In our current issue, we cover Montreal Pride (along with a couple of other more offbeat Pride celebrations). Pride (or la Fierté as its known locally) takes place August 10-16. We provide everything you need to plan the perfect trip. Clickhere for a FREE three-month trial subscription to our magazine available on iPad, Android tablets, iPhones and now Android phones.
As you ponder that, take note of all the other LGBT festivals, activities and events that will take place in one of the most fun North American cities to visit in the summer courtesy of Tourisme Montréal.
The summer kicks off with Montréal drag legend Mado Lamotte’s 15th annual Drag Race (yes, it predates RuPaul’s Drag Race) at the Montreal Fringe Festival, whose 2015 edition runs from June 1 to 21. Several professional Montréal drag queens team up with their amateur counterparts for a side-splitting outdoor afternoon competition on June 20 in Parc des Amériques. Free admission.
The McCord Museum has two major summertime exhibitions of particular interest to the LGBT community:
The Camp Fires: the queer Baroque of Léopold L. Foulem, Paul Mathieu and Richard Milette show features 70 pieces by three renowned Canadian ceramists whose works have for over 30 years explored “’camp”’ themes and the gay male experience with an aesthetically powerful body of work rooted in the history of ceramics and contemporary culture. Runs from April 10 to August 16.
The second exhibition is Horst: Photographer of Style, the internationally-acclaimed retrospective of the works of legendary German-American gay artist Horst P. Horst (1906-1999), one of the 20th century’s most influential fashion and portrait photographers. The exhibition documents his collaborations with such personalities as Coco Chanel, Marlene Dietrich and Diana Vreeland, and displays many of his nude studies. Runs from May 14 to August 23.
The Centre d’histoire de Montréal museum in Old Montréal explores Montréal’s gloriously bawdy Sin-City era in the comprehensive and interactive Scandal! Vice, Crime and Morality in Montreal, 1940-1960 exhibition that features some truly amazing artifacts. As famed burlesque dancer Lili St-Cyr noted in her memoir Ma vie de stripteaseuse, “Every night in Montréal was like New Year’s Eve in New York!” The party came crashing to a halt with the rise of an incorruptible young lawyer, Pax Plante – pretty much the Eliott Ness of Montréal – who was appointed to head the morality squad. The exhibition also features a bordello bedroom which features a projection of two men having sex on a real-life bed. Scandal! continues until October 2015.
Fierté Montréal Pride’s annual Gay Pride celebrations run from August 10 to 16 and will feature a series of indoor and outdoor parties and concerts, plus Fierté Montréal’s annual LGBT Community Day, Dyke March and Pride parade. Also of note,Fierté Montréal is the biggest LGBT event in Québec and will host an expanded inaugural 10-day edition of Canada Pride (modelled on EuroPride and WorldPride) from August 11 to 20, 2017.
Montréal’s Pervers/Cité festival dubs itself the “underside of Pride” and usually runs concurrently during Fierté Montréal (clickhere for the soon to-be-released 2015 dates program). This radical queer summer happening organizes activities to “reanimate the radical underpinnings to the Pride movement.”
Montréal’s Gay Village is also home to Mtl en Arts, an annual arts festival showcasing local and emerging artists in a one-kilometre-long outdoor art gallery, from July 1 to 5.
Montréal’s downtown Grévin Museum is also popular with LGBT tourists. The museum features 120 life-like wax mannequins of international superstars like Justin Bieber, Michael Jackson and Montréal’s very own Celine Dion, as well as of LGBT icons as bisexual entertainers Angelina Jolie and Lady Gaga, gay pop stars Elton John and Mika, and the self-proclaimed biggest diva of them all, Mado Lamotte.
Montréal will also host several real-life gay pop icons this summer: out British actorJohn Barrowman – star of the cult TV show Doctor Who – is the guest of honour at this summer’s edition of Montreal Comiccon, which runs from July 3 to 5; and divas Lana Del Rey (Bell Centre onJune 4), Ariana Grande (Bell Centre on August 6),Dee Dee Bridgewater (Festival International de Jazz de Montréal on July 3) and Madonna (Bell Centre onSeptember 9 and 10) are all headlining local concerts.