What Is the FER?

The Festival d’Expression de la Rue is a platform for Montreal’s at-risk youth to express themselves. However, it acts as more than a simple platform; the FER’s organization seeks to set forth an approach to STBBIs prevention and to fighting prejudice and exclusion that is fully inclusive and respectful of all individuals.

During the FER, at-risk youth build a space dedicated to the creation and expression of street culture. They establish themselves as a community and affirm the social rights of marginalized people. The FER promotes the idea of positive marginality, engaged and rooted in community. By drawing interest from outside the street community, the FER also provides a meeting space for people from all walks of life and therefore participates in a more harmonious social cohabitation in Montreal’s downtown.

The FER, which has been organized by peer helpers since 1997, is an initiative that is undertaken entirely by, for, and with at-risk street youths. The festival’s programming is wholly dedicated to street culture, originality and diversity. The division of the FER’s programming into different themed days allows street youths from all artistic backgrounds to showcase their talents onstage, a stage which, it is worth mentioning, is rarely available to them otherwise.

As an initiative that seeks to promote health, the FER also acts as a showcase for community organizations working with at-risk youths. Workers at community organizations coordinate many activities and kiosks each year. Activities offered are directly related to health and a special place is accorded to STBBI prevention. The presence of different organizations on the festival site allow youth to discover new resources. In addition to the presence of these organizations, the peer helpers themselves organize STBBI prevention activities, often in the form of games. Other workshops teach, for example, leatherworking or bike repair, allowing youth to develop new interests or skills, offering them an alternative to drug use and contributing to the development of self-esteem and autonomy.

Over the years, the FER has become a genuine tradition in the street community. Each edition mobilizes approximately 1,500 people around issues such as health, citizenship and social coexistence. Although organizing the festival is complicated and at times exhausting for the GIAP team, the enthusiasm it generates and its positive impacts on the community make it an indispensable yearly event!

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Thanks to our financial partners this year:

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FER 2015: Back to the future

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PHOTOS OF THE 2015 EDITION

FER 2014: 18 ans de revendications

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PHOTOS OF THE 2014 EDITION

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FER 2013: Arme d’expression massive

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2013 EDITION’S PHOTOS

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FER 2012: Festival d’Expression de MA Rue

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2012 EDITION’S PHOTOS

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