Montreal festivals are simply fantastic.
Whether it’s -30°C in winter or scorching hot in the middle of July, there’s always a festival to keep us entertained. But sometimes, there are so many that we get a little lost.
So here’s a selection of the biggest events and festivals in Montreal in 2023.
- Fall Festivals in Montreal: September to November
- Winter Festivals in Montreal: December to February
- Spring Festivals in Montreal: March to May
- Summer Festivals in Montreal: June to August
Fall Festivals in Montreal: September to November
In the fall, there are fewer events and festivals in Montreal, but you can still find things to do as December approaches.
Beer and Flavors Festival (Festibières de Chambly): 1st weekend of September 2024
Beer enthusiasts, the Festibières de Chambly is a must-visit! This festival takes place in Chambly, a small town located on the South Shore of Montreal. It’s easily accessible by bus from the Bonaventure metro station.
The festival’s concept is simple: gather all the best microbreweries in one place for a weekend. In addition to discovering many new beers, there’s a great festive, warm, and family-friendly atmosphere! Surprisingly, I saw many kids there when I went. There are activities specifically for the little ones.
For adults, many concerts are organized throughout the day, and several food trucks are on-site for our enjoyment.
During the 2023 edition, there were around sixty microbreweries on-site and about ten cideries (perfect if you don’t like beer, like me). You’ll need to pay the entrance fee to access the site (price to be confirmed for the 2024 edition). After that, beers cost between $3 and $5. Be sure to bring some cash to pay, as ATMs get crowded.
Additionally, the festival takes place near the Chambly Fort. The location is really great and allows for a little more historical walk during the day.
My advice? Bring a fun glass! It's quite amusing to see what people bring! You can also buy the official festival glass on-site. No disposable glasses are provided.
Gardens of Light: September 1 to October 31, 2023
The Botanical Garden offers a magical event in the fall. The Gardens of Light take place in the Chinese Garden, the Japanese Garden, and the Garden of the First Nations in the famous park. At nightfall, a path lights up to provide a visually stunning spectacle.
I haven’t had the chance to go yet, but every year, I hope to. So, let’s hope that 2023 is finally the right year!
Candlelight Orchestra: Tribute to Hans Zimmer: November 1st
It’s the latest trend: attending a candlelit orchestra concert in a church. At the end of September, a tribute to Hans Zimmer is organized, and it looks really nice!
The concert takes place at 8 p.m. at the Saint Jean Baptiste Church. You can buy your tickets here*.
*This is an affiliate link, which means I will receive a small commission if you use this link to buy your tickets. It’s free for you, but it helps support the blog, so thank you!
MTL à Table: November 3 to 19, 2023
Over the years, MTL à Table has become a must for food enthusiasts.
For nearly a month, many participating restaurants offer fixed-price menus. It’s the ideal opportunity to discover new great dining spots at reasonable prices.
I’ve taken advantage of it several times, and it’s really worth it. I’ve discovered some small restaurants near my place that I had never heard of before!
Christmas Village: November 25 to December 24, 2023
Every year, downtown Montreal dresses up in its most beautiful Christmas attire and becomes an enchanting place for Christmas enthusiasts. There’s also a Christmas market at the Atwater Market, but it starts on November 30 only.
Having been there several times, I must admit that I’ve always been a little disappointed with the city’s Christmas market. But it’s still very nice to walk around surrounded by the magic of Christmas.
Winter Festivals in Montreal: December to February
In the heart of winter, it’s cold in Montreal. Yet, many outdoor festivals are organized in the city.
Happening Gourmand: 2024 dates to be confirmed
It’s often said that food in America isn’t great, but in Canada, gastronomy is often celebrated. With Happening Gourmand, your taste buds will be delighted!
For 3 weeks, different restaurants in Old Montreal offer fixed-price menus to showcase local specialties. It’s a bit like MTL à Table, except here, the restaurants are exclusively located in Old Montreal.
Igloofest: January 18 to February 10, 2024
Believe it or not, Igloofest, which takes place in the middle of winter, is one of the biggest festivals in Montreal.
For nearly a month, the city’s partygoers gather in the Old Port to dance from Thursday to Saturday night. It’s mostly electronic music that you can hear there. But even if it’s not your style, the festival’s atmosphere is still worth experiencing! Nevertheless, don’t forget to dress warmly!
Montréal en Lumière: February 22 to March 3, 2024
Winter is definitely a beautiful season to discover Montreal. Starting in mid-February, the Quartier des Spectacles comes to life. The festival celebrates gastronomy and offers plenty of outdoor activities to experience Montreal differently.
The Montréal en Lumière festival ends with a bang at Nuit Blanche: activities are organized throughout the city for an entire night! There are also concerts to make participants groove.
Spring Festivals in Montreal: March to May
Festival Metro Metro: Mid-May (2024 dates to be confirmed)
This festival highlights urban music every year at the Montreal Olympic Park. Big performers come to present their biggest hits. We’ve seen 50 Cent and Snoop Dogg, for example.
In 2023, Lil Wayne’s performance generated a lot of buzz. He arrived 45 minutes late at 10:45 PM, and the organizers had to cut off the sound at 11 PM due to the curfew in effect…
Les Piknic Electronik: May to October (2024 dates to be confirmed)
All the information about Piknic Électronik can be found in the summer section.
Festival Eurêka: (2024 dates to be confirmed)
At Parc Jean Drapeau, the Festival Eurêka stands out as the largest science celebration in Quebec.
For 3 days, various workshops and conferences are organized. This year’s theme is energy. And, of course, everything is free!
All the information about the festival is available on their website.
Montreal Comic Arts Festival: Late May (2024 dates to be confirmed)
Comic book enthusiasts can gather on Saint-Denis Street at the end of May with FBDM. This grand open-air festival allows you to discover all the latest in comics and rediscover classics.
The program includes meetings with more than 250 comic book artists, 160 exhibitors, and activities over a distance of more than 1.2 kilometers. Admission is free, but you can buy comics on-site.
Festival Fuego Fuego: Late May (2024 dates to be confirmed)
If you love Latin music, the Fuego Fuego festival is the place for you! For 2 days, international artists take the stage to make Parc Olympique dance.
In 2023, the daily pass started at $120 for access from 1 PM to 11 PM at the event site.
Go Vélo Festival: Late May (2024 dates to be confirmed)
Montreal is a city where cycling is celebrated. Even in winter, you’ll encounter cyclists braving the snow. Starting in mid-April, Bixi bike-sharing is available for rent.
At the end of May, the city places even more emphasis on two wheels with its Go Vélo Festival.
Many guided bike tours are organized throughout Montreal. But La Nuit Bike Tour is what makes this festival special. A 26-kilometer route that passes through various neighborhoods in Montreal. The ride starts at 8 PM near Parc Maisonneuve!
Would you like to participate? All the information is here.
Summer Festivals in Montreal: June to August
Les Piknic Electronik: (2024 dates to be confirmed)
Les Piknic Electronik is a major event in Montreal. This year, the festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
Every Sunday at Parc Jean Drapeau, different artists take the stage throughout the day. Their commonality? They’re all electronic music geniuses!
Since it’s not quite my musical taste, I’ve never been there. But I have many friends who are big fans and go at least once a year. So, if you love it, don’t hesitate to give it a try.
Tickets cost $22 + taxes and can be purchased on their website.
First Fridays of the Month: (2024 dates to be confirmed)
From the beginning of June, every first Friday of the month, the esplanade of the Olympic Park is taken over by food trucks.
In a great family atmosphere, it’s the gathering for street food enthusiasts who want to taste different flavors in an original setting. Plus, every Friday, different activities and concerts are organized.
I’ve been there a few times and loved the event! However, it’s often crowded (access is open to everyone and free), so you need to be patient and ready to stand in line at the various food trucks you want to try.
The schedule is available here.
MURAL Festival: (2024 dates to be confirmed)
Another very pleasant festival, the MURAL Festival mainly takes place around Boulevard Saint-Laurent in the Plateau Mont-Royal neighborhood.
This art festival has the advantage of lasting beyond its end since the murals painted directly on the city’s walls are visible for a long time!
It’s really nice to walk around and watch different artists bring their creations to life in the festival’s great atmosphere.
My first job was on Boulevard St-Laurent, so I had the opportunity to see the murals created at MURAL every day. It was really cool.
Les Francos de Montréal: June 14 to June 22, 2024
The Francos de Montréal kick off and set the stage for concerts. Whether you like the style of music played there or not, you can’t help but be excited by the general good atmosphere. There are several stages set up in the heart of the Quartier des Spectacles, allowing you to attend many free concerts.
In 2023, the 34th edition is being celebrated with more than 250 shows on the program. For the occasion, Louise Attaque and Juliette Armanet will be on hand, among others. The entire 2023 program is available here.
In my first year here, I had the chance to see many free concerts with artists like Vianney, Tryo, or Julien Doré for the French acts. But I also discovered a few Quebec bands like Les 3 Accords and Les Cowboys Fringants. It was the first festival I attended, and I loved it.
Montreal Grand Prix: June 7 to June 9, 2024
Even though it’s not a festival, I absolutely had to mention the Canadian Formula 1 Grand Prix. It’s a significant event in Montreal in June!
Even though the race only takes place on Sunday at 2 PM, the Gilles Villeneuve Circuit becomes a real attraction for three days.
Tickets to attend can be quite expensive, but if you’ve developed a real interest in Formula 1 by watching the Netflix series (like me), it can be worth it!
Quebec National Day: June 24
Every year, Quebec celebrates on June 24th to mark its national day. Many neighborhood parties take place throughout the province, but this year, Montreal has gone all out!
The program for 2024 has not been revealed yet.
Holi: Festival of Colors: (2024 dates to be confirmed)
The famous festival from India, Holi, arrives in Montreal on June 24th for a new edition. With a musical atmosphere inspired by Bollywood and Indie music, the festival takes place in joy and good spirits!
Color throwing takes place at various times during the day, collectively every hour, starting from 1 PM.
If you want to add some color to your life, head to the Old Port on St. John’s Day from noon to 10 PM. All the color powders must be purchased at the festival entrance (between $3.50 and $4 per pack). However, it’s advisable to buy festival tickets in advance online ($26.45) to make sure you can get in on the big day.
My advice? Dress in white so the colors stand out! And avoid wearing your favorite T-shirt, as it's likely to get quite stained!
International Montreal Jazz Festival: June 27 to July 6, 2024
Following the Francos, the Jazz Festival gets Montreal dancing to slightly different tunes. You’ll find artists with a strong jazz influence, such as Diana Krall. But some headline acts in the 2023 edition were somewhat farther from the typical jazz image, like Christine and the Queens, for example.
Here too, free and paid concerts follow one another for about ten days, much to our delight!
The entire 2023 program can be found here.
Loto-Québec International Fireworks Festival: Dates for 2024 to be confirmed
Probably one of my favorite festivals in Montreal! For over a month, one to two 20-minute fireworks shows are organized each week at La Ronde, the amusement park in Montreal.
You’ll undoubtedly get the best view of the show from there because you can hear the music well. But by positioning yourself at various spots in Montreal, you can also enjoy a great view of these fireworks!
My advice? Set up near the Jacques Cartier Bridge to have a beautiful view of the show.
Montreal Completely Circus: Dates for 2024 to be confirmed
This festival is great, especially when the warm summer evenings are here. Circus performances are organized at various locations in the city.
The vast majority of the activities offered are free, but there are a few private shows in theaters.
International Festival Nuits d’Afriques: Dates for 2024 to be confirmed
This year marks the 37th edition of this festival in Montreal. On the program? Over 100 concerts, activities, and workshops that celebrate African culture, as well as the Caribbean and Latin American diaspora.
This year, there are both free and paid concerts on offer. But there are also many kiosks where you can discover local cuisine.
The full program is available here.
Just for Laughs: 2024 dates to be confirmed
We all know the Just for Laughs festival and its mascot, the little green monster! Well, for two weeks, it is celebrated in Montreal with numerous comedy shows held throughout the city.
It’s worth noting that at the same time, the Zoofest & OFF JFL festival is also taking place, offering many stages.
One of my first years in Montreal, I attended a show by Eric Antoine, whom I didn’t know. It was a great discovery!
Comiccon: 2024 dates to be confirmed
Comiccon is naturally a bit different from the others, but I had to mention it, if only for all the manga enthusiasts!
Organized at the Palais des congrès in Montreal, it’s the meeting place for comic book and animation enthusiasts of all kinds.
I’m not very knowledgeable in this area, but Sébastien is a big fan. Every year, he wonders if he’ll go! So, I bought him a ticket for this year’s edition!
Tickets are available on their website starting at $31.
PoutineFest: 2024 dates to be confirmed
For about ten days, the Old Port of Montreal is the place to be to taste all kinds of poutines.
Admission is completely free; you just need to pay for the poutine you want to enjoy.
If you want to try some unusual poutines, PoutineFest is probably the best place.
Montreal Pride: 2024 dates to be confirmed
Every year, more than 2 million people come to Montreal just for the occasion, especially for the event that concludes the festival each year: the parade!
Over more than 3 km, more than 200 groups parade in the street in a festive and warm atmosphere. An event not to be missed, believe me! I even had the opportunity to see Justin Trudeau during the 2017 edition.
Osheaga: August 2-4, 2024
Although the lineup for the famous Montreal music festival has been a bit disappointing in recent years, Osheaga is a real event for music enthusiasts!
As usual, it’s organized at Parc Jean Drapeau, and the 2023 edition will feature artists like Kendrick Lamar, Billie Eilish, and Rufus du Sol (personally, I don’t know who that is, but apparently, they are famous!)
The entire lineup is available here. You can also purchase tickets, starting at $155 for a single day.
National Bank Open: August 4-12, 2024
Formerly known as the Rogers Cup, the National Bank Open is a tennis tournament highly regarded by top athletes (or so it seems!).
A few years ago, I had the opportunity to attend it thanks to my job, which had tickets for employees. It was a great experience.
It’s worth noting that a portion of the competition takes place in Toronto at the same time.
ItalfestMTL: 2024 dates to be confirmed
Having lived in the heart of Little Italy on Boulevard Saint-Laurent, I’m quite familiar with this festival!
The goal? To introduce the culture, history, and gastronomy of Italy. In reality, it’s a real gathering of Italians, and you don’t hear much French! But it’s a real delight to be transported while staying in Montreal.
And believe me, the food is excellent!
First Peoples’ Festival: 2024 dates to be confirmed
This festival celebrates the Indigenous peoples of the Americas and the world through various events: concerts, exhibitions, traditional dances, various performances, and even conferences.
ÎleSoniq: August 10-11, 2024
I have to admit that I don’t know much about this festival because it’s an electronic music festival! For a few days, Parc Jean Drapeau turns into a full-fledged nightclub.
For the 2023 edition, big headliners will be present, such as Martin Garrix or The Chainsmokers. Tickets are available starting at $135 for a single day. More details here.
International Balloon Festival: 2024 dates to be confirmed
We’re moving a bit away from Montreal, but I had to tell you about this balloon festival that takes place in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu.
Not only can you see more than a hundred balloons rise above you, but you can also attend many concerts.
La Virée Classique OSM: 2024 dates to be confirmed
The perfect opportunity to discover the Montreal Symphony Orchestra!
For its 10th anniversary, La Virée Classique will host more than 25 concerts in concert halls and will also offer free family activities. The goal is to introduce you to classical music in all its forms!
Lasso Montreal: 2024 dates to be confirmed
If you love country music and everything related to it, this festival is for you! Set in the heart of Parc Jean Drapeau, it’s the gathering of cowboys!
Last year, the festival was a real success, and the shares on social media were very appealing!
Single-day tickets are available starting at $135. All the festival information is available here.
Psicobloc Open Series: 2024 dates to be confirmed
I’ll conclude this selection of the best summer festivals in Montreal with a little novelty. Psicobloc is a festival that honors climbers who climb without ropes above a pool!
The competition pits 2 climbers against each other with the goal of climbing a 18-meter wall as quickly as possible, without ropes. And if they fall, there’s a big plunge waiting for them!
If you’re interested, tickets are available here.
18th-Century Public Market: 2024 dates to be confirmed
The Pointe-à-Callière Museum holds its annual market: a reenactment of an 18th-century public market. You’ll discover period products and merchants dressed as they were three centuries ago! You’ll be able to participate in workshops, see demonstrations of ancestral know-how, or play games.
This year, the market will be themed around navigation. This beautiful historical reenactment is a real event.
I hope this selection of the best summer festivals in Montreal has inspired you to explore the city at different times of the year. If you think I’ve missed any essential events, please feel free to let me know in the comments.