The City of Saints, the city of a hundred bell towers, La métropole – Montreal has many nicknames, all giving clues to what the city has to offer.
One nickname Montreal has been given is “the city of 100 festivals”, thanks to its long list of annual festivities – the city has well over a hundred festivals every year, nearly half of them are huge international heavyweights like the Jazz Fest and Just for Laughs. This city is one of the best places to plan a vacation to because it offers something fun for every type of person. Whether you like to tour around and learn about the history of the city or participate in a fun adventure, you can find it here. Since there is always a festival going on, it is important to book your hotel in Montreal as soon as you know what dates you want to go.
Montreal has become known for the quality of its festivals, and the numbers of events held are growing every year.
Most of the festivals are held in spring and summer, including the immensely popular “Just for Laughs”, the largest event of its kind, attracting big artists like Bill Cosby and Jerry Seinfeld. It’s a great event held in July with a mixture of famous comedians as well as new up-and coming faces.
The Jazz Fest we mentioned above is another famous summer event with more than 350 free concerts.
However, Montreal also hosts festivals all year long. “Montréal en Lumière” puts forward the arts and gastronomy of the city. “Art souterrain”, is making art accessible to a wider audience by taking out the works of traditional exhibition spaces and installing them in public places, such as, the bright and colorful gallery inside the Palais des congrès convention center.
Between the huge festivals there are a number of smaller affairs which seem to cover almost everything you could think of, from snow and igloo festivals to construction festivals.
One fun and smallish festival is Piknic Electronik which runs from May to October and is held each Sunday in a family-friendly park where you can bring a blanket and some food and enjoy good company while listening to electronic music, and with only a $10 fee it’s hard to go wrong!
A fun free event that really lights up the sky is the International Fireworks Competition, held every summer it makes for that perfect romantic evening walk by the river. If you want to see the competition up-close you can also buy tickets for front row seats at La Ronde.
There really is a festival for everyone, no matter your taste or age – even children have a festival dedicated specifically for them: La Fête des Enfants.
For beer lovers, there is of course a beer festival, and for those looking for something more odd and original, nothing beats the “Fringe Festival”. During this festival, you really never know what you’re going to get: Anyone can submit an idea for a show, and the one which ends up on stage is chosen through a lottery.
You could end up with a high quality show or something a little nutty – it’s a risk you have to take, but that’s part of the fun!
These are just a handful of events in the city of 100 festivals – hope you found the tips helpful and will enjoy one or two on your next visit to Montreal!
(photo credit: 1)