Rafik Hubert Sabbagh, Executive and Artistic Director
75, Square Sir George-Étienne-Cartier
The Festival Quartiers Danses has made its mission to democratize contemporary dance in all its forms and hybrids by making it more accessible to all audiences in traditional and unusual venues. The FQD primarily presents shows from local artists, but also frequently invites national and international creators. It adopts a multidisciplinary approach to original dance that comprises presentation, performances, installations, films, exhibits, meetings, discussions, and, last but not least, cultural mediation workshops.
1. Promoting artistic diversity
Convinced that dance is a universal language that speaks to all of us, the Festival seeks to include artists of all generations (emerging talents and renowned contemporary choreographers alike), of all genders, of all cultures, and of all horizons (differently mentally- and physically-abled, Indigenous, and under-represented artists). The FQD presents debut works, works in progress or new versions (creative laboratories), and reconstructed performances from the choreographic heritage; sometimes performed by pre-professionals.
2. Encouraging artistic development
The festival affords enviable visibility to local and international artists. Exchanges with other cities, provinces, and countries are organized to promote Quebec dance performers, choreographers, and directors.
3. Bringing dance closer to its audience
In keeping with its inclusion mandate, the Festival is active in several Montreal neighbourhoods with cultural mediation workshops in community, education, social, and health centres in order to make dance accessible to as many people as possible.
4. Widening the dance audience
The FQD strives to make the work of artists from the world of dance accessible to all audiences, whose participation is encouraged. The Festival organizes performances in locations throughout the city of Montreal, depending on the specificities of every piece and in partnership with recognized performance venues, unusual spaces, neighbourhood, university, and cegep theatres, and diverse public locations. The Festival’s policy is to offer attractive prices or free admission to its shows, in keeping with its mandate of democratizing contemporary dance and increasing its reach.
Since May 2000, the organisation, co-founded by Rafik Hubert Sabbagh (Montreal), has presented 16 events featuring 514 performances and 76 movie nights, 24 dance-themed visual art exhibits, and 67 conferences/meetings with audiences. A total of 1 485 artists have participated, 350 choreographic works were presented and more than 100 venues were invested in Montreal, for a total audience of more than 107 270 spectators.