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Harbourfront Centre’s 2012 Summer Festival Season

Over 20 festivals and events from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving bring “The World in One Place”

TORONTO, ON (March 27, 2012)Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce its 2012 Summer Festival lineup. From the Victoria Day long weekend until Thanksgiving, Harbourfront Centre presents more than 20 FREE festivals and events featuring world-class local and international programming for children, youth and adults.

This summer, Harbourfront Centre offers many opportunities for Torontonians and visitors alike to discover “The World in One Place” through unique cultural programming at some of the biggest and best cultural festivals in the world, including:

• A summer season bookended by family festivals, from HarbourKIDS: The Toronto International Circus Festival through to HarbourKIDS: Folk.
Canada Day: Going Global presented by CIBC: A spectacular celebration that highlights our nation’s trailblazers.
Planet IndigenUS: The world’s largest celebration of global Indigenous cultures.
Classical IV: Strings: Where stringed soundscapes from around the world intersect – with a contemporary twist.
Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by CIBC: A celebration of 15 years tempting Toronto's senses through delicious food, music, dance, film and more!

“For over 35 years Harbourfront Centre has brought the best in international culture to Toronto, challenging our audiences with new ideas and viewpoints,” says William Boyle, Harbourfront Centre CEO. “This summer is no exception, as we present cutting-edge programming that is contemporary, creative and unifies the rich mosaic of cultures from across our nation and around the world.”

Other season-long events include the return of the popular Free Flicks film series, screening films outdoors at the WestJet Stage; Dancing on the Pier, Harbourfront Centre’s social dance programme; and the global range of products and culinary treats at The International Marketplace and the newly-renovated World Café.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit 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.

Media materials available at our Summer Media site:

Harbourfront Centre’s Summer Season lineup

HarbourKIDS: The Toronto International Circus Festival (May 19-21)
Harbourfront Centre partners with Zero Gravity Circus to bring you the 10th annual Toronto International Circus Festival, a three-day cultural experience for children and families featuring world-class acrobats, fire masters, jugglers, clowns and more!

NXNE – North by Northeast (June 16-17)
One of the most anticipated music and film festivals in Canada! The 18th annual event will bring some of the world's most exciting and innovative artists to Harbourfront Centre!

Franco-Fête, 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.

TD Toronto Jazz Festival (June 22-30)
One of North America's premier jazz festivals, TD Toronto Jazz Festival is an event for lovers of music of all kinds.

Canada Day: Going Global presented by CIBC (June 29-July 2)
Canada’s biggest and best four-day birthday celebration features dance, music, culinary arts, comedy, family activities, storytelling, games and film that highlight the contributions of Canadians.

Expressions of Brazil, Co-produced by Southern Mirrors and Puente (July 6-8)
A three-day event showcasing the diversity of Brazilian arts and culture through music, dance, film, cuisine, workshops and family activities.

SoundClash Festival (July 13-15)
Harbourfront Centre’s annual SoundClash Music Award has morphed into a genre-bending music festival that showcases the award’s shortlisted acts, as well as other artists who are pushing the envelope on contemporary music and culture.

Hot & Spicy Food Festival presented by CIBC (July 20-22)
For 15 years, Harbourfront Centre has tempted Toronto's senses, and this year’s event cranks up the heat as we redefine the intersections between food, music, dance, film and more!

Classical IV: Strings (July 27-29)
Discover how ancient stringed instruments from across the globe can create bold contemporary intersections of sound, with a twist!

Calypso Stars Showcanse (July 31)
Experience the sounds, rhythms and cadences of Toronto's vibrant calypso community! Featuring calypso, steelpan and mas' (masquerade) – the three core disciplines of Caribbean festivals.

Island Soul presented by CIBC (Aug. 3-6)
Harbourfront Centre’s wildly popular Caribbean festival commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the Independence of Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

Planet IndigenUS, Co-produced by Woodland Cultural Centre (Aug.10-19)
This massive 10-day event, book-ended by two weekend-long celebrations, is the largest multidisciplinary, contemporary, international Indigenous arts festival in the world, celebrating the future while honouring the rich cultural past of the world’s Indigenous peoples.

TELUS TAIWANfest, Co-produced by the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association
(Aug. 24-26)
A three-day culinary arts, music, dance and film fest that sparks a new dialogue on Canada's multifaceted lifestyles between new immigrants and Canadians who have been here for generations.

Ashkenaz Festival (Aug. 28-Sept. 3)
North America’s premier festival of Jewish and Yiddish culture, featuring the best of the global Jewish culture scene with music, theatre, film, visual arts, literature and more.

Caribbean Tales (Sept. 4-15)
Canada's one and only forum showcasing the best of Caribbean cinema locally and globally, classic and Creole, digital and celluloid.

Vegetarian Food Fair (Sept. 7-9)
The largest event of its kind in North America offers an unparalleled opportunity to enjoy a diverse cross-section of vegetarian cuisine.

Vietnamese Lantern Festival presented by CIBC, Co-produced by the Vietnamese Women's Association of Toronto (Sept. 15)
Explore the meaning of the Mid-Autumn Lantern Festival through the perspective of the Vietnamese community with a full day of food, entertainment and family activities.

Fortune Cooking presented by CIBC (Sept. 16)
Explore the crossroads of Pan-Asian cuisine and its influence across the globe. Taste the trends, witness the wizardry and savour the sounds!

HarbourKIDS: Folk (Oct. 6-8)
A three-day children’s festival that brings artists, kids and grownups together in a warm, friendly environment, offering endless possibilities for self-expression, cultural exchange, and artistic inspiration.

Season-long Events

Free Flicks (Wednesdays, July 4-Aug 29)
This summer, explore the theme of the “Rise of the Underdog” through documentary, biographical and cult films. From the steady climb to spectacular falls, the underdog will pick themselves up, dust themselves off and emerge victorious.

Dancing on the Pier (Thursdays, June 28-Aug 30)
The shores of Lake Ontario transform into Toronto's most scenic ballroom. Live bands, social dance clubs and DJs will have you learning a mixture of dance trends and shared movements from across the world.

International Marketplace (Weekends, June 1-Sept 3)
Shop the world every weekend, all summer long. Our International Marketplace features fab finds from all corners of the globe, from Indonesian textiles, Indigenous crafts, African artifacts, Southeast Asian and South American jewellery and much, much more!

World Café (Weekends, May 19-Oct 8)
What are you in the mood for today? Thai? Latin? Indian? The newly renovated World Café features the best cuisines from around the world at affordable prices.

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

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.

This festival season – from Victoria Day to Thanksgiving – Harbourfront Centre presents culturally diverse local and international programming including concerts, film screenings, outdoor dancing, food demos, family fun and so much more. For more information, visit

Harbourfront Centre is pleased to present a rich mosaic of cutting-edge, current and creative
programming that is concept-driven and curatorially-focused. This summer, we explore the idea of “crossroads” in all senses of the word: junctures, points of transition, sites of significant supernatural power, places of choice, markers, intersections, hallowed ground. Crossroads represent the junctures at which artists and members of various communities must make essential choices. Our vision of standing at the centre of a crossroad speaks of being poised in a position of pure potential.


For more media information contact:
Althea Linton

Jon Campbell

For high-resolution images and additional media resources, visit our Summer Media Page:

Follow us on Twitter: @harbourfrontTO

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