Sure, all of Canada's major cities host festivals throughout the summer, but none of them knows how to throw a party like Montreal does. From May to September, huge swaths of Montreal's downtown streets are closed down to make room for everything from the legendary Jazz Fest to smaller theatre events, making it unequivocally, if unofficially, our "City of Festivals." Here is a sampling of the city's summer fêtes: Festival de Théâtre des Amériques May 24-June 10 http://www.fta.qc.ca
In the last 15 years, over half a million people have come out to this bilingual theatre festival to see performances by theatre troupes from 27 countries around the world.
Montreal International Jazz Festival June 28-July 8 http://www.montrealjazzfest.com
The Chicago Tribune calls it the "greatest jazz festival in the world." It's also the city's biggest outdoor festival, with more than 300 free shows on 15 outdoor stages as well as dozens of paid performances. Nina Simone, Ray Charles, Buddy Guy and B.B. King have all belted out tunes here.
International Nuits d'Afrique Festival of Montreal July 12-July 22 http://www.festnuitafric.com
Four days after the Jazz Fest clears out, this festival takes over
Ste-Catherine Street with 11 days of outdoor shows by musicians and dancers from dozens of African nations.
Festival Just For Laughs July 12-22 http://www.hahaha.com
One of the biggest comedy festivals in the world, Just for Laughs has more than 2,000 shows, 1,300 of them free of charge. Or pay the ticket price for big names such as Tim Allen, or Eric Idle of Monty Python fame.