Montreal, September 24, 2020 — The 30th Anniversary of the world-renowned Black & Blue LGBTQ Festival and the 3rd edition of the Carnaval des Couleurs of Montreal are postponed to October 2021. «It is the painful decision that the BBCM Foundation Organizing Committee had to make, to ensure the survival and sustained operations of these popular annual Montreal festivities that normally attract a lot of tourists», declares Robert J. Vezina, Founding President of the BBCM Foundation.
As a result of the current public health rules to counter the COVID-19 pandemic, the events will be reorganized and planned for October 2021 instead of October 2020. The team members will not be idle and will continue their work until December 2020 and into the next year in order to adjust and upgrade the programming for the Fall of 2021. The intention is for all the artists who were confirmed to participate in these 2020 events to be contacted and included again in the planning for next year.
The 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BLACK & BLUE FESTIVAL under the theme XXX (for three decades of festivities and success) already had a great list of confirmed Canadian/local DJs and artists for its 2020 edition: ALAIN JACKINSKY, ASHLEY GAUTHIER, CHARLES POULIN, CHRIS MORTAGUA, DANYUL, IAN KEY, KEV J, LADY MCCOY, LOST HEROES (CHRISTIAN PRONOVOST), LUC RAYMOND, MARC PAQUET, MAUS, SANDY DUPERVAL, ST-DENIS (ALAIN VINET – STEVE ARIES), STEFANE LIPPÉ, STEPHAN GRONDIN, and the super talented DOMINIC LACASSE CIRCUS COMPANY. Key organizing members of the Sunday Main Event team include: Yanick Daigle (Artistic Director), Luc L’Heureux (Technical Director), Marc Garceau (Operations Director), and Jacques ‘Coco’ Lévesque (Lighting Designer), with Robert Vezina as Chief Organizer.
It will be understood that there are no international DJs on the 30th Anniversary list yet, but the BBCM team will be hiring big names from the international scene in the coming months for this mega celebration. For the moment, the committee only confirmed Canadian talent since it is very difficult to organize international bookings in the present circumstances.
To be clear, all the evening parties like the usual major main event on the Sunday night of Canadian Thanksgiving / U.S. Columbus Day Weekend, as well as the Twinkle party, the Leather Ball, the Uniform Ball, and many more over a week of activities, are therefore postponed until October 2021. For more info: www.bbcm.org
It is the same situation and challenge for the 3RD EDITION OF THE CARNAVAL DES COULEURS, a relatively new free event open to all, started by the BBCM Foundation in 2018, to bring together in a festive way, the various LGBTQ and multiethnic and multicultural communities of Montreal, around the dates of the existing Black & Blue Festival. Carnaval Ambassadors Élizabeth Blouin-Brathwaite and Normand Brathwaite, as well as local artists such as Kizaba, Jimmy Moore, Marc-André Valade, Johanne Blouin, Club Bolo, Son Del Pacifico, Kay Cassendo, Sule Heitner, Kalabanté Circus, Magislain, Mado Lamothe and several other drag queen performers, as well as DJs and several additional artists were to be present at the 3rd edition of the Carnaval des Couleurs at the beginning of October 2020. All this artistic content will also be re-appointed for next year since the event is postponed to October 2021, and then more.
The innovative concept of the 3rd edition of Carnaval is to stretch it over the first two weekends of October, ending with Canadian Thanksgiving. On the first weekend, the indoor part is planned to take place on the Grande-Place of Complexe Desjardins, starting with a free party with several DJs (house music and world beats), and then continuing with many shows and performances over several days and evenings, plus conferences on the fight against racism and the fight against homophobia, an interactive community kiosks zone, as well as other activities for families. During Canadian Thanksgiving weekend, the second outside portion, called “Carnaval en Mouvement”, is planned to consist of several activities and performances in select parks of the Latin Quarter and in the Gay Village, as well as a new artistic night parade with professional performers on Ste-Catherine Street East on the Saturday evening, assuming hopefully that the approval from the Ville-Marie Borough can be obtained again for the presentation of such a novel outdoor happening in October 2021. For more info: www.carnavaldescouleurs.org
It must be said that the BBCM Foundation has worked very hard in the past months to ensure the support of the various levels of government despite the pandemic, so that the organization can continue its good endeavors in collaboration with its freelancers, suppliers, committee members, sponsors/partners and media, etc. The essential subsidies are being used to make people work regardless of the postponement of activities, so that the BBCM Foundation can continue to ensure the proper organization of the 30th Anniversary of the Black & Blue Festival and the 3rd edition of the Carnaval des Couleurs. The committee has managed to gather a large number of partners and sponsors of various kinds even during this difficult period. The 2020 editions of the events feature the following organizations as confirmed partners so far (for the Black & Blue and/or the Carnaval), in addition to many volunteers, committee members, artists and DJs, etc. who give, in part or in full, their time and efforts graciously to the BBCM Foundation: Government of Québec, Government of Canada, City of Montréal, Destination Centre-Ville Montréal, Tourisme Montréal, SDC du Village, Magazine Fugues, WKND Radio station 99.5 FM, A&U Magazine, Edge Media Network, Grab Magazine, Boi Magazine, My Gay Toronto, Gay Calgary Magazine, GayVan (Vancouver), Armada Men’s Room Boutique, Maison Plein Coeur, Desjardins, 4KIX, Inspired Media / The Buzz Magazine, Nexus Radio, Pink Banana, Shaun Proulx Media, Fierté Montréal, Outlook TV, Sauna G.I. Joe, Sauna Centre-Ville, Sauna Oasis, Club La Cité, Garçons Sculpteurs / Productions Boyfriend, RJV Communications, PUR Vodka, GAP-VIES, Dan Saycool Video and Graphic Design, Aura Web Solutions, District Party, Journal La Métropole, La Scena Musicale Magazine, GRIP, Festival du Nouveau Cinéma, Montréal La Plus Heureuse, Service à la famille chinoise de Montréal, Les Galopins de Montréal, Club Bolo, Centre Action Sida Montréal, Montréal Autochtone, Fierté Littéraire, Centre Afrika, Kepkaa – Mois du Créole à Montréal, GEIPSI, Clowns sans Frontières, Encans Bénéfices Signature Pro, La Petite Robe Noire, and several others now being obtained.
In conclusion, «We are working very hard to save these two events. Science should find a way to counter this virus and, by next October, we are hopeful that there will be a vaccine and/or a really good treatment that will allow us to carry out these activities», said Robert J. Vezina on behalf of all committee members.