Harbourfront Centre Announces Summer Festival Season Highlights

Harbourfront Centre Announces Summer Festival Season Highlights

Over 50 reasons to check out “The World in One Place”

TORONTO, ON (April 18, 2012) – Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce the first details of the 2012 Summer Festival season, in which over twenty festivals and events bring “The World in One Place.”

Between May and October, hundreds of artists of all stripes unite at more than twenty FREE festivals and events taking place at the heart of Toronto’s waterfront. Join us in celebrating local and international cultural communities through film screenings, art exhibitions, culinary events, live music, theatre and more!

Highlights from the 2012 summer season are below and include:

Zero Gravity Circus’s acrobatic hijinx
A Canada Day celebration with The Hidden Cameras, Airplane Boys and more
Afro-funk from Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonoul
Chefs from around the world battle at the International Iron Chef Competition
African string music from Masters of Mali featuring Sidi Touré
Susuriwka – Willow Bridge, a Canadian-Japanese dance and musical collaboration
Theatre Panik’s The Corpse Bride

Full festival programming and additional ticketed events will be announced shortly. For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com/summer or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

For high-resolution images and additional media resources, visit our summer media page:



Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, in the heart of Toronto’s downtown waterfront. Our 2012 Summer Festival Season explores the idea of “Crossroads,” which represent the junctures at which artists and members of various communities must make essential choices. For more information visit harbourfrontcentre.com/summer


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Summer 2012 Festival Highlights

HarbourKIDS: The Toronto International Circus Festival, May 19-21

Our festival partner supplies acrobats, clowns and more for the Zero Gravity Circus Showcase
Physical Theatre Workshops with Wonderbolt Circus
Stand Up Dance’s Family Dance Parties for dancers of all ages

NXNE (North by Northeast), June 16-17

Live music from Russian crazed musical gypsies Jumple, one-man-band dynamo The People of Canada and more

Franco-Fête: Toronto’s International Francophone Festival, co-produced by La Franco-Fête de Toronto, June 22-24

For its 30th anniversary, la Franco-Fête de Toronto offers a unique occasion to gather and celebrate the diversity of francophone culture.

Canada Day: Going Global presented by CIBC, June 29-July 2

Live music includes: A rare Toronto date from indie-pop stars The Hidden Cameras; the Western-pop-meets-Zulu-rhythms of Johnny Clegg; electro-hip-hop genre-mashers The Airplane Boys
The finalists in the “O Canada” Singing Competition
B-Boy and B-Girl dance competition The Call Out
Come Dance with Me Canada unleashes the power of the collective

Expressions of Brazil, co-produced by Southern Mirrors and Puente July 6-8

Live music includes: Brothers of Brazil, a duo mixing bossa nova, samba, rock, funk and more; and Maria Bonita and The Band, performing Forró music, a mix of European and African traditions
Flicks for all ages in the Brazilian Festival of Film & TV Family Film Series

SoundClash Festival July 13-15

Live music includes: Orchestre Poly-Rythmo de Cotonou’s homemade voodoo funk all the way from Benin; closer to home, the SoundClash Music Award short-listed acts compete for cash and other prizes
Four dance/DJ crews face off in Bragging Rights: DJ Dance Battle

Hot & Spicy Food Festival: 15th Anniversary presented by CIBC, July 20-22

Chilean artist Ana Tijoux’s spicy blend of jazz, funk, hip hop and more
International chefs battle in the 9th annual International Iron Chef Competition
The Taco Takedown invites the public to determine Toronto’s best tacos

Classical IV: Strings, July 27-29

Masters of Mali featuring Sidi Touré introduce ancient African string music into the modern world
Calling all ukuleleists: The Ukulele Project invites the public to play along with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture

Island Soul presented by CIBC, Aug 3-6

Live music includes: Wailers’ frontman and rising Jamaican star Duane Stephenson; and a Tribute to the Grandmaster Calypsonian Lord Kitchener, one of Trinidad’s foremost musicians
Traditional dance, music and drama from Caribbean Folk Performers

Planet IndigenUS, co-produced by Woodland Cultural Centre, Aug 10-19

Wab Kinew and Sarah Podemski host the festival’s multi-disciplinary Opening Night Spectacle, “Celebrating the Crossroards”
Canadians Kaha:wi Dance Theatre (featuring Santee Smith) and Japan’s Yokohama Noh Theater combine efforts for Susuriwka – Willow Bridge (ticketed)
Live music includes: Robbie Robertson Tribute Show featuring Derek Miller and Guests and Australian dance-roots duo Oka’s tribal sounds for the digital age
Festival partner Woodland Cultural Centre hosts the group exhibition Earthly Connections, award-winning blues artist Joel Johnson and more

TELUS TAIWANfest, Aug 24-26

The O-Kai Singers’ brand of a capella invokes the group’s aboriginal roots
Dance Works combine traditional Taiwanese culture with tap dance for the performance of Daydreamers+
The delicious search is on for The King of Stewing

Ashkenaz Festival, Aug 28-Sept 3

Cutting-edge world music from Israel’s Yemen Blues, co-presented by the Jewish National Fund
Shadowland Theatre leads the signature Ashkenaz Parade, an awesome spectacle of music, dance, giant puppetry, stiltwalkers and community revelry
Theatre Panik’s The Corpse Bride brings the classic Yiddish folktale into the new millennium (ticketed)

Vietnamese Lantern Festival presented by CIBC, co-produced by the Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto, Sept 15

The Ao Dai Competition showcases the best traditional dresses in an exhilarating fashion show
Enjoy a cup of tea and sample a variety of traditional treats at the Mooncake Tasting
Join in the magic of the celebration by making your own paper lanterns

Fortune Cooking presented by CIBC, Sept 16

Street Food Spotlight focuses on Pan-Asian local foods
Chefs battle in the Fortune Cooking Iron Chef Competition
Taiko drum ensemble Raging Asian Women pound out sounds of social justice

HarbourKIDS: Folk, Oct 6-8

Great family-friendly programming to end the summer with a bang

Season-Long Events at Harbourfront Centre

Dancing on the Pier, Thursdays, June 28-Aug. 30, 7-9 p.m.
Join the Dancing on the Pier house band for social interaction and learning that explores global dance trends.

Free Flicks, Wednesdays, July 4-Aug. 29, 9 p.m.

From classic film to cult comedy, we explore the journey of the underdog from zero to hero on the big screen, under the stars.

International Marketplace, weekends, June 1-Sept 3
Fridays, 7-11pm, Saturdays, 12-11pm, Sundays 12-8pm

Shop the world every weekend, all summer long – from Indonesian textiles and Indigenous crafts to African artefacts, South American jewellery and far beyond.

World Café, weekends, May 19-Sept 3
Fridays, 6pm-12am, Saturdays, 12pm-12am, Sundays 12-8pm

Our newly renovated World Café features a rotating selection of the best international cuisine at affordable prices.

Harbourfront Centre Street Stage, weekends from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving, 9 a.m.-11p.m.

Come and see some of the best street performers this city has to offer!

Canoe Rides on the Natrel® Pond (Daily, May-Oct)
Our famous canoe rides will be available at the Natrel® Pond all summer long! Take a break and enjoy a fun float beside our picturesque boardwalk.

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