Montreal comes alive in the summer. Every weekend, you’ll find numerous festivals happening all over the city. From the famous International Jazz Festival and JFL, to Mural Fest, Taste of the Caribbean, and the Baroque Festival, there truly is something for everyone!
Check out 21 festivals happening in Montreal this summer.
As most of you already know, Montreal becomes home to the International Fireworks Competition each summer. Kicking off on Canada Day, there are typically weekly fireworks shows between the beginning of July and the beginning of August. This year, however, there will be an extra special edition of L’International des Feux-Loto Quebec. First off, 2017 marks the 33rd anniversary of the festival, however, more than that it also marks the 375th anniversary of Montreal and the 50th anniversary of La Ronde (the site from which the fireworks are launched). In addition, this year’s competition will be kicked off with an extra special, Montreal-themed fireworks show. According to the official website, the “fireworks opening ceremony will reflect Montreal spirit,” and singer-songwriter Ian Kelly will perform his song entitled “Montreal.”
When: July 1-August 5, 2017
Where: La Ronde
The International Jazz Festival returns to our fair city this June. Taking place over the course of two weeks, hundreds of jazz musicians will flock to Montreal to perform in both outdoor and indoor venues across the city. 2017 headliners include Squarepusher, Matt Holubowski, Bob Dylan, Her, and Andrea Lindsay.
When: June 28-July 8, 2017
Where: Various locations
The St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival, otherwise known as Fringe Fest, is back for three whole weeks. The festival has been held annually in Montreal since 1990, and is comprised of a wide program of theatrical shows. Types of shows include off-Broadway, drag, music, dance, spoken word, comedy and repertory, and over 500 performers flock to the city for the festival. Unlike most other theatre festivals out there, artists are chosen by lottery or on a first-come first-serve basis. If chosen, artists receive 100% of the ticket sales and they are completely uncensored in terms of what they choose to perform and how they choose to perform it. And the best part? All shows are $10 or less! For more information on this year’s programme, click here.
When: May 29 – June 18, 2017
Where: MainLine Theater, 3997 Boulevard Saint-Laurent
It’s recently been confirmed that art festival and sidewalk sale, Mtl en Arts, will be returning to the Gay Village at the end of this month. Mtl en Arts is an outdoor art festival that showcases all kinds of art, ranging from visual arts and crafts to performances and interactive installations. This year, it is taking place between June 28 and July 2, during which time the pedestrian zone of the Gay Village will become home to over 150 artists. Montrealers will be free to roam this artistic sidewalk sale of sorts and marvel at all kinds of artwork, as well as speak with the artists first hand. The festival will also include creative workshops for children, live painting demonstrations, and musical performances.
When: June 28-July 2
Where: Sainte Catherine Street East between St-Hubert and Papineau
Mural Festival 2017 returns for yet another year of jam-packed fun! This popular street art festival is almost back and it truly looks better than ever! 21 street artists will be represented, painting brand new murals all over the city’s walls. Artists from all over the world, including France, Australia, and Spain will be participating. Plus, there will be block parties, guided tours of the murals, and an Enchanted Forest exhibition hosted by Lululemon happening every day of the festival. In addition to the usual slew of murals that are painted on buildings in the Plateau, Mural Fest’s resident street festival is back for two weekends in June. The sidewalk sale closes down Saint Laurent between Sherbrooke and Mont-Royal and sees a variety of food trucks, outdoor terrasses, and pop up stores temporarily taking up shop. Though the festival’s main site is on Saint Laurent, other events will be taking place at Studio Bliss, Art Gallery 175B, Station 16, and Parc du Portugal.
When: June 8-18, 2017
Where: Saint Laurent Boulevard, between Sherbrooke and Mont Royal
Festival TransAmeriques returns to Montreal for its 11th edition next month for two weeks of contemporary dance and theatre events. This offbeat festival presents exciting new forms of art, and showcases major artists as well and up and comers in the world of contemporary art. Described as “a place to meet, a major get-together,” the Festival TransAmeriques is more than just performances, but also includes workshops, parties, cocktail hours, debates, and roundtable discussions. After all, the goal of the festival is to “encourage exchanges between the artists and the audience.” This year’s multilingual event reflects the city of Montreal, and has 27 performances on the schedule.
When: May 25 – June 8, 2017
Where: Various locations across the city, click here for more info
Montreal’s biggest comedy festival, Just For Laughs, recently released its 2017 lineup and we couldn’t be more excited! Headliners include Jim Carrey, Kevin Hart, John Mulaney, Ali Wong, David Spade, Trevor Noah, Judd Apatow, Howie Mandel, Rick Mercer, Sugar Sammy, Laverne Cox, and the Jerry Seinfeld! Be sure to get your tickets for this international comedy fest ASAP.
When: July 12-31, 2017
Where: Various locations
Grab a pint at Montreal’s summer beer festival! World of Beer is returning for its 24th year which promises to be the best yet. In addition to the typical beer education workshops, there will be hundreds of exhibitors and over 500 beers to taste from both local and international breweries. The event will be taking place both indoors and outdoors, at Palais des Congres and Palais des Congres Esplanade. In essence, Palais des Congres Esplanade turns into a massive outdoor beer garden for five days in June. The festival is 100% free to enter, however, tasting coupons cost $1 a piece, with exhibitors charging between 2 and 8 coupons per tasting. The World of Beer site will be open between noon and 11pm Wednesday to Saturday, and from noon until 6pm on Sunday.
When: June 14 – 18, 2017
Where: Palais des congrès de Montréal (201 Viger Street West) and Palais des congrès Esplanade (de la Gauchetiere Street between Cheneville and Cote Street)
Montreal RibFest returns for yet another barbecue-filled food event. Taking over Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough Hall between August 18th and August 20th, RibFest sees some of the best rib vendors from Montreal and abroad serving up racks on racks of their mouthwatering ribs. 2017 participants include Fat Boys BBQ, The Hogfather BBQ, Billy Bones BBQ, Jack the Ribber, Camp 31, and Ribs Royal. Prepare to indulge in everything from baby back ribs and pulled chicken to pulled pork and fried chicken. In addition to ribs, there will be numerous other food vendors on site, including Athena Pizzeria, Ontario Corn Roasters, Lemon Heaven, Beaver Tails Pastry, and Poutine Factory. Plus, as an added bonus, proceeds from the event go towards Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Island.
When: August 18-20
Where: Pierrefonds-Roxboro Borough Hall
Centred on food, rum, music, and art, Montreal’s Taste of the Caribbean festival is a local favourite. Needless to say, it’s returning this June for five days of Caribbean-themed fun. This free festival is entering its 18th year and boasts activities for the whole family, ranging from kid’s workshops and outdoor concerts, to cooking and mixology classes. In addition, this year’s special theme is The Rum Edition, so if you’re a lover of Caribbean rum then you definitely have to attend! Plus, between Friday and Sunday, there will be live music and food vendors all afternoon and evening. In essence, if you’re looking to transport yourself to a tropical island with a rum-based cocktail in hand, Taste of the Caribbean is the festival for you!
When: June 21-25, 2017
Where: Old Port of Montreal
Pride Montreal returns with an incredible lineup. Kicking off August 10th, Pride Montreal 2017 will feature two outdoor sites (one of which Canadian artist, Nelly Furtado will be giving a free live concert at), a special Drag Superstars show, and much more!
When: August 10-20, 2017
Where: Various locations
This year, the Montreal Baroque Festival presents “Cirque Musical Circus,” in honour of The Royal Circus which was founded in England and embarked on a Canadian tour that began in Montreal in September 1797. Over the course of the four day festival, which kicks off June 22, there will be 14 indoor concerts as well as a multitude of free outdoor concerts and fun activities for all. Though the indoor concerts do require tickets, the festival kicks off with a free parade, and then each day of the festival begins with a free outdoor concert and has free talks and exhibitions for all!
When: June 22-25
Where: Various locations, click here for a list of venues
The city’s biggest EDM festival is back on August 11th and 12th. Taking over Parc Jean Drapeau, prepare to dance your heart out to 2017 headliners Afrojack, Porter Robinson, Migos, and Tiesto.
When: August 11-12, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
This year, Bloomsday Montreal celebrates Irish culture as well as the work of James Joyce. Kicking off June 10th and last until Bloomsday (June 16th), this free festival features a slew of educational, cultural, and social events. Festival Bloomsday Montreal’s 2017 program includes walking tours, film screenings, Bloomsday brunch at EVOO, academic panels, pub quizzes, readings, live music, and talks that all unpack Joyce’s most popular novels as well as explore the rich Irish heritage of Montreal. Most of the events are free, however, those that aren’t are all $15 or less.
When: June 10 – 16, 2017
Where: Various locations
Get your flower crowns ready! Montrealers biggest music festival returns to Parc Jean Drapeau over the first weekend in August. 2017 headliners include Lorde, The Weeknd, and Muse, and passes are on sale now!
When: August 4-6, 2017
Where: Parc Jean Drapeau
The 10th edition of the Montreal Folk Fest is happening this June along the Lachine Canal! This laid back musical festival is by far one of the best in Montreal, in part because of its awesome line-up, but also because of its stunning canalside location. This year, the Montreal Folk Festival on the Canal is taking place between June 14th and 18th. The 2017 lineup includes Joel Plaskett, John McEuen, Whitehorse, Sharon & Bram, Richard Shindell, Socalled & Yves Lambert, Anique Granger, Melanie Brulee, David Myles, Katie Moore, Next Generation Leahy, and many more. VIP passes start at $35 for one day, however, they are not necessary to attend the festival. In fact, the majority of the event is comprised of free concert series’, giving Montrealers the opportunity to attend this summer music fest free of charge!
When: June 14 – 18, 2017
Where: Centennial Esplanade, 3653-3667 Rue Saint-Patrick
Located in the Quartier des Spectacles between Jeanne-Mance and St-Laurent, Bouffons MTL! is part of the Just for Laughs festival and also the largest open-air gastronomy village in North America. This year’s honorary guest is Marc-André Jetté, of the critically acclaimed restaurant, Hoogan & Beaufort. The chef will host a series of meet and greets, in addition to serving a special BouffonsMTL! menu. This food festival is an opportunity to discover Montreal’s culinary multiculturalism catered by some of the city’s finest restaurants pop-ups and food trucks.
When: July 15th – 30th from 12 pm – 11 pm
Where: Between Jeanne-Mance and St-Laurent
Calling all sci fi lovers! Montreal Comiccon takes over our fair city for one weekend every summer. Filling the streets with cosplay and comic books, Comiccon 2017 returns to Montreal between July 7 and 9. Back and better than ever, the 2017 Comiccon lineup was recently announced and includes an all-star cast of stellar actors. This year, Montrealers have the opportunity to come face-to-face with David Tennant (Doctor Who), Nathan Fillion (Firefly), Jason Isaacs (Harry Potter), James Marsters (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), and Jonathan Rhys-Davies (The Lord of the Rings).
When: July 7-9
Where: Palais des Congres
The Eureka! Festival returns to Old Port this month for three days of mad science fun! This year marks the festival’s 10th edition, which claims to be a “tremendous celebration of science for everyone and a fabulous chance to meet people who are passionate about science.” The program for 2017 has yet to be released, but if it’s anything like last year, Montrealers are in for a treat! Last year’s event included interactive demonstrations on molecular ice cream, flying bikes, interactive lasers and fountains, robots, insects, hoverboards, and astronauts. Other activities included a kite-making workshop, a rubik’s cube workshop, and hands-on lessons about sound creation, large mammals of Africa, and movie magic featuring incredible makeup artists. And did we mention the entire festival is free of charge? You have no excuse not to check it out! Be sure to make your way down to Old Port come June 9th!
When: June 9 – 11, 2017
Where: Montreal Science Centre
Electronic music takes over the Plateau throughout the last week of August for the ultimate digital arts festival, Mutek. Headliners include Aurora Halal, Graham Dunning, Marie Davidson, Nicola Cruz, Robert Henke, Rroxymore, Sculpture, and Zip.
When: August 22-27, 2017
Where: 175 Roy Est
Conveniently situated in Montreal’s Old Port on the Clock Tower Quay, YULEAT is a unique event that focuses on our beloved city. On Labor Day weekend, guests get the chance to discover great street cuisine in a series of tastings, chef demonstrations, and food stands. This year, make sure to check out the newest addition “Le Parcours Gourmand” in Hangar 16 that features 20 food stations and 18 wine and spirits stations operated by Montreal finest sommeliers. During the weekend, guests can also take part in chef demonstrations that involve free tastings.
When: September 2-4, 2017
Where: Clock Tower Quay, Old Port