WITH OVER 150 ARTISTS ON STAGE, THE FIERTÉ MONTRÉAL FESTIVAL’S 17TH EDITION DREAMS BIG
Montréal, July 26, 2023, ─ Under the slogan “Never Without Our Pride” and only a few days away from the beginning of the Fierté Montréal Festival’s 17th edition presented by TD in collaboration with Loto-Québec, Fierté Montréal invited local and visiting 2SLGBTQIA+ communities and their allies to join the festivities and partake in the artistic, cultural and community activities that will take place from August 3rd to 13th in Montréal. “In a social context where the amount of hate speech targeted toward 2SLGBTQIA+ communities is increasing, celebrating the creativity of communities and remembering their struggles and resilience becomes more relevant than ever,” said Simon Gamache, Executive Director of Fierté Montréal. “Pride is inextinguishable and, for 11 days, our communities will take the stage in the Village, at the Olympic Park, and elsewhere in the city to celebrate our pride.”
A Festival That Mirrors Our Communities
The biggest 2SLGBTQIA+ celebration throughout the Francophonie will celebrate the diversity within its queer communities by giving a stage to over 150 artists, a great portion of whom are emerging artists of colour. “We imagined a program that allows the public to recognize themselves and to highlight, in a festive and unifying way, the diversity within our communities,” says Chris Ngabonziza, Fierté Montréal’s Programming Director.
The Pride Parade Is Back
After a year of consultation, evolution, and transformation, Fierté Montréal has updated its governance, solidified its operations, redefined its mission, and reimagined its brand. Everything is in place to welcome over 15,000 people on August 13 at 1 p.m. on Boulevard René-Lévesque, between Metcalfe and Alexandre-DeSève Streets to participate in the Pride Parade, a powerful moment of celebration, commemoration, and advocacy for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities. The public is also invited to join this colourful and festive protest that highlights the demands of our communities.
A Historic Year for the Community Days, Presented by Air Canada
With a record registration, over 140 2SLGBTQIA+ community organizations and groups, as well as tens of allied organizations will be present during the Community Days, on Friday the 11th and Saturday the 12th of August on Sainte Catherine Est Street, in the Village, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Local Montréalers and visitors from everywhere are welcome to come to discover and support the vitality of our communities.
The 2023 Fierté Montréal Festival will start at Jardins Gamelin, on Thursday, August 3rd at 5 p.m., with the Opening Ceremony featuring Indigenous artists and their allies, followed by a free dance party in collaboration with the Glitterbomb collective at 8 p.m. The evening will continue with a comedy show, “Me Joke-Tu?” at the National at 8 p.m., hosted by Acadian drag artists Sami Landri and Chiquita Mére and celebrating local queer comedians. Back at Jardins Gamelin, fans of musical diversity will be able to enjoy a big show on Friday, August 4th, going from Scary’s pop music to Kinkead’s rock, to Chivengi‘s R&B during the XoXo show at 5 p.m. The evening will continue with the trans/nonbinary cabaret Them fatale, an immersive experience in the form of a speakeasy night that will transport you back to the prohibition era at the National at 8:30 p.m.; and with “A Family Affair,” a Kiki Ball that will explore biological and chosen families and their representations in pop culture at Club Soda at 8 p.m.
On Saturday, August 5th at 5 p.m., Jardins Gamelin will host participants of the Trans March to celebrate in a Trans Community Party, with performances from Bamboo Hermann, LaFHomme, and Miss Dupré Latour, followed by a DJ set by Lis Dalton at 9 p.m. The great Barbada will present her Pride Party at the National at 8 p.m., a rainbow-coloured night, rich in sequins and celebration that promises to be spectacular. Lastly, the Jardins Gamelin will host the Blush collective on Sunday, August 6th at 5 p.m. for a festive night encouraging intergenerational knowledge transfers around queer performance.
Fierté littéraire is back between August 7 to 11 at the La Comédie de Montréal Theatre, also in the Village, with roundtables, safespaces for authors of colour, queer poetry, and an outdoor book fair highlighting the role of literature in 2SLGBTQIA+ experiences.
Programming in the Village finishes off with a series of conferences that will take place at the Hyatt Place Montréal. On August 5th, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Fierté Montréal Festival invites you to a day of conferences on issues affecting the realities of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, organized in collaboration with community organizations such as RÉZO, Aide aux Trans du Québec and the Quebec Lesbian Network, among others. On August 11th, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Celebrating Our Spirits, organized in collaboration with the Indigiqueer Circle and Quebec Native Women, will present discussions about Two-Spirit, Indigenous LGBTQ+, and Indigiqueer identities.
Parties for All Tastes
Festive nights, well known to 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, will delight night owls with special Fierté Montréal editions. On Friday, August 4th, Heated, a lesbo-queer party at Club Soda, and Pleasuredome, an immersive disco and house party under the Satosphère’s dome will unite queer communities for an unforgettable night. On Saturday, August 5th, the Satosphère hosts Unikorn, a part-rave, part-concert and drag show centered around the underground club kid culture. On Friday, August 11th, After-Xcellence promises a euphoric night with DJs such as Pierre Kwenders, DJ Karaba and KidCrayola at the Satosphère. Still under the dome, Queen&Queer, the biggest dance party for queer women, nonbinary people, trans people and allies will make us celebrate on Saturday, August 12. Tickets on fiertemontreal.com/en/tickets
A Line Up of Major Shows Back at the Olympic Park’s Esplanade
August 9 will mark the opening of the festival’s main site, the Olympic Park’s Esplanade, with a DJ set from Barbada presented by Bud Light at 5 p.m., followed by the epic Immix night, presented by ICI Musique on the TD stage. The show will feature a unique musical mosaic including Édith Butler, Lumière, Coco Béliveau, Klô Pelgag, Joe Bocan, and many others. On the Loto-Québec stage, the evening kicks off with Drag’Opéra a show where opera and drag artists will meet on stage to share opera and musical theatre pieces in a laid-back atmosphere. This will be followed by a performance from Queer Songbook Orchestra, a chamber pop musical ensemble that uses stories and songs to honour and highlight the experiences of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, along with invited artists such as Safia Nolin, Martha Wainwright, and many others. This event is presented by La Presse.
The Return of Drag Superstar and FeminiX
On August 10, the Drag Superstars show, presented by Puerto Vallarta, will bring together on the TD stage worldwide drag royalty in a fabulous show hosted by Rita Baga. There will be a wide variety of participants from various RuPaul’s Drag Race franchises such as Jimbo, Gisèle Lullaby, Icesis Couture, Aquaria, Yvie Oddly, Heidi N Closet, Alexis Mateo, Envy Peru, Drag Couenne, to name only a few, in addition to many more famous drag artists. On the Loto-Québec stage, the FeminiX show, presented by Rogers, celebrates sexually- and gender-diverse women through vibrant performances from BLK PRL (Sandy Duperval), JU!CE, Barbara Butch, and Narcisse.
A Unique Show and an Evening Celebrating QTBIPOC people
On Friday, August 11, DistinXion, on the TD stage, is a very special event featuring, among others, Aimé Simone, visiting Québec for the very first time, the queer South African artist Nahkane, Mýa, known all around the world for her participation in the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, Vivek Shraya, a trans multidisciplinary artist of colour and Idman, a nonbinary artist from Toronto. Then, Xcellence, presented by Ubisoft on the Loto-Québec stage, will celebrate QTBIPOC communities with a variety of celebrated DJs known to bring the party in the queer Montréal nightlife year-round, like TEYKIRISI, Honeydrip, pony, A$H BANKS and San Farafina.
Celebrating Local Talent
On August 12, MajestiX, presented by TD and hosted for the second consecutive year by drag kings Rock Bière and RV Métal, will feature local drag artists. The Loto-Québec scene will host Sweet Like Honey, a community collective that creates spaces for people identifying with lesbian/sapphic experiences that celebrates Montréal-based artists of colour, followed by SuXession, presented by Fugues. Hosted by the queen of queer nightlife Syana, the audience will be able to enjoy a show filled with the rising stars of the underground queer Montréal music scene along with their friends.
Mega T-Dance and Closing Show
On August 13, the Pride Parade will be followed by the great T-Dance at the TD stage of the Olympic Park’s Esplanade with DJ K.nox, DJ T Don and the Ugandan DJ Kampire, respectively presented by Skip The Dishes, Home Depot, and Bubly. On the Loto-Québec stage, the fantastic show Mundo Disko, presented by Trojan, will be sure to get lovers of this musical genre dancing. The Closing Show will highlight the Montréal-based queer artist RÊVE on the TD stage.
No to Sexual Violence
The Fierté Montréal Festival recommits to offering safer spaces to festivalgoers and continues to be the only “Order an Angelot” accredited festival in Québec. It is a protocol from the Collectif Social that seeks to prevent harassment and sexual violence in bars as well as festive and social events. Also, in collaboration with several 2SLGBTQIA+ community organizations, Fierté Montréal offers Safer Spaces to festivalgoers. These are calm spaces, away from the crowds, where people can decompress, regroup, and access, if necessary, active listening services offered by community intervention workers.
The Fierté Montréal Festival, a Megaphone for 2SLGBTIA+ Communities
The Festival serves as an annual platform for sexually and gender diverse communities to have their voices heard. “It is a great opportunity to mobilize ourselves and make the best of the visibility of our activities to actualize and reiterate the communities’ demands,” said Simon Gamache, Fierté Montréal’s Executive Director.
With no important legislative changes over the past year for 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, Fierté Montréal previous demands remain relevant. Fierté Montréal demands adequate funding and spaces for 2SLGBTQIA+ community organizations, the recognition of systemic racism as well as a commitment to fight against discrimination. In terms of healthcare, we demand free gender-affirming surgery and care, the prohibition of non-consensual surgical interventions on intersex people, and free HIV/AIDS healthcare. In terms of education, we demand funding for a sex-positive sexual education. For 2SLGBTQIA+ elders, we demand measures to break isolation and promote their well-being. Lastly, Fierté Montréal demands the decriminalization of HIV nondisclosure, of drug use and of sex work.
Four Grand Marshals
The Fierté Montréal Festival announces its four 2023 Grand Marshals, people who, thanks to their commitment, their talent and their work, inspire and contribute to the improvement of the lives of 2SLGBTQIA+ people.
Christiane Taubira is a French politician and writer. She was a member of France’s Assemblée Nationale for French Guiana from 1993 to 2012, a member of the European Parliament from 1994 to 1999, and Minister of Justice from 2012 to 2016. She was the driving force behind a 2001 law that recognized the Atlantic slave trade and slavery as a crime against humanity, known as Taubira Bill, and the 2013 law that recognized same-sex marriage in France. Passionate about culture, she is a woman of letters, an avid cinephile and a music afficionado. She has written several books on her political journey and commitment towards remembrance.
Hetera Saskya Caïla Estimphil
Hetera Saskya Caïla Estimphil is a 28-year-old trans woman and LGBTQIA+ activist from Haiti. As a psychosocial support worker, human rights educator and gender specialist, she works daily towards the advancement of human rights. An intersectional feminist, she currently acts as president of Kouraj Pou Pwoteje Dwa Moun, a human rights organisation specifically dedicated to the promotion of LGBTI rights located in Port-Au-Prince. She is a member of the Global Advisory Board of Dignity Network Canada.
A 2Spirit EEYOU Cree from the Mushkegowuk & Eeyou Istchee territory, Scott Wabano is a Creative Director, Fashion Designer/Stylist, Consultant and Social Media Content Creator. Scott owns the genderless streetwear brand ‘WABANO’, which they use to educate society about sustainability in fashion and the various Indigenous 2SLGBTQ+ identities around the world. Often incorporating traditional storytelling with modern and digital concepts when it comes to fashion, to showcasing the beauty and unique lives of Indigenous and 2SLGBTQ+/IndigiQueer peoples on social media. Scott uses their presence and social platforms to advocate for Indigenous 2SLGBTQ+ youth, remind them of the power of their identity and that their existences, stories, and voices matter.
Born in Montreal, Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been since 2000 the Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain, with which he signed a “lifetime” contract in 2019. The year before, he was appointed Music Director of New York’s Metropolitan Opera (MET). This was in addition to being the Music Director (2012) and Artistic Director (2023) of the Philadelphia Orchestra, where his current contract concludes in 2030. In 2016-2017, he became an honorary member of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In 2018, after 10 years at the helm of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra, he was made Honorary Conductor.
The Grand Marshals program, specially Hetera Saskya Caïla Estimphil’s visit, is supported by Dignity Network Canada and CUPE National.
Government of Canada
“Our government is proud to support the 17th edition of Fierté Montréal, a festival with colourful programming that celebrates our values of diversity, equality, and inclusion. I raise my hat to the entire team behind the rich programming that showcases 2SLGBTQIA+ communities’ creativity and vitality. I wish you a happy festival!”.
The Honourable Pascale St-Onge, Member of Parliament for Brome–Missisquoi, Minister of Sport and Minister responsible for CED
Never Without Our Partners
Fierté Montréal is grateful to its faithful and more recent partners: TD Bank Group, a partner since 2008, Loto-Québec, Government of Canada, Gouvernement du Québec, Ville de Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, Rogers, Trojan, SAQ, Air Canada, Bubly, Radio-Canada, Prime Video, STM, Bud Light, Hydro-Québec, Puerto Vallarta, Fugues, MTL Dans la poche, La Presse, CTV, Virgin Radio, Énergie, Rouge, Le Devoir, Publicité Sauvage, Cult, Shaun Proulx Media, Olympic Park, PQDS, RÉMI and SDC Village Montréal.
About Fierté Montréal
Fierté Montréal amplifies the voices of 2SLGBTQIA+ communities to assure their representation, their inclusion and the recognition of their rights in society. Catalysts for social change, our Festival, our community initiatives, as well as our artistic and cultural projects celebrate the creativity and resilience of our communities. Mindful of and in collaboration with 2SLGBTQIA+ communities, we call attention to their fights and realities in the wider public and the institutions.
Fierté Montréal is based in Tio’tia:ke, on the unceded territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation. We recognize them as the custodians of the lands and waters on which we gather. Tio’tia:ke is historically known as a gathering place for many First Nations, and today a diverse Indigenous population, as well as other peoples, reside here. It is with respect for the connections to the past, present, and future that we recognize the ongoing relationships between Indigenous Peoples and others in the Montréal community.
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Consultant, press relations