This year marks the 13th edition of Fiert  in Montreal. This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, which took place in Greenwich Village, June 28th, 1969. It was that very event that inspired LGBTQ+ communities to commemorate that historical event annually. The “sex garage” protest, which took place in Montreal in 1990, is also being commemorated at the festival this year. Another important spotlight will shine on indigenous people, to bring recognition, representation, and awareness of the plight of women, young girls, and “two-spirit persons” face every day. The focus being, their rights for justice and security.

Although it is known to spread joy and fun, the Pride festival is not only for celebration or an excuse to “party and dance” and to watch a parade filled with gorgeous drag queens and kings. There are multiple reasons why an event as such is necessary and even more so, as there are so many environmentally determined tensions in our society.

These events raise awareness and visibility for numerous groups and causes. It provides a safe place for many to express themselves freely and without scrutiny. The opening ceremony tonight started with an indigenous reconciliation ceremony, with songs and dances performed by four beautiful indigenous women. 

After the flag-raising, the evening kicked off with a short film feature called “Tsanizid” meaning “Wake up” in the Tsuutina Dene language. Ariane Moffatt headlined the evening and despite a thunderstorm, the crowd courageously stayed to watch the show till the end. Events at the festival will run from the 9th up to the 18th. The program and events schedule is listed on the Fiert  site and you can also download a nifty app there.

– Photo credit Jose Dufour.