Landmarks across Canada rocking red this September for an often-overlooked disability

VANCOUVER, September 9, 2022 – On September 9, 2022, landmarks in provinces from coast to coast will be lighting up red to raise awareness of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD). There are currently 36 landmarks, buildings, and monuments in 10 provinces that are participating in this movement.

FASD is a lifelong disability that impacts the brain and body of individuals who were exposed to alcohol during fetal development. Despite being one of Canada’s leading neurodevelopmental disabilities (impacting more than autism, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome combined), FASD is often ignored by community members and leaders alike. This campaign hopes to shine the light on this issue and promote action to address it.

Red became a symbol for FASD after RJ Formanek, an advocate with FASD, wore red shoes to talk about FASD on the international stage. From there, the Red Shoes Rock movement was born and has spread across the globe. Red shoes symbolize the strengths and uniqueness of this community.

International FASD Awareness Day is held every year on September 9th. The goal of this event is to raise awareness of this disability and celebrate the successes and contributions that this community brings to Canada. September 1st marks the start of FASD Awareness Month.


Without appropriate supports for communities, adverse outcomes are more likely, leading to more focus on deficits. We need to break that cycle. We can do that by looking at the whole picture, the whole person. It is time to open our eyes and see that people with FASD are like everyone else with gifts, talents and strengths.”

– Dorothy Reid, CanFASD Family Advisory Committee Member and Caregiver

The Red Shoes Rock movement has grown world-wide and into multiple languages because our message is clear… it’s not about the condition, it’s about people. The spirit drives not only us, but the caregivers and people who work with us, to strive towards the goal of person oriented, ethical supports designed for the lifespan. This is a goal we can achieve, and we are getting there. We are changing the world.”

– RJ Formanek, Advocate and Individual with FASD

FASD is a Canada-wide concern, so we’re excited to see participation in this event from landmarks all across the country. We hope this movement can shine the light on this disorder that is often ignored and overlooked in Canada.”

– Audrey McFarlane, Executive Director, Canada FASD Research Network


About CanFASD:
CanFASD is Canada’s first national Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) research network. CanFASD works collaboratively with researchers and partners across the nation to address complexities of FASD. Our mission is to produce and maintain national, collaborative research for all Canadians, leading to prevention strategies and improved support services for people affected by Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


Victoria Bailey
Communications Manager

For more information on CanFASD and this campaign, please visit: