Canada Day in Montreal: Anglos + everyone else

Montreal's Fête nationale and Canada Day organizers are both trying hard this year to show their inclusive, warm embrace of all peoples and nationalities of Quebec ("We love you! We love you all!"), and even if each is trying to outdo the other to win hearts and votes, that's fine - what results are events increasingly free of dreary nationalism.

Lest we forget though, on June 29 Prime Minister Chretien forced through the Clarity Bill in the House of Commons - ensuring the Feds get to set the rules for any future separatist referenda - right before they broke for summer vacation. Just when you thought everyone was playing nice these days.

Oh yeah, uh, this was supposed to be about Canada Day in Montreal:

Old Port Events

For this country's 133rd birthday, Canada Day festivities continue at the Old Port - in fact the holiday is back here with such a vengeance that it's grown into a week-long party, extending to July 2.

A circus-themed celebration is the thing for this Millennial event: under the big top at the Clock Tower quay, acrobats, clowns, tightrope walkers, and exotic animals (elephant rides for the kids!) will perform throughout the day.

Evenings, there are bands of every description and musical provenance at the Jacques Cartier pier: world beat, Celtic, Andalusian, jazz, symphonic... a huge choice here.

Saturday night, July 1, the main concert event has Bruno Pelletier, Gino Vannelli, Jodie Resther, and Juno-winner Chantal Kreviazuk performing.

The nicely laid out Canada Day page at Célafête has the complete day by day schedules of activities. Call Admission at (514) 790-1245 for "free" tickets (there's a service charge) to the indoor events.


The 22nd annual Canada Day Parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the corner of Ste-Catherine street West via Peel and will arrive at 11:40 a.m. at Canada Place and Dominion Square. The parade will be followed by a songs and dance panorama from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Ooh... sparkly... Folks can't get enough of this stuff, and heap o' fireworks - with the David Lynchian title "A Bouquet of Fire" - will start at 11 p.m., July 1 at the Old Port, and end the celebrations with an appropriate climactic finish (for pyrophiliacs, the Benson & Hedges International Fireworks Competition continues until the end of July).

- Neil Brouillet

C'est votre tour
1999 World Civil Society Conference