The First Ever Nationwide Pride In Montréal
Montréal Pride Launches 11-day Celebration Of Sexual Diversity and Gender Plurality
Montréal, August 7, 2017 — Following two years of preparation, Pride Montréal President and founder Éric Pineault today announced the launch of the very first edition of Canada Pride to be held August 10 to 20, 2017. Starting this Thursday, Montréal will celebrate sexual diversity and gender plurality with an 11-day festival which promises to be exceptional from the opening “Montréal is Proud” show up to the traditional Sunday parade on René-Lévesque Boulevard.
After explaining that Parc des Faubourgs, located near the entrance to Jacques-Cartier Bridge, will become the event’s new principal outdoor venue, he indicated that the 375th and 150th anniversaries of Montréal and of Canada represented “unique opportunities to showcase the culture and the values of our city and country to visitors from the rest of Canada and from abroad, by offering a major high-quality event.”
More Than a Parade
During this special edition of Montréal Pride, presented by TD in collaboration with Casino de Montréal, festival goers and revelers will have an unprecedented choice of over 260 activities including 15 free large scale shows and DJ sets every night. The diverse activities include festive, cultural and community components that organizers say will appeal as much to persons of the sexual diversity and gender plurality, as to their allies.
Singer Nelly Furtado, who will be on stage August 18, is the festival’s headliner while the kick-off of celebrations on August 11 will be the “Montréal is proud” show presented by Sirius XM Canada and starring Gregory Charles, Martha Wainwright, Marie-Mai with a host of local Montréal artists. Other blockbuster presentations will include “Mado’s 30th anniversary”, the “l’Acadie de demain” show with Édith Butler and Radio Radio, a queer and feminist comedy night, the “Supernovas” show with David Usher, Yann Perreau and Kim Richardson, an evening of Cuban music and “Drag Superstars” with 12 contestants from RuPaul’s Drag Race.
These memorable presentations will be happening on the TD stage in Parc des Faubourgs between August 11 and 20 and on the Casino de Montréal stage at Place Émilie-Gamelin, starting August 16.
Our Roots in the Community
“Pride is first and foremost a community event for the promotion of the rights of persons from the sexual diversity and gender plurality from here and from around the world,” stated Éric Pineault. “That is why our August 19 Community Day held in the Village on Amherst and Sainte-Catherine Streets, between Saint-Hubert and Papineau Streets, is a must see to discover all the socio-cultural and sports organizations and groups that support LGBTTIQA2S communities.” This year’s Community Day will be dedicated to a pioneer of the trans movement, Marie-Marcelle Godbout, founder of l’Aide aux Trans du Québec, who died recently.
Montréal Pride has implemented several community initiatives to allow a maximum number of groups, associations and individuals to take part in as many of its activities as possible. The festival thus returns some $500,000 to the community through the waiving of fees for participation in the parade, the community day or the conferences, by hiring a team of liaison persons and by setting up safer spaces dedicated to youth, trans and people of colour.
Éric Pineault restated why the need remains to hold a Pride event in Montréal today. “As long as the rate of LGBTQ youth suicide is six times that in the general population, as long as trans persons cannot openly live their lives without there being concern for what is in their pants, as long as young intersex children are operated on without the ability to decide their gender identity and as long as homophobia in sport and intimidation in school remains, we must carry on advocating for our communities, notably by organizing Pride.”
Significant Indigenous Peoples’ Presence
The Pride Parade, on August 20, will run from Drummond Street to Champlain Street and seen from above, it will resemble a 3 km long rainbow flag, with six sections in the colours of the flag. Furthermore, in recognition of the first inhabitants of the land on which we gather, a contingent of Indigenous Peoples will open the Canada Pride Montréal 2017 Parade. “Before each event, we will also acknowledge that the lands we are assembled on for this Canada Pride Montréal 2017 event are part of the traditional and unceded territories of the Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawks),” added Éric Pineault.
Conference on LGBTTIQA2S Rights in Canada
Next August 15 to 17, a national conference on “LGBTTIQA2S Lives: Our Struggles, Our Victories, Our Challenges” will bring together key Canadian community and cultural partners, university, trade union and government representatives to assess the state of LGBTTIQA2S rights in Canada and determine avenues for their future. Conference co-presidents Bill Ryan, researcher and professor of Social work, Gender and Sexual Diversity and Family Therapy at McGill University, and Mona Greenbaum, executive director of the LGBT Family Coalition, an association that advocates for families with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans parents, noted that we find ourselves in a difficult global context. “With the rise of the extreme right, we need to reflect on the evolution of rights, on intersexuality, immigration, refugees and on being two-spirited to further advance on these issues.”
LGBTQI Issues of the Francophonie under Scrutiny
Delegates from some 30 countries are expected for the August 18, one-day “Equality and Legality” international conference that will review several issues including amongst others, the progress and setbacks experienced in the Maghreb (Northern Africa) and the Middle East since the 2011 Arab Spring and LGBT Parenting as it is lived in Quebec, France and Switzerland. A presentation of the Quebec Government, the conference will conclude with the keynote presentation of Quebec’s Minister of International Relations and of the Francophonie, Ms Christine St-Pierre who will highlight the role Québec intends to play in Francophone countries to promote LGBT rights. The Scientific Committee of the conference is co-presided by Line Chamberland, professor of sexology at UQAM and Research Chair on Homophobia and Patrick Awondo, Research Associate at the Center for Key Populations, John Hopkins School of Public Health and Human Rights.
Emancipation Through Sport
A two-day sports tournament has been integrated into the event’s first weekend programming, on August 12 and 13. “We wanted to reflect the tradition of both the 1976 Olympic Games and the 2006 1st World Outgames,” said Éric Pineault. Sport has been an integral part of the emancipation of our LGBTTIQA2S communities, especially in Montréal, where there has been LGBTTIQA2S sports organizations since 1980.” Seven sports will be featured with local clubs acting as the hosts of each tournament. In partnership with various members of Équipe Montréal, the sports tournament will centralize all competitions at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex – an official venue during the 1976 Olympics – and the adjacent André-Grasset College.
Culture, Culture, Culture!
An art gallery set up in containers at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Saint-Hubert Streets and under the supervision of our two commissioners Patricia Klimov and Georges Adrien De Homa, will house L’Espace des Arts featuring the works of 10 artists including paintings, drawings, photography and high fashion creations. A presentation on 375 years of LGBTQ+ history and the evolution of the Pride Movement in Canada will be featured at Pride Housein the heart of Parc des Faubourgs.
Among the theatrical productions being presented are two well-known comedies in English — Naked Boys Singing and Buyer & Cellar— and a promising drama in French by local author Denis-Martin Chabot whose L’amant de Samuel is his first play.
An expanded Literary Pride segment once again organized by Denis-Martin Chabot, will feature authors and their works in different Village bars. Activities will include: an interview with guest of honour and author Kamal Al-Solaylee, a meet and greet with prolific author Simon Boulerice, an evening dedicated to readings of works by anglophone authors, a second edition of the popular “Combat aux mots” panel and the “Authors Uncovered” cabaret evening. Back for a 5th edition, the ”L’Emmental expiré” event, coordinated by poet Simon DuPlessis, is a poetry performance evening involving a mix of dance, song, spoken word and of music.
New Partnership with Casino de Montréal
For an eighth year in a row, Montréal Pride has been able to rely on TD as the official event presenter and for its commitment in support of the LGBTTIQA2S communities. “Marking the 375th anniversary of Montréal and 150th anniversary of Canada, the 2017 edition of Pride Montréal promises to be unforgettable,” said Sylvie Demers, President, Québec, TD Bank Group. “TD is proud to support these inclusive festivities that promote the unity of our city and the beauty of the LGBTA community through programming that is accessible to all. For a number of years, we have worked to create an environment in which everyone feels valued, respected and supported for who they are. Join us in celebrating diversity!”
A new development for 2017, the festival is also being presented in collaboration with Casino de Montréal. The three-year agreement calls for the presentation of all programming on the site of the original outdoor venue, Place Émilie-Gamelin, as well as of the “Supernova” show, on the TD stage in Parc des Faubourgs. “For this first year, the Casino de Montréal is very pleased to be an official collaborator of Canada Pride Montréal. We are proud to be associated with this not-to-be-missed festival for members of the LGBTQ communities who will be hosting visitors from everywhere around the world,” said Lucie Lamoureux, Director of Social Commitment at Loto-Québec. “Festival goers are invited to come and see performances by many artists from here and abroad on the Casino de Montréal’s stage at Place Émilie-Gamelin.”
Montréal Pride also reached a new collaborative partnership with evenko regarding the first T-Dance on August 13 when a DJ from the ÎleSoniq line-up will take over Parc des Faubourgs.
Thank you to our partners
The festival is also thankful for the essential support of its partners including Canadian Heritage, the Québec Government, the City of Montréal, Viagra— official presenter of the parade, Fido, Montréal Tourism, SiriuxXM Canada, The Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, Coors Light, Quebecor and 24h.
About Casino de Montréal
Casino de Montréal, a subsidiary of Loto-Québec, is a first-year official presenter in collaboration of the Canada Pride Montréal 2017 event. Because of its status as a central event for LGBTQ communities, the festival falls within the framework of the Casino sponsorship program’s mandate which is to support events with major social and economic impacts for the region while providing the Casino’s clientele and festival goers with an outstanding entertainment experience.
About Montréal Pride
Founded in 2007 at the initiative of Montréal’s LGBTQ communities, Montréal Pride is dedicated to promoting LGBTQ rights and celebrates their cultural richness and social advances. The largest gathering of the communities of sexual diversity and gender plurality in the francophone world, Montréal Pride works locally day-to-day while serving as a beacon of hope for people around the world living in LGBTQ-hostile areas.
From August 10 to 20, 2017, the festival’s special Canada Pride Montréal 2017 edition will be part of the official programming of Montréal’s 375thcelebrations and Canada 150 festivities. It will offer more than 260 activities and events, with something for everyone.
About the Society for the Celebrations of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary
The Society for the Celebration of Montréal’s 375th Anniversary is a non-profit organization whose mandate is to organize celebrations and socio-economic contributions that will mark Montréal 375th anniversary in 2017. With a focus on promoting Montréal expertise, it acts as a catalyst to realize its mandate: mobilize the community, implement a funding strategy, rigorously manage funding, devise quality programming and ensure visibility of the celebrations.
The Society is financially supported by the Ville de Montréal, the Gouvernement du Québec, the Government of Canada and private funding form 12 Great Montrealers. For more information: 375mtl.com
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