MCAF’s mission is to be a leading platform for the comic arts in Quebec and beyond, to broaden public knowledge of and engagement with the comic arts, and to promote cultural exchanges and interactions between creators, readers, and the public at large.
MCAF seeks to expand the role of the comic arts in the cultural sphere and to improve the dynamism of Quebec’s comic arts industry. MCAF will become a crossroads between Europe and America, a professional and bilingual organization which unifies the field’s players.
To do this, the Festival’s objectives are to:
- Present the comic arts from both francophone and anglophone traditions and perspectives
- Create a meeting place for encounters, exchanges, and education
- Become an important source for information on comic arts in the digital space
- Promote Canadian and Quebecois comic arts internationally
- Promote Montreal as an international center for the comics arts
- Develop the social and educational potential of the comic arts
Founded in September 2011 by François Mayeux and Myriam Lalumière, the Montreal Comic Arts Festival is a non-profit organization led by a board of directors.
Here are some key moments in the Festival’s history:
For the first time the Festival was held on Saint-Denis Street, which was closed to traffic from Gilford Street to Roy Street for the occasion, creating a vibrant comic arts walk of 1.2 kilometers. More than 80,000 people took part in the festivities and 240 comics creators and 124 exhibitors were showcased over the course of the weekend, a record!
BD PoP, organized in partnership with École en Réseau and several school boards, offered a virtual one-day educational event, allowing over 40,000 young people across Quebec to discover the world of comics!
Les Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press published its third collection, Rencontres.
In collaboration with O-Taku Manga Lounge, the inaugural Manga Grant was established.
MCAF launched the first season of the podcast Ligne de fond, curating conversations between creators to promote a deeper understanding of comics from across the francophone world.
In collaboration with CRIEM (Centre de recherches interdisciplinaires d’études montréalaises), MCAF organized its first international conference on the comic arts, Shake the Foundations.
The launch of the anthology X from Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press, highlighting the Festival’s 10th anniversary.
Les Presses du FBDM | MCAF Press launches with its first publication, the anthology Lettres à Montréal.
Due to the pandemic, the Festival was held as a virtual event for the first time. Over the course of three days MCAF’s online programming welcomed nearly 20,000 visitors.
Over 12,000 people visited the Festival in La Fontaine Park over the course of three days. More than 185 creators were showcased, and MCAF presented 66 events and 10 expositions.
The FBDM/MCAF logo was redesigned, highlighting the unique bilingual nature of the Festival.
MCAF became the organizer for the Bédélys Awards and the presentation of the annual awards ceremony. Previously managed by Promo 9e Art, the Bédélys Awards showcase the best comics from Quebec and beyond.
The Quebec comics arts are presented at the Angoulême International Comics Festival.
MCAF leads a Canadian delegation at the Algiers International Comics Festival.
MCAF joined forces with the team at PLANCHES to curate and present the outdoor exhibit Rues de Montréal, which brought together the work of 13 creators as part of the celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary. This project was later released as a book in May of 2019.
MCAF was nominated as a finalist for the prestigious Grand Prix du Conseil des Arts de Montréal.
Attendance at the Festival topped 10,000 visitors for the first time, and an additional 45,000 people visited one of MCAF’s many expositions throughout the month of May, AKA Comics Month.
The Festival de BD Montréal became officially bilingual and unveiled its anglophone name: The Montreal Comic Arts Festival!
Over 5000 attendees and participants braved the rain to make it out to the inaugural Festival, held in the heart of La Fontaine Park.