The Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon cancelled

The 2020 edition of the event is cancelled due to COVID-19

On July 30, the 2020 Rock ‘n’ Roll Montreal Marathon planned for Sept.19–20 was officially cancelled due to COVID-19. Part of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series that organizes road running events operated by the IRONMAN group, the race was the only Canadian event in the global Rock ‘n’ Roll series. This year’s marathon would have marked its 30th edition.

On Aug. 28, organizers of the event announced that the 2021 edition of the race in Montreal would also be cancelled. In the midst of a pandemic, organizers could not find an adequate solution and were subsequently forced to cancel.

The Marathon typically includes four events over the course of the weekend. Athletes can choose between a 5km, 10km, half-marathon or a full marathon race. Over 18,000 people showed up during 2019’s weekend, with 9,500 runners participating in the half-marathon and 3,100 in the full marathon.

“Last year, there were a lot of complications that showed just how hard the marathon is to organize,” said Jay Lopez, a Montrealer who has participated in the annual marathon for the last seven years. “With COVID-19 now on top of all that, it only makes sense to cancel the event.”

The death of a participant who went into cardiac arrest near the end of the half-marathon headlined publications for a number of days following the 2019 edition of the event. In addition, the organizers received criticism for poor management when the marathon’s start times were delayed by 50 minutes, as hundreds of runners were left waiting at the start line.

Consequently, race producer and director Dominique Piché resigned. Lassonde, a major sponsor of the marathon for 17 years, opted out of future events, citing poor management and a significant number of shortcomings with regards to the organization of the race.

With no plans for the series to return north of the border in the foreseeable future, Montreal running enthusiasts will be happy to know there are still ways to stay engaged.

The organization recently launched a virtual running club that enables users to partake in their organized races from the safety of their homes. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series app also offers weekly inspirational challenges and virtual races that can be started and finished from anywhere. They also host a VR Running Club that offers informative resources in training, fitness, and nutrition to help athletes reach their running goals.

Lopez said the virtual social hub will be a much needed alternative to a public marathon; however, he added, the energy shared between participants in a live event is impossible to replicate in individual training.

“The anticipation leading up to a big event is the best form of motivation,” Lopez said. “Unfortunately, runners will have to find that motivation from somewhere else now. If 2020 has taught me anything, it’s to keep my head up despite all these hurdles along the journey and be patient in hopes for a brighter future.”


Graphic by Taylor Reddam


Social isolation participation masterlist

Here’s a list of things worth checking out this April


RAW is looking for 250 fashion designers to create masks to help support hospitals around the world.


Visit Skawennati’s AbTeC Island in Second Life by following the instructions at this link. Free to participate with the Second Life software.


Skin Tone: how will we hold onto each other live-streamed performance at the Leonard & Bina Ellen Art Gallery (part of In the No Longer Not Yet) Watch here on April 1, at 5:30 p.m. Free to participate.


Living with Ataxia , virtual exhibition from April 4 to 10 at GHAM & DAFE Gallery’s online platform available here. Read more about the exhibition on Facebook. Free to participate.


Parallel Lines, virtual artist residency at Centre Phi, applications upon until April 1 at midnight. Free to participate, and 10 lucky artists will receive $2000 for their work!


Balcony sing-a-long, courtesy of POP Montreal and URSA , with local bands, every tuesday until April 28. Free to participate.


The Good Drama, a virtual intergenerational activity, held in collaboration between the Office of Community Engagement at Concordia University, the Sustainability Action Fund and Bâtiment, will be facilitated by Drama Therapy Masters student, Sandy El-Bitar via Zoom. These sessions will take place Tuesdays at 5 p.m. until April 14. Zoom ID posted in the event’s discussion page on Facebook. Free to participate.


Art Hive Live, on Facebook, every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. until April 15. Free to participate.


Online salsa classes with the San Tropes Dance School every Wednesday from 7 to 8 p.m. until April 15, for as low at $10.


The Social Distancing Festival, international celebration of visual art, dance, music, comedy and theatre (even operas!) Events running until the end of May are free, though there is an opportunity for donation.


Visit Place Less, an online exhibition space designed by Concordia student, Colin Courtney. Currently only viewable through Instagram (@place.less), Place Less’ first, form-free exhibition features eight local artists working in both digital and material practices.


A collection of free and paid videos (ranging documentary films to experimental productions and animations) is available on Vithèque, with special programs, May We Live in Peace, screening free until April 13, and Funny Women (no end date as of yet.) You must create a free account in order to view. Stay tuned for the release of dv_vd : Rachel Maclean on April 23.


Don’t forget about the National Film Board of Canada’s online database, now also offering educational programming for children and teenagers, as well as online “campus” resources for teachers.


ArtJam vol. 36 will be available via Facebook and Youtube Live on April 3 for their first-ever virtual edition.


Google Arts & Culture is encouraging users to “Recreate art at home” through their “Pose of the day” feature. Among Google Arts & Culture’s plethora of collections and activities are lab experiments, virtual travelling, and, naturally, Harry Potter: A History of Magic, a special from the British Museum.


Visit La Cenne’s current exhibition, Lentement le temps, a collaboration between visual artist and illustrator, Charlotte Gosselin (@charlotteecharlotte) and Camille Lescarbeau (@camillelescarbeau), via the space-rental tour on La Cenne’s website.


Artnet also put together this list of “11 Things Not to Miss in the Virtual Art World This Week.”


The Dark Poutine podcast community is putting together a digital cookbook! Instructions about how to participate are available here.


Grimes released the greenscreen footage for “You’ll miss me when I’m not around,” which she invites fans to download and edit via We-Transfer link found in the video’s descriptions. The artist also included a lsit of free/cheap software to use to do so. Upload to Youtube and tag your videos with #grimesartkit to share!


Blink-182 is also seeking contributions to their music video for “Happy Days” to combat social distancing blues. Videos must be filmed on mobile devices vertically and can be submitted here. Read more about the initative here.



Not on the list? Know of anything more? Send an email to and I’ll be happy to add your event!

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