You might want to dig out your passport and bone up on your French because Montréal, one of the most picturesque cities in North America, is hosting the inaugural Canada Pride 2017, an LGBT festival with numerous events, conferences, dances, concerts, parades and more Aug. 10-20.
Fierte Montréal Pride Vice President Jean-Sebastien Boudreault said that, much like World Pride did with Toronto’s Pride festival in 2014, Canada Pride is bringing more interest, events and visitors to this year’s pride festivities in Montréal.
“Canada Pride replaces MontréalPride for this year,” he explained. “The organizing groups of all the Prides in Canada gave us the license to organize Canada Pride. And like World Pride or Euro Pride, it’s all the same principles. We went from seven days to 11 days. We added two LGBTQ human-rights conferences. The parade is going to be bigger because at the same time it’s the 375th anniversary of Montréaland and the 150th Anniversary of Canada. So it’s a big year in Montréal because of those two events. Basically, it’s MontréalPride on steroids.”
Boudreault said that, while this event focuses on the Canadian LGBT community, Pride events in Montréal attract many attendees for other countries.
“Most of our tourists come from the U.S.,” he said. “The biggest rankings of demographics of attendees for Montréal Pride are from the U.S., Europe and then the rest of Canada. We’re very popular internationally and we’re the biggest French LGBT event in the world. So we expect a lot of tourists from all over the place.”
Like World Pride, Canada Pride is an event that will happen every few years in a different city.
“It’s going to be a thing that happens every three years,” Boudreault said. “The next one will be in 2020 and will be hosted in the city of Winnipeg.”
Boudreault said that Canada Pride, as well as the city of Montréal, will have a lot to offer for a wide range of people from across the LGBT community.
“There are over 250 events happening over the course of the 11 days,” he said. “One of them is the Pride House where we showcase the different Prides in Canada. There’s also going to be a poster exhibition on the Pride and the LGBTQ movement in Quebec. We have theater, poetry, literature, workshops and events for women, the trans community and people of color. We really try to attract as many groups within the LGBTQ community as possible.”
Canada Pride Montréal 2017 runs Aug. 10-20. For more information, visit http://www.fiertemontrealpride.com.