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We are the rainbow! - FIERTÉ MONTRÉAL's 18th FESTIVAL GLOW-UP! THE BOLD, BRAVE FESTIVAL WE NEED

MONTRÉAL, May 29, 2024 /CNW/ - With its ground-breaking array of artistic talent, iconic Pride Parade, and Community Days, Fierté Montréal Festival, presented by TD Bank Group in collaboration with Loto-Québec, is back August 1 to 11 for an 18th edition that is bolder and more needed than ever to celebrate the creativity and resilience of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities who are facing a resurgence of hatred and oppression.

Fierté Montréal Logo (CNW Group/Fierté Montréal)
Fierté Montréal Logo (CNW Group/Fierté Montréal)

"This year, our Festival will be organized around three hubs - Urban, Olympic, and Village - allowing us to show our pride in the diversity that unites us to a growing audience," says Simon Gamache, Executive Director of Fierté Montréal. Chris Ngabonziza, Director of Programming and Artistic Development, adds: "Last count, our stages will present a whopping 240 artists, from a wide spectrum of sexual and gender diversity, as well as racialized communities, a true reflection of our city. We invite Montréalers, Québecers, Canadians, and tourists from all over the world to join us for an exceptional edition of the Fierté Montréal Festival."

Urban Hub: diversity goes downtown, Montréal-style

For the first time ever, the Fierté Montréal Festival celebrations will go downtown! The Quartier des spectacles, the core of Montréal's cultural life, will host queer artists and artists from racialized communities at the Loto-Québec Stage on the Esplanade Tranquille at the corner of Sainte Catherine and Clark. A bevy of free shows will include drag artists of Black, African, and Caribbean descent (August 1), a LatinX evening (August 2), a Bollywood event (August 2), and queer Asian communities showcasing martial arts (August 1). The multifaceted realities of these communities will be on full display to the public, including an evening dedicated to women of sexual and gender diversity: FeminiX, featuring Montréal's legendary Misstress Barbara (August 4).

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Also, for the first time, Fierté Montréal Festival will be featured at Place des Arts. The critically acclaimed hit play Ciseaux, presented by Fugues, will run at the Cinquième Salle, presenting its hilarious, no-holds-barred revival of lesbian histories, on August 5 and 6. Still on August 5 and 6, the film program 11 Demands = 11 Shorts will be shown at the NFB's Alanis Obomsawin Theatre, in collaboration with Image + Nation.

Another key part of the Urban Hub, Fierté's ode to club culture will take place over both weekends of the Festival at Club Soda and the SAT's Satosphère. Nightlife fans can look forward to special Fierté Montréal editions of parties already well-known to 2SLGBTQIA+ communities: there will be events for the Club Kid underground culture, for the whacking.waacking community, for the Bear subculture, and for lesbo-queer and queer Arab diasporic communities.

"We are delighted to welcome, for the first time, the Fierté Montréal Festival to Esplanade Tranquille and the indoor venues of the Quartier. The festival's rich and distinctive free artistic programming will allow a large audience to become better acquainted with the festival and the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. This event will undoubtedly become an essential part of summer in the Quartier des Spectacles," said Monique Simard, chair of the board of directors of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership.

Olympic Hub: Going big at the big O

Starting August 8, the Olympic Park's Esplanade becomes the Festival's main venue and home to the TD Stage, where hallmark-free outdoor shows attract tens of thousands of festivalgoers every year. ImmiX, presented by ICI Musique, kicks things off with beloved artists Marjo, Mitsou, Elisapie, Sarahmée, and Pierre Kwenders sharing the stage with emerging artists, accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Simon Godin. New this year, on August 9 the Olympic Park will host the biggest drag show ever presented in Montréal, the Soirée 100% Drag: MajestiX, presented by TD and hosted by Barbada, will showcase local drag royalty, followed by Drag Superstars, hosted by Rita Baga, which will bring together an extravaganza of drag artists from various RuPaul's Drag Race franchises. On August 10, from 3 pm, the Scène TD Stage heats up with Mundo Disko presented by Trojan, featuring international superstars Crystal Waters and France Joli. On August 11, the Olympic Park's Esplanade will transform into the city's largest open-air dancefloor for the highly anticipated Mega T-Dance, featuring local and international DJs such as DJ Mohammad and Kitty Amor.

Village Hub: the heart of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community

Community Days, presented by Air Canada, will be back on August 9 and 10 on Sainte Catherine Street in the Village. Over two days, the public can meet each day with over a hundred organizations and community groups, businesses, sports, and socio-cultural clubs working with and for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

After the success of its 2023 edition, our comedy gala is back at Le National! On August 2, don't miss Des gags et des paillettes, presented by La Presse, an evening of queer humour hosted by the hilarious Mona de Grenoble, together with a flamboyant lineup of local artists, including Coco Belliveau, Tranna Wintour, and Sam Cyr.

Throughout the Festival, a pedestrian-focused artistic programme will be presented on Sainte-Catherine Street, in collaboration with SDC Village Montréal. The Jardins Gamelin will also be flying its Pride colours from August 1 to 11, thanks to a collaboration with the Quartier des spectacles Partnership.

The Pride Parade: reclaiming the rainbow

With "We Are The Rainbow" as its theme, the Pride Parade will once again march down René-Lévesque Boulevard on August 11 to celebrate progress on 2SLGBTQIA+ communities' rights and to ensure our ongoing demands are heard. "We Are The Rainbow" is our rallying cry, inspired by protests for recognition and respect for the rights of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities.

Fierté Montréal's 2024 Grand Marshals

Grand Marshals of Fierté Montréal Festival are people who, through their advocacy, talent, and tireless work, inspire and uplift 2SLGBTQIA+ people's lives. In 2024, we proudly welcome Sasha Colby and Ouissem Belgacem. Sasha Colby is a drag artist, dancer, and trans activist from Hawaii, USA. Ouissem Belgacem is a Franco-Tunisian footballer and author who campaigns to raise awareness about homophobia in sports.

Community Projects impacting more 2SLGBTQIA+ people and allies

In 2024, 34 projects supported by Fierté Montréal will be initiated by 2SLGBTQIA+ community organizations from May 13 to August 11, both in Montréal and, around Québec, in Rimouski, Val d'Or, Trois-Rivières, Magog, Saguenay, and Mont Laurier, in addition to inaugural projects in the communities of Gesgapegiag and Kahnawà:ke.

"For more than 30 years, TD has been an unwavering supporter of the 2SLGBTQ+ community, and this year, it is with renewed joy that we stand with Fierté Montréal Festival to celebrate its 18th anniversary. As the gains we have made appear increasingly fragile, we must continue to fight together to build an inclusive future for everyone," said Laurence Levy, Senior Vice-President, Branch Banking, Québec Region, TD Canada Trust.

"Loto-Québec is proud to take part in the Fierté Montréal Festival. The many cheerful and vibrant shows presented on the Loto-Québec stage amplify the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and promote Fierté Montréal's mission," said Benoit Lefrançois, Corporate Vice-President of Responsible Commercialization, Social Responsibility and Public Affairs.

Programming that makes us all feel seen

Check out the diverse and unifying program of the Fierté Montréal Festival on our website and get to know our 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. Fierté Montréal will unveil more activities in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!

Never without our partners

Fierté Montréal would like to thank its loyal partners, as well as those who have recently joined us, without whom it would be impossible to continue the fight for full recognition of the rights of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities: TD Bank Group, partner since 2008, Loto-Québec, the Ville de Montréal, the Government of Québec, the Government of Canada, Tourisme Montréal, Rogers, Trojan, the SAQ, Air Canada, Bubly, Radio-Canada, MERCK, Loblaws, no name, STM, Bud Light, Hydro-Québec, Fugues, MTL Dans la poche, Cogeco, La Presse, CTV, Publicité Sauvage, Virgin Radio, Énergie, Rouge, LSTW, Cult, Le Devoir, Petit Futé, Québec Le Mag, IN Magazine, the Olympic Park, the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, SDC Village Montréal, the RÉMI/FAME, Fierté Canada Pride, and InterPride.

About Fierté Montréal

Since 2007, Fierté Montréal amplifies the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities to assure their representation, their inclusion, and the recognition of their rights in society. Catalysts for social change, our Festival, our community initiatives, as well as our artistic and cultural projects celebrate the creativity and resilience of our communities. Mindful of and in collaboration with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, we call attention to their fights and realities in the wider public and the institutions.

Fierté Montréal is based in Tio'tia:ke, on the unceded territory of the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation. We recognize them as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather. Tio'tia:ke is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations, and today a diverse Indigenous population, as well as other peoples, reside here. It is with respect for the connections to the past, present, and future that we recognize the ongoing relationships between Indigenous Peoples and others in the Montréal community.

Interview requests:
Nathalie Roy
Media Relations
nathalie.roy@bell.net
514 889-3622

SOURCE Fierté Montréal

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View original content to download multimedia: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/May2024/29/c0403.html