About the festival
Mission and identity
Conceived and produced by Alchimies, Créations et Cultures, the Arab World Festival of Montreal (Festival du Monde Arabe de Montréal or FMA) is a thematic event dedicated to the meeting of Arabic and Western cultures. Through its four sections – Performing Arts, Culture Forum, Cinema, and Orientalys – the FMA presents modern bodies of work through original productions in dance, music, theater and multidisciplinary arts, debates, conferences, lectures and films.
Representing a myriad of tendencies and artistic orientations that allow reflection and experimentation, the FMA welcomes artists, filmmakers and intellectuals from all cultural horizons, local and international broadcasters and producers in order to build a space dedicated to cultural exchange and “breeding” as well as to provide festival-goers with a wide range of first-rate activities.
Establishing an artistic space dedicated to encouraging dialogue between cultural identities stemming from different horizons, by means of creating, producing and broadcasting innovative artistic projects.
Offering Quebec’s artists of all backgrounds, the opportunity to exchange their experiences and ideas with other cultures and to enrich their knowledge with new approaches and know-how techniques.
Supporting and producing artistic initiatives based on the cultural diversity experience in Montreal.
Sections of the FMA
Through its different aspects, the FMA addresses and appeals to a public comprised of citizens of all origins, of music lovers, cinema enthusiasts and literature devotees alike, as well as of all those who are eager to discover, to understand and to share the Arabic culture.
- Performing Arts
The Performing Arts section welcome hundreds of local artists as well as top of the bill from all over the world. The programming offers professional as well as amateurs the opportunity to express themselves through their art and to share their vision of the Arabic culture. The former editions have witnessed the participation of great names in the worlds of music, dance and theatre such as Caracalla dance company, Marcel Khalife, Naseer Shamma, Majida El Roumi, Hamza El Din, Simon Shaheen, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Ashraf Sharif Khan, Zad Moultaka, Lotfi Bouchnak, Doreid Laham, Nass el Ghiwan, etc. and have produced hundreds of multidisciplinary creations and shows.
- Culture Forum (exhibitions, encounters and debates)
The Culture Forum section allows extraordinary encounters with painters, writers, thinkers and authors coming from the Arab World, Europe, the United States and Canada. Well known and famous intellectuals lead debates and forums of thought and exchange about diversity, cross-cultural relations, the Arab World of nowadays and of our ancestors. The Festival has welcomed great intellectuals such as Salah Steitie, Wajdi Mouawad, Mohamed Arkoun, Thierry Hensh, Michel Seymour, Omar Aktouf, Alain St-Hilaire, Peter Leuprecht, Charles Blattberg, Sami Aoun, to name a few.
The Cinema section takes the shape of a festival of films aiming essentially at introducing quality cinematographic works and avant-gardistes directors from Quebec and the Arab World (Youssef Chahine, Izza Genini, Henri Verneuil, Bahij Hojeij, Assad Fouladekar, Alain St-Hilaire, Leila Kilani, etc.)
- Orientalys, summer open air Festival
Recognized for the excellence of its indoor programming, the FMA has chosen to go forth and meet the broader public through Orientalys, an outdoor section of the festival, accessible to all held at the Old Port of Montreal. With music, dance, visual arts and calligraphy shows, stands of Arabic handcraft, mint tea, oriental sweets, henna and oriental souks, it allows everyone to taste and feel Arabic culture – for free!