A brief history of Montreal Pride
Montreal activist John Banks helped organize Montreal’s first gay pride march in 1979 and carried a homemade, pink-dyed triangle flag at the head of 52 marchers. Canada’s first lesbian pride march took place in the city in 1981. Then, in 1993, the organization Divers/Cité launched their own march, drawing 5,000 people into the streets. Today, Montreal Pride—also called Fierté Montréal—is the largest Pride celebration in the French-speaking world and one of the biggest LGBTQ+ events in Canada.
How Montreal celebrates Pride
“There’s so much going on!” Seivewright says. The festival lasts for 11 days and includes drag shows, dancing, DJs, and art installations. The city’s Pride Parade is a centerpiece, and there’s a main stage with major shows and performers. Seivewright advises visitors to check out smaller events, as well. “The community day is always one of the highlights for me,” he says. “That’s when over 100 different groups and associations take over Sainte-Catherine Street and set up info booths. It’s like a farmer’s market for queer community groups. It's awesome!”
The importance of Pride
“Pride can be a celebration, a protest, an eye opener, a way to stand in solidarity with all the LGBTQ2+ people around the world who can’t have Pride like we do,” says Seivewright. “Most of all, it’s important to me because it honors the memory of all those who are no longer with us but who gave us the freedoms we have today.”