Magistery @ Montreal Jazz Fest 2016. Credit: Joel Mak

Montreal International Jazz Festival

June 28 to July 7 2018

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. The main attractions this year are Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Bonobo, Boz Scaggs, GoGo Penguin, Jann ARden, Seal, Jacques Kuba Seguin, Holly Cole, and on and on and on . Tickets and schedules HERE. 

Mtl en Arts

June 27 to July 1 2018

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. Details can be found HERE. 



June 26 – July 1 2018

The international digital art festival showcases artists and works that utilize new technologies. The festival has a Montreal focus, but an international vision. For more information, click HERE. 

Biennial Digital Art Festival

June 29 – Aug 5 2018

Vernissages and other art events around the theme of Automata: Sing the Body Electric will be on display in venues throughout the city. For more information, click HERE. 


Ongoing at the Museums

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

1380 Sherbrooke Ouestmon

De Main de Maître II: De Parmesan à Matisse

until August 12, 2018

A private collector is sharing a second exhibition of drawings from the 16th century to the 20th century. Among the works on display are those by Parmigianino, Giorgio Vasari, Géricault, Whistler, Matisse, and more.

From Africa to the Americas: Face to Face Picasso Past and Present

May 12 to Sept 16, 2018

Picasso and other artists took an interest in African works as a way to explore their own abilities. This exhibition looks at the connection between the West and what is often called “primitive” works.

Here We Are. Black Contemporary Canadian Art

May 23 to September 16, 2018

Eight contemporary artists who address cultural diversity and the narratives associated with being a long standing Canadian, an immigrant, a newcomer, or an outsider are on display.


MAC/Musée d’Art Contemporain

185 St Catherine Ouest

That’s How the Light Gets In

December 12, 2018 – August 19, 2018
Quebec and Canadian artists explore the theme of how light comes into their work, inspired by Leonard Cohen’s phrase “There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

May 24 – September 9 2018

Canadian/Montreal artist Lozano-Hemmer works internationally to make anti-monuments that have appeared world wide. This is a mid-career survey of his work.

Alone Together

May 18 – August 26, 2018

From the Collection, four Canadian artists address the question Alone Together. Sarah Anne Johnson, Graeme Patterson, Jon Rafman, and Jeremy Shaw are featured.

Montreal Science Centre

2 rue de la Commune Ouest

DreamWorks Animation

May 10 – September 16 2018

Take the time to go behind the scenes and find out how animation works with over 400 original art objects and drawings from the DreamWorks archives.

McCord Museum

Shalom Montreal Stories and Contributions of the Jewish Community

May 3 – November 11, 2018

Montreal’s Jewish community has helped the city grow during the 20th century. By looking at community, business, human rights, and heritage, this exhibition looks at Jewishness in Montreal.


Wearing Our Identity. The First Peoples Collection


The heritage of the First Peoples of Canada is on display through this exhibition of different types of dress. Ritual outfits as well as clothing made to match the environment showcase diversity and ingenuity among the different nations.

Pointe à Callière

350 Place Royale

Queens of Egypt

April 10 – November 4, 2018
The little archaeology museum that could, PAC, is bringing in 350 prestigious objects related to ancient Egyptian queens. Some even ruled as kings (Hatshepsut, I’m looking at you!). Details Here.

CCA / Canadian Centre for Architecture

1920 Rue Baile

Lab Cult: An Unorthodox History of Interchanges between science and architecture

March 22 – September 2, 2018

Science and architecture work hand in hand. These are a series of case studies from the 19-20th centuries that showcase how these two fields come together.

Where’s Class?

until August 5, 2018

This exhibition examines the idea of distance education and how we learn “offline” through spaces that are designed for collective learning experiences.

Utopie Radicali: Florenche 1966-1976

May 1 – October 7 2018

Utopias can serve as a tool for social critique. Works by Florentine architects and designers of the 60s and 70s that create radical new forms of architectural thought are shared.

Announced and Upcoming


Fireworks / L’International des Feux Loto QUebec

Saturdays and Wednesdays from July 7 – August 8, 2018

The sky lights up with fireworks by different competing teams from different countries. Only one will win, but all will enjoy. Details HERE. 


August 9-11, 2018

Details: HERE

About Rachel Levine

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