Montreal Events and Festivals

(Montreal, Quebec - QC, Canada)

Often known as the 'City of Festivals', Montreal is home to many exciting and varied events throughout the year. Hardly a week goes by in Montreal without some kind of lively festival, cultural exhibition, seasonal sporting event or party.

Montreal has four main newspapers, which are published each day, with 'The Gazette' being the only one in English. This newspaper is often a useful resource for Montreal's latest festivals and events listings, together with weekly cultural magazines available around the city and at tourist information outlets.

National Public Holidays

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • Third Monday in February - Family Day (Alberta)
  • Monday closest to 17th March - St. Patrick's Day (Newfoundland)
  • March or April - Good Friday and Easter Monday
  • Monday closest to 23rd April - St. George's Day (Newfoundland)
  • Monday before 24th May - Victoria Day
  • 24th June - Fete Nationale / St. Jean Baptiste Day (Quebec)
  • 1st July - Canada Day (known as Memorial Day in Newfoundland)
  • Monday closest to 13th July - Orangeman's Day (Newfoundland)
  • First Monday in August - Civic Holiday
  • Third Monday in August - Discovery Day (Yukon)
  • First Monday in September - Labor Day
  • Second Monday in October - Thanksgiving
  • 11th November - Remembrance Day
  • 25th December - Christmas Day
  • 26th December - Boxing Day

Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015


  • Wildside Festival - early January, held at the city's Centaur Theater
  • Montreal International Auto Show - mid-January, new cars, trucks and automobiles attracting large crowds
  • Fete des Neiges - late January / early February, a major event in the Montreal area, at the Parc des Iles, with many snow-related events, such as sledding and snow sculptures


  • High Lights Festival / Festival Montreal en Lumiere - February / March, exciting multimedia light shows, where many prominent buildings in downtown Montreal are illuminated
  • Voice of the Americas Festivals / Festival Voix d'Ameriques - mid-February, held over seven days, with poetry, literature reading, concerts and language-related events
  • Red Weekend - gay Valentine's Day event, with concerts and loud music over four days, organized by the Bad Boy Club Montreal (BBCM)
  • Highlights Festival Fine Dining - gastronomic dining events, where many local restaurants participate with lively culinary events and workshops
  • Montreal International Children's Film Festival - late February / early March, movie event dedicated to children and families


  • Festivalissimo - important cultural event with many theatrical events and performances
  • International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA) - mid-March, promoting around 250 films each year, from more than 30 countries
  • St. Patrick's Day - mid-March, general festivities culminating in a large parade in central Montreal


  • Blue Metropolis Montreal International Literary Festival - early April, highly regarded international literary festival, attracting many prominent writers and publishers from all over the world
  • White Party Week - musical events and parties to celebrate the arrival of spring
  • Puck's Easter Egg Hunt - mid-April, Easter egg event held at Puck's Farm close to Schomberg
  • Vues d'Afrique African and Creole Film Festival - late April, the largest African- and Creole-related film festival in North America


  • Music and People Festival - promoting local emerging artists, with many cultural exhibitions and events
  • Montreal Jewish Film Festival - mid-May, films celebrating all things Jewish from all over the world
  • Hot and Dry Weekend - mid-May, a gay weekend presented by the Bad Boy Club Montreal (BBCM), with parties and loud music
  • Montreal Museums Day - late May, free admission to more than 30 museums, connected by complimentary shuttle buses
  • Montreal Bike Fest - late May, early June, marking the start of Montreal's cycling season
  • Mutek - late May / early June, an unusual music and new tech festival
  • Beer Festival / Le Mondial de la Bière - late May / early June, large beer tasting festival with a variety of beers, regarded to be one of Canada's most important events of its kind


  • Cajun Festival of Quebec - Acadian heritage event, with concerts, dancing, arts and crafts, and food stalls
  • St. Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival - mid-June, with dancing, concerts and theatrical performances
  • Montreal Chamber Music Festival - mid-June, popular chamber music event
  • 27th annual Montreal International Jazz Festival - late June / early July, with many annual jazz concerts attracting large crowds of appreciative spectators
  • Le Mondial SAQ Fireworks - mid to late June, musical fireworks competition held at Montreal's La Ronde amusement park
  • Fête Nationale - mid-June, with a large parade and lively events
  • Montreal Grand Prix - late June, major Formula One racing at the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit


  • Carifiesta - attracting calypso musicians and dancers, with colorful costumes and a large parade along the Boulevard Rene Levesque
  • Fantasia Film Festival - throughout July, celebrating fantasy, horror and action movies
  • Mondail Fireworks Competition - held at La Ronde amusement park since the 1967 Expo
  • Just For Laughs Festival - throughout July, many comedy events and performances around central Montreal, attracting almost two million spectators each year
  • Canada Day - 1st July, with a large parade and related Canada events
  • Festival International de Lanaudière - July / early August, popular classical music festival, with numerous concerts with large orchestras
  • Dragon Boat Race Festival - late July, Chinese event, with many activities for all the family and a number of boat races over a weekend
  • First World Outgames - late July / early August, notable gay sports event, with many gay-related activities
  • Divers / Cité Gay and Lesbian Pride - late July / early August, popular gay and lesbian event, with festivals, parades, concerts and parties


  • Montreal Highland Games - early August, sporting event with caber tossing, hammer throwing, drumming, bagpipes and all things Scottish
  • FestiBlues - mid-August, blues event with many concerts and blues artists
  • Mr. Christie International Balloon Festival - mid-August, summer balloon festival with large numbers of elaborate hot-air balloons, appealing to families
  • World Film Festival - late August / early September, promoting emerging filmmakers and producers from around 70 different countries
  • Children's Festival / Fête des Enfants - mid-August, with many activities for families and children, attracting almost 300,000 visitors each year


  • Magic of Lanterns - September / October, held at the Montreal Botanical Gardens, with a different theme each year
  • Montreal Marathon - mid-September, popular athletic event attracting large crowds of spectators
  • International Video and Electronic Arts Festival - mid-September, architectural events held at various venues around Montreal
  • Orgue et Couleurs - an autumn festival, with many music-related activities, demonstrations, concerts and exhibitions
  • La Biennale de Montreal - late September / early October, a yearly event focusing on urban development and public art works
  • Montreal Burlesque Festival - three day event held in late September, featuring make-up, cabaret and burlesque dance workshops and performances


  • Pop Montreal - early October, music festival with pop concerts and events
  • Black and Blue - mid-October, a major gay event, with a large party and general LGBT festivities
  • Montreal Festival of Nouveau Cinema - mid-October, dedicated to promoting alternative films, unknown artists and original cinematic works


  • Coup de Coeur Francophone - mid-November, popular Montreal festival with a variety of French music
  • Cinemania Film Festival - held at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, featuring numerous contemporary French films with subtitles in English


  • Montreal Bar Hop - December 30th, the city's biggest annual party, drawing in the region of 20,000 people and comprising almost 20 different nightspots, all of which can be accessed with a single bracelet
  • Bal des Boys - December 31st, a large and legendary New Year's Eve party