Montreal Pride aims for 'bigger, bolder' 2017 festivities
Annual event expands in size and scope, coincides with city's 375th anniversary and Canada 150 celebrations
Organizers of Montreal Pride are gearing up for what they hope will be an improved version of the city's annual festival celebrating sexual diversity and gender plurality.
"We've really made an effort to make it bigger, bolder, crazier, prider, prouder," said Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, the organizing committee's vice-president.
This year's 11-day event, which starts Aug. 10, coincides with the city's 375th anniversary and the Canada 150 celebrations. It will also pay special tribute to Indigenous peoples, a contingent of which will lead the parade.
Here are some of the key things to know about the festival.
More, more, more
There will be 15 outdoor shows this year, up from six last year, along with a total of 270 events.
The parade will be a kilometre longer than last year, Boudreault said, and there will also be two human rights conferences and a sports tournament.
Singer Nelly Furtado will perform Aug. 18 as the festival's headliner, while Gregory Charles, Martha Wainwright and Marie-Mai will kick off the event with a free show on Aug. 11.
The Pride Parade, held on Aug. 20, will run along Sainte-Catherine Street from Drummond Street to Champlain Street.
Minority within a minority
Last year, Montreal Pride faced criticism from members of the LGBTQ community who consider themselves marginalized.
This year, Boudreault said, one of the aims of Montreal Pride is to support the "minority within the LGBTQ community."
"They are the ones who still suffer and still need to support," he said. "Hopefully, we're taking the steps forward this year."
In 2017, Montreal Pride is also operating under the moniker Canada Pride, which Boudreault said will be shared by festivals across the country every four years. Winnipeg, for instance, will take over Canada Pride in 2020.
Canada Pride is meant to serve as a "nationwide celebration of Canada's LGBT movement," according to the Montreal Pride website.