Family fun at Montreal’s 375th anniversary celebrations


Photo: Frédérique Ménard Aubin

by Stephen Johnson

For Canada’s 150th birthday, Canadians are putting on their party hats. There are also a number of other special occasions to be celebrated in 2017. Montreal is marking it’s 375th anniversary and in honor of that, the city is hosting many events throughout the year. Here are a few of the highlights.

Cold weather doesn’t mean people retreat inside and sit by the fire in Montreal. There is an abundance of festivals and activities to keep everyone warm. Music fans can take in some of the top electronica acts in the world on weekends from January 12th to February 19th in the Old Port of Montreal.

 For adults with children, Fête des neiges is the perfect festival. The event takes place in Parc Jean-Drapeau and activities include tube-sliding, dog-sledding and even a ferris wheel. The event runs from January 14th to February 5th. Combining activities for the young and slightly older, Montreal en Lumière, from February 23 to March 11, is a favorite for all ages. The festival offers concerts and theatrical performances across the downtown. Our family loves the free outdoor site set in the Quartier des Spectacles. Past highlights have included an illuminated ferris wheel (they love ferris wheels in MTL!), a luge run and a light show.

As the weather warms up, so will the action. From May 19 to 21, giant marionettes will descend on Montreal. These marionettes are from the Royal de Luxe theatre company in France and will be telling the story of Montreal. I am particularly looking forward to Festival des Arts de la Rue. Over 60 street theatre companies from six countries will take over Montreal’s streets every day in July to offer over 800 performances. Of course, there will be the usual array of other outstanding festivals including the Montreal Jazz Festival and Just for Laughs.

Halloween will last over five days in Montreal this year, from October 27 to 31. You will get your fill of ghosts and goblins including huge parades and scary shows.

Our family is planning to take in a lot of the outstanding events planned for Ottawa 150 but we will also keep the party going with frequent weekend trips to Montreal. For more information about Montreal 375 and the planned events, visit


Théâtre de rue.

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