Summer in Montreal is an endless series of spectacular events! The season explodes off the line when the Formula I cars come roaring into town on June 8th. The Canadian Grand Prix is one of only two Formula 1 race venues in all of North America. Needless to say, the race attracts the best racing teams in the world.
And no sooner does the checker flag drop than spirited jazz solos fill the air. The Festival International de Jazz de Montréal opens on June 28th and is one of the largest jazz festivals in the world attracting over 3,000 artists from over 30 countries. This year marks the festival’s 38th season.
And if that is not enough, the same weekend the jazz festival kicks off, the skies over the St. Lawrence River explode with radiance when the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec commences its 33rd season.
However, these three events are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. There are more festivals and special events than one could possibly attend. Activities are only part of the reason summer in Montreal is fantastic. There is also the fact that Montreal has some of the finest dining establishments in North America and the nightlife is pretty awesome too!
Besides that, the weather is excellent, temps in the 70s to low 80s Farinheight (low to high 20s Celcius). And while late afternoon thunderstorms are frequent, the rain keeps the thousands of beautiful flowers planted throughout the city looking their best.
Canadian Grand Prix 2018
Leading the summer in Montreal off is the Canadian Grand Prix, which dates back to 1977. Today it is considered one of the most spectacular sporting events in the world. The three-day event draws hundreds of thousands of fans from around the globe. And the elegant ambiance of Old Town is a natural stage set for such an international social event.
The race is held at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on Ile Notre Dame in the St. Lawrence River. The circuit is named in honor of one of Canada’s most successful race car drivers, Giles Villeneuve. Villeneuve was a Montreal native and naturally a fan favorite. But he also had street cred, besides winning the inaugural race here in 1978, when the track was called the Île Notre-Dame Circuit, he was also a six-time Formula 1 champion. Tragically, he lost his life while qualifying for the 1982 Belgian Grand Prix. His son Jacques followed his father into racing and to date is the only Canadian to win the Formula One World Championship.
Racing aficionados consider the summer in Montreal venue one of the best Formula 1 circuits ever built. It is located on Île Notre Dame, a man-made island built in the St. Lawrence River to host the 1967 Expo. During the 1976 Summer Olympics, the rowing and canoeing events were held here.
The track is 4.361km in length and is noted for its classic simplicity. The circuit comprises two hairpin turns, a few chicanes, and some exhilarating straightaways. However, this understated layout consistently delivers excellent races. Pay particular attention to the last corner, turn 13. It’s a devilish chicane which empties onto the start-finish straightaway.
There is a wall there called the Wall of Champions due to the fact some of the greatest drivers in Formula 1 history have collided with it. Ironically the wall had Bienvenue au Québec (Welcome to Quebec) written on its face. Unfortunately, it seems some drivers including Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Jacques Villeneuve, Jensen Button and Sebastian Vettel took the welcome too literally and crashed into it. In 2017, race organizers made modifications to the wall as it was deemed too dangerous for contemporary F1 cars.
The Canadian Grand Prix runs over three days. The program includes not only the Formula 1 race but also several other classes, including the Ferrari Challenge, Porsche GT3, Coupe STCH F1600, and the Masters Historic Formula One class. The latter consists of Formula One cars from “the golden era,” which caters for 3-litre engine Formula 1 cars from 1966 to 1985.
On Sunday the other classes finish racing in the morning and then at 12:30 the main festivities begin with the Formula 1 drivers parade. And then at 2:00 pm the green flag drops and the race is on. The Canadian Grand Prix consists of 70 laps and takes about two hours to complete.
This year race organizers are expecting a full race card. Keep an eye on Lewis Hamilton (Team Mercedes) to be there to defend last years title.
For more information visit, https://www.gpcanada.ca/en/
Montreal Jazz Festival
On June 28, 2018, the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will kick off its 38th year. Alain Simard founded the festival back in 1980 at a time when the critics claimed that jazz was a dying genre. Perhaps in their minds but certainly not in the minds of the 12,000 devotees who showed up to hear Gary Burton, Ray Charles, and Chick Corea perform.
Attracting 12,000 people to any event is impressive but fast forward 25 years to 2004 when the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal drew an estimated 1,913,868 people and earned the Guinness World record as the world’s the largest jazz festival! This year the eleven-day festival will attract over 2.5 million visitors to the city.
But it’s not the numbers that count; it’s the quality of the experience. And the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal offers one helluva an experience. This year the official program lists over one hundred acts including such household names as Seal, Herbie Hancock, and Bobbie McFerrin. But also a cadre of emerging artists who continue to push the ever-expanding boundaries of jazz.
In addition to the paid events, there are hundreds of free outdoor concerts held at venues throughout the downtown. That’s not counting the impromptu jam sessions on street corners and even in parking lots. And if that’s not enough, throughout the city, Montreal’s bars and nightclubs are alive with music.
Not a jazz fan! Not a problem, artists are covering a wide range of music genres, so you can be sure you will find something that floats your boat as they say. In fact, that’s the real beauty of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal it offers something for everyone; from classic jazz to bebop, to Latin, to fusion to the latest in cutting-edge compositions.
The 2018 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal runs from June 28th through July 7th, 2018.
For more information visit http://www.montrealjazzfest.com/en-CA
L’International des Feux Loto-Québec (IFLQ)
If you thought things were going to slow down after the jazz festival, you’d be wrong. Just as the last jazz notes drift toward the heavens, the night sky explodes with a brilliant flash of colorful light announcing the opening of the 2018 L’International des Feux Loto-Québec (IFLQ). It seems summer in Montreal has another surprise in store for you.
On July 7th the 34th edition of the L’International des Feux Loto-Québec (IFLQ) commences. Billed as one of the world’s best pyrotechnic competitions, this year’s event includes competitors from six countries vying for the coveted gold medal. This year’s roster consists of some of the world’s most prestigious pyrotechnic firms representing Austria, China, Canada, the United States, Australia and first-time attendees, the Philippines.
La Ronde, a Six Flags theme park, hosts the show. While this certainly affords the best seats in the house, it is far from the only vantage point. Some of the more popular viewing locations include Mount Royal, Clock Tower Beach, Jacques Cartier Bridge and Old Port to name but a few.
However, if you want to experience the full drama the shows have to offer, then La Ronde is the place to be. You see the fireworks are only one facet of the show. Each display is carefully choreographed and takes the viewer on a magical journey featuring dance, music and stunning optics. This year’s competition is opening with a performance featuring the music of ABBA. And winds up a tribute to James Bond.
2018 Fireworks Schedule
This year’s displays run from July 7th through August 8th.
|Saturday, July 7th||Canada||Royal Pyrotechnie||Tribute to ABBA|
|Wednesday, July 11th||Austria||steyrFire||Let’s dance|
|Saturday, July 14th||China||Dancing Fireworks Group||The Butterfly Lovers|
|Wednesday, July 18th||Canada||Apogée||Immortals|
|Saturday, July 21st||Philippines||Dragon Fireworks||Of Games and Thrones|
|Saturday, July 28th||United States||Pyrotecnico||Rock Loves…Redux Rock Loves…|
|Wednesday, August 1st||Australia||Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics||Shapeshifter|
|Wednesday, August 8||United States||Rozzi’s Famous Fireworks-Panzera||Tribute to James Bond Movies|
Summer in Montreal
Still not convinced that summer in Montreal is the place to be? Not too worry, there’s plenty more to do in Montreal. In fact, MTL Blog claims there are as many as 30 different festivals and special events scheduled for this summer. This includes the Just For Laughs comedy festival, which is billed as the largest comedy festival in the world.
Too much partying? Relax, there are other things to do in the summer in Montreal. There are dozens of museums, shops, restaurants, as well as romantic parks and breathtaking overlooks. So, rent a bike and discover some the subtleties this amazing city has to offer as well.