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3 Montreal Summer Festivals to Add to Your Student Travel Radar

Posted by Michael Johnson on Tue, May 27, 2014 @ 12:42 PM


Nuits d'Afriques Montreal

We’ve mentioned on here before that Montreal is bon vivant personified, a hotbed of thrilling student travel opportunities. Perhaps the best example of this is our penchant for a festival or two. Or eighty.

You can’t visit Montreal with students without landing on the doorstep of at least one annual festival. They come in all shapes and sizes; some are open to all while others reside in the niches of the city’s many diverse pastimes, from tennis to tattoos to techno music.

With dozens of festivals happening every month, we honestly have a hard time picking our favourites. Each one is best suited for a certain season, age group, and demographic. That said, here are three summer festivals that could really inject some new life into your class trip to Montreal:

1. Nuits d’Afrique: Our Nuits d’Afrique (Nights of Africa) festival is a two-week celebration of African music, culture and heritage. What started as a small gathering 27 years ago at renowned Afro-Cuban nightspot Club Balattou has since transformed into one of the largest shindigs this side of Dakar. Hundreds of artists from all over the world unite in the city’s Quartier des Spectacles to represent every corner of Africa’s diverse musical spectrum, including a number of West and North African artists that your French class will love. Nothing says ‘summer’ in this city like the epic outdoor concerts at this festival.

2. Fantasia Film Festival: Legendary film magazine Les Cahiers du Cinéma calls Fantasia Film Festival “the largest, most important event dedicated to genre film in North America.” That just about summarizes the climb that this festival has made over the years. Once a humble gathering for Concordia University students with a penchant for left-of-centre cinema, Fantasia has been transformed into an internationally-recognized film fest by filmmakers and filmgoers alike. You’ll come for the movies, but you’ll stay for the lineups of costumed super-fans. Please note that this festival is more suitable for high school groups. Genre cinema can be a wild and quirky ride, so make sure to review the lineup before you dive in.

3. Semaine Italienne: The city’s Italian community is one of the city’s largest, and our Petite Italie (Little Italy) is definitely worth a visit, festival or not. If a class trip to Montreal in August is in the works, you definitely want to check out Semaine Italienne (Italian Week), which is host to a plethora of events inspired by the city’s Italian roots. Surely you can’t resist the annual zeppola contest! What’s a zeppola, you ask? Forget everything you thought you knew about donuts and prepare yourself for la dolce vita.

By requesting a custom quote from Jumpstreet Tours, you and your class can easily fit these festivals and more into your own personalized class trip to Montreal. Adventure à la Montréalaise awaits!

Topics: Canadian Travel, culture, Festivals, Montreal