In January-February, the Féte des Neiges (Snow Festival) celebrates
the pleasures of snow for two weeks in the Parc des Îles. In June,
the province's cyclists assemble for the Tour de l'Île, and enthusiasts
can attend Canada's only Formula One race, the Grand Prix Player's du
Canada. On every weekend during June and July there are firework displays
on the banks of the Saint Lawrence during the Benson & Hedges International.
The same months also welcome Montréal's International Jazz Festival,
a major event hosting more than 400 concerts throughout the city. In July,
the Juste pour Rire (Just for Laughs) Festival brings together some 500
artists from all over the world, while the entire city dances at the Nuits
d'Afrique celebrations. There are over 200 shows during the Francofolies
de Montréal, a festival of French song held in July and August;
the Du Maurier Omnium, a world tennis tournament, is held at the same
time. The Festival des Films du Monde (World Film Festival) takes place
during three weeks in August-September, with many films and debates. In
September, a wide range of people - from young people to those in wheelchairs
- run the Montréal Marathon..
Dec 26 - Boxing Day
dec 25 - Christmas Day
Nov 11 - Remembrance Day
second Mon in Oct - Canadian Thanksgiving
first Mon in Sept - Labour Day
Jul 1 - Canada Day
Jul 1 - Jean-Baptiste Day
May 24 or nearest Mon - Victoria Day
- Easter Monday
- Good Friday
Jan 1 - New Year's Day
Montreal International Auto Show
New cars and trucks along with the latest accessories draw crowds of appreciative
automotive fans. Call (514) 331-6571 for more information.
Fete des Neiges
Fete de Neiges, Montreal’s largest outdoor winter event with dog-sled
rides, tube rides and more, attracts families and outdoors enthusiasts
on weekends from late January through early February. Call (514) 872-6120
for more information.
Montreal’s first festival of the year starts at the Centaur Theatre
with reasonably priced shows already winning a fair share of acclaim.
Call (514) 288-3161 for more information.
Fete des Neiges
Fete de Neiges, Montreal’s largest outdoor winter event with participants
dressed up in polar bear suits, dog-sled rides, tube rides, snow sculptures
and more, attracts families and outdoors enthusiasts on weekends from
late January through early February. Call (514) 872-6120 for more information.
Festival Montreal en Lumiere
In February and March, Montreal’s theaters, dance organizations,
museums and restaurants team up for multimedia light shows and culinary
extravaganzas. Nearly a dozen downtown buildings are lit up to add magic
to the frosty air. Call (514) 288-9955 for more information.
Festival Voix d’Ameriques
The seven-day Festival Voix d’Ameriques (FVA) is dedicated to oral
literature, and to words brought to life with flair and outrageous experimentation.
Poets, writers, singers and performers interpret the world in French,
English, Spanish and Aboriginal languages. Call (514) 933-0878 for more
Highlights Festival Fine Dining
Montréal chefs tantalize tastebuds while sharing culinary secrets
during the Fine Dining Series of the 11-day Montréal Highlights
Festival. Activities include theme brunches, gastronomic evenings and
culinary workshops in restaurants throughout town. Call (888) 477-9955
for more information.
Montreal International Children’s Film Festival
This film festival, running in late February through early March, is dedicated
entirely to children. Call (514) 721-6060 for more information.
Montreal’s gay / lesbian community celebrates Valentines as a four-day
extravaganza patterned in colorful name after Philadelphia’s Blue
Ball, and New York’s Black Party. Call (514) 790-1245 or (800) 361-4595
for more information.
Targeting a local, regional and international audience, Festivalissimo
is regarded as the most important multidisciplinary cultural event in
Montreal. Call (514) 935-0129 for more information.
International Festival of Films on Art
Art is perpetually reinventing itself and the International Festival of
Films on Art (FIFA) in mid March chronicles this revolution from the front
lines, presenting nearly 250 films from some 30 countries each year. Call
(514) 874-1637 for more information.
St. Patrick’s Day
Thousands of celebrants head downtown each year to cheer on the annual
Saint Patrick’s Day parade. Call (514) 932-1512 for more information.
The Blue Met, Montreal’s international literary festival, gathers
writers, actors, musicians, journalists and publishers from around the
world for five days of literary indulgence in English, French, Spanish
and other tongues. Call (514) 790-1245 for more information.
White Party Week
White Party Week hails arrival of spring with five days of music, dance,
fashion and fun to bridge culture gaps. Call (514) 840-9164 for more information.
Vues d’Afrique African & Creole Film Festival
Vues d’Afrique is North America’s biggest film festival devoted
to African and Creole countries. Call (514) 721-6060 for more information.
Music and People Festival
Working to foster creative links among talent from a variety of cultural
backgrounds, the festival promotes up-and-coming artists. Call (514) 856-3787
for more information.
Montreal Jewish Film Festival
The Montreal Jewish Film Festival celebrates the diversity of the Jewish
experience around the world. Call (514) 987-9795 for more information.
Hot & Dry Weekend
Hot & Dry Metropolis in mid May is the second largest event organized
by the BBCM Foundation. Call (800) 667-8549 for more information.
Cajun Festival of Quebec
Acadian heritage and culture is celebrated through song, dance, story-telling,
arts and crafts, foods and genealogy. Call (514) 748-7816 for more information.
Montreal Bike Fest
The Montreal Bike Fest is an ideal way to kick off the cycling season.
Call (514) 521-8356 for more information.
Montreal International Jazz Festival
For a quarter century, the Montreal International Jazz Festival has featured
concerts and much more. Call (514) 790-1245 or (800) 361-4595 for more
St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival
Dance, music and theater from companies across Canada add to this cutting-edge
entertainment showcase. Call (514) 849-3378 for more information.
Calypso musicians and dancers in elaborate costumes parade down the Boulevard
Rene Levesque. Call (514) 735-2232 for more information.
Fantasia Film Festival
Mostly a fantasy/action/horror festival, the nearly month-long Fantasia
also welcomes sheer individuality in separate genres. Film lovers revel
in cinema fantasy and horror marginalia. Call (514) 790-1245 or (800)
361-4595 for more information.
Mondail Fireworks Competition
The Montreal International Fireworks Competition was founded in 1985 at
La Ronde, Québec's largest amusement park, created for Expo '67.
From the start, the fireworks competition was a smash, since becoming
an annual extravaganza. Call (514) 790-1245 or (800) 361-4595 for more
Just For Laughs Festival
Two decades ago Gilbert Rozon wanted to gather together people with funny
bones, and now Just For Laughs is a multiple-venue, four-day affair drawing
some 1.7 million spectators every summer. Call (514) 790-HAHA for more
Mr. Christie International Balloon Festival
Quebec’s mostly family-oriented summer festival with decorated hot
air balloons and much more. Call (450) 347-9555 for more information.
World Film Festival
Late August and early September bring Canada’s highly attended World
Film Festival featuring well-known and emerging filmmakers from more than
70 countries. Call (514) 848-3883 for more information.
The cars and stars of the champion car world series return. Call (866)
670-INDY for more information.
Magic of Lanterns
In September and October, Montreal Botanical Gardens hosts the Magic of
Lanterns with varying annual themes. Call (514) 872-1400 for more information.
La Biennale de Montreal
From late September through October, the annual Biennal de Montreal places
focus on public space development, urban planning and public art at locations
throughout the city.
International Video and Electronic Arts Festival
Drawing architects, urban planners, video artists, and more, festival
events unfold in various venues. Call (514) 393-3937 for more information.
Orgue et Couleurs
Since 1999, Orgue et couleurs has presented varied musical activities
showcasing the organ. Autumn Festival, its main event, has grown to some
25 activities (including concerts, talks and an exhibition) in this 10-day
affair featuring organists, ensembles and other performers. Call (514)
899-0644 for more information.
Black & Blue
The Black & Blue is a multimedia major show and party and bills itself
as one of the most important gay and gay-friendly events on the planet.
Call (514) 875-7026 for more information.
Young, vibrant, relevant, this festival provides a great time for the
young at heart. Call (514) 842-1919 for more information.
Montreal Festival of Nouveau Cinema
Devoted to fostering and promoting alternative approaches to film and
new media, the Montreal Festival of Nouveau Cinema serves as a springboard
for unknown artists, original works and their creators. Emphasis is on
digital creations and auteur-driven cinema. Call (514) 847-9272 for more
Coup de Coeur Francophone
Coup de Coeur Francophone is a festival promoting French music. Call (514)
253-3024 for more information.
Cinemania Film Festival
At the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Cinemania Film Festival celebrates
contemporary independent French films with English subtitles. Call (514)
878-0082 for more information.
Dec. 26 is Boxing Day, a public holiday.
Bal des Boys
This big, romping New Year’s Eve party celebrates the forthcoming
year. Call (514) 875-7026 for more information.
When to Go
Montréal has a notoriously arctic winter (December-March) that
makes it great as a base for winter sports, but with the sort of spiteful
temperatures that would probably frighten a polar bear. Thankfully, Montréal
gets around the problem with its 'Underground City', a unique climate-controlled
labyrinthe of 2000 shops and 29km (18mi) of corridors. This makes the
city an alluring year-round tourist drawcard - a winter wonderland during
the cold season and warm, long, lazy nights in the summer. Late May to
early September is peak tourist time and sees a seamless procession of
festivals, including the legendary Jazz Festival and the Grand Prix, take
over the town.