Montreal’s Third Gift to the World
If you’re in Montreal in the summer, you need never find yourself bored and wondering what to do to pass the hours. Summer in Montreal is one amazing festival after another. One of the best-known festivals is the International Jazz Fest. Contrary to its name, you don’t need to be a jazz fan to enjoy attending; there is a wide variety of music, some falling under paid concerts but most being free outdoor shows. It spans two weeks in the dead of summer and it’s almost a rite of passage to wander the streets around Place-des-Arts listening to music, drinking beer, and people watching. I may even admit to occasionally dancing in the streets to some of the Latin American bands.
Just as eagerly anticipated is Les Francofolies, a two week festival celbrating French song artists from around the world. It features a wonderful mix of established artists and emerging talents. Like the Jazz Fest, you’ll find some indoor shows which require an admission fee, but there are many awesome outdoor shows to help you pass your hot summer nights.
What else can you do besides listen to a few tunes, you ask? Well if you’re feeling funny, check out stand-up comedians at the Just For Laughs festival where you can roll in the aisles laughing to well-known or just starting out comics. Feel like taking in a bit of theatre? Drop in to catch a show or two at the Fringe Fest where you can support actors and playwrights alike. If you’re a fan of martial arts, campy horror, or anime, don’t miss one of my favorites, Fantasia; I practically lived there the summer they showed nearly every Jet Li movie ever made.
If that’s not enough for you, don’t forget the annual Divers/Cite gay pride celebrations, Montreal World Film Festival, International Fireworks competitions (which run every week throughout the summer), the Montreal Reggae Festival, Carifiesta Parade, and so much more. Check out the list of festivals and parades in Montreal at Wikipedia and plan your days and nights accordingly!
In the meantime, check out what other world cities are offering up as their gifts!