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HarbourKIDS: Folk
FREE family festival brings us back to our roots
Oct. 6-8, 2012

TORONTO, ON (*Aug. 22, 2012) – Harbourfront Centre is going back to our roots! HarbourKIDS: Folk, which rounds out our summer festival season, is designed for the whole family to experience together. The festival runs over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend, from Saturday, Oct. 6-Monday, Oct. 8, 2012.

“Folk” means “people.” Every art form has a folk version that is born out of the everyday life of a particular culture. Nowadays, that culture is changing fast: Young people have never known a world without digital media, and HarbourKIDS wants to help encourage them to use these new and wonderful tools to connect to their communities rather than isolate themselves. HarbourKIDS: Folk aims to create a new folk movement, looking into the folk of the future and the future of folk.

Full event information is below. Festival highlights include:
Music from old-timey-country group The Cowgirl Choir, indie-pop band the Elwins, folk-pop duo Sunparlour Players, Orit Shimoni’s international folk songs, jam sessions and more;
Performances including evalyn parry’s bicycle-centric SPIN and Music with Bite, an interactive musical performance of First Nations’ creation story How Great Turtle Rebuilt the World;
The Children’s Own Media Museum, inspired by Marshall McLuhan, enlists the help of kids in a DIY museum;
Hands-on crafts including weaving, quilting, crochet, spinning and yarn-bombing;
• …and much more

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

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.

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 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

HarbourKIDS is Harbourfront Centre's family programme, presenting contemporary arts and culture from a kid's point of view, making it accessible for all ages. HarbourKIDS guests participate in activities that explore big ideas through the lens of arts and culture. All HarbourKIDS programming is FREE. Sign up for the HarbourKIDS eNewsletter and be the first to know about all the activities for kids and families at Harbourfront Centre!


Media Contact: Jon Campbell | | 416 973 4655


Cora Flora & Friends - Exploring Music, Nature, and Yoga
Daily, 11 a.m., Saturday and Monday at 1 p.m.
Musician Cora Flora’s performance incorporates gentle yoga, dance, the sounds of nature and calming musical meditation, demonstrating how music can connect with our hearts and help us enjoy the moment. Expect a soulful, original folk music experience accentuated by creative sounding, singing and dancing activities that create an exciting, playful, transformative, authentic and meditative journey.

The Cowgirl Choir
Daily at 11:30 a.m.
The Cowgirl Choir is an all-girl, multi-harmony, old-timey country machine that covers classics old and new, Americana and Canadian folk as well as their own special brand of countrified-pop songs – and even some yodeling. The Cowgirl Choir has created a live stage show just for kids and their old-timey-country-loving parents. Their first ever kid-centric show will get kids and fun-loving adults up on their feet and moving. So put on your boots and spurs and don’t forget your 10-gallon hat!

The Elwins
Daily at 1 p.m.
Ontario-based indie-pop outfit The Elwins have rapidly risen through the ranks of the Canadian indie scene. They’ve been heralded as an “act to watch” by tastemakers like Exclaim!, CBC Radio 3 and the Torontoist and have performed alongside Tokyo Police Club, Arkells and Sweet Thing and at festivals including SXSW, CMW, POP Montreal and the Halifax Pop Explosion. Founded in 2007, the band is lauded for their live shows which feature high-energy sets full of smile-inducing sing-alongs, plenty of crowd participation, giveaways and even impromptu dance competitions.

Sunparlour Players
Daily at 3 p.m.
The multi-instrumental duo Sunparlour Players have been captivating audiences for 4 years with their incredible live performances. Their third album sees the band further expand their critically-acclaimed sound, embracing both electronic and pop influences, and, for the first time, recording solely as a duo. Recently, the band has performed with Mumford & Sons, Blue Rodeo, Wooden Sky, Rural Alberta Advantage, Elliott Brood and Plants & Animals, as well as their own headlining schedule of shows in barns, backyards, theatres, and clubs across the country.

Orit Shimoni – Folk songs from around the world
Daily at 3:30 p.m.
Join Orit Shimoni, creator of The Book of Light (see Theatre listings, below), for unique and beautiful folk songs gathered from her travels around the globe. Shimoni, also known under the musical moniker Little Birdie, was named by CBC Radio’s music director Mark Rheaume as one of the three top Canadian artists of 2006, the year of her debut album. Her second album, I Left the City Burning, spent three months on the campus radio charts, and a new album is on the way this fall. A prolific and versatile songwriter, Little Birdie’s voice has been compared to Loretta Lynn and Emmylou Harris, as well as Chrissie Hynde, Patti Smith, Margot Timmins and Neko Case.

Folk Jam
Daily at 4 p.m.
What happens when you take a roots musician, an indie-pop band, a choir of country girls and a folk-rock duo and put them all on stage at the same time? You’re about to find out, as all of our Redpath Stage acts meet up for the Folk Jam to end all Folk Jams!

Orit Shimoni: The Book of Light
Daily, every 30 minutes
The Book of Light is a heartwarming exchange between a questioning child and his uncle about what makes things bright. Using a combination of science and multi-cultural mythologies, the uncle reveals an array of ideas about the source and power, real and symbolic, of light. The story is framed by the uncle's appreciation for the inquisitiveness of children, and the important role of passing down knowledge that is thoughtful, inclusive and aware of its incompleteness. The Book of Light is projected in a children's tent, incorporating the modern use and knowledge of light as a mode of presentation of ancient themes. Its beautiful images and lulling soundtrack make it the perfect space for young and old to relax and take in what light has to offer. Creator Orit Shimoni, a musician, children’s book author and former schoolteacher, also performs music at 3:30 p.m. daily (see Music listings, above).

evalyn parry’s SPIN
Daily at 1:30 & 3:30 p.m.
Award-winning Toronto theatre artist and musician evalyn parry has created a brand new adaptation of her hit show SPIN for HarbourKIDS: Folk. A vintage bicycle, played as a musical instrument, accompanies a cycle of songs and stories recounting the little-known history of women and cycling – from the incredible true tale of Annie Londonderry (the first woman to ride around the world on a bicycle) to Amelia Bloomer (namesake of “bloomers”). Blending music, monologue and technology, SPIN is an enchanting, engaging adventure in entertainment and activism. parry’s “co-star” – the bicycle – is transformed by percussionist Brad Hart into a unique and captivating instrument, conjuring an evocative, fascinating accompaniment to evalyn’s captivating SPIN.

Music With Bite: How Great Turtle Rebuilt the World
Sunday, Oct. 7 at 1 p.m.
Music with Bite, a co-production with Jeunesses Musicales Canada, is a refreshing experience where children can pull up a comfy cushion and take in an enjoyable, interactive performance tailored for young audience members. The first performance in Music with Bite’s 2012-2013 season, How Great Turtle Rebuilt the World, is based on the First Nations’ legend, and follows the titular character in his efforts to rebuild a world destroyed by the Great Flood. After the concert, kids can meet the performers and ask them questions while enjoying complimentary cookies (Note: Cookies may contain nuts) and a Natrel® milk beverage. Satisfy your ears and tickle your taste buds at the next Music with Bite performance! Stay tuned for more info on Music with Bite’s 2012-2013 season.

Wee Little Stitches Contemporary Cross-Stitch: Pixel People
Daily from 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
Wee Little Stitches believes in a world where cross-stitch doesn't have to be boring or old-fashioned. Pixel People are the creations of husband-and-wife team Jacqueline and Christopher Gable, whose new take on a traditional textile art features characters from Harry Potter, The Fellowship of the Ring, Star Wars, Star Trek and even X-Men.

LEGO Mosaics
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Get inspired by the pixel patterns provided by Wee Little Stitches, and create your own mosaic images using LEGO! You can invent cartoon characters, draw a picture of your house, or even recreate your whole street on green LEGO baseplates.

The Children’s Own Media Museum DIY Hub
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The Children’s Own Media Museum (TCOMM) launches the Community Media Curator Program at HarbourKIDS: Folk, in the spirit of Canadian scholar and media genius Marshall McLuhan’s belief that “The age of automation is going to be the age of ‘do it yourself’.” Kids are asked to write, design, make and sing the Museum into reality, and in order to create new media curators, TCOM will share the secrets behind curating, telling stories and designing low- and high-tech experiences. Each participant will receive a curator kit with materials and special instructions.

Wise Daughters Craft Market: Domestic Bliss
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
What do fanatical knitters do when their friends and family don’t need any more scarves and mittens? Make cosies! Wise Daughters will remount a domestic scene in which everyday household objects – brooms, frying pans and even a dog (not a real dog!) are covered with crocheted and knitted cosies. They’ll also bring a collection of vintage and contemporary handmade items showing off all of the needle arts.

Wise Daughters Craft Market: Cool Stuff Your Grandma Knows How to Do
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Wise Daughters will demonstrate crochet, spinning and embroidery as well as run an activity that allows kids to sew – and take home – their own repurposed fabric brooch/patch in one of several gender-neutral designs.

Wise Daughters: Yarnstorming
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Yarnstorming, also known as yarn-bombing or graffiti-knitting, takes knitting to the streets. Wise Daughters will prepare yarn bombs for trees around the Harbourfront Centre property to demonstarte the technique, and the public are invited to knit their own yarn bombs that will grow all weekend, gradually covering various items around the site. Instructors will be on hand to teach novices the basic knit stitch so everyone can contribute regardless of age or skill level.

Elizabeth Gosse: It’s Your City – Toronto
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
The It’s Your City Project began in the summer of 2010 in Brantford, and has since traveled to Hamilton, Mississauga, Kitchener and Waterloo. HarbourKIDS: Folk is proud to be the Toronto host of this ever-evolving community-based project whose theme is interactive participation. The project aims to create a vibrant city mural that gets built over the weekend, with personal touches from Toronto’s diverse and creative community. Visitors pour, squirt and spray paint onto small canvases of different materials which, when dry, will be hung on a master board to create a cityscape of Toronto. From here, people can paint individual canvas, adding to the mural over the course of the weekend, fostering creativity, participation and interaction between the community, the creative process and the artist.

Natrel Pom Pom Tree
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Make a pom-pom to contribute to our growing pom-pom installation that, by the end of the weekend, will be a mass of colourful baubles created by all of the kids that come through the festival. A simple and classic craft, pom-poms are fun and easy to create and make a colourful impression.

The Craft Department: Animateurs in the Studios
Sunday, Oct. 7 from 2-5 p.m.
The Craft Department at Harbourfront Centre is excited to launch Animateurs in the Studios, a new initiative that gives visitors insight into the only national post-graduate programme of its kind in Canada. Craft designers and artists are inspired to explore, pursue and accelerate their potential in an ideal studio environment, and Harbourfront Centre volunteers will help visitors engage with the artists and answer questions.

Amanda Rataj: LOOMinous
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Weaving, the act of making cloth via repeated interlacing of fibers, was mechanized in the late 19th century, and has since become a craft and hobby. Though it plays a critical role in our daily lives, the technique has become largely invisible, and artist and writer Amanda Rataj will bring it back into the foreground. Rataj will take participants through the use of the frame loom, which can accommodate up to 7 people at once, and help create a collaborative piece that is cut from the loom and can be hung as art.

Kalpna Patel with The Paper Place: Paper Patchwork Quilt
Daily from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Kids and parents are invited to make a paper patch to contribute to a patchwork “quilt” that grows over the weekend. Using a type of Japanese paper called Chiyogami – literally “thousand-generation paper,” which was originally produced to reflect traditional kimono designs – participants create their own pattern that is added to the quilt by experts from The Paper Place, a shop specializing in decorative and handmade Japanese papers.

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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