Festival Bloomsday Montréal celebrates Joyce and Irish culture through reading groups, theatre, music, walking tours, and academic discussion. We’ve recently concluded our 2020 Festival, and look forward to seeing you in 2021!

Thank you to all for a wonderful 2020 festival!

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, our 2020 Festival was held entirely online. The Festival schedule is listed below, and you can click on the relevant links below to relive our events on Youtube.

2020 Festival Schedule of Events

Online Exhibition:
Originally schedule to display live in Montreal, we were thrilled this selection of irreverent but loving caricatures of James Joyce and his circle by Montreal-born artist and illustrator Craig Morriss were available online. The exhibition includes textual commentary, and has been updated regularly with new content. To access the exhibition, go to CraigMorriss.co.uk and click on the menu icon in the upper right corner — click on Bloomsday Montreal 2020 Exhibition.


Opening Ceremony: Friday, June 12, 2:00-3:30 pm. Michael Kenneally, Chair of Concordia’s School of Irish Studies, joined the Bloomsday organizers for an introduction to the festival, its roots, and the lasting power of Joyce. Rewatch the event here! 


A Bloomsday Concert: Saturday, June 13, 2:00-4:00 pm. Hosted by Dennis Trudeau and featuring singers, writers, storytellers, and musicians, we enjoyed a tribute to Joyce in song, music, and words. Rewatch the event here, and download the event program here!

Virtual Walking Tour: Sunday, June 14, 10:00-11:30 am. A Bloomsday tradition in the days of pandemic! Donovan King led us on a virtual walking tour. We watched his pre-recorded journey through the history of Irish Montreal, including sites that recorded the impact of past pandemics on our city. Donovan joined us live via Zoom for questions and answers. Rewatch the event here!

The Sunset Gals: Sunday, June 14, 2:00-3:30 pm. Prolific playwright and local treasure Colleen Curran read from her new play, The Sunset Gals. This event was sponsored by The Playwrights Guild of Canada. Rewatch the event here!

Academic Panel: Monday, June 15 , 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, with breaks. For an immersive discussion of Joyce’s work, we were joined by John McCourt, Marcello Zabaloy, and members of the Concordia community. Rewatch the event here!

  • John McCourt is Professor of English literature at the University of Macerata. His most recent book is Writing the Frontier. Anthony Trollope between Britain and Ireland (Oxford University Press, 2015). He is also the author of The Years of Bloom: Joyce in Trieste 1904-1920 (Lilliput Press and the University of Wisconsin Press).  John has edited many volumes including Roll Away the Reel WorldJames Joyce and Cinema (Cork University Press), and James Joyce in Context (Cambridge University Press). He is currently working on a study of the reception of Joyce’s Ulysses in Ireland as the centenary of its publication approaches. John is co-director of the Trieste Joyce School.

  • Marcelo Zabaloy is the Spanish translator of Ulysses and Finnegan’s Wake. He was born in Bahía Blanca, Argentina on the 10th of September 1956, and has lived in the same city since then, with his wife of over 40 years, Marcela. They have two daughters aged 41 and 40 and four sons aged  39, 38, 37 and 36. The remarkable story of how this self-confessed, independent scholar and former IT professional came to Joyce and to develop these acclaimed translations will make for a fascinating presentation.

  • Peter Stockland is Senior Writer with Cardus, and Editor and publisher of Convivium, “an online space that brings together citizens of differing convictions and religious confessions to contend for the role of faith in our common life.  Over the last eight years Convivium has fostered rigorous conversation, shared profound stories of faith, and explored some of the most difficult questions of our time.”  Peter was formerly editor-in-chief at the Montreal Gazette.  Peter is also a student at Concordia’s School of Irish Studies.  Last year, Peter spoke on “Ulysses by Ear” about learning “Ulysses” not by reading but by listening.  
  • Kayla Fanning is a student in the School of Irish Studies at Concordia University, with a double major in English Literature and Irish Studies.  She is an unrepentant Joyce enthusiast.  In this year’s panel, in keeping with the theme of “Joyce and Landscape”, Kayla will be exploring Episode Seven in Ulysses, “Aeolus” and the contours of the lungs, the breath and the wind.

Bloomsday Readings. Tuesday, June 16, in two sessions: 

11:00 am – 1:00 pm. The sine qua non of every Bloomsday, we gathered for readings from throughout Ulysses.

2:00 – 4:00 pm: We gathered for deeper dive into Episode 18, Penelope, from Ulysses, exploring Molly Bloom through words and song.

Rewatch the events here!

Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate James Joyce’s 137th birthday with us on February 2 at the Westmount Library! We enjoyed readings, storytelling, drawings, cake, cookies, and conversation!

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