The ninth edition of Fierté Montreal Pride is on, mounting a week of cultural and community events in the Village and beyond.
Fierté was founded in 2007, when the premiere pride organization, Divers/Cité dropped the parade and community day from their programming, inspiring the founders of Fierté to come together and fill the gap. That first year, they organized the parade and a weekend’s worth of activities in only seven weeks.
In February, Divers/Cité announced that after 22 years of pride, they would not be planning a 2015 edition.
“Now that we are the only LGBT event in the summer, we tried to have more of a variety of activities for the different groups in the community,” says Fierté VP Jean-Sebastien Boudreault, elaborating that more parties (including an official afterparty on Sunday) and a TD sponsorship are two of the ways the event has grown this year. “We want everybody to find their place and feel welcome. We have activities for older people, trans, men, women, the bear community, the leather community, we have poetry, we have theatre — there are 115 different activities during the week.”
The parade is happening on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 1 p.m., beginning at St-Mathieu and ending at Sanguinet. Fierté’s programming also includes dance parties, cocktail parties, concerts, conferences, literary and theatre events, art expos, drag shows, brunches, a kids’ day, a Pride at la Ronde day (Friday, Aug. 14), a group run and yoga and zumba classes. Here are some highlights:
Tuesday, Aug. 11
World Peace concert, Place Émilie-Gamelin (Berri & de Maisonneuve E.), 6 p.m.
The event will begin the collective designing of a giant mandala and continue with the concert at 7:30 p.m., opening with a traditional introduction by reps from the native community and featuring such artists as Kim Richardson, Patrick Bernard, Swami Maharaja Bodhayan and Madeleine Bédard.
“If you’re super zen and you wanna fight for world peace, you should be there,” says Boudreault.
Wednesday, Aug. 12
Sex Garage 25th anniversary photo expo, Place Emilie Gamelin, 5 p.m.–12 a.m., free
An exhibit of photos by Linda Dawn Hammond to mark a quarter century since a galvanizing police raid of a Montreal loft party in 1990 — it was our Stonewall.
Thursday, Aug. 13
Feathers and Fishnet, Unity (1171 Ste-Catherine E.), 10 p.m., $15/$20/$30 VIP
This burlesque show and dance party features drag king Nat King Pole, drag queen hostess Kitana Sweet and DJ Lady Mccoy.
Friday, Aug. 14
Village Paradise, Place Émilie-Gamelin, 8 p.m., free
“This is a new kind of show that we’re putting together with Never Apart,” Boudreault explains. “It’s big, eclectic party for the younger crowd, something a little more crazy, edgy, international and fun,with Candis Cayne as grand marshal, cohosting with Plastik Patrik, Cazwell, Amanda Lepore, Barbara Tucker, Regina of Light Fires, Scott Fordman — a choreographer who works with a lot of major stars — and Montreal DJ Vito V.”
Saturday, Aug. 15
Fierté Afro Pride party, 372 Ste-Catherine W. #314, 10 p.m., $10/$15
There are lots of parties to choose from on the night of Fierté’s community day (taking place along Ste-Catherine E.), and among them is a party for the Afro-Caribbean community, a dance party featuring a wide variety of danceable music from the African diaspora.
Sunday, Aug. 16
T-Dance, Place Émilie-Gamelin, 12–11 p.m., free
The traditional post-parade party features music by DJs Danyful, Sandy Duperval and Thiago Oliveria, and culminates in a closing show with sci-fi numbers by drag queens in Marvel mode, impersonating their favourite X-Men characters.
“It’s going to be a hectic finale,” says Boudreault, “something like 50 people on stage going completely crazy.” ■
See the complete Fierté Montreal Pride program here.