First Published: November 2004
       This is an OutUK Archive Item and so some of the links and information may be out of date.

It’s 7:56 p.m. The date is July 29, 2006. The city: Montréal, Canada.
A boisterous crowd of 60,000 gays and lesbians from around the world, and their straight friends, has assembled in Montréal’s Olympic Stadium. Exactly 30 years to the day after the Closing Ceremonies of the 1976 Olympics, all of Montréal is poised to welcome the world with open arms to another major sporting event: The 1st World Outgames.
Montréal's Olympic Stadium ©Tourisme Montréal
This is the image, writes OutUK correspondent Steven Leclerc, that pops to mind for Lucie Duguay, Co-President of the 1st World Outgames, when she is asked to imagine the 2006 event.

“With minutes to go, I believe that the atmosphere in the stands will be electrifying. Anticipation will grow as the last few moments tick away before the ceremonies begin… In the Stadium’s centre field, dozens of technicians and volunteers will be scurrying about to put the final touches to the dazzling show that is about to start,” says Lucie with an obvious look of anticipation spread across her trademark smiling face.


With 12,000 athletes, 2,000 cultural programme participants and hundreds of other guests from around the world waiting in the wings getting ready to march out on the field and celebrate with pride, the Stadium will indeed be a frenzied place. Cirque du Soleil and Québec diva Diane Dufresne will perform during the Opening Ceremonies and the event will be broadcast live on Canadian national tv.

©Montréal 2006
“Getting live coverage of an international LGBT sports event by a mainstream broadcaster is a first that we are very proud of,” says Lucie with an obvious sparkle in her eye.

Since 2001, Montréal has been preparing for these eight days of competition, pride and celebration. A team of 20 staff members and dozens of volunteers is hard at work under the adept leadership of Louise Roy, the Outgames’ GM. “The team of people I have the pleasure of working with at Montréal 2006 is one of the key reasons for our success. We are well aware of the fact that we are accountable to the people of Montréal and to the international LGBT community. With less than 18 months to go, everything we do on a day-to-day basis provides us with a better opportunity to see just how unique the 1st World Outgames will be,” says the former city councillor and events organiser who took up the challenge of producing these games right from the start.


The city, and particularly its Gay Village, have been sprucing themselves up and getting ready to stage an unforgettable event that will highlight individual achievements and team accomplishments. For many members of our community worldwide, making it to the Outgames and being a part of such a global LGBT event will be a dream come true.

When asked how he feels about the city he has adopted, two-time Olympic-gold medal swimmer, Mark Tewksbury, who is also Lucie Duguay’s colleague as Outgames Co-President, is effusive. “Montréal is a great place to be gay! A great place to be out!”

For the Outgames, Mark is definitely banking on Montréal’s flair. He states unequivocally that “Montréal 2006’s goal is to capture the hearts and minds of the world. True to the spirit of this city and its people, we will be presenting a show of human creativity, endurance and achievement that will foster camaraderie and will reward participation in sports, culture and the arts.”
Mark Tewksbury. ©
In addition to the nationally televised Opening and Closing Ceremonies, the Outgames will feature a number of competitions and exhibition events for choirs, bands, cheerleading teams, and country western and square dancing groups. Festivities throughout the week will also feature various live stage performances at Rendez-Vous Square, right next to the city’s Gay Village, in addition to live shows at the other main venues. Rendez-Vous Square will, in fact, act as the central meeting place for visitors, residents and participants alike, providing information booths and food concessions, a ticketing office for the different competitions and parties, live stage performances and the official medals podium. Also, Radio-Canada plans to host a one hour daily wrap-up show live from Rendez-Vous Square.


As part of this goal, Montréal 2006 has decided to branch out beyond sports and cultural competitions. As such, for three full days prior to the Opening Ceremonies, Montréal will host a gathering of 2,000 delegates at the city’s Palais des Congrès (Montréal’s newly expanded convention centre) who will be attending “The Right to Be Different” International Conference – the largest international LGBT rights conference ever held. Reaching Out: 4,000 and Climbing!

Already, Montréal 2006 is gearing up to be a huge success. Registration for the Outgames has topped the 4,000 mark and organisers are right on target for their July 2006 deadline. “We are very enthusiastic about those numbers and are pleased to see so many people registering at such an early date,” states Lucie Duguay.

OutUK is an official media partner of Outgames Montréal 2006 and we'll be keeping you updated with all the latest news between now and July 2006. You can get full registration details at


search | site info | site map | new this week | outuk offers | home | outspoken | more



  UK gay lads | Gay news UK | Gay travel and holidays UK | UK & London gay scene

OutUK features the latest gay news, advice, entertainment and information together with gay guides to cities and holiday destinations around the UK, Europe and the rest of the world. There are hundreds of galleries of photos and videos of the sexiest gay guys plus intimate personal profiles of thousands of gay lads from all around the UK.