Culture & Conversation

Gettin’ Diverse in the City

All the heat in Montreal will definitely not be cooling down anytime soon as Divers/Cité, the infamous LGBT culture extravaganza, celebrates its 19th year this week. Montreal is about to flaunt its multicultural charm in a wild, fun, sexy, and all the while family-friendly blowout, packed into seven days of true Divers/Cité.

This year’s Divers/Cité offers a vast program of activities for all ages and energy levels. July 25th to 31st will be dedicated to not only celebrating LGBT lifestyle and culture, but also to educating others and welcoming supporters from all walks of life, while having loads of fun!

Festivities kick off tonight, July 25, at 9 p.m. with a free cinema-in-the-park screening of François Ozon’s Potiche in Parc Lafontaine. The film tells the story of an aging housewife, Suzanne Pujol, who finds herself powerless in her routine. As the woman decides to make some changes in her life, the movie quickly twists into a comedic flick centered around empowerment. Sensing a theme yet, anyone?

Throughout the following days, shows promoting pride and empowerment do just what Divers/Cité is all about — diversify! From film, to dance parties, to a Flexx dance show on Tuesday, and an Opera Night on Wednesday, this festival is anything but monotonous.

All of Divers/Cité’s widely assorted activities and talent displays come together nicely on Thursday, as Berri becomes Le Boulevard des Rêves – Québec’s longest running variety show. The performance will feature 16 different artists of all disciplines and experience levels, including city resident vocalist and techno DJ extraordinaire Misstress Barbara as well as the breathtaking New York City queen Shequida Hall.

The festival places a great deal of importance on awareness and support. The Friends for Life bike rally will welcome over 400 cyclists to Rue Berri, the finish line of their six day trek from Toronto to Montreal. Cyclists of all ages who are riding to raise funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS will arrive in the afternoon on July 29th. Bikers and supporters alike will then do only what’s best to commemorate their progress in fundraising — celebrate with hours upon hours of crazy partying.

A jam-packed schedule of DJ dance parties will send music and feeling pulsing through the streets all weekend long. Parties feature an extensive list of local and international performers and a fair share of big names, including Dutch DJ and multinational club sensation Mischa Daniels, as part of Friday’s New Society lineup. And, of course, an LGBT celebration in Montreal could not be complete without the unforgettable Mado, who is scheduled to shock and satisfy audiences in the 14th consecutive Divers/Cité edition of Mascara, a drag spectacular, taking place on Saturday night.

With so much to do and so much fun to be had, it’s time to get yourself prepped for a wild week of multicultural madness in Montreal — now, who’s ready for some Divers/Cité?

Divers/Cité will be celebrating in the city from July 25th to 31st, 2011. For more information, visit the festival’s website.

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