MONTRÉAL, Aug. 5, 2019 – The 2019 edition of the Montréal Pride festival was officially launched today by founding president Éric Pineault, in a festive atmosphere with several artists present during a press conference held in the Espace C2 of the Fairmount Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Between August 8 and 18, 2019, over 225 artists, 250 activities, a T-Dance and 20 free large scale productions will roll out over the 11-day duration of the largest gathering of the sexual and gender diversity (SGD) communities in the Francophone world and in Canada. With 2019 being a significant year for both the festival and the City of Montréal as they compete to host the WorldPride 2023 event, the Montréal Pride festival presented by the TD Bank Group in collaboration with Casino de Montréal has again exceeded expectations with programming advocating the diversity, parity and breadth of our communities. Ciara, Margaret Cho, Steve Grand, Brian Justin Crum, Luciana, Sasha Velour and Janice Robinson are but a few of the internationally-acclaimed performers who will be joining our favorite local artists Ariane Moffatt, Claude Dubois, Luce Dufault, Safia Nolin, Debbie Lynch-White, Roxane Bruneau, Florence K, Geneviève Leclerc, Cassiopée, King Melrose, Kim Richardson, Eve Salvail, Fanny Bloom, Elizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite, Michel Dorion, Rita Baga and Jimmy Moore!
“Everyone on the Montréal Pride festival team is particularly proud of our 2019 programming which once again stands out thanks to the breadth of its diversity and especially, its parity. The 11-day festivities which take off on Thursday, will this year again, definitely meet the Pride festival goers’ expectations with the choice between the main outdoor TD stage and the indoor Casino de Montréal stage, both located in the parc des Faubourgs. With the local and international headliners performing this year, we expect to again exceed our previous records in terms of visitors which position the Montréal Pride event as one of the fastest growing Québec-based festivals,” Éric Pineault stated.
A Single Exclusive Venue: parc des Faubourgs
Parc des Faubourgs, located near the entrance to Jacques-Cartier Bridge, at the corner of De Lorimier Avenue and Ontario Street East is the event’s principal celebrations venue. This year, general admission as well as free large scale shows will be presented inside the Espace Casino de Montréal in addition to the free outdoor shows happening on the TD stage. Additionally, the popular Espace Gourmand SAQ will satisfy the appetites of festival goers with a wide range of affordable street food. Access to parc des Faubourgs will be open to all between August 9 and 18 with the exception of Monday and Tuesday August 12 and 13.
More than a Parade: A Complete Festival!
This 13th edition of the Montréal Pride festival, presented by TD Bank Group, in collaboration with Casino de Montréal, is divided into three categories of activity including a community, a festive and a cultural component. Over 250 activities divided among the three components will include 20 free super productions, a T-Dance and DJ performances every evening, and will appeal to persons of the sexual and gender diversity as well as to their allies.
TD Bank Group, a Loyal Partner of the Montréal Pride Festival
For the ninth consecutive year, the Montréal Pride festival is relying on the TD Bank Group as the official presenter of the event and on its commitment to the communities of the sexual and gender diversity. “Promoting the values of diversity, respect and inclusion have been part of the TD Bank Group corporate culture for many years and we are proud and pleased to be associated with our official presenter for a ninth year, on our way to a decade of support,” explains Éric Pinault, the festival’s founding president.
“We are excited to partner with Pride Montréal and the LGBTQ2+ community. We recognize the importance of opening the doors to a more inclusive environment for today and for the future, and we know how important that is for both our colleagues and our customers. This year, TD Bank Group is supporting over 160 LGBTQ2+ initiatives and 83 Pride festivals throughout North America through funding, partnerships and the volunteering of our employees,” says Stéphan Bourbonnais, Senior Vice President and Region Head, Eastern Canada, TD Private Wealth Management.
Casino de Montréal: a Third Year as Presenter
For the third consecutive year, the Montréal Pride Festival is also pleased to count on the Casino de Montréal‘s important support as official collaborator for the 2019 edition! The agreement includes all the programming that will be presented on the indoor stage of Espace Casino de Montréal, located in parc des Faubourgs.
“The partnership between Casino de Montréal and Montréal Pride has generated a huge wave of pride among all of our Loto-Québec employees, be they part of the LGBTQ+ community or not. We are an official collaborator for the third consecutive year. We are part of the parade for a second time with even more colleagues participating and the novelty this year is that we have improved our agreement with events at the casino itself, notably the Montréal Pride festival launch evening on August 8. We are happy to work for an inclusive organisation that recognizes the importance of celebrating diversity!,” says Patrice Lavoie, spokesperson and Corporate Director, Public Affairs, Press Relations and Social Media for Loto-Québec and its subsidiaries.
Flagship Events for the World’s Prides: Community Day, presented by Lyft, and the Parade, presented by Air Canada!
The flagship events of the Montréal Pride festival, considered by many to be the heart and soul of all Pride organizations around the world, are the Community Day presented this year by Lyft and the Parade, presented by Air Canada, reminding us that Pride aims to be an event to celebrate our acquired rights and also, to advocate for those we seek.
“For 2019, the management, Board of Directors and employees of the festival wish to build on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and the 50th anniversary of the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality in Canada to restate that the Pride movement was born of the refusal of our peers to submit to the social and legal injustices they were facing. We wish to mention the introduction of anti-oppression training which is mandatory for all festival employees and volunteers, our public display initiative of posting awareness messages in the park, during the parade presented by Air Canada, and in the format of communiqués to facilitate festival goers’ understanding of different causes we advocate for on a daily basis,” Éric Pineault added.
This year, Community Day presented by Lyft, will be held Saturday August 17 along Sainte-Catherine Street East, between Saint-Hubert and Papineau streets. This day will allow members of the LGBTQ+ community and the general public to discover a variety of community organisations and groups, businesses, sports and socio-cultural clubs, each more colorful than the next. This event is aimed at mobilizing, generating awareness and of course, having fun!
The Parade, presented by Air Canada, on Sunday August 18 between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., will run along René-Lévesque Boulevard, starting at Metcalfe Street and ending on Alexandre-DeSève Street. The 2.7- kilometer route will symbolically leave the former LGBTQ+ zone in the West end to finish at the heart of today’s Village in the East end. For a 6th year, the theme of the parade will be inspired by the rainbow flag. The color violet, the last color on the flag, is being highlighted in 2019. The symbol of spirituality among the communities of the sexual and gender diversity, the color violet and its nuances evoke dreams, gentleness and peace. Resulting from the blending of pink and blue, two colors generally associated with gender stereotypes, violet represents the range of identities. This year, norms are put into question and the multiplicity of nuances is what is being highlighted.
Festive Component: the TD stage
The largest LGBTQ+ gathering in Canada and of the Francophone world will get underway at parc des Faubourgs on Friday August 9, as of 6 p.m. with the Opening Ceremony under the theme of Reconciliation with our Indigenous Peoples. The Montréal Pride festival will emphasize the presence and resilience of these communities throughout history as well as the yet little known realities they suffer from during a moment aimed at supporting the cause of the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-spirited persons (MMIW2S). At 8:30 p.m., the atmosphere will turn festive with the performance of Congolese singer-songwriter Dear Denizen, fronting the eclectic group NGABOthat has carved out a loyal following for itself as well as a reputation for incredibly energetic performances
Later, on Friday August 9, Ariane Moffat will take to the TD stage to offer up the main performance only she can provide to cap off the first night of this highly colorful festival. Her presence at the Montréal Pride festival has long been awaited! Our idol, also an openly lesbian mom loved by all, has a show in store for us that promises to be in her image: sincere, open and surprising!
On Saturday August 10, as of 6 p.m., a festive rainbow will hang over the TD stage in parc des Faubourgs as open format DJ, DJ Montana, will act as the opener for the KiKi Ball Performance that will begin at 7:30 p.m. with several legendary and major performers of the Montréal and Canadian Ballroom scene. The much anticipated Illusion show will draw crowds as of 8 p.m. as the main performance of the evening with over 150 people on stage featuring some 50 drag queens! The legendary and talented Michel Dorion who has helmed this signature evening for over a decade, has several unforgettable moments and lots of surprises in store for everyone. Of note, among others, is the return of the Drag Challenge, won last year by sports personality Georges Laraque, and whose participants will be announced tomorrow, August 6, by the ever-discreet Rita Baga on the Bonsoir, Bonsoir show!
To top off this first weekend of free performances on the TD stage, on Sunday August 11, the Montréal Pride festival will proudly present a once-only, 100 per cent Québécois show following a 6 p.m. DJ Set by the incomparable Eve Salvail. Supernovas promises to be a prideful explosion of Quebec talent with touches of rock, blues and soul and the performances of greats Luce Dufault, Claude Dubois, King Melrose, Debbie Lynch-White, Florence K, Cassiopée, Kim Richardson, and many others! The evening’s concept and artistic direction are signed Marleen Ménard, one of our LGBTQ+ community’s key allies, with the musical direction by Denis Courchesne. This is a unique event festival goers will not want to miss!
After a two-day hiatus on August 12 and 13, the parc des Faubourgs venue will be ready for the second Montréal Pride festival weekend! At 6 p.m. on Wednesday August 14, the duo of DJ Franz & Diskommander will be in charge of the TD stage to warm up the crowd prior to the extra special performance by Bo*Johnson at 7:30 p.m. Is Bo*Johnson a Voice, a Beautiful Soul or a Diva? Everyone can say or think what they want but there is no doubt that this outstanding artist will please and set the scene for the VAGUE show at 8 p.m. An evening to let oneself go with the flow and surf on the melodies of these new wave artists! To be expected: a whirlpool of emotions that will sometimes immerse the audience in troubled waters and sometimes in a river of calm with the performances of artists Safia Nolin, Alexandra Stréliski, Beyries, La Bronze, Geoffroy, Annie Sama, Anthony Carle, Wake Island and Mathis Xavier, and waves of others!
At 6 p.m. on Thursday August 15, DJ Gigi will host, entertain and of course, get the tens of thousands of people to dance while they wait to take in for a fourth year in a row, the world’s largest ever show of Queens having participated in the popular reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race. Though Drag Superstars, presented by MAC Cosmetics will begin on stage at 8 p.m., it is strongly recommended that revelers show up early on that evening to get the chance to enjoy host Sasha Velours and the exclusive performances of Yvie Oddly, A’keria C. Davenport, Brooke Lynn Eight, Silky Nutmeg Ganache, Trinity Taylor, Detox, Latrice Royale, Manila Luzon, Willam, Naomi Smalls and Vanessa « Miss Vangie » Mateo! This highly popular evening would be incomplete without the half-time show headlined by some of Quebec’sfavorite drag queens!
It goes without saying that the beat will be marked on the TD stage at parc des Faubourgs on Friday August 16, at 6 p.m., as the talented DJ Minas performs his set before the Excellence evening begins at 8 p.m. For this third edition of Excellence, this presentation of incredible beauty aimed at creating a safe space and allowing the artistic expression by and for queer and/or trans people of color, will be hosted by Elle Barbara and highlight the talents of Cyber, Randay, Jade Above, Andy Razafi, Apollin, Joy Rider, Tammy Tuesdayz and Tika! At 10 p.m., it will be Margaret Cho‘s turn to wish the audience in her inimitable way, a memorable 2019 Pride! This bisexual comedian who has constantly advocated against racism, bullying and for the full recognition of persons socially discriminated against, will raise laughter from her audience and no doubt by the same token, some pertinent reflection!
Already anticipated by all, the JetSet evening presented on August 17 at 8 p.m., will follow the 6 p.m. DJ Set by world renowned and award winning (Emmy) DJ Stephan Grondin. JetSet will offer up performances by Geneviève Leclerc, Luciana and Brian Justin Crum culminating with LGBTQ+ ally extraordinaire, Ciara, whose much awaited return is being hailed across the planet!
The 13th edition of the Montréal Pride festival will end on Sunday August 18, as of 3 p.m. with a memorable T-Dancewith the freshness of DJ Lady McCoy whose sounds will wake-shake up revelers until the extravagant Las Bibas from Vizcaya takes over at 6 p.m. to set fire to parc des Faubourgs during a set where Janice Robinson (Dreamer, There Must Be Love) will make a special appearance. At 9 p.m., legend DJ Tom Stephan will further stoke the fires of the audience on the TD stage with the closing notes and rhythms of the 2019 Montréal Pride festival!
Festive Component: Espace Casino de Montréal
On Friday August 9, at 6 p.m., Montreal-based DJ Bamboo Herman who started her career in the East End of London’sunderground queer scene at the beginning of this decade will inaugurate the indoor and air conditioned Espace Casino de Montréal, with an inspired set of Classic House (Acid, Chicago) and tribal with a touch of London Bass! At 9:30 p.m., she will hand it over to Shawnee, a Canadian Mohawk artist that Billboard Magazine recently added to its “people to know in music” chart while MTV has included her to its “Best Genderfluid Artist” list as a bi-spiritual person.
On Saturday August 10, at 9 p.m., the Place à la relève show, a youthful evening spotlighting numerous emerging artists returns to the Espace Casino de Montréal. Hosted by Middle and Christopher Marlot, this exceptional evening will spotlight such newcomers as Nick Saanto, Tommy Khuon + Bussdown, Kat Louis, Middle, Narcisse, Sincerely Shyy, Jojo, Tygr Willy, BiCurious George, Hugo Lacchia, Ezechiel, Néon and Christopher Marlot!
The absolutely crazy and long-awaited FUNDAMENTAL: The 50 Years of Gay Liberation Kiki Ball will be attracting the crowds on Sunday August 11, as of 5 p.m., with KIKI categories inspired by a half century of struggles, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. This memorable evening which is always sold out, will be co-hosted by Elle Barbara, Brian Amazon Disney & Twysted Miyake-Mugler Siriano and notably star Byrell The Great!
Following a pause on Monday and Tuesday, the Espace Casino de Montréal will resume on Wednesday August 14 at 7 p.m., with the rhythms of the Club Bolo celebrating its 25 years of activity and its cowgirls and cowboys ready to set fire to the dance floor! At 8 p.m., the Queerlesque Show will offer up an evening of burlesque cabaret highlighting the scintillating talents of a baker’s dozen of Montreal-based queer burlesque artists who are renowned the world over. Among the artists who will be performing: Bunny Valentin et Bobby Ananass, Cici Garette, Gigi Marx, Grant Canyon, Honey Dynamite, Honey Lustre, La Gourmande, Miss Enchantée, Queeny Ives, Rosie Bourgeoisie, Them.Cee Shecteroni and Talia Della Crema! To wrap up this diversity-filled evening, Tranna Wintour and Thomas Leblanc will present the humorous play Being Britney as of 9:30 p.m. Tranna and Thomas along with a hallucinating cast of performers will present a journey to rival a greek odyssey. From the Mickey Mouse Club to I’m a Slave 4 U and including Baby One More Time, from Louisiana to Las Vegas, Being Britney promises to leave no one indifferent!
The charming and fresh Roxane Bruneau will present her intimate performance with the essence only she can share with her audience on Thursday August 15, at 9:30 p.m. The openly lesbian singer, whose marriage proposal went around the world, will invite spectators to join her in a universe of her making, free spirited and rich in humour. “The Montréal Pride festival can only be proud of Roxane’s presence as well as that of all the other artists who will once again ensure the success of the Espace Casino de Montréal this year! Roxane is magnificently representative of this venue’s programming that we have wished to be accessible, safe and a reflection of our various communities,” stated Jean-Sébastien Boudreault, the festival’s Vice-President. An evening not to be missed!
As of 6 p.m. on Friday August 16, it will be time for the 100% Drag Night, this year offering four different themed variations of the profession, including song and the representation of our QTBIPOC communities, of drag kings and of persons living with Down’s syndrome! The Karaoshow hosted by Montréal’s drag queen celebrity Chouchoune will turn the heat up with an evening where singing talents will be spotlighted! Later, at 8 p.m., the Afro Drag show will showcase the multi-faceted universe of Montréal’s QTBIPOC community drag queens. At 9 p.m., ManSpread, the only monthly event presenting drag kings in Montréal, will offer different performances that are guaranteed to surprise under the watchful eye of your host, the charming Charli Deville. To wind up this incredible evening, as of 10 p.m., the long awaited Drag Syndrome, the internationally acclaimed British troupe of queens living with Down’s syndrome who will take over the Espace Casino de Montréal stage.
On Saturday, August 17 at 8:30 p.m., Mike Lee, an artist of the SGD born in the French territory of Réunion Island and who came to the attention of Quebecers during season number five of Star Académie, will start things off under the theme of charm! The gentleman will offer up pop-modern versions of songs from the crooner repertoire from yesterday up to today. At 10 p.m., one of the festival’s headliners, openly gay singer-songwriter Steve Grand, whose performance is presented by Hotel W, will take over the stage. This talented artist who has uniquely revisited the standards of his musical genre (much more than country) has reached over 18 million hits on YouTube and will no doubt give another sold-out performance!
For a perfect ending to this week of celebration and following strong popular demand, the Montréal Pride festival is proud to announce the return of the MONDO DISKO T-Dance on Sunday August 18, as of 6 p.m. This festive event is a tribute to an ever federating musical genre, to a forgotten cultural phenomenon, to hedonistic rituals and to the legendary nights of clubbing! As with its first edition last year, this inclusive dance happening will blast an Avant-garde Disco atmosphere showcasing all the diversity we are capable of! This year persons in charge of this dance floor marathon will be none other than Robert Ouimet, B’ugo, Charly P and Lost Heroes, till 11 p.m.!
The Community component includes the Community day, the workshops, the famous Pride Parade as well as the sexual and gender diversity community gatherings.
The community events are at the very heart of the Montréal Pride festival celebrations:
- Wednesday August 7: Newtworking Cocktail presented by Pride At Work Canada
- Thursday August 8: Crazy Condom Race with partner organizations RÉZO and Équipe Montréal
- Thursday August 8: Trans Egeria presented by Aide aux Trans du Québec (ATQ)
- Thursday August 8: Festival Art-en-ciel, a presentation of the Saint-Pierre Apôtre Church
- Thursday August 8 to Saturday August 10: PrideHacks
- Thursday August 8 to Friday August 16: Literary Pride
- Thursday August 8 to Sunday August 18: “Two-spirited Persons Among Indigenous People” Exhibit presented by the Centre international d’art contemporain (CIAC) de Montréal
- Friday August 9: PLURI SECRETS Workshop on consensual flirting
- Friday August 9: COVEN: Sinful Pride, a House of Lauren presentation
- Friday August 9 to Sunday August 18: Youth Safe Space presented by Alter-Heroes
- Friday August 9 to Sunday August 18: STRANGEr- Photo Exhibit presented RÉZO
- Friday August 9 to Sunday August 18: ZEN by Maison Plein Coeur
- Friday August 9 to Sunday August 18: Passion & Handicap Space
- Saturday August 10: Youth BBQ presented by Queer Youth
- Saturday August 10: Place à la relève Youth Show by the LGBTQ+ Youth Groups Coalition
- Saturday August 10: Pride Zumba presented by Attitude Fitness
- Saturday August 10 to Wednesday August 14: Just Dance presented by Montréal Gaymers
- Sunday August 11 : FUNDAMENTAL: The 50 years of Gay Liberation Kiki Ball
- Monday August 12 to Thursday August 15: Indoor Mural presented by Gender Creative Kids
- Monday August 12 and Tuesday August 13: Film presentations: “Résistances intersexes: une parole à entendre” and “Ni d’Ève ni d’Adam: une histoire intersexe” by Intersexe Montréal
- Tuesday August 13: Fitness Training with Armada Montréal
- Wednesday August 14 : Country Dance Training Session with Club Bolo Country Montréal
- Wednesday August 14 : Conference and film presentation on Guilda presented by the Quebec Gay Archives
- Thursday August 15: Launch of Articulation Magazine
- Friday August 16: Nachle- Queer Bollywood, a Jhalak Montréal presentation
- Friday August 16: Workshop on Drug Consumption presented by Spectre de rue
- Saturday August 17: “Amour is Love” Black Pride Photo Exhibit by Never was Average Productions
A host of cultural activities are also on the menu of the 2019 Montréal Pride festival. Theatrical plays, creative workshops and pertinent exhibits for the sexual and gender diversity communities are on offer. Thanks to partnerships with the Québec Gay Archives, the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts as well as the McCord Museum and multidisciplinary artist Yunus Chkirate, festival goers can visit the following exhibits among others: Inclusion 2019 Exhibition (Yunus Chkirate), Thierry Mugler : Couturissime (MMFA) and the Polaroid Project – Art and technology (McCord Museum)
Our Thanks to All our Partners
In addition to TD Bank Group and Casino de Montréal, the festival is grateful for the essential support of partners such as the Gouvernement du Québec, Gouvernment of Canada, Ville de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, Air Canada, Fido, Trojan, Pepsi, Lyft, Bell Media, CTV, LSM, Fugues, LSM, Arrondissement de Ville-Marie, Via Rail Canada, Winners, MAC Cosmetics, Eska, Greencooper, SAQ, SDC les Quartiers du Canal, SDC du Village, Out TV, La Vitrine culturelle, Old Dutch, Société de transport de Montréal, Coors Light, Kind, Skip the Dishes, Stoli, Southern Comfort, Fireball, Barefoot as well as CJAD, Virgin Radio and Rouge FM.
And our hotel partnes: Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth, Le Centre Sheraton Montréal, Hôtel W, Hôtel Faubourgs Montréal, Hôtel Gouverneur, Hôtel Monville Montréal, Ritz-Carlton Montréal, Delta Montréal Hotel, Hôtel ALT Montréal and Fairfield Inn & Suites Montréal Downtown.
About TD Bank Group
The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (“TD” or the “Bank”). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 25 million customers in three key businesses operating in a number of locations in financial centres around the globe: Canadian Retail, including TD Canada Trust, TD Auto Finance Canada, TD Wealth (Canada), TD Direct Investing, and TD Insurance; U.S. Retail, including TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, TD Auto Finance U.S., TD Wealth (U.S.), and an investment in TD Ameritrade; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world’s leading online financial services firms, with approximately 12 million active online and mobile customers. TD had CDN$1.3 trillion in assets on April 30, 2018. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol “TD” on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.
About the Casino de Montréal
Well-known for the variety of its games and excellent customer service, the Casino de Montréal — celebrating its 25thanniversary in 2019 —welcomes over five million visitors every year. The Casino offers a wide range of entertainment options – shows, restaurants, bars, multimedia environment – and an outstanding architecture that has become emblematic of our great city.
About the Montréal Pride Festival
Since 2007, at the initiative of Montréal’s LGBTQ+ communities, the Montréal Pride Festival has promoted their rights and celebrated their cultural wealth and social advances. The largest gathering of the communities of sexual and gender diversity (SGD) in the Francophone world works locally on a daily basis while serving as a beacon of hope for people living in LGBTQ+ hostile regions of the globe. In 2018, the festival generated a total attendance of 2.1 million visitors. In 2019, the festivities will be held from August 8th to 18th. More information is available on the web page, the Facebook page, as well as Twitter and Instagram accounts.