Posted on January 30th, 2012 by .

In the poetic words of the great Britney Spears: “Keep on dancing ’till the world ends.” This is exactly what Montreal will be doing for 2012. Though we’re only one month in, the 2012 cultural calendar is already filling up fast…

In the winter months, there’s Igloofest and Montréal en Lumière and, as the snow starts to thaw and maple syrup starts gushing out of the trees, the Cabane a Sucre season takes over. By the time the summer rolls around we’re all so hopped up on maple sugar that we frolic around Mount-Royal, scour for the best terraces and hit up F-1, Jazz Fest, Just for Laughs, FrancoFolies, Divers/Cite, Pride and more!


MONTRÉAL EN LUMIÈRE (February 16-26): One of the largest winter festivals in the world, the High Lights festival (as it’s known in English) invites 900,000 visitors each February to get out of their winter funk and enjoy the best gastronomy, art, music, performances and culture in Montreal. The 11-day festival culminates in one of my favourite nights of the year: Nuite Blanche! On February 25, Montreal comes alive for the night owls. Staying open to the wee hours of the morning for 180 mostly-free activities. Take a tour of the Reso (the underground city) converted into an art exhibition, or take a midnight dip in the Olympic swimming pool! Metros and buses run all night to connect all the late night cultural activities!

March /April

MICHAEL JACKSON’S IMMORTAL WORLD TOUR: (March 20-22): See the King of Pop live on in the ultra extravagant musical tribute by Cirque du Soleil. With state of the art puppetry and a massive moving “giving tree”, this is a spectacle that does justice to the late larger than life pop star.

MONTREAL IMPACT (March 17-October 22): The Montreal Impact‘s 2012 season will be its first as a Major League Soccer team. They play at Saputo Stadium, which is right next to Montreal’s iconic Olympic Stadium. This will be an exciting season for the Impact as they tackle the best teams in the world, and it is still a relatively cheap activity to do!

AMALUNA BY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (April 19-June 11): Details are scarce on Cirque du Soleil’s newest touring show Amaluna, set to premier in April. All we know is that it tells an emotional love story set on a mysterious island governed by goddesses and guided by the moon. Yep, sounds very Cirque du Soleil. Like the many shows before it, this one is sure to wow.

May / June

ELEKTRA (May 2-6): Electronic music, lasers, robotics and all things digital come together for one week and will blow your mind in a harmonic fusion of technology and art.

FESTIVAL ACCES ASIE (May 3-19): This festival celebrates the culture of Asia and invites people to learn, engage and be entertained by the music, art, films, dance and cuisine. Become apart of the sacred rituals and ancient history of Asia!

THE LITTE PRINCE BY LES GRANDS BALLETS (May 3-5, 10-12): A creation by Didy Veldman for Les Grands Ballets of a story we all recognize and have been touched by.

GRAND PRIX DU CANADA (June 6-10): The best Formula-1 drivers from around the globe, along with 300,000 race fans, meet at Parc Jean-Drapeau to watch the showdown on the Gilles-Villeneuve Circuit. One of the busiest weekends in Montreal for tourism, commerce and partying.

July / August

FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE JAZZ DE MONTREAL (June 28-July 7): One of the largest Jazz festivals in the world. People travel from across the globe to take in the 370 free outdoor concerts, 650 shows and the hundreds of related festivities.

JUST FOR LAUGHS FESTIVAL (July 12-29): Get your LOL on at Just for Laughs. Gala performances, theatre shows, club acts and outdoor shows will get your ROFLING on the floor. Was that redundant?

DIVERS/CITE 2012 (July 30-August 5): Seven days of cultural activities all pulsating in Montreal’s core. Stage events, drag queens, live music, dancing and fun for the whole family.

MONTREAL FASHION & DESIGN FESTIVAL (August 1-4): McGill College Avenue goes from being “the road with the Starbucks on it” to the epicentre of Canadian mode, design and fashion. Outdoor fashion shows, live performances and after parties galore.

OSHEAGA (August 3-5): The largest music festival of its kind in Canada. If music is your religion, then Osheaga is the Sunday sermon. 5 different stages, and more than 80 world renowned musical acts. This is a weekend for the Instagram.

MONTREAL PRIDE CELEBRATIONS (August 14-19): Community Day, and the massive gay pride parade! A weekend to celebrate diversity, acceptance, and let your rainbow colours fly. Don’t miss the crowning of 2012’s Queer of the Year!

September / October

POP MONTREAL INTERNATIONAL MUSIC FESTIVAL (September 19-23): 50,000 fans will enjoy 600 artists at POP Montreal. Independent music in alternative venues, POP Montreal is the perfect way to discover new music and the city.

BLACK & BLUE FESTIVAL (Thanksgiving Weekend, October): More than 60 activities for the gay community and their allies. All culminating in the massive rave at the Olympic Stadium that goes from dusk till dawn. Need a visual? Check it out here.

THE MAGIC OF LANTERNS (September 9-October 31): Montreal’s stunning botanical gardens live on into the fall months by hundreds of handmade silk lanterns. One of the most enchanting evenings you can have in the fall. Grab a hot coffee (with a touch of Bailey’s) and be transported into another world.

November / December

LA GRANDE DEGUSTATION DE MONTREAL (November 8-10): La Grande Degustation de Montreal translates roughly to The Big Taste of Food & Drink of Montreal. So that’s exactly what it is. Under one roof you’ll find 1500 products and 250 vintners, distillers and brewers from around the world.

SALON DES METIERS D’ARTS DU QUEBEC (December 7-23): Since 1955, this event hosts some 400 exhibitors as they show off their artisan crafts for the public. The perfect place to get a special holiday gift.


  1. Mark Benson

    / Mar 9th

    There is so much going to happen in 2012. A flight to Canada will just give you the joy and entertainment you wish to get from a North American destination. Just select your desired way of getting amused from the post above and live the Canadian way this year.

  2. Katherine Lynch

    / Jun 27th

    On behalf of Ciné-Asie, I was wondering if you could post our event on your website. It is happening Thursday, June 28th (tomorrow). Here are the details:
    Ciné-Asie is carrying on the legacy of Monthly Asian Film Screening (MAFS), showcasing memorable and outstanding films/videos by Asian filmmakers as well as Asian-inspired films from the Asian diaspora. In collaboration with La Elastica, MAFS kicks-off the year round event with acclaimed Korean action film, Die Bad, directed by Ryoo Seung-Wan on June 28, 2012, 7pm. Following the screenings, we will host Asian cultural events and artist talks, providing a forum for your thoughts and opinions. This month, there will be a Korean culinary workshop and food tasting. MAFS takes place every final Thursday of the month. The seasonal brochure that includes local stories and information on our favorite Asian restaurants will be available to pick up at our allied venues.
    Tickets are 7$, 5$ for students.

  3. Ron Rowsell

    / Mar 10th

    Saturday, June 8 … Theatre Ste-Catherine, Montreal

    Dear madam/sir.
    Please be kind enough to place Darrin’s show in your community events calendar. Regards, Ron

    Match Game host, Mr. D star, and award-winning comedian Darrin Rose hits the road with his Still Chasing Manhood tour! GQ magazine calls him “one of the hottest comedians in Canada right now,” and with good reason; he is a four-time Canadian Comedy Award nominee, a favourite at the Just For Laughs festival, and a regular on MuchMusic’s Video On Trial.

    Rose’s hilarious stand-up comedy act is based on his four star reviewed show at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.

    ROSE has been nominated for a prestigious 2013 Canadian Screen Award
    for Best Performance in a Variety or Sketch Comedy Program or Series.

    See why Rose has wowed audiences in Las Vegas, Europe and throughout Canada!
    Laugh! Laugh some more!

    Darrin Rose, l’animateur du jeu télévisé Match Game, vedette de la comédie télévisée Mr. D, et comédien ayant reçu de nombreuses récompenses, part en tournée avec son spectacle « Still Chasing Manhood »! Le magazine GQ dit de lui qu’il est « l’un des comédiens les plus demandés en ce moment au pays » et avec raison : il a été sélectionné à quatre reprises pour l’obtention d’un prix Canadian Comedy Award, c’est un des comédiens favoris du Festival Juste pour Rire, en plus d’être un invité régulier de l’émission « Video On Trial » du canal MuchMusic.

    Les monologues hilarants de Darrin Rose traitent de la famille, des rendez-vous, de fantaisies et de son idéal de virilité qui s’inspire de ses expériences d’enfance. En se basant sur la cote de quatre étoiles obtenue au Festival de la comédie d’Édimbourg, ce spectacle promet de vous faire rire aux éclats!

    DARRIN a été nominé pour l’obtention de la prestigieuse récompense « Canadian Screen Award » 2013 pour la « Meilleure interprétation » dans une émission de variétés, série ou comédie télévisée.

    Venez voir pourquoi Darrin Rose a conquis les auditoires de Las Vegas, d’Europe et de partout au Canada!

    Vous rirez aux éclats! Encore et encore!

  4. mlcardoza

    / Mar 31st

    What’s happening in Montreal in June – August?

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