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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Vietnamese Lantern Festival presented by CIBC
Co-produced with the Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto
September 15, 2012

TORONTO, ON (Aug. 15, 2012) – Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce our celebration of the Vietnamese Lantern Festival presented by CIBC on Saturday, Sept. 15. Also known as Tet Trung Thu, or the Mid-Autumn Festival, it is a time for families across East Asia to gather and celebrate the end of the summer harvest by eating moon cakes, lighting lanterns and gazing at the moon and stars.

As our city continues to diversify, the beauty of experiencing and understanding the meaning of different cultural practices and celebrations is a powerful point of transformation for each and every one of us. Harbourfront Centre and our co-producer, the Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto (VWAT), hope to share the holiday traditions with families from a range of cultural backgrounds. Join our celebration and explore the meaning of the Vietnamese Lantern Festival as it is seen through the perspective of the Vietnamese community. The festival also provides a great warm-up to the pan-Asian culinary celebration, Fortune Cooking Festival, which will be held on Sunday, Sept. 16.

Complete event listings are below. Highlights of Vietnamese Lantern Festival include:
Performances from singers, dancers and others;
• An Ao Dai Competition in which contestants of all ages strut their traditional dresses for prizes;
• A range of traditional treats on offer at the mooncake tasting;
• Family-friendly lantern-making activities
• …and more!

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.

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE SUMMER FESTIVALS
Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, not-for-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront. Our summer festival season runs from Victoria Day weekend through Thanksgiving weekend, and features over 20 festivals and events that offer The World in One Place. For more information visit harbourfrontcentre.com/summer

ABOUT THE VIETNAMESE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF TORONTO (VWAT)
The Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto is committed to advancing education, providing supportive counselling, promoting healthy living, encouraging integration for newcomer communities, raising awareness of domestic violence and fostering community development.

ABOUT CIBC
CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC is committed to supporting causes that matter to our clients, our employees and our communities. We aim to make a difference in communities through corporate donations, sponsorships and the volunteer spirit of employees. In 2011, CIBC contributed more than $35 million to charitable and non-profit initiatives in Canada to support national, regional and local organizations. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at www.cibc.com.

For listings info, hi-res images and more media resources, visit our summer media page:
harbourfrontcentre.com/summer/media

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Media Contact:
Harbourfront Centre: Jon Campbell | jcampbell@harbourfrontcentre.com | 416 973 4655
Vietnamese Women’s Association of Toronto: Sarah Tran | lanternfest@vwat.org | 416-992-8284

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VIETNAMESE LANTERN FESTIVAL LISTINGS

MUSIC

TyTy Nguyen
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2:35 p.m.
TyTy Nguyen has, for many years, volunteered with the St. Cecilia Children’s Choir while singing professionally around the GTA and being involved in many competitions showcasing her talent.

Jacey Nguyen
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2:55 p.m.
11-year-old Jacey Nguyen will be singing her version of a song by Christine Perri called “Jar of Hearts.”

Thien Oanh
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:05 p.m.
Throughout her school years, Thien Oanh participated in numerous school concerts displaying a true love for singing, and will be showcasing what she’s learned in the VWAT Music Class. Although she appreciates music from a variety of genres, Thien Oanh will perform a traditional song in order to help preserve Vietnamese culture.

Christine Van
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:25 p.m.
Making her vocal performance debut at this year’s Vietnamese Lantern Festival is Christine Van, a talented 8 year-old singer with a mesmerizing voice. Without any professional vocal training, she has a naturally beautiful voice and a charming personality to match.

Nguyen Hoang Nam
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:50 & 5:40 p.m.
After graduating from Hanoi National University, Hoang Nam decided to pursue his dream by leaving his family and job. He entered, and won, a competition called “Finding the New Young Star,” and soon found himself in the spotlight. In addition to his singing, he has been the MC for the game show Blind Date on VBC and stars in the TV series Letters from Elementary School.

Across U-Hub Music Group
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 4:50 p.m.
Across U-hub is a charitable community organization serving GTA youths, particularly those of East Asian descent. Across U-Hub recognizes the importance of fostering in youth a clear sense of identity and leadership qualities, and offer programs including the weekly Refeel program, a multimedia platform where youths express themselves and tell their stories, and from which this group emerged.

Tran Dinh Tu
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 5:05 p.m.
Tran Dinh Tu has performed in many venues in Vietnam, Canada and the United States, singing across a range of genres including pop, rock, dance, R&B and country. Tran Dinh Tu previously appeared in Vietstar Entertainment productions and has released a total of 4 pop and religious albums.

Julie Nhu Ha
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 5:35 p.m.
Performing since the age of 3, 8 year-old Julie Nhu Ha has earned the unofficial title of sweetheart of the Vietnamese community. She holds a gold medal from the Ontario Dance Challenge 2011 for her solo as well as the first-prize award in singing from the Vietnamese Community Centre of Mississauga in 2009, and has performed at many different events and celebrations across Toronto.

VWAT Choir
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7:15 p.m.
The VWAT Choir performs songs that embody their work loving, caring and serving the Vietnamese community. This year, the VWAT Choir will bring you the original composition “Biet Chang Coi Nguon,” which speaks about the experience of emigrating to Canada, but also of the preservation of Vietnamese heritage and traditions.

FOOD

Vietnamese Food Demonstrations
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1, 3 & 5 p.m.
Vietnamese food is often ranked as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world with fresh herbs, lots of vegetables and seafood, and cooking techniques that use water or broth instead of oils. Traditional Vietnamese flavourings (including cilantro, mint, Thai basil, star anise, and red chili) have long been used as alternative remedies for all sorts of ailments. Cilantro and anise have actually been shown to aid digestion and fight disease-causing inflammation. This year, we will again promote incorporating Vietnamese cuisine into a healthy lifestyle through a series of 1-hour cooking shows: the first 45 minutes of each show is reserved for a cooking demonstration; the last 15 minutes offers the chance to taste what you’ve learned.

Tea Tasting Booth
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.
Learn about a variety of different tea leaves, and then sit down at our mini-café to enjoy a cup of tea while sampling the mooncakes!

Vietnamese Cultural Food Vendors
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m.
Take this chance to try new foods by visiting our festival food vendors to taste delicious Vietnamese cuisine.

Moon Cake Tasting
Saturday, Sept. 15, 1 p.m.
Come taste a sweet bite of tradition by sampling delicious mooncakes with complimentary hot tea, and check out a soft mooncake demonstration. The delicacies will be available in a variety of flavours including black bean, red bean, mung bean, and lotus paste with salted eggs.

DANCE

Dance Crew Divas
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m.
The Dance Crew Divas feature members of many ages and are led by Thao Pham, whose passion for music and dance has influenced her choreography of many dance performances both at her school and at community events. She hopes to inspire youth to enjoy the art of dancing which promotes a fun, active and healthy lifestyle.

Jessica Siew
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 2:50 p.m.
Singapore-born Jessica Siew loves to dance, whether to SHINee or Swan Lake, for fun or in competition. An active member of Fo Guang Shan Temple's Youth Group, Siew volunteers at a variety of community events and believes that youth involvement in the community is the key to developing a safe community.

FrolicLassie
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:10 p.m.
FrolicLassie is a dance group based in Toronto performing a variety of J-Pop and K-Pop dances and looking to expand into Chinese Traditional and Jazz forms.

Vietnamese Student Association at York University (VSAY)
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:30 p.m.
For over 20 years, the Vietnamese Student Association at York University has impacted the lives of thousands of young Vietnamese professionals. Their mandate is to preserve the Vietnamese heritage through influencing VSAY members to engage in social activities that integrate the Vietnamese culture and language.

Stephanie Le-Nguyen
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 3:45 p.m.
Starting at the age of 3, 19 year-old Le-Nguyen began learning numerous dance forms including ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, acrobatics and lyrical. Studying a variety of dance genres has widened her view on dance and its creative potential.

Alicia Nero
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 5:25 p.m.
Alicia Nero began dancing at the age of five and continues her dance training studying jazz, ballet, pointe, lyrical, contemporary, acrobatics, hip hop, and tap at a competitive level, competing across Canada and the United States. She has completed her British Association of Teachers of Dance (BATD) associate members exam in ballet, tap, jazz, acrobatics, modern, and stage, and the RAD Advanced Two exam in ballet. She is currently specialising in dance at Ryerson University’s Performing Arts program, and has worked with numerous well-known choreographers and dancers including Nadia Potts, Karen Duplisea, Vicki St Deny, Arsenio Calderon, Kenny Pearl and Allen Kaeja, and performed in the film Death to Smoochy.

Mitzi
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 5:50 p.m.
Mitzi is a Toronto dance group specializing in K-Pop dance that won first place in the dance category at the Superwave Korea 2011 contest. Although none of the members are Korean, Mitzi hopes to utilize their artistic talents to promote intercultural awareness in Toronto.

FAMILY

Paper Lantern-Making Booth
Saturday, Sept. 15 from 1-6 p.m.
Bring the whole family out for some arts and crafts fun, where everyone can learn how to make paper lanterns and decorate them using coloured crayons and stickers. There will also be paper origami folding tutorials throughout the day, and over the course of the festival, free paper lanterns will be given out to kids 12 and under (limit 1 per child).

Children’s Activities Booths
Saturday, Sept. 15 from 1-7 p.m.
Join in the fun carnival and cultural games with a unique twist. Each child 12 and under will have a chance to redeem a prize

Lantern Walk
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7:20 p.m.
As a part of our festival finale, everyone is invited to join in on a Lantern Walk Parade. In exploration of the true meaning of the Vietnamese Lantern Festival, children with lanterns will enjoy a good time with their families by following a parade route concluding their celebrations of the mid-autumn festival day.

FASHION

Designers’ Showcase
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 6:40 p.m.
Exciting new talent from young local fashion designers will be exhibited in this year Vietnamese Lantern Festival’s first annual Designers’ Showcase. Ranging from casual to resort wear, audiences are bound to find fresh and original designs from four featured student designers. Join us as we celebrate art and creativity at the Designers’ Showcase.
Participating designers: CG Chen, Luan Zhang, Van Tran and Mark Aguilar

Thien Le Ao Dai Competition
Saturday, Sept. 15 at 4:30 p.m.
Ao Dai are traditional Vietnamese long dresses, and this competition allows participants of all ages to enter the runway-style competition to showcase their own store-bought or homemade versions. Judges will select the best outfits and winning contestants will receive a range of prizes. The event is sponsored by Thien Le, who began as a visual artist, but worked in visual merchandising and costuming and launched his own much-lauded label in 1999. He has since collaborated with Elizabeth Arden and is known for intricately detailed designs and elegant formal wear. For information about entering the competition, please contact lanternfest@vwat.org

VISUAL ARTS

Lantern Competition
Saturday, Sept. 15 at noon
Individuals, groups of friends, and families are invited to take part in the Lantern Competition by submitting your very own homemade lantern to feature at the event. Lantern submissions are accepted on the day of the festival from 12pm-2pm. So come on out, showcase your creativity, and have a chance to win cash prizes and more!
For more information on entering the competition, please contact lanternfest@vwat.org.

OTHER

Community Organization Booths
Saturday, Sept. 15 from 1-7 p.m.
This year’s Vietnamese Lantern Festival will feature booths from community partner organizations whose efforts helped to bring this event to life. Get connected with resources in your community by visiting these organization booths to see what informational resources and services each of them has to offer.



Season-Long Events at Harbourfront Centre

Uncharted Waters: Toronto’s Enigmatic Harbour presented with the assistance of the Toronto Port Authority (June 21, 2012-June 2013)
An outdoor, large-scale photo exhibition of the harbour’s people, places, industries, vessels and ecosystems which uncovers the true value of one of Canada’s largest inland ports.

Summer Music in the Garden presented by TD Bank Group (Most Thursdays, 7 p.m. & Sundays, 4 p.m., July-Sept)
Free performances of classical and traditional music from around the world as Summer Music in the Garden enters its 13th season. Concerts and tours take place in the Toronto Music Garden weather permitting; contact our info desk at 416-973-4000 for updates.

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, hosted by Martin Samuels.

Free Flicks (Wednesdays, July 4-Aug. 29, approximately 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, hosted by Norm Wilner.

International Marketplace (Weekends June 2-Sept 3)
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)
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.-11 p.m.)
Come and see some of the best street performers this city has to offer!

Canoe Rides and Paddle Boats on the Natrel® Pond (Weekends, May-Oct)
Take a break and enjoy a fun float beside our picturesque boardwalk. Cost: Canoe rides are $4 per person, paddle boats are $5 per person, including life jacket rental and a 15-minute ride.



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