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Travel to Harbourfront Centre to discover the soulful culture of South Asia at South Asia Calling – July 4–6

Spend the weekend connecting with the arts, culture and food from South Asian communities around the world.

TORONTO, ON (June 11, 2014) – Mark your calendar for the first weekend in July for Harbourfront Centre’s South Asia Calling festival – a three-day celebration that promises Torontonians and guests a memorable experience full of South Asian music, dance, poetry, humor, food and film inspired by gurus.

Harbourfront Centre’s grounds will be transformed into a South Asian “mela” (Sanskrit for “a gathering”), featuring culturally-based performances and activities from Afghanistan to the island of Sri Lanka, Bangladesh to the mountains of Tibet and everything in between.

“South Asia Calling presents a hands-on way to experience the culture, traditions and history of South Asian gurus with a contemporary twist,” explains Harbourfront Centre artistic associate, Umair Jaffar. “There is something for everyone, from musical and dance performances to a curry cook-off, and more.”

Like most Harbourfront Centre festivals, South Asia Calling is free to attend.

South Asia Calling – Highlights at a Glance:

Music: The sensational super-band, JoSH, will enthrall the audience with traditional bhangra beats fused with hip-hop and pop music on July 5.

World premiers: Together the Maestros Ensemble will blend folk, classical and contemporary music into one breathtaking performance on July 5.

Special tributes: There will be a special Qawwali tribute concert paying homage to Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, the King of Qawwali, on July 4.

Chak De Bhangra Dance Competition: Join us for one of a kind dance competition and witness top Bhangra teams battle for the title on July 6.

Dance: Menaka Thakkar Dance Company will present “A Journey through Indian Dance” on July 5 in addition to diverse dance performances throughout the festival.

Visual Arts: There will be an artistic tribute to the Dali Lama for his birthday as monks will create a Sacred Sand Mandala in a ten day event commencing on June 28 and concluding on July 6.

Guru Workshop Series: Interact with gurus like Menaka Thakkar as they share secrets of music and dance from various regions of South Asia.

Drum Circle - Rhythms of South Asia: Join Ritesh Das and the Toronto Tabla Ensemble learn and create rhythms inspired from all corners of South Asia.

Basant Kite Flying and Kite Making: Join the fun of kite making and kite flying by the waterfront.

Film Screening: Colours of South Asia Film Series explores the diversity of the various cultures and subcultures of South Asia region.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com 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 harbourfrontcentre.com/gettinghere

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
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. For information about visiting Harbourfront Centre during the Queens Quay revitalization, visit harbourfrontcentre.com/gettinghere.


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MEDIA CONTACT
Sanam Samanian
Office: 416-954-4502 | Cell: 416-737-9599
ssamanian@harbourfrontcentre.com


SOUTH ASIA CALLING FESTIVAL LINE-UP


MUSIC:

Deep Fried Tabla - DJ Deep Fried Fridays
Friday, July 4, 2014 from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
The Tabla guy Gurpreet Chana and Mason Bach are kLoX, a new group that bridges the gap between organic and electronic South Asian sounds through violin, tabla and laptops.

Sufi to Bollywood
Friday, July 4, 2014 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Sufi music originated as devotional music expressing the spirituality of Sufi poets. The progression of Bollywood music has been heavily influenced by contributions of Sufi music, along with many other regional influences. Songstress Shweta Subram as she journeys through traditional Sufi music and transports the audience into exciting and energetic contemporary Bollywood music which consists of some classics widely recognized by the South Asian community.

Tribute to the King of Qawwali – Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan
Friday, July 4, 2014 from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. – WestJet Stage
As students of the iconic Qawwali great Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Fanna-Fi-Allah will take you on a magical voyage through the divine and passionate expression of Qawwali and pay homage to the legendary ‘King of Qawwali’.

Drum Circle – Rhythms of South Asia
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. to 4: 30 p.m. & 6:15 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. – North Orchard
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m., 2:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m. to 4: 30 p.m. & 5:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – North Orchard
The Harbourfront Centre, in collaboration with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble, invites the patrons to join the drum circle and experience the rhythms of South Asia. In partnership with Toronto Tabla Ensemble

Maestros Ensemble
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
The Maestros Ensemble performance will be a world premiere at Harbourfront Centre as maestros come together specializing in varying genres of South Asian music. Together they will blend folk, classical and contemporary music into one breathtaking performance. The ensemble comprises of the legendary Mridangam maestro Trichy Sankaran, the brilliant violinist Sangeeta Shankar from Mumbai, the talented Rabab player Qais Essar from Arizona and Canada’s most loved contemporary Indian music band the exceptional Autorickshaw.

AVANI – Sitar fusion featuring Anwar Khurshid
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Avani is a collective of musicians from varying genres, such as Blues, Jazz, African, Middle Eastern, and East Asian countries such as Japan and China. These innovative collaborations have created music that transcends categorization.

The Rabab: Then & Now
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Rabab guru Qais Essar, accompanied by tabla player Sri Vineet Vyas and Kathak dancer Smt Bageshree Vaze, will explore the versatility of the Rabab instrument in both classical and non-traditional mediums of dance and song. The performance will cover from music from Afghanistan, Pakistan and North India.

Zoo Babies
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Zoo Babies is a group comprised of 5 Sikh youth who use the art of rap to portray their message. Being Sikh, their guru's used different forms of art throughout their travels and search of enlightenment to connect spiritually. Music is one of those important forms of art which is still found in the Gurdwaras (Sikh temples). With art of music continually changing and development decade to decade, century to century, Zoo Babies continues to set trends in the industry while subconsciously being influenced by the rich Sikh art history.

JoSH
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 9:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. – WestJet Stage
JoSH is a Canadian Indo-Pakistani contemporary band that has spent the past decade conquering millions of fans in South Asian communities with an innovative mix of pop, hip-hop and traditional bhangra beats.

Nepal Madal and Bansuri
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. – North Orchard
The Madal barrel drum and Bansuri flute are traditional music instruments from Nepal. Uttam and Pradeep will play spellbinding and enthralling traditional folk songs from Nepal. Since time ancient times, these instruments have been used by shepherds in the villages and hills of Nepal.

Late Night with Luv to Bhang
Saturday July 5, 2014 from 11:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. *doors open at 10:30 p.m.* - Brigantine Room
Bhangra dance and music have deep roots in South Asian culture. Playing traditional Punjabi, along with current and classic BHANGra anthems, ‘Luv to Bhang’ is for the pure BHANGraholics that love the musical culture of South Asia, and want to Bhang through the night! Tickets are going fast, visit Harbourfront Centre website to purchase yours today!
*$10 Cover Charge

Afternoon Ragas Classical Concert
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
The Harbourfront Centre, in partnership with Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto, present a North Indian classical music concert where you will be taken on an exciting journey to discover the melodic brilliance of the Indian subcontinent through classical instrumental and vocal music. In partnership with Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto

The Skylines: Tribute Concert
Sunday July 6, 2014 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. – Redpath Stage
With a fusion of traditional and western instruments, the skylines will be performing traditional Sri Lankan songs. They will be adding a modern twist by incorporating the influences of Indian, Portuguese and Western music, and this unique fusion will have everyone's toes tapping. Along with the music, the Skylines will feature a dance act to further showcase Sri Lankan talent and culture.

Shonaar Bangla (Golden Bengal)
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Bengali Folk’s poetry and music are one of the richest in South Asia heritage. Afzal and Munni Subhani have taken these traditional genres and juxtaposed them with modern grooves of western contemporary music, giving it a flavor of its own, and bringing it to the forefront of today’s society.


DANCE:

A Journey through Indian Dance
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 7:15 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Dancers from the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company embark upon a historical journey of Indian dance during their presentation of four distinctly beautiful dance works.
In partnership with the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company

Rukha Gorshay Tibetan Round Dance
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 9:00 p.m. to 9:45 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Gorshey is one of the most enjoyable traditional Tibetan performing arts. The quick step dance encourages a communal feeling and is performed by groups of men and women. The dancers sing and dance to the catchy music of the Dramyen lute and Peewang instruments.

Sri Lankan Dance Showcase
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Sri Lanka has a rich history and relationship with dance. The performers will exhibit how dance has shaped the culture of this country through various aboriginal and traditional styles fused with a contemporary flavour.

Random Acts of 40: Balle Balle!
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Join the beat of the Dhool and celebrate Harbourfront Centre’s 40th anniversary with 40 of Canada’s top Bhangra dancers. This performance will lead directly into the Chak De Bhangra Competition. In partnership with Sanskriti Arts

Chak De Bhangra Dance Competition
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – WestJet Stage
Bhangra is a form of dance that originated from the Punjab region of the Indian subcontinent. Its energetic and fast tempo dance is popular, not only in Punjabi diasporas, but also globally. This dance competition is complete with prizes and trophies, as well as showcase performances by Sanskriti Arts Ensemble! In partnership with Sanskriti Arts


FILM:

Colours of South Asia Film Series
Friday, July 4 – Sunday July 6, 2014
Colours of South Asia Film Series explores the diversity of the various cultures and subcultures of South Asia region.

Special Feature: ‘Upaj: Improvise’ Dance performance and Q&A Session
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 8:00 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. – Studio Theatre
As a preview, the film’s producer Antara Bhardwaj will give a special performance along with Ritesh Das and the Toronto Tabla Ensemble. This will guide the audience into the feature film, ‘Upaj: Improvise.' Antara Bhardwaj will rejoin the audience after the film for a Q&A session. In partnership with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble

Himself He Cooks:Friday, July 4, 2014 from 9:30 p.m. to 10:35 p.m. – North Orchard

Quartet:Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 3:45 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. – Studio Theatre

Sherpas:The True Heroes of Mount Everest - Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 9:15 p.m. to 10:50 p.m. – North Orchard

Calcutta Taxi Q&A:Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. – Studio Theatre

Adwait Sangeet:Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Studio Theatre


EXHIBIT:

Sacred Sand Mandala
Saturday, June 28 – Saturday, July 5, 2014 from12 noon to 5:00 p.m. – Marilyn Brewer Community Space
Start Day Ceremony: Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 12 noon to 12:30 p.m.
End Day Ceremony: Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The sacred art of Sand Mandala is considered the most unique and exquisite of all artistic traditions in Buddhism. This Tibetan art form is called “dul-tson-kyil-khor” which translated to “mandala of coloured powder”. Tibetan monks will be constructing the Mandala from June 28 through July 5 from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. each day. The public is welcome to visit and watch the progress. In partnership with the Tibetan Canadian Cultural Centre


FOOD:

Killer Curry Cookoff
Friday, July 4, 2014 from 7:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – South Orchard
Who has the most mouth-watering curry in town? Curry is a signature dish in South Asian cuisine. You be the judge and decide which of the 6 dishes by our eclectic selection of curry chefs will earn the Killer Curry title!
* $8 for a sample platter

Fun with Tea: Workshops and Demonstrations
Boost up your kitchen repertoire with our food demonstrations and complementary teas!

Workshop: Exploring the Senses by James Nicholson
Saturday, July 5 from 2:30-3:30pm – Boulevard Tent

Workshop: Mocktail tea infusion workshop by Carol mark
Saturday, July 5 from 4:30-5:30pm – Boulevard Tent

Workshop: Tea Blending – Lets Chai the night away by Raelene Gannon
Saturday, July 5 from 6:30-7:30pm – Boulevard Tent

Demo: Understanding Tea and Health by Michelle Pierce Hamilton
Sunday, July 6 from 1:00-2:00pm – Boulevard Tent

Demo: Himalayan Tea Dumplings by Carol mark
Sunday, July 6 from 3:00-4:00pm – Boulevard Tent
* $2 for workshop participation and demo samples


LECTURES/ LEARNING:

Sufi Qawwali
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. – Redpath Stage
Qawwali is the most explosive Sufi devotion music of the Indian subcontinent. It is no surprise that of all world genres, Qawwali has gained an increasing amount of international appeal. In this performance-based workshop, the Fanna-Fi-Allah Sufi Qawwali Party will introduce the beauty and mysticism of Qawwali music.

In Conversation with JoSH: Winning Hearts, Bridging Differences
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – Studio Theatre
Join us as Rup and Q from JoSH share their experience and describe how music can be used as a tool to transcend tensions and bring people of differing backgrounds together.

Guru Workshop Series: Storytelling through Kathak
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – South Orchard
Bageshree Vaze is one of the most unique Indo-Canadian artists today. As a dancer, choreographer and musician, her live performances combine the richness of India’s culture with a Canadian sensibility.
Bageshree Vaze will conduct a workshop highlighting the dance vocabulary of North Indian Kathak, which is known for its’ intricate footwork patterns, dynamic arm movements and sparkling pirouettes (chakkars). 'Kathak' comes from the word 'Katha' which means 'story,' and workshop participants will get a glimpse into how the dance style is a fantasy of rhythm and movement.

Guru Workshop Series: Bharatanatyam Dance
Saturday July 5, 2014 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. – South Orchard
The patrons are given the opportunity to explore the festival's theme of Ancient Gurus and Modern Mastery, expanding upon dimensions reflected in Menaka Thakkar Dance Company's live performance of dance choreography. Menaka Thakkar facilitates a dance workshop demonstrating and verbalizing both choreographic processes and teaching methods that characterized the approaches of past masters and her own explorations and innovations. This will bring out Menaka Thakkar’s connections to gurus of the past and her approach to create masters of the present day. This workshop will include a 30- minute lecture demonstration, and a 30-minute dance workshop in Bharatanatyam. In partnership with the Menaka Thakkar Dance Company

Guru Workshop Series: Folk Music of the Subcontinent
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. – South Orchard
Join Sitar maestro Anwar Khurshid to discover the fine connecting threads between folk and classical music of the various regions of South Asia. Anwar will play music on his sitar which will range from folk to roots to classical ragas.

Guru Workshop Series: Discover the Rabab
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. – South Orchard
Join the young and talented Rabab player Qais Essar and discover Afghanistan's ancient Rabab in this workshop, as you learn about its origins, history, its evolution, and the effect its had on cultures in the region.

Guru Workshop Series: Demystifying Indian Classical
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. – South Orchard
In this demonstration, Sangeeta Shankar and Vineet Vyas will define and demonstrate various elements of Indian classical music, including a brief overview of concepts such as raag and taal. This session is a great introduction to the additional performances and workshops throughout the day. In partnership with Raag-Mala Music Society of Toronto

Guru Workshop Series: Dances of Bengal
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. – South Orchard
In this interactive dance workshop led by Munni Subhani you'll also experience live music with tabla player Ashok Dutta and harmonium player Afzal Subhani while discovering the various classical and dance forms of Bengal.

Sufi Poets Series: Mapping Words
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
Mapping Words, an afternoon of music, poetry and spoken word that seeks to revive ancient South Asian poets through modern interpretation and contemporary performance. Performers will take the audience on a journey through South Asia, tracing a map of words that reflect the immense diversity in culture, language and content.
In partnership with the Sufi Poets Series.


COMEDY:

The Maharajas of Comedy
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 9:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Lakeside Terrace
The Maharajas of Comedy features your host Amish Patel and headliner Ali Hassan!
Canada’s top South Asian comedians will have everyone roaring with laughter and rolling in the aisles.


FAMILY:

Carrom Striker Zone
Saturday, July 5 - Sunday, July 6, 2014 – Brigantine Tent
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The patron of Harbourfront Centre and South Asia Calling festival learn the history and techniques of Carrom, which is South Asia’s most popular board game. In partnership with Carrom Canada

Kite Making
Saturday, July 5 & Sunday from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. – HarbourKIDS Tent
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – HarbourKIDS Tent
Kite flying is popular and common in all countries of the South Asian region. Think Kite runner of Kabul to Sri Lankan kites. Kite flying brings together old and young from all social classes, and is considered to be a sport, a hobby, an entertainment activity, a relaxation activity, a social activity and an important heritage of the various countries not only in South Asia but also around the world.

Basant Kite Flying
Saturday, July 5 to Sunday, July 6, 2014 – South Exhibition Common
Saturday, July 5, 2014 from 12 noon to 9:00 p.m.
Sunday, July 6, 2014 from 12 noon to 6:00 p.m.
Kite festivals in Asia are a massive affair as they are considered to be a major part of the local culture in many South Asian countries. In the Pakistani city of Lahore kite flyers young and old gather for Basant, the festival that marks the start of spring where literally thousands of multi-coloured kites fill the skies. People from around the world have been mesmerized by the wonderful display of kites in these countries as tens of thousands of kites fill up the sky at kite festivals in Asia.

Lake View Market
Friday June 27 – Tuesday, July 1, 2014 - Zone 3 Lake View Market
Friday, June 27, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 12 noon to 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.
Monday, June 30, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 12 midnight
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.
Come and shop till you drop! 56 booths with a variety of incredible finds from all over the world that include Crafts, Canadiana items, Clothing, Jewellery, Housewares, Crafts, Henna Painting, and so much more! Some of our vendors during the weekend: Olive That!, Chokka Jewellery, Eli’s Body Shop, Falcon Fashion, Mixtura Latina, NW Design, Satya Paul, Len: Canadiana, Majestic Articrafts, South American Vintage, Imomonet and African Art.

World Café
Friday, June 27 – Tuesday, July 1, 2014 – World Café Building and around the site
Friday, June 27, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 28, 2014 from 12 noon to 11:30 p.m.
Sunday, June 29, 2014 from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.
Monday, June 30, 2014 from 6:00 p.m. to 12 midnight
Tuesday, July 1, 2014 from 12 noon to 7:00 p.m.
Test your taste buds and join us to try delicious recipes from some of the best Latin, Thai, Chinese, Caribbean, European and Indian kitchens in town! Caribbean Catering Services, La Mexicana Restaurant, Spring Rolls, Taste of Asia, The Saucy Pierogi and White Gold Sweets will be on-site. Spoil yourself a little with our yummy treats and snacks by Archie’s Mango, Pancho’s Bakery, One Love Corn and Albion Hills Farm.
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