Ah, July in Montreal… the height of heat, terrasse parties and festival season in our fair city. It’s the month you wish would last forever, mainly so you could fit everything there is to do in! Read on for a look at some of the fun that’s not to be missed…
Say “Happy Day, Canada!” on July 1 by taking the tots to the parade, which runs through downtown and ends up at Place du Canada where there’s traditionally free cake, coffee and live entertainment. Then head off to the Old Port, for fun and bouncy castles galore for the kids, all for free. The Montreal International Jazz Festival sets the entire Quartier des Spectacles alight until July 6, with some killer July shows: Tony Bennet, Burning Spear with Sly & Robbie, Aretha Franklin, Diana Ross and Snoop Dogg among them. They saved the best for last.
Speaking of bouncy fun, the Montréal Complètement Cirque circus festival adds some high stakes to the city’s entertainment landscape from July 4 to 13, when each acrobat will perform more daring acts than the previous. Wondrous for kids, but mind-blasting for adults too.
Feel the warmth of Montreal’s vibrant Caribbean community at the Carifiesta parade on July 5, a high-colour event that runs along Sainte-Catherine Street with costumes and music guaranteed to amaze.
See the world at the Weekends du Monde at Parc Jean-Drapeau, on July 5 and 6 as well as 12 and 13, which unites the globe in a celebration of music and food. And while you’re on the island, stop by Piknic Electronik and dance a little to the beat – check out the July line-up here.
Between July 5 and 26, the International des Feux Loto-Québec fireworks competition entries by Italy, Spain, Canada, the United States, France and Australia. There are various spot to watch them from in the city – a favourite location is from the pedestrian walk on the Jacques-Cartier Bridge – but there’s nothing like the ground-zero vantage point at La Ronde. (Go early and catch a couple of rides!)
Repercussion Theatre’s annual Shakespeare in the Park kicks off on July with Harry the King, a play that’s adapted from Shakespeare’s Henry series and celebrates the famous victories of Henry V. It will be performed by the troupe in parks all over the city: click here to find out where.
Fantastic live music reigns at Festival International Nuits d’Afrique de Montréal, from July 8 to 20, which unites musicians from over two-dozen countries in both air-conditioned indoor shows and hot-and-hopping (and free!) outdoor shos all over town.
Just For Laughs brings the ha-has back from July 9 to 28, with a knockout line-up this year: try Don Rickles, Seth Rogen, Andy Samberg, Aziz Ansari, Russell Peters, Bill Burr, Lewis Black and Jim Gaffigan. And what about the ladies? Kate McKinnon, Chelsea Peretti, Kathleen Madigan and Miranda Sings are all in da house.
July 17 marks the start of the creepiest, coolest film festival in Town: the Fantasia International Film Festival, dedicated to the rare, the weird, the horrific, the suspenseful, the surreal and the fantastical, all with an Asian bent.
The city-wide dance party kicks off on July 26 with the 16th edition of the MEG Montreal Electronic Groove, which has been helping Montrealers and their international visitors discover new talents in electronic music, hip-hop, pop, rock and more since 1999.
July 28 kicks off the LGBTQ pride celebrations by Divers/Cité, which run into August with parties galore, cinema under the stars, and the 2014 edition of the famous La Grande Danse, one of North America’s largest outdoor house music happenings.
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