Montreal will be bursting with events, festivals in cultural relaunch this summer

In the face of high vaccination rates and lower COVID-19 case counts, the City of Montreal is preparing for a cultural relaunch this summer. And breathing life back into the metropolis starts with a focus on events, projects, and festivals, big and small.

Performances, art exhibits, 29 unique projects to be realized across greater Montreal area

In the second half of the summer, an all-circus entertainment program is slated to hit the Old Port to relaunch the area and attract much-needed tourists. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

For Montrealers who have been starved of live cultural events for months, there is some relief in sight. 

With the vaccination rate high and the COVID-19 case count low, the city of Montreal is preparing for a cultural relaunch this summer and breathing life back into the metropolis starts with a focus on events, projects, and festivals — big and small.

In addition to the city's major traditional festivals set to take place throughout the summer, 29 unique cultural projects will be realized throughout the greater Montreal area. 

"We cannot say it enough: culture is a tremendous lever for social and economic development that will make all the difference for the revival of Montreal," said Mayor Valérie Plante on Wednesday. 

"This complementary programming to festivals and major events in Montreal allows us to support three flourishing sectors of culture: namely events, the creative and cultural industries and the circus industry, while generating concrete benefits for artists and technical teams." 

From June 21 and throughout the summer, each of the 29 projects will span a minimum of three days, but can last up to several months. 

Art, music, comedy and more

Montrealers can expect entertainment in disciplines like music, cinema, literature, dance, digital arts, multidisciplinary arts, visual arts, heritage and architecture, theater and comedy. 

Projects will include a collective garden by Indigenous artists, showcasing native plants and cultures; contemporary dance performances; a route of historic sites symbolic to the LGBTQ+ community in Montreal, and myriad musical and art exhibitions. 

Thirty vacant businesses and shop windows will be turned into creative, pop-up exhibitions by members of the organization Art Souterrain, and an installation of 10 glass cubes on St-Catherine Street will also display works of contemporary art. 

To relaunch the Old Port, which has struggled due to a lack tourists throughout the pandemic, an all-circus program run by the organization TOHU will see acts, stunts and performances spread over several weeks during the second part of the summer. 

The city will also continue its commitment to major festivals by investing $1.925 million, plus technical support, in five key organizations in the Montreal festival scene: Pride Montreal, Just for Laughs Montreal, the International Jazz Festival, and Festival Mode & Design and Terres en vue. 

Meanwhile, as of June 25, outdoor shows without assigned seating will be allowed to take place for a maximum of 2,500 people .

Basic health measures such as physical distancing are encouraged at all festivals and events.

Full details on summer in the city, including exhibits, festivals and events, can be found here