Long nights? No problem for Montreal. Slap an oversized parka over that mini skirt and crop top and head out for a night of revelry and culture (or just a long wait to get into a club — here’s looking at you CEGEPians). If a cozy cafe is more your thing, expect to be surrounded by stressed-out students studying for their finals. Every bar and venue has music, comedy, and good cheer this month, so enjoy.
October 23 – December 3, 2023
As the church composer and hired musician extraordinaire, enjoy works by Bach in a variety of venues performed by musicians who range from classical to avant-garde. Wiilliam Youn is the closing concert, but others playing include the Magnum Saxophone Quartet, a series directed by Reinhard Goebel, and a free Nuit des Choeurs. There’s also an Off-Bach Festival! More info HERE.
Festival du Monde Arabe / Montreal Arab World Festival
October 28 – November 11, 2023
Various venues in the city
Celebrating Arab culture and art through performing arts and cinema, the Arab World Festival delights the city with dance, music, film, and more. This year’s event includes Myriam Beldi, Cheikha Rimitti, Mais Harb, and many more. The offerings are extensive and diverse. More info HERE.
November 1 – 12, 2023
Bringing French films to an English speaking audience is the goal of this film festival. Multiple films are premiering, including world premiere Sur La Terre Comme Au Ciel and North American premiere Les Rois de la Piste. Highlights include SOLO, a film about a love story between two drag queens. Some new Quebec films to catch include Sucré Seize and Kanaval . Info about the festival available HERE.
Coup de Coeur Francophone
November 2 – 12, 2023
Get ready for eleven nights of your favourite francophone artists performing all over the city. Three or more performances take place each night. Artists performing include Chloé Sainte-Marie, Moran, Le Roy Le Rose et Le Lou(p), Gilles Valiquette, and others. Venues vary from large to small. More info HERE.
MTL à TABLE
November 3-19, 2023
If there’s a restaurant you’ve been hoping to check out, perhaps it’s part of MTL à TABLE. Top restaurants around the city offer meals at fixed prices. It’s a chance to dine at old faves and try new places too. On the list is Trattoria Gio, Ratafia, Brasserie T!, Perles et Paddock, Leméac, and more. Information HERE.
Festival Opulence Automnal
November 4, 2023
10138 rue Lajeunesse, Suite #301, Montreal, QC, Canada, Quebec
Queer and ethnic cultures should get to enjoy an afternoon of activities, performers, artists, food, and coffee. This small collective of local creatives are excited to make this one happen. Info HERE.
Festival Nuit des Morts
November 4, 2023
Crew Collective Cafe
360 Rue Saint-Jacques Montréal, QC H2Y 1P5
This festival pays homage to the deceased with Mexican traditions and folklore. Music performances, food, and dance come together to celebrate life, death, and in between. Info HERE.
Salon National des Animaux de Compagnie / National Salon for Pets
November 4 – 5, 2023
4545 Pierre-de Coubertin Ave
A public event for the animal lover, pet fanatic. Breeders, vets, and anyone associated with pets will be around to talk about their expertise. And this isn’t just cats and dogs — it’s also reptiles, rodents, ponies, and exotic birds. Not quite Crufts, but this is Montreal’s cat show and national canine agility competition. Also, there are the famous Aqua-dogs. More info HERE.
MEGA and MIGS
November 8 – 9, 2023
900 Rue De La Gauchetière O
Players and creators celebrate all things video games. Considering how many studios are here in Montreal, this a see and be seen events. Also it’s a chance to check out the video games you’ve been waiting for ahead of everyone else. Info HERE.
November 13 – 19 , 2023
L’Espace Sans Luxe (6502 avenue du Parc)
Street dancing for all, with five free events featuring hip hop, beatmakers, and street dancing at L’Espace Sans Luxe at 7 p.m. each night and two other ticketed events indoors. Check it out and find out what Montreal’s street dance community is up to. Info HERE.
Mundial Montreal / North America World Music Summit
November 14 – 17, 2023
This festival celebrates musical diversity by bringing musicians from around the world to perform in Montreal. Over 40 different cultures and communities are represented this year. While some shows are intended for industry folk, there are plenty of showcases available to the public. Some of the acts this year include Al-Qasar, Cellogayageum, Papagroove, and Second Moon . For information about shows and venues, click HERE.
M for Montreal
Nov 15 – 18, 2023
Many bands play at this festival, designed to spotlight Montreal’s music community. These are bands about to break through to “selling out” or just widespread acclaim. Music industry types come in to see what’s hot right now. Public shows include Titelaine, Mirabelle, Vendou, Thanks, Honestly, Donald Dogbo, SPRLUA, Das Mortel, Blue Orchard, Yocto, and Choses Sauvages. Get tickets and info HERE.
RIDM / Montreal International Documentary Festival
November 15 – 26, 2023
How lucky we are to get to see the world’s greatest documentaries in the cinemas of the city. There’s something for everyone in the selection. International competition includes This Woman from China, Or De Vie from Bukina Faso, France, and Benin, and A House for Wandering Souls from Spain. Info HERE.
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.
November 16 – 20, 2023
1194 Rue Stanley
Concurrently with the Heels festival is the Bachata Festival, which brings in DJs from around the world. Artisans and instructors offer workshops. Get yourself prepared the dance. Info HERE.
Image + Nation: Montreal International LGBTQ Film Festival / Festival Film LGBTQUEER Montréal
November 16 – 26, 2023
This is the oldest film festival dedicated to LBGTQ films in Canada and often is the place to catch both innovative and new films that relate to this community. Watch here for more details.
Tibetan Bazaar and Cultural Fair
November 18, 2022
Eglise Santa Cruz (60 Rachel Ouest)
10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Come for the momos, stay for the mask dances. The annual Tibetan cultural fair happens just in time for the holidays, so you can pick up a singing bowl, a set of flags, and some good eats all at once. Details HERE.
Salon du Livre de Montreal / Montreal Book Fair
November 22 – 26, 2023
Palais de Congrès
201 Ave Viger O
The not-independent-book gets its moment at this festival that focuses on French publications. Quebec literature in particular gets plenty of visibility. Author talks, discussions, debates, and public readings make this an exciting event. Meet your favourite Quebecois authors and watch live recordings for Radio Canada. More info HERE.
Diwali – Festival of Lights
November 24, 2023
998 Rue Notre Dame O.
Starting with a cocktail hour and Indian fusion food, this Indian festival of the night celebrates the victory of light. Dancing is promised along with a dessert table of traditional Indian sweets. Info HERE.
The Great Montreal Christmas Market
November 25 – December 31, 2023
Quartier des Spectacles
Walk along St. Catherine Street in front of Place des Arts for booth after booth of unique boutique goods from 75 different artisans. Some are food, some are not. If you get lucky, you might catch a musical or theatre performance on the street too. The ambiance is lovely and festive. Info HERE.
Village de Noel / Atwater Christmas Market
November 30 – December 24, 2023
Perennial favourite in the St. Henri hood, small cabins are set up to create a little outdoor village of 45 different artisans. There’s plenty to eat, a sugar shack and fries. There are also circus performances, sledding and movie nights, and kind of general joy. For info, click HERE.
Amnesty International Marathon of Writing
TBD but last year at:
Bibliothèque interculturelle de Côte-des-Neiges (Nov 20), 2 p.m.
Maison des jeunes d’Outremont (Nov 30), 4 p.m.
Esplanade Tranquille at Place des Arts (Dec 11), 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Stand up for human rights, especially political prisoners and the wrongfully detained by writing letters to governments and political leaders as part of Amnesty International’s writing marathons. Use a prepared letter or write one from your own heart. Info and details HERE.
Jean Talon Christmas Market
Dates TBD but last year at:
Jean Talon Market
If you’re up near the Jean Talon Market, this year’s market is kind of a go big or go home with twice as many vendors compared to last time. Get ready for food like cider and foie gras and lots of delicious foods to buy. Oh yes, of course, there’s shopping. Info HERE.
Upcoming and Announced
November 1 – 3, 2023
Église Saint Arsène
Every year Montreal Rampage relishes in this celebration of the zine, small press, pinback button, poster, and other indie creations. It’s a total madhouse, but a good one. Artists draw, knitters knit, and everyone who loves the written word gathers. All you need to know HERE.
Brazilian Film Festival
December 1 – 7, 2023
Cinema Du Parc
A week of films from South America’s biggest melting pot. Info HERE.
Marche de Noel Végane
December 2 – 3, 2023
Maison du Developpement Durable
50 Rue St Catherine Ouest
Think plant based and sustainable. Yes, there’s food, but also gifts. Go green. Save the planet. Eat kale. No single use plastics here. Info HERE.
Montreal Clown Festival
April 23 – 24, 2024
Who are you calling a clown? Get ready to laugh and laugh and laugh as performers of all sorts show you the variety that clowning can be. Workshops as well as performances. Send ’em in! Details HERE.
Monthly Festival Links