About Nights of Montreal

Janine Fluet at the Perchoir d'Haiti, 1958
Janine Fluet at the Perchoir d’Haiti, 1958

Montreal, a major gateway to Canada and Quebec, has a wide diversity of communities from all regions of the world. However, communities of African descent are not concentrated in one neighbourhood or sector of the city. They live all over the territory.

ARCMTL and L’Afromusée have therefore set out to discover their presence in the city, to discover and share their traces, their creativity and commitment, their witnesses and their heritage, both tangible and intangible, by setting up an interactive map of Montreal presenting the history of important places, people and events of the city’s Black communities.

This map will evolve and be built as it goes along with the participation of Montrealers and/or anyone who has information that could help enrich it. This map is the result of research work combined with a participatory survey in order to take visitors to the site to discover the evolution and occupation of the territory by various black communities. You will find its cultural and community places, its shops, its places of worship, its sports, its personalities, its history and its heritage from the 1950s to today.

For example, you can explore the legendary nightclubs of the jazz era, such as Rockhead’s Paradise and the Esquire Show Bar, as well as the coffee shops, community spaces and institutions that have supported generations of artists, writers and performers.

By clicking on the pin of a place on the map you will have access to information about it, texts, images, archival videos, testimonials and useful references.

By presenting these important places, we hope to raise awareness of this important local cultural history. We also hope that the public will get involved by adding to these stories and suggesting other places to put on the map!

Anyone can post their own comments under each place’s page. It is also possible to email the project team with your own stories or suggestions at info@afromusee.com or arcmtl@arcmtl.org.

The blog section will contain longer articles, as well as information about public events planned until 2024 at the Afromuseum and elsewhere.

BW photo of tables set up with tablecloths and napkins at the Esquire Showbar Theatre and Restaurant
Black and white photo of tables set up with tablecloths and napkins at the Esquire Showbar Theatre and Restaurant in Montreal

The non-profit organizations behind this project 


ARCMTL is an organization with the specific mandate to promote and preserve Montreal’s cultural milieu. Over 400 different artists and collectives take advantage of its yearly festivals, salons and art markets to reach the general public. Copies of their work, plus donations and acquisitions over more than 20 years have contributed to unique collections of Montreal culture, accessible at ARCMTL’s archive center and through exhibitions and public programming year-round.


L’Afromusée is a living museum that is accessible, mobile and multi-faceted. A welcoming space which features cultural and intercultural activities; research and reference opportunities; and an online platorm that researches, informs, shares discoveries and gives a voice to young afro descendants, as well as to all witnesses of Africanness in all its forms.

Project Team

Louis Rastelli
Virginie Belony
Nicole Sarr
Guy Mushagalusa Chigoho

Website development: Magda Wojtyra
Logo design: Chaity I

Technical assistance:
Dee Edouard Williams
Kelly Livingstone
Lucy Pauker
Andy Williams

Ce projet est une collaboration entre ARCMTL et l’Afromusée, rendu possible grâce au programme Patrimoine Montréalais : une mise en valeur dans les quartiers de la Ville de Montréal.