Press release for immediate distribution

Closing Night Event of the 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

The Grande soirée Mardi gras à Montréal:

New Orleans is coming to town!

Montreal, Wednesday, June 30, 2010 - The 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal, presented by par TD in collaboration with Rio Tinto Alcan, reaches its climax on Tuesday, July 6, when New Orleans invades the downtown core for the Grande soirée Mardi gras à Montréal. The world’s largest jazz festival celebrates in high style with a double bill of festivities for its final night: a massive parade AND a closing concert worth of the legendary Louisiana city!

It’s a major premiere for the Festival: celebrating Mardi Gras in July with an authentic New Orleans parade! We’ve never seen anything like this in the Festival’s 31-year existence; and let’s face it, this year’s calendar worked out a little too perfectly for us to pass up the opportunity! At 7 p.m., the Mardi Gras Parade departs from Du Fort and Ste. Catherine Streets, rolling for over 2 km and featuring more than 600 participants (singers, dancers, acrobats, stilt-walkers and giant marionettes) with flamboyant costumes and genuine parade floats from New Orleans, cradle of jazz, bringing us the spirit of the world’s most popular carnivals, like Venice Rio and Nice, but also including a float from the Carnaval de Québec! It’ll be a parade for the whole family, with tens of thousands of colourful necklaces tossed into the crowd, a variety of activities along the route, and hosting duties handled by none other than Zachary Richard, who has the honour of being the Grand Marshal. The parade then pulls into the Place des Festivals - where images of its arrival will be shown on giant screens. At 8:30 p.m., the master of ceremonies will perform, then invite the Soul Rebels Brass Band to join in the celebration and cross the Place to the main TD stage, for the Closing Show presented by Rio Tinto Alcan, with Louisiana’s Trombone Shorty and Allen Toussaint. Join us for the Grande soirée Mardi gras à Montréal, an unforgettably unique return trip to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz!

The support of Industry Canada allows the Festival to present more free outdoor events, including this unique evening, thereby increasing the city’s appeal as a tourist attraction and enhancing its international profile.

Reminder: travel and safety at major events

Due to the parade’s arrival from Ste. Catherine St., we advise Festival fans to access the site via the corner of Jeanne Mance and Ste. Catherine Streets (Place-des-Arts Metro). Festival fans can follow the parade on Ste. Catherine, from Du Fort Street all the way to the Place des Festivals.

For security reasons, folding chairs and lawn chairs are not allowed on the site; strollers for children are tolerated, but their use is strongly discouraged. As always, bicycles, skateboards and rollerblades are prohibited on the site, as well as cans and glass bottles. However, we advise festival-goers to bring a supply of water (in reusable bottles). Please note that it is forbidden to bring alcoholic beverages on the site.

The Festival advises the public to travel to the concert from east to west and from north to south; the use of mass transit is strongly advised. Public transit is the best option. Once on site, festival-goers always have access to the specially-designed security corridors to exit the site during the performance. These one way corridors can only be used to leave the site, but not to return. They lead directly to the Place-des-Arts metro station, to Complexe Desjardins and to De Maisonneuve Boulevard East and West. Because these are, by definition, traffic corridors, pedestrians are not permitted to remain standing in them.

People in wheelchairs must contact Julie Chamberland at 514 288‑1424, ext. 4540, the day before the concert in order to reserve a space.

The 31st edition of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal will runs as of today to July 6, 2010.

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