Media Release

ARCHIVE: 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 | 2004 | All Media Resources


TELUS TAIWANfest returns to Harbourfront Centre
Aug. 23-25, 2013

Discover contemporary Taiwanese artistic expressions inspired by the Ocean

TORONTO, ON (July 26, 2013) – From Aug. 23 through 25, Harbourfront Centre hosts TELUS TAIWANfest, a weekend-long celebration of Taiwanese arts and culture that explores this year’s theme, “Children of the Ocean.”

Connecting continents and civilizations, the ocean symbolizes diversity, inclusiveness and infinity while remaining an integral part of life forms. The ocean influences every aspect of culture, being a gateway to communication between nations across the globe. TELUS TAIWANfest explores how Taiwan, an island nation where the people are constantly battling with national identity, learn from their cultural past and envision a future inspired by the ocean.

Festival highlights include:

  • Musical performances including the TELUS TAIWANfest Concert with Rachel Liang - Princess Balenge, Musical Symphony at the Harbour showcasing a collaboration between Eastern and Western music, Sounds of Hohaiyan – Lang Hsin Band featuring a percussionist band and Sunny Raynn, an alternative rock band;
  • Food demonstrations from The Brave Chef and a bubble-tea lounge for patrons;
  • Art exhibitions including The Ship Show showcasing hand-made wooden ships and 400 Years of Taiwan with Rhythms Monthly giving insight to the beauty of the island of Taiwan and the challenges it faces;
  • Plus much more!

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.

For information about getting here during the Queens Quay revitalization, visit

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.

For more information contact:
Chrissi Forte
Follow us on Twitter @harbourfrontTO


Music of Love and Compassion with Tzu Chi Children Choir
Friday, Aug. 23 from 6 to 7 p.m. – Redpath Stage
The children of Tzu Chi Chinese schools learn the art of Chinese language, history, tradition and culture through the songs they sing. Known for delivering love and compassion, Tzu Chi Foundation has a great collection of music.

Musical Symphony at the Harbour Conducted by Ken Hsieh
Friday, Aug. 23 from 8:45 to 10:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Award-winning conductor, Ken Hsieh, takes on a new collaboration that brings together Eastern and Western music. In addition to the classics, the concert also features the first-ever presentation between a western orchestra and Taiwan’s Amis Kakeng Aboriginal Percussion Group, as well as the orchestra’s take on popular melodies.

Awakening Concept – A Taste of Sea Breeze
Friday, Aug. 23 from 10:30 to 11 p.m. and Saturday, Aug. 24 from 5 to 5:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
TELUS TAIWANfest volunteers take the stage in 2013 and show off their own talents in this special variety show designed to awaken the community. This event includes a powerful Taiwan-style Taiko drum show, line dance, upbeat hip hop and drama.

SoundCity – A Musical Tribute to Taiwan's Movies
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12:30 to 1 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 1:30 to 2 p.m. – Studio Theatre
SoundCity is a band formed with members who shared the same Taiwanese roots but were strangers before they met at TELUS TAIWANfest years ago. Experience the evolution of Taiwan’s movies via the sights and sounds of SoundCity.

Toronto Taiwanese Chambers Orchestra – Melodies of Taiwan: Behind the Scenes
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. – Studio Theatre
Melodies of Taiwan: Behind the Scenes is a program by the Toronto Taiwanese Chamber Orchestra founded in 1999. The program includes popular Taiwanese folk songs, including Taiwanese nursery rhymes and the favourite tea-harvesting song of the Taiwanese Hakka people.

Ginalina – Sandcastle Magic Music to Inspire the Young at Heart
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 2 to 3 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Singer-songwriter and children's performer, Ginalina, has a passion to inspire imaginative play and creativity in children. She has a wholesome and quirky sense of humour and a natural appeal to the young at heart. Babies, kids, parents, grandparents, and adults alike, get ready to be delighted with upbeat and folky songs, bubbles, dancing and more!

Lang Hsin Band – Sounds of Hohaiyan
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 3 to 4 p.m. – WestJet Stage and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 2 to 3 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Lang Hsin Band is composed of percussionists that are open to trying any style of music, so long that the theme revolves around aboriginal culture and tribal customs. The Sounds of Hohaiyan brings music inspired by the ocean.

Anything But Traditional with Johnny Hi-Fi
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 4 to 5 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Johnny Hi-Fi was founded by Taiwanese musician, Eric Hsu, in New York in 2001. Their music uses harmonious melody and graceful passages as the foundation, combined with a distinct voice that fuses Chinese and British musical qualities. Johnny Hi-Fi’s sound constantly turns traditional music upside down and leads the trend, mixing indie rock, pop, folk and blends of both eastern and western music.

A Music Memoir of Legendary Amis – Amis KaKeng Musical Group
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 6 to 7 p.m. – WestJet Stage and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Amis Kakeng Musical Group is a percussion band that plays traditional Amis (indigenous) music, promoting the beauty of their culture. The band dedicates their music and sends good news about Amis in an effort to preserve their heritage.

TELUS TAIWANfest Concert: Rachel Liang – Princess Balenge
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9 to 11 p.m. – WestJet Stage
“Princess Balenge,” Rachel Liang, is a half Rukai, half Ataval singer in Taiwan who is best known for her piercing singing voice. At a young age, she realized her love for singing, performing and helping with the community.

Sunny Raynn – Weather Forecast
Sunday, Aug. 25 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Sunny Raynn is an alternative rock band formed in 2013 in Toronto. They represent the polar opposites of music styles, with each band member bringing in their own musical elements, including rock, electronic, classical, funk and jazz. They perform six original compositions and re-arrange four famous Taiwanese pop songs at TELUS TAIWANfest this year.


Chatime Bubble Tea Lounge
Saturday, Aug, 24 from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Bubble Tea has quietly taken on the role of Taiwan’s Beverage Ambassador to the world. Bubble Tea lovers are invited to create their own recipes, the naming or the flavour of the drink and the passion of the contesting “bartender” must be exhibited through their moves, shakes or dances as well.

The Hot & Spicy Chef – Cheng-Chung Chen
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 1 to 2 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Zone 1
Known for his creative handling of hot and spicy ingredients, Master Chung takes his 20-years of culinary experience to TELUS TAIWANfest. Master Chung turns ordinary Chinese dishes into favourite hot and spicy delicacies, including a cold appetizer with the hottest mussels in town and salmon in tuxedos!

Christine Liu and Stephen Aspinall – Farm-to-Table, A Culinary Venture in Taiwan
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Zone 1
Two Canadian-trained chefs from Toronto’s renowned Scaramouche Restaurant ventured to Taiwan, where instead of experiencing the culinary culture the conventional way, went to the extreme – they ended up starting a farm-to-table restaurant where they developed a natural and organic technique to grow rice.

The Brave Chef – Ching-Yung Chen
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 6 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. – Zone 1
The Brave Chef - Master Yung, also known as Ching-Yung Chen, specializes in banquet cuisine, Taiwanese/Chinese cuisine and vegetable/ice sculpture carvings. Master Yung’s most famous dish, pyramid one-cut pork belly, will be cooked at the 2013 TELUS TAIWANfest.


Smangus - A Year in the Clouds
Directed by Dean Johnson and Frank Smith
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 8:30 to 10 p.m. – Studio Theatre
High in the mountains of Taiwan is the remote village of Smangus. Inhabited by a unique group of indigenous people called the Atayal, Smangus is the only place in Taiwan that now practices common ownership of land and property. The film documents how the Smangus village preserves its cultural traditions and relationship with its forest surroundings.

Ebb and Flow
Directed by Ke Chin-Yuan
Sunday, Aug. 25 from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. – Studio Theatre
The extensive tidal flats connecting the Dadu and Zhuoshui River in southeastern Taiwan are considered to be one of Asia’s most significant wetland areas by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. This area was once one of Taiwan’s most important bird habitats, but the passage of time has increasingly distanced the local fishing villages from the sea.

Indigenous vs. Civilized?
Sunday, Aug. 25 from 3 to 4 p.m. – Studio Theatre
Canoe building is one the most important traditions for Taiwan's indigenous people, especially the aboriginal tribe, Yami (Tao) that lives off a small island outside of Taiwan. Their canoes are believed to carry wisdom from ancestors and are beautifully carved with symbols that represent Tao’s beliefs, bravery and unity. Siar Man Mi Sar Ko is a Yami canoe craftsman from Lanyu (Orchid Island), and brings his amazing Yami antiquities on display to explain the stories behind them. Come watch the film, appreciate the exhibition and listen to numerous cultural stories and taboos of Yami!


Survey Says
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 1 to 2 p.m., 3 to 4 p.m., 5 to 6 p.m. and 7 to 8 p.m – Lakeside Terrace, Sunday, Aug. 25 from 1 to 2 p.m. and 3 to 4 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 5 to 6 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Patrons can discover what people really think at the Survey Says game at TELUS TAIWANfest. Survey Says conducts surveys on Canadian immigration-related issues such as lifestyles, culture, interests, values, etc. Rack up as many points as possible and redeem them for great prizes!

Island Folk Games
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Zone 1
What kind of games did people play before the digital age emerged? Specifically, what games and toys did children in Taiwan play with? Agriculture has always been prominent in Taiwan, with many folk toys being composed of straw, bamboo, paper, cans, and other recyclable materials. TELUS TAIWANfest has five in a Row, Chinese shuttlecock, sandbag game, bamboo dance, three-legged race and other Taiwanese folk games prepared for patrons to experience!

Easy Life with Tzu Chi
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 9:30 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Zone 6
With a long history of promoting simple and easy lifestyles, Tzu Chi Foundation is demonstrating how interesting and pleasant our lives can be if we choose an “easy lifestyle” with the concept of eating locally-grown, low-carbon or home grown food. Tzu Chi is also encouraging children to plan their next birthday party with our environment in mind with a reminder to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Chinese Medicine Experience
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Exhibition Common
For more than 5,000 years, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has evolved into one of the most important medical practices in the world. While many people associate TCM with herbal medicines, acupuncture, massages or others, TCM is much more than the treatments. At TELUS TAIWANfest, one can get their first taste of TCM or learn a new thing about their health. Tzu Chi Foundations and a group of TCM practitioners are on-site to provide free consultations.

The Fishing Village of Our Dreams
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 2 to 3 p.m. – Studio Theatre
There are more than 800 fishing villages in Taiwan and through Wanggong’s specialization in oyster-shell arts, we see the village’s vitality and residents’ creativity and passion.

The Imaginary World of a 65-year-old boy with Chuan-Jui Hung
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 4 to 5 p.m. – Studio Theatre
Chuan Jui Hung is a self-taught ship builder, an extraordinary temple architect, a life-long dreamer. At the age of 18, Hung started working with large wooden fishing boats and his fascinations with ship building never stopped. Over the years, he has built replicas of a bamboo raft, a Viking warship, a Roman warship and treasure ship of Zheng He.


The Ship Show – The Chinese Emperor’s Cruise Ship vs. Roman Warship with Chuan-Jui Hung
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Marilyn Brewer Community Space
Master Hung grew up wanting to be a wooden-ship builder. Amongst his hobbies, he loved to study the old and tall ships in the world and always had a strong desire to build them. One of his creations is a river cruise ship for Chinese Emperor Yang of Sui, in which the ship fictitiously depicts his luxurious and extravagant lifestyle.

The Ship Show –The Big Boat with Siar Man Mi Sar Ko
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – Marilyn Brewer Community Space
Big-Boat culture of Yami people has been around for 2,000 years. Influenced by myths, rituals, habits, social transformation, politics, economy, education and introduction of foreign religions, Big-Boat culture of Yami is the best paradoxical snapshot for the development of mankind. It is a love-and-hate relationship between the Civilized and the Indigenous and a familiar struggle for two countries on both ends of the Pacific Ocean.

400 Years of Taiwan A Green Photo Exhibit by Rhythms Monthly
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 8 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – West Arcade
Diagnosis of Taiwan - from the perspective of Five Elements and Shorelines and Islands of Taiwan are two elements of the exhibit curated by Rhythms Monthly that will be featured. As Taiwanese people have become extremely focused on environmental issues, this exhibit provides a different perspective to see the beauty of the island and the challenges it faces. A note of caution for the festival attendees, as part of TELUS TAIWANfest’s green mandate, this exhibit is experimenting with a green approach to photo exhibitions.

Faces of Taiwan with Bruce Pai
Saturday, Aug. 24 from 12 to 9 p.m. and Sunday, Aug. 25 from 12 to 6 p.m. – North Exhibition
Taiwan’s diversity is one of the island nation’s treasures. Pai, a lantern artist in Taiwan, shares his perspective of Taiwanese contemporary cultural fabric using the traditional art of lantern-making. Faces of Taiwan include Taiwanese indigenous people, Hakka and Chinese.


World Café (Weekends from May – October)
The best cuisine from around the world all day and night, offering unique and fun dining experiences! We're serving up sizzling tastes all summer long!

Lake View Market (Weekends from May – September)
Shop the world every weekend, all summer long! Harbourfront Centre’s Lake View Market (formerly International Marketplace) featuring fab finds from all corners of the globe including old world crafts and new, unique designs. Choose from traditional artifacts, local, artisanal, eco friendly, fair trade products and more!

Street Stage (Weekends from May 22 – October 12)
It’s that time of the year again… when some of Toronto's most entertaining street performers animate Harbourfront Centre’s site! Be sure to catch an act or two while strolling along the beautiful waterfront! When the weather’s right, you’ll be sure to find everything from fire spinning, contact juggling, miming, music, magic, unicycling, b-boying, vaudeville, and portraiture!

Canoe Rides on The Natrel® Pond (Weekends from May – October)
Canoe and paddleboat rides will be available at the Natrel® Pond all summer long!

Summer Music in the Garden presented by TD Bank Group (Most Thursdays at 7 p.m. & Sundays at 4 p.m. from June – Sept.)
Our wildly popular garden music series returns as the country’s best musicians perform in the magical setting of the Toronto Music Garden. Free garden tours Wednesday at 11 a.m. and Thursday pre-concert at 5:30 p.m.

Dancing on the Pier (Thursdays from June 27 – Sept.19)
The shores of Lake Ontario transform into Toronto's most scenic ballroom. Live bands, social dance clubs and instructors highlight dance trends from across the world.

DJ Deep Fried Fridays (Fridays from June 28 – Aug. 30)
Local DJs spin music on the Redpath Stage while vendors at the World Café offer a selection of deep fried treats to compliment their sets.

Free Flicks (Wednesdays from July 3 – Aug. 28)
Enjoy a selection of your favourite films – lakeside and under the stars at the WestJet Stage.

Yoga in Exhibition Common (Thursdays from July 4 – Aug. 1 and Sept. 5 – 26)
Free outdoor yoga classes for all levels in our beautiful new Exhibition Common. Don't forget your mat!

Tai Chi in Exhibition Common (Tuesdays from July 9 – 30 and Aug. 6 – 27)
Free outdoor Taoist Tai Chi classes for all levels. Learn the movements of this ancient Chinese martial art in our new Exhibition Common.

Tots Yoga in Exhibition Common (Tuesdays from Sept. 3 – 24)
Caregivers and toddlers 2 – 4 years of age are welcome in our upbeat and lively Tots Yoga classes in our new Exhibition Common. Don’t forget your mat!

The Tale of Harbourfront Centre (Ongoing)
Created by FIXT POINT, The Tale of Harbourfront Centre is a storytelling initiative that will capture and celebrate the 40 year history of this cultural institution through the gathering, mapping and interactive presentation of living memories. A Fresh Ground new works commission.

Summer Camps 2013 (July 2 – Aug. 30)
Time for adventure! Harbourfront Centre produces one of the largest and most diverse day camp programmes in Canada, offering a multitude of exhilarating camps, a convenient downtown location and the best counsellors in the city.

International Festival of Authors (Ongoing)
Weekly readings, interviews, round table discussions and special events continue throughout the summer including IFOA at The Ex on August 22.

Visual Arts Spring & Summer 2013 Exhibitions (Ongoing)
(through Sept. 15)
Seven new exhibitions in visual arts, photography, craft & design and architecture explore the idea of terrain through an artistic lens.

The Third Space is a group exhibition curated by Sanaz Mazinani as part of the Tirgan Festival. Artists working in a variety of media explore the idea of cultural transience. Part of Summer 2013 Visual Arts Exhibitions.

Nine Rivers City: Toronto’s Extraordinary Waterways (through June 2014)
In the new Exhibition Common next to Ontario Square and Canada Square
A breathtaking, large-scale outdoor photographic exploration of Toronto’s nine rivers. Six of Canada’s most talented and exciting contemporary visual artists document the misunderstood environmental and cultural resource that is Toronto’s river system. The exhibition features 72 large-scale photographic images creating the largest outdoor exhibition space in Canada. Produced by Harbourfront Centre in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) with generous support from Menkes.


The Power Plant
Canada's leading public gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary visual art. Admission is free.

Sailing & Powerboating
Boating becomes accessible to Toronto residents and visitors from around the world through Harbourfront Centre’s instruction, membership and rental programs.

Lakeside Local Bar and Grill
Enjoy delicious casual dining on the waterfront overlooking The Natrel® Pond.

The Centre Shop
The Centre Shop carries MoMA and Red Dot awarding-winning designs as well as Canadian crafts on the cutting edge.

Craft and Design Studios
Providing an unparalleled opportunity to witness, understand and experience work being created in glass, ceramics, textiles and jewelry.

Canada Square
Toronto’s newest public space overlooking Lake Ontario. Featuring more than 40 metasequoia (dawn redwood) trees, Canada Square is an inspiring place to gather and celebrate our great country. Canada Square celebrates Canada Day with dynamic programming including family fun and live performances. Canada Square is a joint project of Harbourfront Centre and Waterfront Toronto, funded by the Government of Canada.

Ontario Square
With the Ontario Boreal Forest as its inspiration, Harbourfront Centre's Ontario Square is an open public space for relaxing in the midst of quaking aspen trees, taking in a daytime performance, or a enjoying the evening light provided by James Carpenter’s artwork. Ontario Square celebrates culture and creativity all summer long. Funding for the construction of Ontario Square was provided to Harbourfront Centre by the Government of Ontario.

Exhibition Common
Located adjacent to Ontario Square and Canada Square, Harbourfront Centre's new activity area, Exhibition Common, hosts marketplaces, food concessions, recreational activities like yoga, tai chi and more until the next phase is completed. Exhibition Common is home to NINE RIVERS CITY: Toronto's Extraordinary Waterways, featuring 72 images by six visual artists in a commissioned outdoor photography exhibition exploring Toronto's incredible river system.
Where you are:   Home / Who We Are / Media Resources