Montreal's annual Pride celebration is taking on a larger aspect this year as a nationwide celebration of being lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer.

This year's pride celebration will last for eleven days, starting this Thursday in Montreal, but unlike previous festivals will now include a cross-Canada focus.

"We try to go bolder, bigger, funnier, more exciting, and to make sure we have a little something for everybody," said Pride spokesperson Jean-Sebastien Boudreault.

This year's event will feature a Canada Pride House where LGBTQ representatives from across Canada will discuss and educate Canadians. Next year and in following years the national aspect will shift to different cities.

The events will shine a light on LGBTQ pride, but as conference co-chair Mona Greenbaum pointed out, are also a reminder of the struggles against prejudice that still exist.

"Discrimination is still there. Even if you're talking about homophobia or transphobia in school it's hard for young people to come out," said Greenbaum.

A key part of the Canada Pride House will include a focus on minorities, which is why Sandy Duperval is one of this year's ambassadors.

"I'm really proud that this year they are putting an emphasis on the relationship between the gay community and all the other minorities because we are fighting the same fight in the fact that we just want to be free and just want to be treated equally," said Duperval.

The parade that ends the celebration will be three kilometres long, with more than 6,000 participants.

"Tell them you're part of our community too. Let's celebrate together and let's work together to make sure that you all have a better life tomorrow," said Boudreault.

In a change of venue, concerts this year will take place at Place des Faubourgs at the base of the Jacques Cartier Bridge.

The musicians opening the festival are Gregory Charles, Marie-Mai, and Martha Wainwright -- while Nelly Furtado is the headline act for the festival.