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Fierté Montréal / Montréal Pride
Photograph: Charles Lynn

Pride in Montreal 2022: Essential guide to events, parades and dates

Montreal’s Pride parade is just one of the highlights of the Montreal Pride Festival, with major programming and activities happening throughout the week.

Written by
Richard "Bugs" Burnett
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Montreal's Pride Festival is right around the corner. In addition to the city's welcoming gay bars and LGBTQ+ hangouts, Montreal (which just ranked 9th best city in the world) is putting on a star-studded show.

What is the Montreal Pride Festival?

Montreal’s first Pride march was held in June 1979 to mark the 10th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising of 1969. La Brigade Rose organizers in Montreal drew 52 marchers in 1979. Forty years later, in 2019, total attendance at Montreal Pride topped 3 million.

For the first time since 2019, the festival is back with live in-person performances, concerts and activities on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park—Montreal Pride’s new main site—as well as in the Gay Village and downtown

This incredible and inclusive celebration is one of the many reasons why Montreal was ranked 9th best city in the world.

When is the Montreal Pride Festival?

This 15th edition of Montreal Pride also has new dates, from August 1 to 7.

What are the festival highlights?

There is free admission to all events on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park. Here are some programming highlights: 

RECOMMENDED: Need somewhere to go after the parade? Check out the best LGBTQ+ bars and clubs in Montreal

Time Out Market Montreal
Join us for Pride Happy Hour at the Market
Photograph: Time Out Market Montréal

Join us for Pride Happy Hour at the Market

Drag queens and drinks specials!

Celebrate Montréal's Pride Festival at Time Out Market Montréal from August 1 to 7 with a signature Pride cocktail and bar specials galore. Cocktail pitchers promotion and signature shots will be served.

Don't miss the drag queen hostesses on Thursday August 4 from 6–8:30 p.m.! 

 

Programming: Special events and celebrations

Following the cancellation of Montreal Pride’s 2020 parade because of the pandemic, then a live in-person retro Pride march in 2021, the Pride parade returns downtown. Beginning at 1 pm on August 7, the 2.9 km long route runs along René-Levesque Boulevard between Metcalfe and Alexandre DeSève streets. Don’t forget to observe the Minute of Silence at 2:30 pm to honour those the LGBTQ communities have lost to violence and AIDS.

Québec cultural and musical icon Diane Dufresne headlines Montreal Pride’s opening concert on the big outdoor stage on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park on August 3 at 7 pm. Guests include Congolese-born Montreal musician Pierre Kwenders, recently acclaimed by Rolling Stone magazine.

 

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Drag Superstars

Hands-down the most popular concert at Montreal Pride each year, Drag Superstars returns on the big outdoor stage on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park on August 4 at 8 pm. The all-star line-up hosted by Rita Baga features local drag icons and international stars from various RuPaul’s Drag Race franchises: Ada Vox, HercuSleaze, Jasmine Kennedie, Kiara, Kornbread Jaté, Kylie Sonique Love, Lawrence Chaney, Manny, Nicky Doll, Pangina Heals, Pétula Claque, Priyanka, Pythia, Sasha Baga, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Suki Doll, Ra’Jah and Tayce. 

Community Days
Photograph: Fierté Montréal

Community Days

Meet new people and discover many organizations, community groups and sports teams catering to the LGBTQ+ communities. Kiosks will be lined up along the Sainte-Catherine Street pedestrian mall between Saint-Hubert and Papineau streets in the Village, on August 5 and 6 from 11 am to 6 pm daily. 

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Montreal Drag Royalty
Photograph: Two Food Photographers

Montreal Drag Royalty

Drag kings RV Métal and Rock Bière are hosting MajestiX starring local drag royalty: Adriana, Barbada, Carmen Sutra, Foxy Lexxi Brown, Gisèle Lullaby, Kitana, La freak du Show, LaDrag OnFly, Marla Deer, Miami Minx, Miss Dupré Latour, Misty Waterfalls, Rainbow, Scarlett Paris Evans, Uma Gahd and Velma.Johnny Jones. Showtime is August 6 at 8 pm on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park.

Diversity on Display

Artists Kim Ninkuru, Vivek Shraya and Xavier Gould headline an evening of Poetry, Comedy and Performance at the Olympia Theatre on August 1 at 8 pm.

The SuXession show features innovative performers including Backxwash, the Zambian-Canadian rapper whose album God Has Nothing To Do With This Leave Him Out Of It won the 2020 Polaris Music Prize, on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park on August 4 beginning at 8 pm.

The Xcellence show celebrates racialized queer and trans performers on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park on August 5 beginning at 4 pm. 

The ImmeX concert presents music from around the world performed by, among others, Juno Award-winning Dominique Fils-Aimé, Corneille, Coeur de Pirate and Montreal diva Patsy Gallant, on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park on August 5 beginning at 8 pm.

FeminiX showcases female performers including headliner Ariane Moffat, hip hop artist Sarahmée and queer rapper Calamine on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park on August 6 beginning at 4 pm, followed by the LipstiX after-party at Club Soda beginning at 11 pm.

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Closing Concert

The most popular drag queen in the world with 35 million followers on social media, Brazilian singer-songwriter Pabllo Vittar will close the festival with a free show on the big outdoor stage on August 7 after the parade, following the post-parade T-Dance, on the Esplanade of the Olympic Park.

AIDS 2022 Programming

Montréal Pride is presenting three cultural events during the 24th International AIDS Conference held in Montréal from July 29 to August 2.

Choreographer Dave St-Pierre presents Rapture, an atypical contemporary dance work that pays tribute to the millions of people who have tragically died of AIDS. Rapture headlines Le Monastère from July 27 to August 6.

The Art, Activism and Resilience exhibition explores HIV, AIDS and sexual health through the activism and resilience of the LGBTQ+ communities, on display online and on outdoor panels in the Village until September 1.

The Inverse/The Future is Often a Step Behind video installation by renowned artist Nicolas Jenkins is a multigenerational portrait of queer lives, and runs at the PHI Centre until August 28.

Montreal soul diva Michelle Sweeney will be performing at Parc de l’Espoir on Sunday, July 31 at 7 p.m. at Parc de l’Espoir with guests Robert Beaudry and Dr. Jean-Pierre Routy as part of Soirée au Parc

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