Montreal Spring Events 2017: Only the Best
Spring is a funny time in Montreal. Sometimes it arrives in March. Sometimes it doesn't. And even if it does show some skin by the third month of the year, the season also bares its subzero teeth, teasing locals into submission with sudden snowfalls and mercury drops well into April.
To counter the climatological powers that be, Montreal proposes a plethora of spring events that follow the season's slow, gradual onset, reminding locals while illuminating visitors to the very real fact that apart from some overt social media grumbling, it's gonna take a lot more than a temperature dip to get a Montrealer down.
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St. Patrick's DayA lot of places in North America love St. Patrick's Day. But Montreal really loves St. Patrick's Day. It may have something to do with basic statistics. About one Quebecer in 20 claims Irish ethnicity and over 40% of Quebecers allegedly have Irish ancestry somewhere down the bloodline, depending on the historian you consult. So we celebrate. But not just for a day. Think week. St. Patrick's Week.
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Earth HourYeah... Montrealers don't exactly celebrate Earth Hour in droves. For a couple of years, I even played Earth Hour police for the heck of it, noting how few locals (and businesses) appeared to be turning out their lights. Comments on the subject spread on the internet. I'm especially struck by concerns akin to “who cares, turning out the light for an hour changes squat.” And here I was thinking Earth Hour is fun. It's also a lovely initiative that doesn't hurt anyone and may even send a powerful message to younger generations. Turning off the lights for an hour may not alter everyone's behaviour, or even most behaviours, but you know how the truism penned by anthropologist Margaret Mead goes... “never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
When: the last Saturday of March
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Montreal's one and only white party is best known under its original French moniker, Bal en Blanc. And it easily attracts 15,000 people every year who stay out until late morning dancing to beats spun by a cross-section of the world's top 100 DJs. The crowd Bal en Blanc attracts is naturally a mixed bag, more douchey than hipster if you get my drift, but not exclusively so. And the event usually features a strong show of the LGBT community.
When: easter weekendContinue to 5 of 16 below.
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Blue MetropolisThe Blue Metropolis Literary Festival 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.
When: late April to early May, depending on the edition
08 of 16Montreal sure loves its Tam Tams. The drum circle tradition in the park has been going strong since the '70s. But it's a spontaneous grassroots event that doesn't have an organizing committee. So it's hard to predict just when the season starts up as it varies every year. People usually find out if Tam Tams are back up and running by simply showing up.
When: depends, could start up any Sunday in April or MayContinue to 9 of 16 below.
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Festival TransAmériquesFestival TransAmériques is Montreal's leading international festival, if only international festival in these parts combining both contemporary dance and contemporary theater, three weeks of world and North American premiere performances directed by top choreographers, artistic directors, and playwrights.
When: late May to early June
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Montreal Museums Day proposes free admission to dozens of Montreal museums as it has every last Sunday of May since 1986, marking the May 18th celebration of International Museums Day, a 1977 UNESCO/International Council of Museums initiative revolving around the motto that "museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, co-operation and peace among peoples."
When: the last Sunday of MayContinue to 13 of 16 below.
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MUTEK explores the confluence and evolution of digital art and electronic music. In other words, don't expect Top 40 dance but do anticipate the latest in digital experimentation.
When: last week of May and/or first week of June
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Technically-speaking, Canada Grand Prix is a spring event since it traditionally falls on a date prior to the the summer solstice. But if there was a Montreal event that heralds summer in the city, this is it, attracting in the upwards of a half a million people primed for a weekend of decadence and debauchery.
When: usually early to mid June
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