Demonstrators call for reopening of dance floors in bars

A woman holds up a sign during a protest in support of a return to dancing in venues in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021. Quebec and British Columbia are the only two provinces that continue to ban dancing in bars and nightclubs as part of their COVID-19 regulations. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

A large crowd participated in a day of dancing on Mount Royal Saturday to urge the Legault government to lift the ban on dancing in bars and nightclubs.

A DJ blasted music through a loudspeaker. Several demonstrators wearing wigs, jumpsuits and sparkly costumes moved to the music while waving signs urging people to "dance for the right to dance."

One of the demonstrators, Quentin Levasseur, said there's a large community that needs "to get this place open again to go out and dance and have fun".

Many protesters argued that it's unfair that the government allows large venues like the Bell Centre to reopen at full capacity for concerts and field hockey games, while nightclubs and bars cannot open their dance floors to much smaller crowds.

"We are at a point where we can have large crowds in a large venue. I don't see any reason why we can't allow nightlife if people are respecting public health measures," said Melanie Leeson, another protester.

Quebec and British Columbia are the only two provinces that continue to ban dancing in bars and nightclubs as part of their regulations to curb COVID-19.

--This report was first published in French by the Canadian Press on Oct. 22, 2021.