The Montréal Pride festival, presented by TD in collaboration with Casino de Montréal, announced the programming for the Espace Casino de Montréal, days only after announcing two of its headliners: Ciara and Margaret Cho. For a third consecutive year, Casino de Montréal is partnering with the largest gathering of people from the sexual and gender diversity (SGD) in the Francophone world to wow audiences with a FREE program highlighting both deviations from the norm and diversity. Among others, renowned musical artists Roxane Bruneau, Steve Grand, Shawnee and Mike Lee will be joining in the extraordinary line-up of shows such as Place à la relèveFUNDAMENTAL: The 50 Years of Gay Liberation Kiki Ball, Queerlesque, Being Britney, Afro Drag, ManSpread and Drag Syndrome! And it will all be happening at Parc des Faubourgs, from August 8 to 18, 2019!

On Friday August 9, at 6 p.m., Montreal-based DJ Bamboo Herman who started her career in the East End of London’s underground 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 put in the limelight 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 bonkers 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 full house, will be co-hosted by Elle Barbara, Brian Amazon Disney & Twysted Miyake-Mugler Siriano and notably star Byrelll The Great!

Following a break 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 highly diverse 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 viral, 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, offering four different themed variations of the profession this year, 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 grabbed the attention of Quebecers during season five of Star Académie, will start things off under the charm theme! 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 will take over the stage, a show presented by W Hôtel. 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 full house 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 MUNDO 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’s dance floor marathon performances will be by none other than Robert Ouimet, B’ugo, Charly P and Lost Heroes, till 11 p.m.!

Here’s the complete program of the free outdoor shows to be presented on the TD stage at parc des Faubourgs, August 8 to 18, 2019. Along with the presence of headliners Ciara and Margaret Cho, the TD stage will also heat up with a host of acclaimed and beloved artists including Ariane Moffatt, Safia Nolin, Beyries, Alexandra Stréliski, Eve SalvailLucianaRobin S., the celebrities from Drag Superstars presented byMAC Cosmetics and Janice Robinson!

“The multifaceted and many talents of the female diversity will once again be proudly at the forefront this year! But we are equally proud to be presenting a program based on parity and that is a reflection of all our communities. Rich, diverse and whose talent will be colored by a palette of infinite colors and nuances!” said Éric Pineault, Founder and President of the 11-day festival. For a third consecutive year, the TD stage will be located in parc des Faubourgs and will dazzle festival-goers coming to celebrate sexual and gender diversity (SGD).

The largest LGBTQ+ gathering in Canada and 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 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 NGABO that has carved out a loyal following for itself as well as a reputation for incredibly energetic performances!

Later, on Friday August 9, Ariane Moffatt 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. The Drag Challenge, won last year by sports personality Georges Laraque, is back this year with participants to be announced shortly.

On Sunday August 11, to top off this first weekend of free performances on the TD stage, the Montréal Pride festival will proudly present a once-only, 100 per cent Québécois showfollowing a 6 p.m. DJ Set by the incomparable Eve SalvailSupernovas promises to be a prideful explosion of Quebec talent with touches of rock, blues and soul and the performances of greats Luce DufaultClaude DuboisKing MelroseDebbie Lynch-WhiteFlorence KCassiopéeKim 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.

After a two-day hiatus on August 12 and 13, the parc des Faubourgs venue will be ready heading into 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!

This year, 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 the different and endearing host, Sasha Velours along with 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!

On Friday August 16, at 6 p.m., the TD stage at parc des Faubourgs will belong to the talented DJ Minas doing what he does best before the Excellence evening begins at 8 p.m., showcasing artists who are queer, trans and people of color. For this third edition of Excellence,  this presentation of beauty aimed at creating a safe space allowing the artistic expression by and forqueer and/or trans people of color, will highlight the talents of CyberRandayJade AboveAndy RazafiApollinJoy RiderTammy 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. JetSetoffer up performances by Geneviève LeclercLuciana and Brian Justin Crum culminating with LGBTQ+ ally extraordinaire, Ciara, whose 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-Dance with the other worldly 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., legendary 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!

The following six personalities will act as the Grand Marshals of its 13th edition, to be held next August 8 to 18, at parc des Faubourgs. The choice of the personalities was based on the significant contribution that these activists have made towards the recognition of the rights of the sexual and gender diversity (SGD) communities and with the aim of representing this diversity.

Montréal Pride Festival 2019 Grand Marshals:

  • Anan Bouapha, founder of Proud To Be Us Laos and advocate (Laos);
  • Danny Godbout, activist, leader of the leather community, M. Cuir Montréal 2011, (Canada);
  • Ma-Nee Chacaby, 2Spirit author and advocate for our Indigenous Peoples (Canada);
  • Val Desjardins, LGBTQ+ advocate, entrepreneur, athlete and coach (Canada);
  • Monica Helms, author, creator of the Trans Pride flag and founder of Transgender American Veterans Association (TAVA) (United States);
  • Wilson Cruz, actor and LGBTQ+ advocate (United States).

Click here for more details on the full festival.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist based in Toronto with a focus on tourism, lifestyle, entertainment and community issues. He has written several travel articles and has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He’s willing to take on any assignments of interest, attend parties with free booze, listen to rants, and travel the world in search of the great unknown. He’s eager to discover the new, remember the past, and look into the future.