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Montreal’s Top 5 Drag Queens

Montréal ranks with New York and Sydney as one of the world’s Top drag cities. Montreal firmly established itself on the international drag map when local drag legend Mado Lamotte hosted her famed outdoor Mascara concert – billed as the biggest drag show on Earth – from 1998 to 2013. Over at Fierté Montréal Pride, another Montréal drag legend, Michel Dorion, hosts her annual outdoor Illusion drag concert each summer. While there are innumerable working drag queens in Montréal – the city has been home to many drag legends over the decades, including Guilda (Jean Guida) and La Monroe (a.k.a. Armand Monroe) – here are the top 5 drag queens working in Montreal today. Mado Lamotte After getting her start at Montreal nightclubs Poodles and Club Lézard in 1987, Mado Lamotte has released a kitschy dance album and an anthology of her Fugues magazine columns, hosted her infamous bingo nights at the Just For Laughs Festival where she also launched her annual outdoor show Mado’s Got Talent in 2014, appeared on countless TV shows and was even a spokesmodel for a major potato chip company. After hosting Mascara for 15 years, Mado continues to host her annual Mado’s Drag Race… / Read More →

A Brief History of Gay Montréal and Walking Tour

Montréal is a top LGBT tourism destination, but the city wasn’t always the gay hub it is today. Back in the 17th century it was just a tiny outpost of the French Empire, surrounded by fields and valleys as far as the eye could see. It was here in 1648 that a gay military drummer with the French garrison stationed to protect the Sulpician Order of priests — the seigneurs of Montréal — was charged by the Order with committing “the worst of crimes” and sentenced to certain death in the galleys. “The drummer’s life was spared after Jesuits in Québec City intervened on his behalf,” Québec Gay Archives co-founder Ross Higgins said. “He was given a choice by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Québec: die or become the colony’s first executioner.” The unidentified drummer took the executioner job. Before Montréal was founded in 1642 by the young French officer Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, it is worthy to note the cyclical intolerance of minorities like Jews, homosexuals and Gypsies in Christian Europe. So it was in Montréal, where fewer than a thousand settlers endured gruelling winters and disease for decades, and where guards stood on duty against Indians to protect… / Read More →

LGBT summertime fun in Montréal 2015

There is plenty for LGBT tourists to see and do in Montréal this summer, from the city’s annual LGBT Pride celebrations and concerts by pop and jazz divas, to major museum exhibitions showcasing gay artists and gay life. 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… / Read More →

Montreal Boy: Some Strings Attached

Tourisme Montreal is excited to premiere our new six part webseries “Montreal Boy: Some Strings Attached” on LogoTV.com in collaboration with Air Canada and Jimmy Lee. When Montreal boy Stephane tries his hand at online dating, he meets the goofy, shy, and insanely hot Hugh. Only problem is… Hugh lives in New York! (Don’t you hate it when that happens?) Watch Montreal Boy: Some Strings Attached on LogoTV.com to go on a whirlwind weekend of love, sex, and drama in Montreal…

LGBT SUMMER IN MONTREAL RECAP

Waking up bleary eyed in the fall, the summer long Montreal daydream becomes a memory meld of food trucks, festivals, park promenades, and sangria sipping in the sun. Because it’s Montreal (one of the most gay friendly places on Earth) the LGBT community was out frolicking in full force…

DO YOUR THING IN MTL: A NEW MONTREAL LGBT VIDEO SERIES

Montreal likes to celebrate the LGBT community in big ways. This is why Tourisme Montreal is excited to announce Do Your Thing in MTL!, a video series of performances and interviews with top LGBT entertainers from around North America that we’ve invited to Montreal showcase their talent by using the streets and attractions of Montreal as their stage. We have amazing performances rolling out over the summer months by singer-songwriter Jonny “Gay Pimp” McGovern, lesbian comedian DeAnne Smith, Olympic figure skater Johnny Weir, trans drag performer Carmen Carrera, and the Queen of Montreal’s Gay Village Mado Lamotte…

MONTREAL’S LGBT SUMMER 2012 IN REVIEW

There’s a feeling I get every summer I spend in Montreal that has me tickled pink. It starts at the end of June and grows until it reaches the climax the last few weeks of August. It’s the LGBT energy in the air. A feeling of pride, inclusiveness, community and yes, that famous humidity-heat thing. Now that we’re reluctantly being pulled into fall, check out the video for a gander back on some summer highlights in Montreal!