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Festival Orientalys Montreal: A Celebration of Middle Eastern Culture

The Festival Orientalys is an annual festival that takes place in Montreal, Canada. The festival celebrates the cultures of the Middle East through music, dance, art, and food.

The festival is held over four days in August. The main event is the TD Stage, which features a variety of live performances from Middle Eastern artists. There are also workshops, demonstrations, and exhibits on Middle Eastern culture.

In addition to the TD Stage, there are two other stages at the festival: the Lands of the Orient and the Medina Stage. The Lands of the Orient stage features performances from artists from different countries in the Middle East. The Medina Stage is a more informal space where people can gather to listen to music, eat food, and shop for souvenirs.

The Festival Orientalys is a great opportunity to experience the rich cultures of the Middle East. It is a family-friendly event, and there is something for everyone to enjoy.

History of the Festival Orientalys

The Festival Orientalys was founded in 1996 by a group of Montrealers who were passionate about Middle Eastern culture. The festival was originally held in a small park in downtown Montreal, but it quickly outgrew its space. In 2000, the festival moved to its current location at Parc Jean-Drapeau, which is a large park on an island in the St. Lawrence River.

The Festival Orientalys has grown steadily in popularity over the years. In 2019, the festival attracted over 200,000 visitors. The festival is now one of the largest Middle Eastern festivals in North America.

What to Expect at the Festival Orientalys

There is something for everyone to enjoy at the Festival Orientalys. The festival features a wide variety of musical performances, from traditional folk music to modern pop. There are also dance performances, art exhibitions, and food vendors from all over the Middle East.

Here are some of the highlights of the festival:

  • The TD Stage: This is the main stage of the festival, and it features a variety of live performances from Middle Eastern artists. In previous years, the TD Stage has hosted performances by artists such as Ragheb Alama, Warda Al-Jazairia, and Elissa. 
  • Lands of the Orient: This stage features performances from artists from different countries in the Middle East. In previous years, the Lands of the Orient stage has hosted performances by artists from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Syria.
  • Medina Stage: This is a more informal space where people can gather to listen to music, eat food, and shop for souvenirs. The Medina Stage is a great place to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the Middle East. 
  • Workshops and demonstrations: The Festival Orientalys also offers a variety of workshops and demonstrations on Middle Eastern culture. In previous years, workshops have been offered on topics such as Arabic calligraphy, belly dancing, and henna painting.
  • Food: There is no shortage of delicious food to be found at the Festival Orientalys. You can sample traditional dishes from all over the Middle East, including kebabs, hummus, and baklava.
  • Family-friendly activities: The Festival Orientalys is a great place to bring the whole family. There are plenty of activities for children, such as face painting, henna tattoos, and traditional games.

Tips for Planning Your Visit to the Festival Orientalys

  • Plan your visit ahead of time: The Festival Orientalys is a popular event, so it is a good idea to plan your visit ahead of time. You can purchase tickets online or at the gate.
  • Bring comfortable shoes: You will be doing a lot of walking at the festival, so be sure to bring comfortable shoes.
  • Bring sunscreen and a hat: The weather in Montreal can be hot in August, so be sure to bring sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Bring cash: There are ATMs at the festival, but it is a good idea to bring some cash with you in case you need it.
  • Be prepared to be amazed: The Festival Orientalys is a truly magical experience. Be prepared to be amazed by the sights, sounds, and smells of the Middle East.

Learn more about the Festival!

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