Festival opening words

Under the major upheavals brought by this distinctive year, the Festival Quartiers Danses (FQD) team has chosen to prioritize the health of its partners, its audience, but, above all, artists from the dance community and cancel its programming of indoor and international shows. This difficult decision led the FQD team to play on inventiveness in order to continue to fulfill its mission to promote creative dance in all its forms and hybridities. This is how a new adventure was born: offering an online edition accessible to all to display the dancing scene from Montreal.

The FQD could not be prouder to present a 100% Montreal based 18th hybrid edition online and in an urban context: 16 co-creations bringing together 33 Montreal choreographers and filmmakers presented as world premieres, 17 performances in an urban context, interviews with artists from the programming, a round table on diversity and racism in dance, a retrospective photo exhibition, a cinema program of 10 short films on dance by local and international artists and a unique telephone performance.

This edition also highlights the contribution of women’s influence of dance, these powerful and resilient creators who make up most of the programming.

In order to remain faithful to its identity and maintain the festive character of this unifying event, this new digital and exclusive content will be broadcast daily between September 11 and 20, 2020 and available for free on the FQD website.

This 18th edition is dedicated to Mrs Louise Harel, President of the National Assembly of Quebec from 1981 to 2008 and co-governor of the FQD, to underline her unwavering support since 2005.

Words of Welcome

“These past few months, Montreal has vibrated to the rhythms of social movements and the health crisis. The Festival Quartiers Danses (FQD), connected to its North American city, echoes the footsteps of these changes while remaining connected to its identity; to radiate creative dance in all its forms and hybridities and, in doing so, to seek new ways to cultivate the connection between the public and the choreographers.

This is how I am pleased to present to you, as world premieres, 16 co-creations by local choreographers, and filmmakers. These unseen short films, as well as a round table and a photo exhibition, available free of charge on our new digital distribution platform, bear witness to the diversity and inventiveness of the artists of Montreal, one of the seven dance capitals. Montreal, as a land of welcome, is a city open to the world and this diversity runs through the choreographic signature of the artists here.

In addition, this year, I would like to highlight the work of the creators and dedicate this 18th edition to these strong and resilient dancing women who make up the majority of our programming.

On the heels of this 18th edition, the summer ends full of promises, but also of concerns. In this season of all changes, I invite us to recharge our batteries thanks to the universal language of the dance of creation, which will do us good. I wish you all a good festival!”

rafik wp

Rafik Hubert Sabbagh

Executive and Artistic Director


Marc Béland

President and Spokesperson

“It is difficult this year to ignore the extraordinary context in which the 18th edition of the Festival Quartiers Danses (FQD) is born. The mission of the FQD, to bring the dance where it is not, takes on its meaning differently in times of pandemic. In this context, digital technology brings new possibilities for wider dissemination of creative dance here. It is thanks to their creativity and perseverance that the FQD team achieved a feat of strength  imagining and carrying out in a few months a whole new festival, mainly online, in the face of the unknown and the unpredictable. In this 9th year as the spokesperson, I am more proud than ever to present to you a local, digital, and daring edition that will be present on the web as in the neighborhoods of Montreal.

In parallel with its programming, the FQD has developed, since 2013, expertise in cultural mediation unique in Quebec. The cultural mediation department sets up projects that introduce dance to marginalized populations throughout the year. Listening to the upsetting current events, the cultural mediation team this summer visited CHSLDs in four different Montreal neighborhoods to offer residents a moment of respite in the form of dance performances. During the confinement, cultural mediation workshops online and in the parks of different boroughs have also allowed different Montreal communities to reconnect in safety through dance.

In this 18th edition, let’s come together, together and at a distance, but always around a renewed passion for dance. I wish you an excellent festival!”