The Ultimate Guide to Festivals in Montreal

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Festivals in Montreal are plentiful and you can plan an entire season (winter or summer) participating and enjoy the multicultural events in the city. Bundle up in the winter and stay cool in the summer because you are likely going to be outside in the Quartier Latin, Quartier des Spectacles or on one of the adjoining islands.

Whether you enjoy the Just For Laughs, Jazz or Hip Hop festivals or the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix, there is something for everyone. This is the Ultimate Guide to Festivals in Montréal organized by months throughout the year.


Festivals in Montreal

  • lgloofest
  • Luminothérapie
  • Poutine Week
  • Montréal en Lumière
  • Nuit blanche à Montréal
  • APIK – winter event in Quartier Latin
  • St. Patrick’s Day Parade
  • Festival de la Voix
  • Cirque du Soleil – ECHO
  • Festival Metro Metro
  • Mondial de la bière
  • Francos de Montréal
  • Formula 1 – Canadian Grand Prix
  • Laronde International Fireworks Competition
  • Montreal International Jazz Festival
  • Just For Laughs Comedy Festival
  • The Circus Festival, Montreal Completement Cirque
  • Fierté Montréal / Montréal Pride
  • Osheaga Music & Arts Festival
  • Montreal First Peoples Festival
  • Lasso Montréal
  • MUTEK – Digital Creative & Electronic Music
  • Jackalope
  • Festival Quartiers Danses
  • MAPP_MTL
  • Montréal Burlesque Festival
  • MTLàTABLE
  • Montreal Book Festival/Salon du livre de Montréal

Montreal Festivals - Jazz Festival - -Credit-FR-©-Frederique-Menard-Aubin-EN-Credit-©-Frederique-Menard-Aubin
Montreal International Jazz Festival –
Photo Credit-©-Frederique-Menard-Aubin – Tourisme Montréal

As many great cities do, bringing artists together in one location to celebrate creates a festival atmosphere. In Canada, Montreal is one of the best festival cities to see live jazz, up-and-coming comedians, circus delights and food and beverage emporiums. There are over 90 festivals hosted in Quebec’s most populated city and here are 25 to consider placing in your travel calendar.

January

39815 Credit FR © Toshimi Juan Muniz EN Credit © Toshimi Juan Muniz
Igloofest Photo Credit © Toshimi Juan Muniz – Tourisme Montréal

Igloofest

 An outdoor music festival unlike any other, Igloofest turns January and February’s cold weather into an excuse to dance with thousands of Montréalers on the Old Port’s Jacques-Cartier pier every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. Hear electronic music by top international and local producers, DJs, hip-hop artists and more in an electro winter wonderland.

Festival dates: January 19 to February 11
Location: Old Port of Montréal

Luminothérapie

This winter, the heart of the city is the place to be – Luminothérapie is here to get you moving and enjoying the outdoors! With an all-new interactive experience on the Esplanade Tranquille skating rink, a series of six colourful installations on Sainte-Catherine St. extending to Phillips Square and original video projections, everyone is invited to take a break and have some fun. The theme for this edition, biodiversity, is reflected in the poetic world of architectural projections and installations, lighting up the Quartier des Spectacles with dazzling bursts of rainbow colours.

carte lumino 2022 2023 en 1920x1080 1

Festival Dates: December 1, 2022 – March 5, 2023
Location: Place des Festivals, A quadrilateral bordered by Sainte-Catherine, Jeanne-Mance, Balmoral and De Maisonneuve Streets

February

Poutine Week

The name says it all: a week dedicated to the Québecois signature dish of French fries and gravy topped with cheese curds. It’s also a chance to try specially created new poutine dishes made by chefs at dozens of restaurants throughout Montréal.

Festival Dates: February 1 – 14, 2023
Location: restaurants throughout the city

Montréal en Lumière

One of the largest winter festivals in the world, an annual celebration of the joy of Montréal’s winter through a unique program combining performing arts, and gastronomy. There are skating shows, free outdoor family activities and plenty to do. Download the App. to help you plan and see what is going on in a location near you.

Festival Dates: February 16 – March 5, 2023

Nuit blanche à Montréal

From dusk to dawn this all-nighter is a ‘nuit blanche’ (a white night). Although the epicentre in the Place des Festivals, the Nuit Blanche gathers thousands of night owls who brave the winter temperatures in order to fully experience a uniquely wild urban adventure, featuring many cultural activities throughout the city.

Nuit Blanche photo credit
Nuit Blanche photo credit Frédérique Ménard-Aubin- Tourisme Montréal

Eight geographic hubs across Montréal will be buzzing: the Quartier des spectaclesDowntownOld Montréal, the Plateau Mont-Royal, the Quartier Latin and the VillageMile-End, Hochelaga and North. There is outdoor skating, free concerts and dance parties so get caffeinated up and pull an all-nighter

Festival Date: February 25, 2023

APIK – winter event in Quartier Latin

Saint-Denis Street in the Quartier Latin will become a snow park where snowboarding and skating enthusiasts can Jam or simply amuse themselves on the training hill from March 1 to 5. Experienced monitors will be available to help participants if needed. Snowboarders must bring their own equipment, while skates will be available on-site.

APIK is an unprecedented playground that will also feature a thrilling obstacle course.

Festival Dates: February 24 to March 5 from 12 to 8 pm
Location: On Saint-Denis, between Sherbrooke East and Emery.

March

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

Since 1824, this parade has been celebrated yearly, making it the oldest and largest after NYC’s parade. Sainte-Catherine Street, from Fort Street to Metcalfe Street. March 19, 2023, starting at noon.

Festival de la Voix

Venture to the West Island to enjoy music spanning from around the globe in this festival celebrating the power of the human voice. Celebrating the undeniable power of the human voice, the festival features eclectic concerts, creative workshops and more enjoyable for fans of all ages. Enjoy musical styles from all over the world including West African, Brazilian, Latin American, gospel, classical, jazz and more.

Festival dates: March 19 to April 28, 2023
Location: various locations on the West Island

April

Cirque du Soleil – ECHO

The Cirque du Soleil spoils everyone with ECHO, a brand-new production that explores our symbiotic relationship with all living creatures on the planet. Expect the daring acrobatics, stunning visuals and beautiful poetry this spectacular troupe is renowned for. You can enjoy the big top magic from April 20 to August 20, 2023.

May

Festival Metro Metro

With headliners like Lil Wayne, Jack Harlow and Lil Baby, these three days of hip hop in the city of Montréal.

Festival Dates: May 19 to 21, 2023
Location: Esplanade of the Olympic Park, Montréal Olympic Park, Corner of Pierre-De Coubertin Av. and Pie-IX Blvd.

Mondial de la bière

Activities related to beer discovery are on the agenda: beer, food, and beer experts on site, all in a festive musical atmosphere. With over 400 products to sample there is plenty to like about this World of Beer Festival.

Festival dates: May 18 to 21, 2023: Thu, Fri, 4 p.m.; Sun, Sat, noon.
Location: Windsor Metro Station and Tinto Yard, Corner of Canadiens-de-Montréal Avenue and De La Gauchetière West Street

June

Francos de Montréal

Celebrate French songs and music in 250 downtown gigs over 10 days and learn a whole new songbook en français.

Festival Dates: June 9 to 17, 2023: Daily.
Location: Quartier des spectacles, Bordered by René-Lévesque, Sherbrooke, City Councillors and Saint-Hubert

Canadian Grand Prix – Formula 1

Technically not a festival, the city of Montreal goes full force for a week as it welcomes Formula 1 racers and fans to celebrate the Canadian Grand Prix.

Grand Prix du Canada Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix Poto Credit © Eva Blue Tourisme Montreal
Grand Prix du Canada – Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix — Poto Credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal

Laronde International Fireworks Festival

The International des Feux Loto-Québec, Montréal’s beloved fireworks festival, will be back from June 29 to August 10 to light up the city’s skies. Different countries compete to have the best fireworks displays set to music. As a student in Montreal, you could go to different locations to sit and watch the 40-45 minute presentation. All the radio stations would be playing the accompanying music. It is truly a sight to see. LaRonde is a 6 Flags amusement park where you can go on rides and then watch the fireworks show from a distance. It is truly magical.

Festival Dates: June 29 to August 10, 2023
Location: various locations throughout the city but the optimal view is from Laronde

Festivals in Montreal include the world renouned International Fireworks Festival
International Fireworks Festival – Poto Credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal.jpg

July

Festival International de Jazz de Montreal (FIJM)

Festivals in Montreal - Montreal International Jazz Festival is in it's 43rd edition.
Montreal Jazz Festival mainstage – photo credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal

The 43rd edition of the Festival continues to be the biggest festival for Montreal. Some 3,000 performers and musicians from over 30 countries treat audiences to a vast number of indoor and outdoor concerts. It is a combination of paid and free concerts running for ten days. You can pay to see Buddy Guy, Diana Krall and Herbie Hancock but there will be other big names who play on the mainstage for free. Be prepared to see some amazing jazz but it is crowded!

Festival Dates: June 29 to July 8, 2023
Location: Quartier des Spectacles

TOHU – Montréal complétement cirque

North American international festival dedicated to circus arts. Watch the urban landscape light up as dazzling circus acts take over the city. Created in 2010, it is the result of a collective dream that brings together TOHU—the project’s driving force—along with the support of Cirque Éloize, Les7 doigts de la main, Cirque du Soleil, the National Circus School, and En Piste.

*TOHU is a place for dissemination, creation, experimentation and convergence between culture, environment and community involvement.

Festival Dates: July 6 to 16, 2023: Daily
Location: Quartier latin

Just for Laughs – Juste pour rire Comediy Fesitval

Festivals in Montreal - Montreal International Jazz Festival is in it's 43rd edition.
Juste pour rire – Just for Laughs Comedy Festival –
Photo Credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal

For the festival with the best URL go to https://www.hahaha.com/en to find the best of the best in comedy. Some of the world’s best comedians have played at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

Festival Dates: July 14 to 29, 2023: Daily
Location: Quartier des spectacles, Bordered by René-Lévesque, Sherbrooke, City Councillors and Saint-Hubert and in clubs throughout the city.

August

Montreal Pride Festival

One of Montréal’s biggest annual parties, Montréal Pride features a rainbow of internationally beloved musicians and drag queens, endless joy in the Gay Village quartier (in full effect on Community Day) and the powerful moment of silence during the Parade commemorating the 2SLGBTQ+ community’s history. Last but not least, dance your cares away and get your flirt on at the closing outdoor T-Dance set to the sounds of some of the world’s top DJs.

Festival Dates: August 3-13
Location: The Village

Osheaga Music and Arts Festival

Think Coachella minus the heat or Glastonbury mud-free, and an epic line-up of indie superstars. Starting at a steep $375. This is an all-inclusive 3-day pass. Headliners for 2023 will be RÜFÜS DU SOL, BILLIE EILISH and KENDRICK LAMAR on the 4th, 5th and 6th respectively.

Festival Dates: Aug 4 to 6, 2023: Sun, Fri, Sat.
Location: Jean-Drapeau, Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame

Osheaga music festival Parc Jean-Drapeau - Photo Credit © Eva Blue - Tourisme Montréal  - Montreal Fesitvals
Osheaga music festival Parc Jean-Drapeau –
Photo Credit © Eva Blue – Tourisme Montréal 

Montreal First Peoples Festival

Artists from Indigenous communities from all over the Americas gather to celebrate their rich cultures and histories. First Peoples’ cinema is in the spotlight, memorable concerts bring the crowds to their feet, and living Aboriginal art is offered in a wide variety of expressions and forms.

Festival Dates: August 8 to 17, 2023
Location: Place des Festivals A quadrilateral bordered by Sainte-Catherine,
Jeanne-Mance, Balmoral and De Maisonneuve Streets

Lasso Montréal

There’s a new Country Music Festival in town, so mosey on over to Espace 67 this summer for twangy tunes, hot country and boot-slappin’ ballads!

Festival Dates: Aug 18 to 19, 2023: Fri, Sat.
Location: Parc Jean-Drapeau, Île Sainte-Hélène and Île Notre-Dame

MUTEK – Digital Creativity & Electronic Music

This is an eclectic festival which incorporates electronic music, multi-media and light shows. I think the video from MUTEK can better illustrate the uniqueness of this festival which will close out the summer festival season.

Festival Dates: August 22 to 27, 2023 Sun., Wed., Thurs., Fri.
Location: Quartier des spectacles, Bordered by René-Lévesque, Sherbrooke, City Councillors and Saint-Hubert

Jackalope

Maybe music and dance aren’t your thing but extreme sports are. No need to leave Montreal for the thrill of adventure. Jackalope is an action sports festival including skateboarding, bouldering, trick biking, and a platform dangling from a construction crane (don’t ask me what that is all about but I’m not jumping off of it).

Festival Date: August 25 to 27, 2023
Location: Esplanade of the Olympic Park, Montréal Olympic Park, Corner of Pierre-De Coubertin Av. and Pie-IX Blvd

September

Festival Quartiers Danses

In 2022 the Festival Quartiers Danses had a bold theatrical program bringing together no less than 17 premieres and 30 shows which took place in an urban context, free and for all audiences, in addition to three films on the dance. Contemporary dance at its best. Be sure to check out their website for more information later on in the year.

Festival Dates: September 6 to 17, 2023
Location: Place des Arts, 175 Sainte-Catherine Street West

MAPP_MTL

In its eighth edition, Montreal’s International Projection Mapping Festival lets you discover the world of large-scale projection in public spaces. Montreal has been the hub of projection shows and it is only right there is a four-night festival to see some very creative use of lights, sounds and imagery. In recent years I have seen amazing shows: Aura at Notre Dame Cathedral in Old Montreal (still going on), and Avudo – Multimedia water and light show (shown at Montreal’s 375 Anniversary). My favourite is the Cite Memoire guided tour in Old Montreal.

Festival Dates: September 27 to October 1, 2023
Location: Quartier des spectacles, Bordered by René-Lévesque, Sherbrooke, City Councillors and Saint-Hubert

Jackie Robinson Cite Memoire Projection Travel Guide
Cité Mémoire – Old Montréal @DownshiftingPRO

October

Montreal Burlesque Festival

A colourful two-evening event that brings back the glitz and glam of bygone cabarets. Burlesque is a performance of seduction without the crass component. It’s about dance, song and music with a little bit of naughtiness. This very interesting artform is making a comeback across North America.

Festival Dates: October 13 and 14, 2023
Location: Club Soda, 1225 Saint-Laurent Blvd

November

MTLàTABLE

Annually in November, this 11-day long ode to gastronomy counts some 100 participating Montréal restaurants spread across several of the city’s neighbourhoods. Each establishment will be offering a three- or four-course, $35, $45, $55 or $75 prix-fixe evening menu. From classic French and Italian to trendy Indian or Japanese, several cuisines will be on the menu to please everyone.  

MTLàTABLE is a tasty opportunity for all food lovers to go on a delicious discovery of several Montréal restaurants or revisit favourites. Whether you’re celebrating a romantic anniversary, have a hankering for a beloved dish, or want to book a family outing or party with a group of friends, this year’s edition of MTLàTABLE will have something to offer everyone. 

Salon du livre de Montréal

Bringing together book lovers with authors and creatives, the Montreal Book Festival is centred on French authors and writers. Discussions are about the books bringing together those that love the written word together.

Festival Dates: November 22 to 26, 2023,  Sun, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat.
Location: Palais des congrès de Montréal (Montréal Convention Centre), 1001 Jean-Paul-Riopelle Place

December

Luminothérapie

Luminothérapie is here to get you moving and enjoying the outdoors! With an all-new interactive experience on the Esplanade Tranquille skating rink, a series of six colourful installations on Sainte-Catherine St. extending to Phillips Square and original video projections, everyone is invited to take a break and have some fun.

Festival Dates: December 1 – March 2024
Location: Place des Festivals, A quadrilateral bordered by Sainte-Catherine, Jeanne-Mance, Balmoral and De Maisonneuve Streets

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Margarita Ibbott is a travel and lifestyle blogger. She blogs about travel in Canada, the United States and Europe giving practical advice through restaurant, hotel and attraction reviews. She writes for DownshiftingPRO.com and other online media outlets.