Mid-March brings lots
of Irish stuff

A wide variety of events, from a film lecture to the return of a beloved parade

By Byron Toben

March 10, 2022

The month of March has captured the phrase “March Madness” largely due to basketball tournaments but as the Spring equinox (March 21) looms in sight, there are four “March Bashes”, which despite the lack of alliteration are worthy of attention.

March 11

At 1:15pm

A free virtual public lecture sponsored by Concordia’s School of Irish Studies. Professor Patrick Brodie brings Irish filmmaker Donal Foreman to address Brodie’s new course. Foreman, who has been making films since age 11, has made three features and dozens of shorts. Excerpts from The Image You Missed, declared by the Irish Times as one of the 50 greatest Irish films of all time, will be shown.

Here’s the link:

The Image You Missed film

Scene from the film The Image You Missed – Image: courtesy of the Arts Council of Ireland

March 17

At 11:30 am

Sponsored by the St-Patrick Society of Montreal, which, founded in 1834, is the oldest fraternal society in Canada. This year’s annual luncheon will again be virtual due to extra caution, even as COVID-19 is slowly subsiding. The keynote speech will be by Jane G.V. McGaughey, Ph.D., Johnson chair of Quebec and Canadian Irish Studies at Concordia University. Entertainment supplied by musical group Solstice and the Bernadette Short School of Irish Dance. A game of Irish trivia themes is included. Food can be obtained from your choice of various pubs and restaurants listed on its website. Prices start at $25.

At 6 pm
Sponsored by New York’s Gingold Theatrical Group. Named for late great actress Hermione Gingold, it recently arranged a successful Valentine’s Day Slam, as reported earlier on Westmount Mag. It now returns with this free Irish Poetry Slam. Hopefully, some Canadian voice experts will apply for their 3-minute bits.

St. Patrick parade

Irish dancers at St. Patrick parade – Image: courtesy of the United Irish Societies

March 20

At 9:20 am
The beloved annual St-Patrick’s Parade returns live after a two-year pandemic hiatus, albeit without floats this year. Foreshadowed by a 1759 march by Irish soldiers in the Montreal garrison, it began its 196-year-run in 1824. It is organized by the United Irish Societies. Only the past two years broke the continuity. Technically, the 1918 event was not granted local permits due to WW I resistance, but the march went ahead anyway. It seems to be the 6th biggest in the world.

As usual, it begins at Lambert Close and proceeds along Ste-Catherine Street to Phillips Square and St-Patrick’s basilica.

Feature image: James St LaurentBouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre –

More articles from Byron Toben

Byron Toben, a past president of The Montreal Press Club, has been’s theatre reviewer since July 2015. Previously, he wrote for since terminated web sites Rover Arts and Charlebois Post, print weekly The Downtowner and print monthly The Senior Times. He also is an expert consultant on U.S. work permits for Canadians.

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  1. Janice Young

    Besides March Madness, Irish culture is strong throughout the year in Westmount. The Young Academy of Irish Dance brought their love of dance to the area about 3 years ago. With classes every Sunday they offer lessons from beginner through Championship.

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