Introducing Carnaval des Couleurs

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By Pierre Perreault

The Carnaval des Couleurs de Montréal, multicultural and LGBTQ arts festival, has taken place annually in October since 2018. It is a response by the BBCM Foundation to the wishes expressed by many communities to see the organization reach a wider public and contribute to the multicultural and multi-ethnic life of Montreal.

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This year the BBCM Foundation’s Carnaval des Couleurs offers an exciting lineup of shows on Oct. 9 and 10 at three downtown sites: Complexe Desjardins, Place Émilie-Gamelin and the Ste-Catherine pedestrian walkway in the Gay Village. Carnaval des Couleurs performances are varied and open to all:

• Daytime and evening activities that differ according to the site;
• Unamplified attractions in the village during this Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, including an evening walkabout on Saturday Oct. 9 on Ste-Catherine St. with entertainment in the small parks in the area involving street arts, dance, circus, giant puppets, etc.;
• Amplified performances at Place Émilie-Gamelin and Complexe Desjardins featuring a variety of performing artists (chanson, music) known to the general public as well as emerging multicultural and LGBTQ artists.

For Robert J. Vézina, founding president of the BBCM Foundation, the Carnaval des Couleurs arrives like a breath of fresh air just as many summer festivals are winding down and we all enter a time of year when few cultural and musical activities are offered outdoors or indoors. In addition, by stressing artistic multiculturalism, the organization hopes to promote the spirit of togetherness that more and more people and communities want to establish permanently in Montreal and elsewhere in Quebec.

The BBCM Foundation has presented primarily musical events for 30 years. The Carnaval des Couleurs is part of the Black & Blue Festival, an electronic music event created in 1991 by a group of friends who wanted to organize a major LGBTQ tourist celebration in Montreal. The goal was to have fun and promote Montreal while supporting a good cause: notably, organizations providing services to people living with HIV-AIDS. The Black & Blue Festival quickly became an annual event of international repute. It is a celebration that welcomes men and women, gay and straight, without discrimination, and has attracted tens of thousands from here and abroad over the years.

“Thirty years later, this mission is still vibrant and relevant, even if the context has evolved and the needs have changed,” Vézina says.

This page is also available in / Cette page est également disponible en: Francais (French)


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