Metro Weekly

Divers/Cité brings top entertainers to Montreal

Divers_Cite_Crowd.jpgWith veteran entertainers such as Hector Romero, Alain Jackinsky, François K and Frankie Knuckles, along with rising stars such Nico Concerto and Raneem, Montreal’s Divers/Cité is flexing its muscles as it kicks off another decade as one of the world’s top LGBT music and arts festivals, July 29 to Aug. 4.

The event begins on Monday at La Fontaine Park with a free outdoor screening of the film Pina, a documentary about the contemporary dance choreographer Pina Bausch.  It will be followed by the short Ona, a unique collaboration between choreographer José Navasl and director Philippe Baylaucq. The 15-minute film captures thermal images created by the body heat of dancers.

The first of  a series of outdoor music events will be held Thursday evening at the Port of Old Montreal’s Clock Tower Beach, with sets by Alain Jackinsky and Nico Concerto.

Friday provides participants multiple options. At Port of Old Montreal’s Quai Jacques-Cartier, Divers/Cité’s main outdoor venue, the evening kicks off with sets on one stage by Pagano and Tom Stephan, Mark Anthony and Alberto Pérez. Later in the evening, the band Infected Mushroom will perform along with sets by DJ Raneem and Project Offset on a second stage. 

Divers/Cité’s traditional lesbian event will also be held on Friday evening back at Clock Tower Beach. Ladies and guests will dance in the sand and be entranced by Denise Benson and Tizi.

The party moves indoors late on Friday when Def Mix team member Hector Romero shows off his house-music skills at Club Peopl, one of the city’s newest nightlife venues located in the Old Montreal area.

Mado_Lamotte.jpgIt is another jam-packed schedule on Saturday, including Mascara, the largest drag show in North America. Mistress of ceremonies and Montreal’s most legendary drag performer, Mado Lamotte, provides an over-the-top show that entertains and surprises.

Mascara will be followed by a sunset party with Hector Romero and more of the Def Mix team including Frankie Knuckles, David Morales and DJ Meme.

Saturday’s late-night and after-hours party will be at Stereo nightclub. Providing beats into the early morning will be Ana Paula, Stephan Grondin and DJ Meme.

The festivities continue on Sunday with a morning brunch at Les Éclusiers by Apollo riverside restaurant. In the afternoon, both stages at Quai Jacques-Cartier ignite again with a global lineup.

Billed as Le Grand Bal, New York City’s François K and Will Automagic trade sets with members of London’s Horse Meat Disco collective and Montreal’s own Jojoflores. Meanwhile, La Grande Danse brings together Spain’s CHUS + CEBALLOS (DJ-producers Chus L. Esteban and Pablo Ceballos) David Penn, Miami’s Patrick M and Montreal’s Nicola Torriero and Marciano.

Divers/Cité will end with dueling after-hours parties at Stereo and Apollon nightclubs. Isaac Escalante and Abel will reign at Stereo, and Manual Diego and Josh Karmin will drive the rhythm at Apollon.

Considered one of the top gay-friendly travel destinations in the world, Montreal is home to a thriving LGBT community. More information about visiting Canada’s second-largest city is available from Tourisme Montreal.

Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at