Montreal

Montreal Pride aims for 'bigger, bolder' 2017 festivities

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.

Annual event expands in size and scope, coincides with city's 375th anniversary and Canada 150 celebrations

Participants wave rainbow flags during the annual Montreal pride parade in 2016. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

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.

Last year, these members of the LGBTQ community came to the Montreal Pride parade dressed as unicorns. (Graham Hughes/Canadian Press)

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.

A member of Montreal's gay community performs during an earlier edition of the annual gay pride parade. (Graham Hughes/CP)

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."

Canada Pride

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.


For more details on the festival, visit  Montreal Pride's website.

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