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Harbourfront Centre celebrates 40 years by announcing four new multidisciplinary arts commissions for 2014


Award-winning projects by UnSpun Theatre, FIXT POINT, Lisa Myers, and Emmanuel Sévigny will celebrate Harbourfront Centre as a steward of Toronto’s waterfront and Canada’s leading incubator of contemporary arts and culture.

TORONTO, ON (May 28, 2013) – Harbourfront Centre today announced $100,000 in Fresh Ground new works national arts commissioning prizes. The selected Canadian projects will bring the organization’s forty years of cultural innovation to life through non-traditional, multidisciplinary artistic collaborations. Part site history, part memory excavation, each of the projects provides a fresh exploration of cross-pollination in contemporary art. Harbourfront Centre has now awarded $500,000 through Fresh Ground new works over the past 9 years toward the creation of new Canadian works.

The announcement comes alongside major transformations to Harbourfront Centre’s 10-acre site, including the opening of two new public spaces – Ontario Square and Canada Square in late June. These spectacular squares provide the public with beautifully designed open access to Toronto’s central waterfront, continuing to transform Harbourfront Centre's 10 acre central waterfront site. The new Fresh Ground commissions will celebrate the many ways this leading non-profit organization breaks ground and keeps Toronto’s physical and artistic landscape fertile.

Fresh Ground new works has staked its claim on the international arts scene with past Canadian commissions going on to tour around the world to critical acclaim. Be sure to keep an eye on these projects as Harbourfront Centre cultivates them from development to presentation.

2013-2014 Commissions

UnSpun Theatre
The Speedy
Using the mysterious and largely unknown 1804 sinking of The HMS Speedy in Lake Ontario to investigate storytelling, this theatrical performance will engage audiences in an interactive installation that will rebuild part of our shared history and celebrate Harbourfront Centre's contributions to Toronto's cultural landscape. UnSpun Theatre will work in collaboration with ArtHeart, Regent Park.
To be presented as a part of World Stage in May 2014

About UnSpun Theatre - UnSpun Theatre is a creation-based theatre company that focuses on a collaborative, artist-driven approach to performance making. Since 2004, UnSpun theatre has been creating entertaining, award-winning work that consistently challenges audiences and stretches the boundaries of the current English-Canadian theatre tradition. For more, visit

The Tale of Harbourfront Centre
A site-specific theatre and documentary project celebrating the 40th anniversary of Harbourfront Centre. Through collected stories Harbourfront Centre's history will be woven into an interactive live performance that will engage audiences across our 10-acre site. FIXT POINT will work in collaboration with CBC Radio One, The Walrus, and you! Be a part of it. For information on ways to contribute, visit
To be presented as a part of World Stage in May 2014

About FIXT POINT - FIXT POINT is a not-for-profit theatre and media company founded in 2006. The company’s goal is to engage with the community through the combination of site-specific performance, audio art and digital story mapping in order to tell tales across multiple platforms that serve to preserve and promote local heritage and neighbourhood culture. For more on the company, visit

Lisa Myers
Shore Lunch
Taking the form of a mobile food cart, Lisa Myers’s Shore Lunch will speak to the transformation and history of the Toronto waterfront including Indigenous settlements and trade routes, colonial settlers, gentrification, and the demolition of industrial architecture, and its correlation with food production and distribution. Shore Lunch will involve collaboration with a number of artists who will use the food cart on the Harbourfront Centre site as their means of distribution and dissemination of artwork objects, media, and performance.
To be presented in May/June 2014

About Lisa Myers - Lisa Myers is an artist, curator, musician and chef. These disciplines inform her various practices. In 2011, Myers earned her Master of Fine Arts in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University, which focused on the use of food in Indigenous art practice. She has exhibited her work in a number of group exhibitions in venues including Onsite at OCAD (Toronto), MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie), and the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). Lisa works and lives in Port Severn and Toronto, Ontario. For more on the artist, visit

Emmanuel Sévigny
Project Title tba
An outdoor sound, visual, site-specific installation inspired by Harbourfront Centre as a site of history. New media scenographer, creative director, and producer Emmanuel Sévigny from Quebec will create an original digital work that connects participants and passersby in the collective history of Harbourfront Centre with Toronto’s waterfront and diverse cultural communities.
To be presented in June 2014

About Emmanuel Sévigny- Emmanuel Sévigny is a Montréal based artist who has worked in the field of new media since 1996. He designs and produces interactive and immersive environments for museums, events, and expositions worldwide. Emmanuel is currently developing technological tools for interactivity in stage performance. For more on the artist, visit

Since its creation in 2004, Fresh Ground new works has become a catalyst for new Canadian artistic works incorporating more than one discipline or field. Through open national submission calls, Harbourfront Centre has awarded $500,000 in prize money toward 23 new Canadian commissions. These awards add to Harbourfront Centre’s near-40-year history of commissioning new Canadian works in dance, theatre, music, visual arts and craft. For more information visit,

To date, a generous group of visionary donors have supported the creation of 23 new commissions. We would like to thank the following supporters of the Fresh Ground new works commissioning programme for their leadership and continued support of artists: Peter Allen, William J. S. Boyle, Anne-Marie Canning, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Michael and Sonja Koerner, Judy and Wil Matthews, George E. Myhal, Sonja Smits and Seaton McLean; and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the J.P. Bickell Foundation.

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto's central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000 diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private sector and individual donors.

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