Media Release

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

Pan American Food Festival
Sept. 20-22, 2013
A celebration of flavour and rhythms at Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, ON (Aug. 23, 2013) – Experience the cultural diversity of the 41 countries that make up North, Central and South America and the Caribbean through national and regional cuisines, art and music at the Pan American Food Festival (Sept. 20 -22, 2013). This is the first presentation of Canada’s only festival that celebrates the food and culture of all parts of the Western Hemisphere.

The Americas contain a remarkable diversity of cultures, languages, indigenous and imported folk traditions, and of course, food. Pan American culinary flavours are subtly infused by the specific earth in which a plant grew, the particular pastures where an animal grazed, or the exact waters in which a fish swam. Pan America's unique dishes reflect the imagination and tastes of various regions, reflecting Harbourfront Centre’s summer programming focus – terrain.

“We are thrilled to partner with Harbourfront Centre to present the inaugural Pan American Food Festival,” said Daniel Garcia-Herreros, Festival Director. “By sharing the foods from these cultures, our visitors can delight in old traditions and discover delicious new culinary innovations.”

Pan American Food Festival highlights include:

• Two food demonstrations with one of the world's leading authority of Latin American cuisine, Chef Maricel Presilla.
• Colombian, Cuban, Mexican, Argentinean, Venezuelan and Peruvian food demonstrations with local and international chefs.
• A Canadian food demonstration with celebrated cookbook author and restaurateur Chef Donna Dooher
• Live music performances from Alfredo De La Fe, Henry Vivel & Orchestra, Orquesta Fantasia, Café Con Pan, Luis Mario Ochoa & The Cuba Traditional Sextet, The Arsenals
• An exciting Brazilian dance performance from Axe Capoeira
• A Pan American vendors market, art exhibition and film program
• Family activities including kid-friendly food demonstrations
• And much more!

The festival’s food and arts components have been expertly curated by NATJA award nominee Mary Luz Mejia and independent arts curator Hugo Ares. Both bring a diverse background to the task and have been integral in lending the festival much of its Pan American colour and vibrancy.

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:
Althea Linton
Follow us on Twitter @harbourfrontTO


Colombian Food Demo with Chef Charlie Otero
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 12 to 1 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Experience the wonders of Colombian cuisine with Chef Charlie Otero. As a young boy in Colombia, Charlie was attracted by the wonderful tastes and smells of his mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. These ignited his passion to research and discover flavours from around the world.

Vegan Food Demo with Chef Claudia Gaviria
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1 to 2 p.m. – Miss Lou’s Room
Claudia Gaviria is the owner and executive chef of Cruda Café, a raw, vegan, gluten and sugar-free restaurant. She was raised in Colombia and Ecuador, two South American countries rich in fresh, seasonal foods. She combines them with the doctrines of raw cooking, macrobiotics, ayurvedic medicine (ancient healing practice from India) and yoga.

Canadian Food Demo with Chef Donna Dooher
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Chef Donna Dooher, celebrated cookbook author and restaurateur, is one of North America’s leading advocates of the return to the table. After opening Mildred Pierce in 1990 in Toronto’s west end, Donna created The Cookworks Cooking Studio in 1998, which inspired her hit Food Network show The Cookworks, aired in over 60 countries worldwide. She is committed to providing locally sourced, seasonal ingredients that are simply and sumptuously prepared.

Mexican Food Demo with Chef Indalecio Marroquin
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 3 to 4 p.m. – Miss Lou’s Room
The owner of Toronto’s Rebozo’s restaurants will make a Mexican street food favourite - Chicken Tinga tacos with a house made salsa. Learn how to season and prepare this crowd-pleasing Mexican favourite that’s sure to be a hit around your dinner table too.

Gran Cocina Latina with Maricel Presilla
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 4 to 5 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Join Chef Maricel Presilla, one of the world's leading authorities on Latin American cuisine, as she prepares a dish from her latest bestselling cookbook, Gran Cocina Latina. Learn the secrets of what makes Latin cooking so flavourful and why it is one of the culinary trendsetters in the world today.

Argentinean Food Demo with Chef Elliott Gomez
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 5 to 6 p.m. – Miss Lou’s Room
Elliott Gomez has his Argentinean grandmother’s culinary genius to thank for his interest in cooking. Today, as the owner and head chef behind Apostrophe Catering, Elliott creates contemporary dishes on Latin flavours. He is making humitas, savoury corn cakes wrapped in a corn husk and steamed- only with the modern addition of salty pancetta slivers. Que rico!

Mexican Food Demo with Chef Paola Solorzano
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. – Zone 6
Born and raised in Mexico, Chef Solorzano comes from a tribe-like family that takes great pleasure in gathering at the kitchen to share recipes, stories and secrets that invariably end in flavourful feasts. Chef Solorzano has presented several events and workshops, where she's taken her guests from the Mexican Cantina experience, to the most sophisticated and enigmatic dishes from the different regions of Mexico.

Venezuelan Food Demo with Chef Carlos Fuenmayor
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 6 to 7 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
With a Venezuelan and Colombian background, chef and caterer Carlos Fuenmayor prepares a Venezuelan favourite, cachapas. Cachapas are corn based pancakes with a soft, fresh cheese filling and a chiffonade of basil.

Colombian Food Demo with Chef Cookie Martinez
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 12 to 1p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Inspired by memories of her mother’s baking, Cookie produces a variety of products, from brownies, muffins, empanadas, and ice cream sandwiches to cookies. All her goodies are artisanal, made by hand, using local, organic ingredients with a Latin twist, and with gluten free and vegan options.

Peruvian Food Demo with Chef Mina Bustamente
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 1 to 2 p.m. – Miss Lou’s Room
Born in Venezuela, Chef Mina Bustamante is a mother, an entrepreneur and a chef-extraordinaire of Peruvian Cuisine in the city of Toronto. Since 1999, Chef Mina Bustamante has been serving Peruvian Cuisine while meeting many delightful customers that enjoy her delicious food and returning often to celebrate their events with friends and family at her restaurant, Paracas.

Latin American Chocolate Tasting with Chef Maricel Presilla
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 2 to 3 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Join chocolate expert and author of The New Taste of Chocolate for a delicious and unique chocolate tasting experience using award-winning Latin American PACARI chocolates. Following is a Q&A about her life and work as a Latin American food expert, James Beard award-winner and food historian with food writer and PAFF’s own culinary curator, Mary Luz Mejia.

Cuban Food Demo with Chef Pedro Quintanilla
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 3 to 4 p.m. – Miss Lou’s Room
Pedro Quintanilla is the executive Chef at Bloom Restaurant in Toronto’s High Park and was the former head chef at the French Embassy in Havana, cooking for dignitaries from around the world. He prepares a Cuban favourite; shrimp cocktail with a mild mango and avocado salsa. This beach-side dish is cooling, delicious and decidedly elegant.

Peruvian Food Demo with Chef Luis Barreto
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. – Boulevard Tent
Experience the wonders of Peruvian cuisine with Chef Luis Barreto, from La Cocina de Doña Luz Restaurant, the most authentic Peruvian restaurant in Toronto. Founded in 1992, “Doña Luz” is a family owned and operated restaurant where diners can enjoy an extensive menu of culinary delights.

Peruvian Food Demo with Chef Alvaro Valencia
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 4 to 5 p.m. – Zone 6
Chef Valenica is co-founder of T.O. Ceviche Bar, a Toronto-based pop-up restaurant housed inside Voulez-Vous Café, which specializes in ceviche and seafood with a Peruvian and Canadian twist. Alvaro shares his passion for cooking seafood in the tradition of Peruvian ‘cevicherias’ with Canadian sophistication and techniques.

Colombian Food Demo with Chef Charlie Otero
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 4 to 5 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Experience the wonders of Colombian cuisine with Chef Charlie Otero. As a young boy in Colombia, Charlie was attracted by the wonderful tastes and smells of his mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens. This ignited his passion to research and discover flavours from around the world.


DJ Jimmy Suave
Friday, Sept. 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, Sept. 21 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
One of Toronto’s most versatile and talented DJ’s, Jimmy Suave was born in Santa Ana, El Salvador. To date, Jimmy Suave has over 10 years of playing professionally. Part of DJ Jimmy Suave’s versatility is being able to switch his mixing style according to audience and occasion.

Café Con Pan
Friday, Sept. 20 from 9:30 to 10 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Café Con Pan began as duo playing traditional son jarocho music in Veracruz, Mexico over a decade ago at regional festivals and fandangos. Their performances are distinguished by Kali Niño’s uplifting and earthy voice and Alec Dempster’s melodic riffs played on the guitarra de son, a four-string guitar made from a single block of cedar. Together Kali and Dempster have a developed a solid rapport that allows ample room for playfully baroque improvisations evocative of the tropical landscape where this music originated.

Luis Mario Ochoa & The Cuba Traditional Sextet
Friday, Sept. 20 from 10 to 11 p.m. – WestJet Stage
The Cuba Traditional Sextet is the most recent project by Luis Mario. The sextet has been around for three years, compiling a great selection of Cuban classics from icons such as Duo Los Compadres, Trio Matamoros and Septeto Ignacio Piñeiro, as well as original compositions by Luis Mario and band members, all performed in the style of the early 20th century.

Martha Mazzoleni
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 4 to 5 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Acclaimed musician Martha Mazzoleni, born in Montevideo Uruguay, has a love for Latin American music that was instilled in her by her parents from an early age. Her goal is to show the richness of the Latin-American folklore and the fusion of different traditional instruments, including the harp.

Tuna Lazos de Amistad
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 6 to 6:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
La Tuna Lazos de Amistad started as a group of friends with varied musical talents who came together to bring this unique form of entertainment to Canada. Their delightful songs and colorful dances have entertained audiences for over eight years at a multitude of corporate, community and private events. Their “happy go lucky” attitude is full of youthful exuberance and invites audiences to participate.

Saturday, Sept. 21 from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
BOOGAT is a French Canadian Spanish vocalist who truly represents the future of Latin Music. Nominated at the JUNOs (with Roberto Lopez Project) and ADISQ, he’s a young talented MC bridging Latin grooves with urban and electronic music. His explosive live show will turn any situation into a party for both the Latin fans and a larger audience.

Orquesta Fantasia
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 8 to 9 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Founded by lead singer Victor Yanqui in 1978, Orquesta Fantasia performs a variety of Latin styles including salsa, merengue, cumbia and bachata. Consisting of 12 musicians, they have packed dance floors for over 25 years, with a big rich sound that is equally pleasing to listeners and dancers alike.

Alfredo De La Fe and Moda Eterna
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 9:30 to 10:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
The violin has been transformed into an important sound of salsa and Latin music by Cuba-born and Colombian violinist Alfredo De La Fe. The first solo violinist to perform with a Salsa orchestra, De La Fe has toured the world more than 30 times, appearing in concerts and participating in more than a hundred albums. He brings the sounds of salsa to the WestJet Stage with Moda Eterna.

Los Moralitos
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Join us on the Redpath Stage for a performance by Toronto’s premier champeta group. Los Moralitos have created a community that preserves good music for the soul featuring rhythm, guitars and dances popular in Colombia.

The Arsenals
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 3 to 4 p.m. – WestJet Stage
The Arsenals masterfully blend authentic Jamaican ska with rock steady rhythms and pop. Come and be entertained with irresistibly charismatic performances, superior musicianship and an extensive musical catalogue.

Henry Vivel & Orchestra
Sunday, Sept. 22 from 5 to 6 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Latin crossover performer and rising star Henry Vivel is sure to heat things up on the Redpath Stage with his repertoire of salsa, cumbia, merengue, cha-cha, pop, boleros and tropical hits!


Carnival-Style Samba with Grupo Axé Capoeira
Friday, Sept. 20 from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Samba (Carnival-style) is the most famous dance in Brazil, especially during Carnival!
Drummers and dancers come together on stage for a happy, flirtatious and exuberant performance. Grupo Axé Capoeira, Canada’s first capoeira group, continue to rise as one of the world's leading Capoeira organizations, promoting the history, music, art and culture of Brazil.

Bachata Dance Workshop with Martin Samuels
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1 to 1:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Bachata is a popular dance rhythm from the Dominican Republic strongly based around the guitar and is all about excitement and merriment. At this dance workshop, learning how to dance the Bachata is an easy and fun experience for all ages!

Tango Dance Workshop with Fabian & Roxana
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 1:30 to 2 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Learn the beautiful moves of Argentinean Tango with two fantastic instructors! Tango is an elegant walk to the beat of the music, a natural embrace that connects man and woman and their ability to improvise patterns on the social dance floor.

Salsa Dance Workshop with Martin Samuels
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 2 to 2:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Salsa is a Latin American dance that emerged in Cuba and Puerto Rico with an African rhythm influence. It consists of hip movements, fluid transitions and intricate footwork. At this workshop, patrons are invited to learn spicy moves!

Axe Capoeira
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
The group Axé Capoeira began in Recife in 1982 and is renowned as a traveling group that promotes the history, music, art, and culture of Brazil in interactive and educational demonstrations. In this demonstration, they showcase Capoeira, a martial art dance that has elements of dance, acrobatics, music, art and self-defense.


Food Films at PAFF
Saturday, Sept. 21. – Studio Theatre
This food film series of cinematic shorts is presented in association with the Huatulco Film & Food Festival. It takes festival-goers on a journey of culinary culture through the Americas.
Program 1 – 2:30 to 4:00 p.m.
Mistura (The power of food). (Peru) 38 min.
Pasta (Chile) - 9 min.
Baures, algo mas que cacao silvestre (Bolivia - España) - 25 min.

Program 2 – 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Dulce Convivencia (Mexico) - 18 min
Lunch in Lima (Peru) - 5 min.
Dulce de Coco (Brazil) - 20 min.
El miedo y la Gallina (Colombia) - 13 min.
Doubles with Slight Pepper - (USA - Trinidad - Jamaica) - 16 min.
Cocina Prehispánica (México) - 3:30 min

Kids Food Demo with Chef Indalecio Marroquin
Saturday, Sept. 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. – Zone 6
Kids learn how to cook quesadillas, a traditional and delicious Mexican dish. Awarded Chef Indalecio Marroquin uses fresh and colorful ingredients to make cooking an unforgettable experience for kids!

Tree Giveaway with FutureWatch
Saturday, Sept. 21 and Sunday, Sept. 22 from 12 to 8 p.m. – Zone 5
FutureWatch has different activities for children and families such as Children’s Pan American Eco-Habitat Painting, whistles made with carrots, and henna painting. EDEP aims to connect people living in a diverse and multicultural society to experience their local (mostly urban) natural environment as a starting point to address pressing environmental issues.

Childhood: Yummy Memories
Friday, Sept. 20 from 6 to 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 21 from 12 to 11 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 22 from 12 to 5 p.m. – Marilyn Brewer Community Space
A group of diverse artists reflect on their childhood memories of food: what they like about their heritage, their favourite meals as a child, the meals they miss having when families gathered or perhaps the ones they've had right here in our city. With a plate as a canvas, artists create displays forming a unique and original composition using different techniques such as collage, photography, oil painting and more.


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 set.

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 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 – Sept. 24)
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 Presents (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
(through September 15)
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 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 public space, 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