In Montreal, if it ain’t snowing, then there’s a festival going on somewhere. Founded in 1993 on the principles of diversity, solidarity, and openness, Divers/Cite is one of the most beloved of Montreal’s forty annual festivals.
A seven-day LGBT music and arts festival, Divers/Cite’s motto is “All Together Different,” which stresses the festival’s belief in both individualism and community.
This year, Divers/Cite celebrates its 22nd birthday from July 28 – August 3 at its home on the Jacques-Cartier Pier in in the Old Port of Old Montreal with two spectacular waterfront stages, including the grand opening of its brand-new stage on Bonsecours Island. In addition, Montreal’s legendary nightclubs and concert venues host a series of after-parties and performances.
For the 16th consecutive year, Divers/Cite’s Friday evening event will also serve as the finish line rally for the Friends for Life Bike Rally, the six-day, 600-kilometer journey from Toronto to Montreal that raises funds to help support those people living with HIV/AIDS.
Montreal’s local favorite DJ Patrick Guay welcomes more than 400 riders with an opening set for Friday Tribal (Vendredi Tribal), a brand-new Divers/Cite event that features Stereo label founder Chus L. Esteban and partner-in-crime Pablo Ceballos (a.k.a. Chus + Ceballos), as well as Madrid-based D-Formation.
For years, Divers/Cite has collaborated with some of the music world’s most renowned labels and deejays. A pioneer of the “Omtronica” sound, DJ Alyson Calagna returns to Divers/Cite for Saturday’s Sunset Party, which also showcases the sounds of three other femme fatales of the turntables: MightyKat, Kim Ann Foxman, and Montreal’s own ambassador of sound, Misstress Barbara.
On Sunday afternoon, Divers/Cite 2014 travels to Carnaval in Rio with Carnival Cantelli’s arrival at l’Île Bonsecours for a samba procession and the start of DC Drums, starring Brazilian bombshell DJ Ana Paula, as well as Jojo Flores, Jully Freitas, and Akawui & Band.
The climax of Divers/Cite’s seven-day festival is La Grande Danse, one of North America’s largest outdoor dance events. Commencing on Sunday afternoon, the open-air dance continues long past sunset into the night. This year’s 22nd anniversary celebration of the seven-hour event will feature U.K. sensation Prok & Fitch alongside Stephan Grondin and Celeda, Joubin, and DJ Vibe from Lisbon, Portugal.
Aptly named, Divers/Cite’s programming showcases a range of music as diverse as Montreal’s population, including dance, blues, jazz, electronica, trance, techno, deep house – and vocals.
Aficionados of Terpsichore will be happy to herald the return of Flexx, one of Divers/Cite’s signature events, which features the work of eight of Montreal’s most gifted choreographers for an evening of exuberant contemporary dance.
Divers/Cite 2014 will also welcome music from Honey Dijon, Manny Ward, Whitney Day, Hector Fonseca and Divers/Cité favorites DJ Escape and Alain Jackinsky.
Honored as a UNESCO City of Design, Montreal received the award for its citywide emphasis on talent, tolerance, diversity, and technology – all factors that enable a plurality of values and overall inclusiveness of its citizenry.
Throughout its history, Divers/Cite has brought together thousands of music lovers from around the globe in a collective dance that embodies Montreal’s heart and soul. While we are “All Together Different,” Divers/Cite reminds us there are times when we are all together one.