Music, arts, gastronomy, comedy, circus, cinema… As usual, Montréal’s 2020 calendar is true to its reputation, packed with festivals and events of all kinds. Here are 11 of our recommendations for the coming year.
1. For bread lovers: Meilleur Baguette
Want to find out where to find the best baguette in Montreal? Then go to the Rialto Theatre on January 16 to find out which of the eight finalists will win Montreal’s Meilleure Baguette competition, an event orchestrated by the Maudits Français / French Morning team. Information and registration here.
2. For people looking to party: Igloofest
The countdown has started for the coldest music festival in the world. From January 16 to February 8, Igloofest is back, bringing together thousands of electronic music lovers who have come to dance in Vieux Port. Now a must-attend event in Quebec’s winter, the event is based on a strong line-up and a unique decor, all imagined around a village of igloos. Just one piece of advice: don’t hesitate to put on a bunch of layers to fight the cold.
3. For foodies: Montréal en lumière
From February 20 to March 1, Montreal en lumière is one of the biggest winter festivals, with a program combining performing arts, gastronomy and food activities. Tastings, talks, meet and greets… The gourmet festival offers a multitude of events (most require that you signup). This year, among the many guests, nine Michelin-starred chefs will be in Montreal, for a total of 17 stars that will shine on the metropolis. See the whole schedule here.
4. For lovers of French music: les Francos
Les Francos de Montreal is the festival that kicks off summer in the heart of Montreal, with numerous free concerts and other shows. The recently unveiled program announces Souchon, Philippe Katerine, M and many others for this 2020 edition, which runs from June 11 to 20. If you’re interested, don’t wait: tickets are going fast. The other big Montreal festival concocted by the Spectra team is dedicated to jazz and also brings big names to the Place des Arts free of charge.
5. For those who love to be surprised: Complètement cirque !
Montreal, world capital of the circus, unveils all its creativity during an amazing festival: Complètement cirque, from July 2 to 12. The city comes alive, has fun, is entertained and offers surprises at every street corner. Discover acrobatics and other colorful performances.
6. For those who love to laugh: Just for Laughs / Juste pour rire
The Just for Laughs / Juste pour rire festival has also become a Montreal must-see event that has been held every summer since 1983. A great family event, it will be held in 2020 from July 15 to 26 in the Quartier des spectacles. In total, more than 1,000 performances of all kinds (free and paid) are scheduled as part of this event.
7. For picnic-goers: Les piknic électronik
From May 17 to September 27, every Sunday at Parc Jean Drapeau (a few steps from métro Jean Drapeau), Piknic Électronik are concerts dedicated to electronic music in a very friendly and warm atmosphere, in the middle of the day. Success guaranteed if you’re hosting young people this summer and decide to go for a spin. The concept born in Montreal has been exported to other major European cities.
8. For the trend-seekers and -setters: Mode & Design
The dates are not yet confirmed, but likely at the beginning of August, Mode & Design will take place. It’s an event that welcomes the worlds of fashion, design and more generally, creation. This is a superb festival for all those who wish to meet creators, attend fashion shows and discover the latest fashion trends.
9. For history nerds: Montreal’s First Peoples / Présence autochtone
This festival, which highlights the cultures, histories and traditions of the indigenous peoples of the Americas, will peak your curiosity on a subject that is often difficult to discuss and understand when you arrive in Montreal. This event is a way to discover the rich culture of the continent’s first inhabitants. From August 4 to 12, in the Quartier des spectacles.
10. For nature explorers: Les Escales improbables
Iconoclastic, unusual, original: the Escales improbables de Montréal events invite magic and poetry, sometimes even music, into the heart of Montreal. We’re particularly fond of this event, which takes place in September (date TBA) and allows you to leave the summer and arrive in fall in peace and serenity.
12. For movie buffs: Cinemania
Autumn is synonymous with cinema in the city of 100 spires. All October and November, Cinema buffs will enjoy themselves at Cinemania, which unveils the latest releases of French-language cinema, the Montréal International Documentary Festival and the Festival du nouveau cinéma de Montréal.
This article was first published on Maudits Français.