Gay Times in Montreal This Summer
MONTREAL, Canada - Searching for a fun holiday this summer? Then look no further than beautiful Montréal! With two major LGBT festivals (Divers/Cité and Pride), a huge Gay Village closed off to automobile traffic until September, a fabulous queer arts festival and the 3rd edition of the Queer of the Year contest, Montréal is the place to be!
Planning on coming to Montréal this summer? Here’s a glimpse of what’s in store for the LGBT community.
Queer of the Year, August 11 - 19: Tourisme Montréal’s third annual Queer of the Year contest is back! 5 participants from around the world will be flown to Montréal during Pride week (August 11-19) to face off during a series of challenges . Finalists will be flown to Montréal by Air Canada, with the winner receiving another return trip to Montréal and C5000$. Le Germain Montréal hotel is providing accommodations to contestants and the production team, as well as three free nights to the winner during their return trip to Montréal. Enter now until July 20th.
Aires libres pedestrian mall, May 17 to September 3, 2012: This summer Montréal’s vie en rose is even rosier than ever. The canopy of bright pink lights over rue Sainte-Catherine is so très gai for strolling under or meeting friends for drinks or a meal on a terrace. Aires Libres turns Sainte-Catherine Street East into a pedestrian zone from Saint-Hubert Street to Papineau Avenue. And this year is the Montréal Gay Village’s 30th birthday, so watch for their special celebratory exhibit!. Some more fun events on the line-up are: The FIMA arts and crafts sale, merchant street sales, a circus arts festival, and of course the uberfabulous Divers/Cité and Montréal Pride.
Divers/Cité, July 30 to August 8, 2012: This year is Divers/Cité’s 20th anniversary of celebrating diversity through sharing, solidarity and openness to the world! The renowned arts and music festival is moving to the magnificent Quays of the Old Port, where La Grande Danse - the grandest outdoor house music event in North America - will keep the crowd dancing for the 10th time with DJs such as Chus + Ceballos and David Morales. Yet another anniversary is Mado’s 15th year of hosting the biggest, bitchingest drag show of them all, Mascara.
Montréal Pride Celebrations, August 13 to 19, 2012: Montrealers just love a parade, and none more than the fabulous Pride Parade! Maybe because it keeps getting more and more outrageous and fabulous with each passing year. With the theme Flag, Our Pride this year, expect to see some very colourful floats. It takes place on Sunday, August 19 and ends at Parc Émilie-Gamelin with a tea dance and closing show. Another favourite is Community Day, when dozens of social, political, sports and business organizations line Rue Sainte-Catherine.
Montréal Roller Derby League: Not your grandma’s rollerskate date! But it’s got a dedicated following among gay guys and girls as well as serious sports fans. The season began with the Beast of the East in April and continues until early August, at the Aréna Saint-Louis. The best players are chosen for the MTLRD’s international team New Skids on the Block, which was the first non-US team to qualify for the Women’s Flat Track Derby Association (WFTDA) playoffs in 2010.
A good place to get some background info on Montréal’s LGBT community - such as Village history, Québec’s gay rights pioneering legislation, year-round queer events and lots of resources - is at Tourisme Montréal’s website. And the LGBT blog on The Montréal Buzz keeps you up to date on trends in queer Montréal.