With an estimated 250,000 Lebanese living in the Greater Montreal Area, it's no surprise that the Lebanese community would be super active. Montreal holds the biggest Lebanese population in Canada and has 6 Maronite churches (as well as several more Lebanese churches for the Orthodox and Melkite faiths). They play a big role in preserving and promoting the Lebanese culture. Including organising the Lebanese festival.
As Canada celebrates 150 years since its confederation, the Lebanese community will be celebrating Lebanon in the place they now call home, Montreal - which will be celebrating its 375th year as well. The festival organisers released a teaser video last month to announce the festival: Ziad Wehbe, a member of the organising committee, said that the "community brings everyone together, regardless of faith or nationality. All under the mission of loving Lebanon, together." People often travel from cities like Ottawa and Toronto just to attend the festival. At some point, the Lebanese festival in Montreal held the Guinness World Record for the largest dabke group.
The festival is taking place over the course of 4 days, from June 15, 2017 till June 18, 2017 at 2965 Boul du Souvenir in Laval.
So if you're down for some delicious shish taouk sandwiches and a lot of dabke, then don't miss this event!
More details can be found on their website and on the Facebook event.
The latest wave of emigrants leaving Lebanon was towards the end of the Lebanese civil war (1975-1990). Canada and Australia both took extra measures to accommodate Lebanese wishing to leave. Canada opened an immigration office in Cyprus to expedite the process for over 250,000 Lebanese people. Most of those going to Canada ended up in Montreal, mostly due to their knowledge of French. The community did a great job preserving the Lebanese culture and traditions in their new homes - as well as passing it on to their children. Just last week,Les Chevaliers du Liban
a popular dabke group celebrated its 25th anniversary in Montreal.