Festivals Coming to Montreal in April 2018

Must-See Events, Shows, and Concerts Coming This Month

Skyline of downtown Montreal in autumn
Nicolas Kipourax Paquet / Getty Images

Much like March, April in Montreal has an unpredictable edge to it, at least when it comes to the weather. Events, on the other hand, really begin to pick up this month, with tons of festivals, shows, concerts, and free activities to enjoy.

April in Montreal could feature a sweet summer's day or a polar vortex—maybe both in the span of 24 hours. Despite this, there's always something to do in the city, hail or shine, like the following must-see Montreal April festivals, attractions, concerts, and delightful freebies.

From temporary museum and gallery exhibits coming to Montreal to the region's biggest literary festival, Blue Met Metropolis's Bleu Festival, you're sure to find something to enjoy during your trip to Canada.

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The Sugar Rush

Le Relais des Pins Sugar Shack

Photo courtesy of Le Relais des Pins 

Sugar shack season is in full swing both in and outside of Montreal come April, though if you want the most complete and authentic experience, you have to leave the city.

There are dozens of cabanes à sucres (sugar shacks) in the province of Quebec where maple sap is harvested and converted into maple syrup then used to make delicious treats. Many of these sugar shacks are within an hour of Montreal, but you can also check out some recreations at a few urban sugar shacks in Montreal. 

Visiting these sugar shacks is a time-honored tradition in Montreal and most of eastern Canada. After all, maple syrup has become one of the symbols for this northern country, and the maple leaf is on the Canadian flag.

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Concerts and Music Events

Katy Perry 'Witness: The Tour' - Montreal
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images

Montreal's hottest concerts in April 2018 feature everything from a Bon Jovi performance at the Bell Centre to Tigerlily at New City Gas, featuring artists from every genre. Montreal is home to dozens of music venues—both small and large—and will host some of the biggest names in the music industry this year.

Artists not to miss in April 2018 include Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Kent Nagano, and Christian Tetzlaff at Maison Symphonique; Émile Bilodeau at Le Club Dix30; Papa Roach at Théâtre TELUS;​ The Mountain Goats at L'Astral; The Velvets at Le Balcon Cabaret Music-Hall; Infected Mushroom at Mtelus; and Gramatik at New Gas City.

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Free Attractions, Events, and Festivals

View of Montreal from Mount Royal


Patrick Donovan/Getty Images 

While budgeting for a vacation is never easy, there are many free things to do in Montreal this April that will help you cut down on costs for your trip while still allowing you to enjoy some of the city's best attractions and sights.

From Ben and Jerry's Free Cone day (April 10) and hiking Mount Royal to checking out the Barbie Expo or finding a job at the National Career Event, there's plenty of free things to enjoy this year.

Additionally, many national monuments and parks are free to access and open year-round, and several museums and art galleries around the city offer free admission on certain days of the week.

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The Last Chance for Winter Sports

Mont Tremblant

Nino H. Photography/Getty Images 

Alpine skiing and snowboarding season in Quebec ends mid-April, so you'll need to head out early if you hope to catch the last of winter sports opportunities near Montreal. As a result, though, many of the hotels and resorts will be offering special season-end discounts on accommodations and equipment rentals.

The top three regions to explore in Quebec are the Laurentians region with Mont Tremblant and Mont Saint Sauveur; the Charlevoix area with Mont-Saint-Anne, Stoneham, and Le Massif; and the Eastern Townships region with Mont Sutton, Owl's Head, and Mont Orford.

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The Outdoor Adventure Travel Show

Montreal Palais de Congres

Jiaqian AirplaneFan/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY 3.0

On Saturday and Sunday, April 8 and 9, 2018, Palais des congrès will host the Outdoor Adventure Travel Show. You can discover new destinations, put together the ideal travel plans with the help of the show's 200+ exhibitors, hear the stories of seasoned travelers giving seminars on location, and buy some of the best gear available for outdoor adventures.

2018 exhibitors include Aro Voyages, Kayak Beauharnois-Salaberry, Rafting Nouveau Monde, Magazine Découvertes, Grande Vie, and Arbraska Treetop Trekking, each of which offers a different way to explore the great outdoors in Canada.

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New Exhibits Opening at Area Museums

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

Andrea Wright/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 

As one of the biggest cultural centers in eastern Canada, Montreal has some of the country's top museums and galleries, many of which will be premiering new exhibits in April this year.

On April 12, 2018, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts will present the second part of its 2013 project, "The Master's Hand II," a 50-image showcase of drawings and sketches from artists like Parmesan, Vasari, Agostino and Annibale Carracci, Castiglione, Millet, Victor Hugo, Matisse, Picasso, and Pissarro.

Starting April 10, 2018, the  Pointe-à-Callière, the Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, will host the Queens of Egypt through November. Featuring over 350 objects including sarcophagi, a mummy, monumental statues, and jewelry related to Nefertari, Nefertiti, and Hatshepsut—some of the most famous Egyptian queens.

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Terrace Season and Spa Time

Top spas in Montreal include Le Bath Room.
Photo courtesy of Le Bath Room

April is perfect for two things: terrace dining and day spas. Montreal terrace culture comes to life as the snow melts and it gets warm enough to dine outdoors again. Try some of Montreal's top terraces for a taste of the city in the fresh spring air.

On the other hand, some days in April are still quite chilly, so if you're looking for a way to relax while staying warm, a spa may be the perfect way to unwind. Fortunately, some of the top Montreal spas are offering great deals to celebrate spring, so you won't have to break the bank to unwind this April.

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Montreal National Career Event

If you're visiting Montreal and looking for work, you can apply to thousands of jobs at the Montreal National Career Event on April 11 and 12, 2018 at the Palais des congrés.

The exhibits are divided into two days, with Saturday events featuring information on health and social service careers while Sunday events feature information technology and engineering careers.

You can attend seminars all weekend long on tips for successful interviews, resumé writing, and the Quebec job market or meet face-to-face with job recruiters in some of the biggest firms in your industry. This great networking event is free to attend, but you may need to arrive early for some of the smaller conferences.

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Harlem Globetrotters

Harlem Globetrotters World Tour 2018 - Sydney
Daniel Munoz / Getty Images

The Original Harlem Globetrotters have been an international basketball sensation since they first went on tour in the 1920s, and you have an opportunity each year to catch an exhibition game at Bell Centre in Montreal. This year, the Globetrotters return on April 6, 2018, starting at 7 p.m.

The Harlem Globetrotters have played in 122 countries and territories (in all continents except Antarctica), playing exhibitions games featuring insane tricks for over 144 million fans to date.  Fun for the whole family, you'll need to book tickets well in advance to ensure you get a chance to see this one-of-a-kind game.

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Braderie de Mode

On April 12 through 15, 2018, the Big Fashion Sale by Quebec Designers—otherwise known as the Braderie de Mode—offers a choice opportunity to score high-end apparel, outerwear, and accessories at up to 80 percent off retail prices. This bi-annual event takes place in both spring and fall at the Bonsecours Market, which is down the street from the famous Chapelle Notre-Dame-de-Bon-Secours.

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Parents and Kids Fair

On April 5 through 8, 2018 the 26th edition of the Montreal Parents and Kids​​ Fair will be held at Place Bonaventure. Geared towards newborns and children up to 6 years old, as well as expectant families, the Parents and Kids Fair features hundreds of exhibitors. You and your family can find out information about health, birth, nutrition, social and government services, consumer products, daycare, education, recreation, and family activities.

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Gem and Minerals Show

On April 13, 14, and 15, 2018, the Montreal Salon des Pierres returns to the Centre Pierre-Charbonneau for its 33rd anniversary. You can score deals on jewelry, geodes, fossils, gem art, and even fossils at this special exhibition. Featuring two exhibitions halls with more than 230 tables of semi-precious stones, pearls, and sculptures, you're sure to find something during this special three-day event.

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Monster Trucks

Every year an assortment of monster trucks and thrill rides hit Montreal's Olympic Stadium, and on April 7, 2018, Monster Spectacular XXIV returns to the city. Monster Spectacular is the number one freestyle motocross and monster truck event company in Canada, featuring events all across the country from April through September each year. If you'd like a chance to see something unique on your vacation to Montreal, a night at the monster truck rally is certainly a worthwhile adventure.

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Easter Sunday Events and Services

Notre Dame Basilica, montreal

Diego Balso/Wikimedia Commons/

CC BY-SA 4.0


In 2018, Easter Sunday falls on the first day of April, meaning the majority of holiday-themed events will take place in March. However, there's still plenty of opportunities to enjoy an Easter weekend in Montreal from Good Friday, March 30 to Easter Sunday, April 1, 2018. Grab an Easter Sunday brunch, head to one of Montreal's many cathedrals for Sunday Mass, or even attend an Easter egg hunt with your family at one of the community centers or public parks in the city.

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Vues d'Afrique Film Festival

The 34th annual film festival Vues d'Afrique will return to Montreal's Cinémathéque Québécoise from April 13 through 22, 2018. Films from over 30 countries around the world will be screened over the course of nine days, and guests can either buy a pass to a single screening or buy bundles of movie passes to catch more films. Many independent films will be making their debut at the festival this year, so be sure to get your tickets now so you don't miss the first look at some of the best in modern filmmaking.

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Earth Day Events and Celebrations

There are many ways to celebrate Earth Day in Montreal this year, and not just on Sunday, April 22—the city celebrates eco-consciousness all month long with community service projects, special events, and neighborhood cleanup projects. On April 20, 2018, Le Chemin qui Marche and Les Petites Mains en Scene will present a special Earth Day Theatre production called "Arbre" at Pointe-Claire Cultural Centre's Stewart Hall. Additionally, Le Musee des Maitres et Artisan du Quebec will host an art workshop entitled "Pierrot the Bird" to celebrate Earth Day on Saturday and Sundays April 21 through 29.

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Blue Metropolis Literary Festival

Blue Metropolis, a Montreal multilingual literary festival running April 20 through April 29, 2017, is the place to rub shoulders with the emerging and the elite in the publishing world. From authors to photographers, storytellers to illustrators, publishers and literary professionals of all sorts from across the globe gather right here every year in Montreal. This year's event marks the 20th anniversary of Blue Met, and as a result, they'll be selling festival passes for just $20 this year. 

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Butterflies Go Free

Montreal Bontanical Garden free the butterflies 2015

Photo courtesy of Espace pour la vie

Each year, the Montreal Botanical Gardens hosts the Butterflies Go Free event to welcome a new group of butterflies to the gardens, and April 30, 2018, is the last chance to catch thousands of butterflies of this beautiful attraction. There are between 50 and 75 species of butterflies from the United States, Costa Rica, El Salvador, the Philippines, Malaysia, and Tanzania in the Gardens' greenhouses, so you might even see some species you've never heard of before! 

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