An ‘Arab World Festival’ (Festival du monde arabe) in Canada: genesis, challenges, and strategies (01/09/21)

«An ‘Arab World Festival’ in Canada: genesis, challenges, and strategies » with Caroline Marcoux-Gendron (01/09/21)

Note on language: This session will be held in English but Q&A will be bilingual (Spanish/English)

The «seminario de estudios multidisciplinarios sobre industrias culturales y creativas» (SEMICC) is a research seminar hosted by the Centro de investigaciones sobre América del Norte (CISAN) at UNAM, and coordinated by Alejandro Mercado, Michaël Spanu and Yolanda Macías.


Caroline Marcoux-Gendron (Université de Montréal), «An ‘Arab World Festival’ (Festival du monde arabe) in Canada: genesis, challenges, and strategies»

Abstract: The Arab World Festival (Festival du monde arabe), founded in 2000, takes place in Montréal, a city located in the province of Québec in Eastern Canada. Each fall, this event presents a series of shows in the performing arts (music, dance, theater, etc.), as well as screenings of movies and documentaries, and conferences. Its objective is to promote Arab culture as it is experienced in Québec, where it is continually being enriched by the presence of other cultural influences in Montréal. However, showcasing an Arabic alterity in North America brings its share of challenges, related to current events touching the Arab world. Constant effort is needed to counter prejudices and negative stereotypes, and to defend the legitimacy of this kind of cultural and artistic festival. In this presentation, I will first discuss the genesis of this event before addressing some of the many challenges encountered throughout the past 20 years in terms of programming, communication, and relationships with the audience as well as with the festival’s various partners. By doing so, I will highlight coping strategies and readjustments that were necessary to perpetuate this festival and make it the important event it has now become in Montréal’s cultural life.

Practical information

Access via Zoom:

Date and Time: 1 september 2021; 11AM (CDMX), 12PM (Montreal time)

Contact: Michaël Spanu (postdoc at CISAN-UNAM),

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