What to Do in Montreal : June Festivals and Events 2023
The sun is out, pedestrian streets are open, terraces are full, Bixis are rolling, and Place des Arts’ outdoor stages are up. Montreal is summer at its best. When it comes to festivals and events, you could walk from one end of the island to the other and find something in every single neighbourhood. No wonder all the world loves to come here. BONJOUR-HI!!!! For fun, I asked Chat GPT to tell me about June in Montreal and here’s what I got for you: “June in Montreal is a time of celebration and vibrant energy. As the city bids farewell to the cool spring and embraces the arrival of summer, the streets come alive with a myriad of activities and events.” Who said it better? Doesn’t matter. Montreal Rampage is proud NOT to use AI to write articles.
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.
FTA (Festival TransAmériques)
May 24 – June 8, 2023
Dance, theatre, opera, and performing arts from around the world come to Montreal along with a few art exhibitions and musical pieces. Most pieces only show for a few days, but are usually high quality and thought-provoking. Tickets HERE.
May 26 – June 4, 2023
While the FTA (Festival Transameriques) takes place, the OFFTA showcases local works on the “fringes” of the festival. More information to come. Watch HERE for details.
Go Vélo / Go Bike Festival
May 28 – June 4, 2023
The spring events of Go Bike invites riders to join large group events in different parts of Montreal and its environs. Tackle the metropolitan challenge off island, bike through the Plateau and Rosemont during the Tour de Nuit, take it longer with the Tour de l’Île, or even take on the bike to work challenge. Info HERE.
Montreal St. Ambroise Fringe Festival
May 29 – June 18, 2023
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.
Suoni Per Il Popolo
June 1 – 25, 2023
Sala Rossa, Casa del Popolo, La Sotterenea
Invited artists perform at indie venues Sala Rossa, Casa del Popolo, and La Sotterenea. The music leans towards experimental, jazz, and ambient, but includes local acts and people who go deep in their sound. For information on who is playing and tickets, details are HERE.
Les Premiers Vendredis : Brazil Special
June 2, 2023
4 – 11 p.m.
Esplanade du Parc Olympique
4545, avenue Pierre-De Coubertin
Get your food trucks here. Food trucks, food trucks, food trucks. And also always some good music. Every first Friday of the month, it’s your chance to sample what our trucks have to offer. If you love to eat, get ready to show up with your credit card and enjoy the spicy foods of Brazil. There will also be music. Details HERE.
Montreal Model Train Expo
June 3 – 4, 2023
1450 Dawson Ave, Dorval
All aboard the Orient Express. Or maybe you prefer Hogwarts Express or Thomas the Tank Engine. People of all ages love model trains and this event brings together enthusiasts, vendors, and the curious to check out train models or purchase some of their own. Over 40 model railway lines will be on display. Info HERE.
Lebanese Film Festival
June 3 – 8, 2023
Concordia University Hall Building
1455 Maisonneuve O.
and other venues
This festival that aims to bring Lebanese cinema to Montreal and Ottawa. Screenings, workshops, lectures, discussions, and interviews are promised. Guest of honour is actress Takla Chamoun. Films being shown include The Sons of the Lord and documentary Mo Yan. For details, check the website HERE.
BRÛLANCES : Radical Queer Festival
June 7 – 11, 2023
Georges Vanier Cultural Centre
2450 Rue Workman
Sexuality is still political and falling outside acceptable norms – queerness – is often. met with hostility, violence, and aggression from multiple communities. Transphobia and queerphobia is too often accepted This festival aims to bring together activists and people who identify as queer, and offers revolutionary approaches towards those marginalized, especially rooted in multiple ideologies: feminism, anti-capitalism, decolonization, antiracism, and antifascism. Get info about it HERE.
Yatai MTL : Japanese Food Festival
June 8 – 11, 2023
Les Bassins Peel
Peel and Wellington Streets
Japanese food is recognized as an intangible world treasure by UNESCO — and not many other countries can claim such a distinction. Chances are you’ve already had sushi and ramen. Now sample things like onigiri and tamagoyaki. Info HERE.
June 8 – 18, 2023
Rue St Laurent
The best of graffiti artists from around the globe as well as local talent come to Montreal to paint our buildings. This year, look out for Brazil’s OSGEMEOS, Lauren YS from the US, and JUNKO from Canada. It’s fun to take the walking tour, check out the free exhibitions, enjoy the street fair and the music. Info HERE.
Francos de Montréal
June 9 – 17, 2023
Place des Festivals
1499 Rue Jeanne-Mance
Yes, the best of French music, with a special focus on our local talent takes over Place des Festivals with plenty of free stuff to check out as well as indoor programming of all sorts. The line up pulls in large crowds eager to enjoy some of our best. This year’s big shows include Daniel Bélanger, Louise Attaque, Juliette Armanet, and Louane. And let’s face it, Robert Robert kind of won our hearts at Osheaga two years ago with his rain shaker and he’s playing too <3. The outdoor free shows soon to be announced. Info HERE.
Festival Grand Prix Sur Crescent
June 15 – 18, 2023
Rue Crescent between Sherbrooke and St. Catherine
Most Montrealers stay far away from this bash that takes over Crescent for four days of bros and hoes and lambos (among other cars). If vaping, Red Bull, getting pumped, and selfies with pricey sports cars and sexy gals is your thing, we know where to find you. It’s kind of fun just to walk through even if it isn’t your scene. Just once will satisfy for a lifetime. Info HERE.
Formula 1 Grand Prix
June 16 – 18, 2023
Ile St. Helene
As the formula circuit goes around the world, it makes its annual stop here so that F1 cars can rocket 70 times around Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve at a max speed of 350 mph. Rumour goes that this is the best weekend to work in the sex industry in Montreal. Is there a connection? Info HERE.
Festival sur le Canal
June 16 – 18, 2023
Esplanade du Centenaire, Lachine Canal
Plants and Animals, Safia Nolin, Ariel Posen, Frais Dispo, and many others will be performing at this annual chillaxed family-friendly free event along the Lachine canal. No pets though. Bring some chairs and park yourself on the grass for some good music. There’s always some food available. For info click HERE.
Montreal Baroque Festival
June 15 – 18, 2023
This year’s festival puts the focus on the Dionysiac with a theme of Chaos et Confettis. Expect to encounter the music of contrasts in the 12 offered concerts – folk music, Scandinavian music, tragic baroque music, joyful music, music about crazy love affairs. Find out more HERE.
June 22 – 26, 2023
2915 Rue Ontario Est
Afrohouse, Kizomba, Urbankiz, Semba, Tarraxinha — if this kind of music speaks to you, the Kizo festival is for you. Confirmed artists for 2023 include DWÉ & GABY and IRON MAMS & MOOREA, along with DJ Stefanio Lima. It’s an international lineup for people who party deep. Info HERE.
Festival des Couleurs:
June 24, 2023
Clocktower Quai, Old Port
In the spirit of the Indian Holi festival, get yourself spattered with coloured pigments as you dance to Bollywood, Indie, House, Regaetton, Kirtan, and Latin music. Totally kid friendly. Food. Details 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.
Mtl en Arts
June 28 – July 3, 2023
Rue St Catherine
Multidisciplinary arts festival offers an open air art gallery along St. Catherine St with the intent of making art inclusive, accessible, and free. It has of course grown to include film, installations, live demonstrations, and much more. Over 150 artists will be participating and there are at least 20 interactive activities. Details can be found HERE.
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.
Montreal International Jazz Festival
June 29 – July 8, 2023
Place des Arts
Every year, the downtown core thrums with music from Montreal’s jazz fest. Although jazz is more like one of the many dishes on offer — blues, experimental, international rhythms, beats, and classic rock are all there too. It’s a great party and one of the summer highlights. The 2023 lineup is already up and you can check out Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Herbie Hancock, Diana Krall, Vance Joy, George Benson, Buddy Guy, Melody Gardot, and many others. Get your tickets now. Information and tickets HERE.
Woopaw Fest : Dog Festival
June 30 – July 2, 2023
Les Quais de Bassin Peel
The success of festivals dedicated to corgis, pugs, and frenchies has led to a festival for all dog parents who just can’t get enough of their beloved four (and sometimes three) legged friends. Vendors will offer all manner of dog products, and the festival includes activities for dogs and their pawrents. Info HERE.
Announced and Upcoming
Annual Dragon Boat Challenge
July 1 – 2 , 2023 8 a.m..
Écluse De La Côte Saint-Paul Lock
Row, row, row the dragon boat. 150 teams from Canada and the US compete. If that sounds like fun, find out info HERE.
Montréal complétement cirque / Circus Festival
July 6 – 16, 2023
Send in the clowns. I think so. But also the aerial artisans, the acrobats, the jugglers, the magicians, and the other performers of the circus. St. Denis becomes an open air circus while beloved groups will perform in venues. This year, look forward to Gravity and Other Myths, Aloft, and the Cabaret du Jugement Dernier. More to come. Info HERE.
Festival International Nuits d’Afrique
July 11 – 23, 2023
36 years of music, workshops, and events tied to the African diaspora. Performers from Africa, the US, the Caribbean, and Latin America make this an international delight. So far, the opener is ANGÉLIQUE KIDJO. Info on festival HERE.
Zoofest / Off JFL
July 13 – 29, 2023
JFL’s little brother, Zoofest, has even more comedy. How is this possible? It just is. Well, most performers are newer and just getting started. Be the first one to say, “I saw so-and-so when he won over the Theatre St. Catherine crowd.” You can see Léa Stréliski, the Womansplaining Show, and Jeremy Nadeau. For tickets and info, click HERE.
Just for Laughs / Juste Pour Rire
July 14 – 29, 2023
Quartiers des Spectacles
Just for Laughs isn’t just videos of people being pwnd outside of Lionel Groulx metro. It’s also two weeks of comedy’s top acts taking over our city. In addition, major showcases such as the Nasty Show, Just for the Culture, and Brit(ish) are regular showcases. Also, there are podcasts filmed and other related events. Maybe even catch a midnight show or two if you stay up late. Ali Wong, Russell Peters, Tom Papa are already announced. Info HERE.
July 14 – 16, 2023
Palais des congrès de Montréal
Are you a Marvel superhero or a DC one? Star Wars or Star Trek? Maybe you just want to dress up like you’re in Bridgerton. Whatever pop culture gets your motor running, Comiccon invites creators, authors, artists, producers, writers, and fans together for a multi-day bonanza. Info HERE.
July 20 – August 9, 2023
Chills, thrills, spills, action sequences, hauntings, zombies, martial arts, horror. Pretty much anything that falls under the banner of genre cinema finds its home at the coolest film festival I’ve ever been to. The audience meows in anticipation. Literally. Info HERE.
Aug 4 – Aug 6, 2023
Parc Jean Drapeau
MUSIC. 3 DAYS OF MUSIC! And art. Billie Eilish, Kendrick Lamar, and Rufus du Sol are headlining. But also great stuff like Sofi Tukker, Carly Rae Jepsen, beabadoobee. Info 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.
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.
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]
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