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Extravaganza! A Feast for the Senses
NEW Harbourfront Centre 2005 summer festival
Multiple venues (including the CIBC Stage)
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto, Canada

Saturday July 2 and Sunday July 3, 2005
Info: 416-973-4000 or

Extravaganza! A Feast for the Senses gathers the unbridled revelry and spontaneous energy of the world's festivals and unleashes them over one glorious July weekend! Daily parades, BIG festival bands, floating venues and fire sculptures on the water. Expert chefs who make food so exquisite it transports you right to New Orleans, Brazil and the Caribbean. Hot Latin, Caribbean and South Asian music that will make you dance.... and if you can't dance we'll teach you how - carnival style! Daytime activities for the family. Raunchy late night cabaret for the voyeur. All events are free admission! Highlights below:

Parades and Festival Spectacles:
On July 2 at 1 p.m Extravaganza! kicks off with a world tour of festivals parade featuring Toronto's Afro-Brazilian group Maracatu Nunca Antes, Toronto's Louis Saldenah and his Mas-k Club (celebrating 25 years in Caribana this year) and last but not least - direct from India, the Jaipur Kawa Brass Band! The carnival continues at the CIBC Stage on July 2 with a Brazilian "Bloco" by Maracatu Nunca Antes at 1:30 p.m. and a "Fora Da Epoca" at 2 p.m. featuring Sambacana and stunning Brazilian dancers in "full" costume (produced by Toronto's Escola De Samba). At 3 p.m. on the CIBC Stage the carnivale "jumps up" towards Trinidad when Louis Saldenah and the Saldenah Mas-k Club take over the stage with incredible Soca rhythms and dancing. On July 3 at 6 p.m. Extravaganza! concludes with a parade coordinated by Red Pepper Spectacle. The Mardi Gras themed parade features Montreal's Fat Tuesday Brass Band, giant puppets, fire artistry, a kid's parade, free umbrellas and beads. At dusk on July 2, Red Pepper Spectacle Arts stages a fire sculpture spectacle and performance in and on the Natrel Pond - not to be missed!  

MUSIC - An incredible array of International acts make their first Toronto appearances at Extravaganza!. The ten member Jaipur Kawa Brass Band from the Rajasthan region of India play a rare and raucous blend of British colonial brass infused with danceable Indian rhythms. Sidi Goma (also known as the Black Sufis of Gujarat) present an explosive mix of East African based percussion and dancing. The four drummers/singers are joined by eight dancers in a propulsive performance of staged ritual that cleverly features the Gujarat region's intertwining of African, Indian and Arabic influences. Portugal's Dona Rosa is a blind Fado singer who survived for decades by singing on the streets of Lisbon. In 1999, a Portuguese TV production company cast her as a Fado singer. This exposure quickly led to a CD and worldwide acclaim. Guinea's Ba Cissoko quartet transform the African traditions of the kora and the griot with electrifying effects and fiery musicianship. Barcelona Latin World music group Ojos De Brujo effortlessly mix Flamenco with Hip-hop, Funk, Punk and more! Their live shows have earned them legions of fans across Europe. Imagine a gypsy caravan on the Warped Tour!

DANCE: Carnival Dance Jam with Danzearte is the Canadian premiere of a Harbourfront Centre commissioned work that explores the history of carnivals through movement, costume and narrative. This show focuses on Brazilian, Latin and Caribbean Carnival and Mas Band traditions. This work is choregraphed and created by Artistic Director Pedro Salazar (July 2 at 6:30 p.m., July 3 at 4 p.m.). Carnival dance workshops for audiences of all ages (and skill levels) take place on July 1 at 1:30 p.m. when choreographer/dancer Pedro Salazar teaches audiences how to dance Carnival style! On July 2 at 4 p.m. choreographer/dancer Newton Moraes teaches audiences how to dance Carnival Brazilian style!

THEATRE/Variety - The festival voyeur should peep into Harbourfront Centre late night on July 2 for Decadence Cabaret; featuring performances by drag queen group the Kingsize Kings and Adryan Lee (Canada's foremost Celine Dion impersonator) as well as sketches, songs and comedy by Cabaret Vulgare. Hosted by Grant Peckford. Miss Canadiana's Red White and Beautiful Tour finds audiences meeting and taking photos with Miss Canadiana and visiting her Canadiana Kitsch museum throughout the day on July 2 & 3. The Power Plant presents Los Angeles "showcore" group My Barbarian - who bring their Broadway-bastardized dance numbers, improvised absurdist comedy routines and site-specific spectacles to The Power Plant. On July 2 & 3 My Barbarian presents Gods of Canada, a part-nautical, part-musical tribute to our home and native land. Presented by Harbourfront Centre and The Drake Hotel.

KIDS/Families - The Canadian premiere of the family play Trans-Canada features Native Earth Performing Arts using the Trickster character to playfully engage audiences into thinking about issues of humanism and the environment (July 2). The Kids Tent features Arts and Crafts workshops throughout the day (coordinated by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts of Kensington Market) that encourage families to create masks and beaded creations (a la Mardi Gras). Family activities also feature face painting artist Cecilia Booth with Carnival Extravaganza festive faces ($5 fee applies) at the Lakeside Terrace Tent.

FILM - The Extravaganza! film programme focuses on festivals from around the world. The Canadian premiere of Mardi Gras-Made in China (Official Selection at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival) reveals the humour and sadness of globalization through the hope and violence of Mardi Gras bead wearing and bead making. Ghandi's Sons is a documentary about the history of the carnival in Bahia seen through the eyes of the biggest carnival group in Salvador. Carnival in Q'eros is a groundbreaking documentary showing the remarkable Carnival celebrations (rarely seen by outsiders) of a remote community of Peruvian Ande Indians. Mas Fever: Inside Trinidad Carnival is an informative and enjoyable documentary that goes behind the scenes to capture the spirit of the celebration of this major festival event. The classic Marcel Camus' film Black Orpheus (1960 Academy Award winner) retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice against the madness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. Las máscaras del carnaval de Suabia tells the tale of a German Winter festival in Vilinguet where participants wear masks and loudly walk the streets in order to scare away bad spirits. This celebration has been taking place since 1467. Melbourne Marching Girls Bare All is an engaging behind the scenes look at a diverse group of women at the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade. Some films are not suitable for children

FOOD - Celebratory carnival dishes and chef demos of Brazilian, New Orleans, Caribbean and African cuisine (July 2 & 3).
On July 2 Chef Suzana Saverski of Red Violin Brazilian Steakhouse prepares authentic Brazilian Rodizio of  roasted pineapple and picanha on a traditional Brazilian barbeque while Chef Dwight Boswell (Chalice Catering) prepares a Caribbean "Jump Up" dish of coconut shrimps with mango and papaya chutney. On July 3 Chef Ismat Jivani from Big Daddy’s Crabshack and Oyster Bar will prepare a New Orleans style Creole meal filled with delicious Cajun spices! Also on July 3 Chef Celestin Lielaboy of Nigerian Restaurant prepares pounded Yam with Egonsi sauce. (Food demo samples $1).   

BOAT EVENTS - The majestic 200 foot white Tall Ship Empire Sandy will be docked at John Quay from July 1 to July 3 and offers free on deck tours from 10 a.m. to noon and 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. (in partnership with Nautical Adventures). At 1:45 p.m. come to the CIBC Stage area to view a sail-by with the Empire Sandy. On July 3 (free admission from 3 to 5 p.m.). Toronto visual artist Kristen Fahrig's  carnival costume installations become a floating art exhibition in on the St. Marie I (in partnership with City View Cruise lines). The Mariposa Belle features a touch of Louisiana Swing with audiences invited to dance and listen to a group TBA (in partnership with Mariposa Cruiselines).

VISUAL ARTS - Carnival Unmasked unravels the origins of this pre-Lenten festival celebrated with bacchanalian abandon in most Christian countries around the world (July 1-3). The exhibition will include the King & Queen costumes from the Mardi Gras Museum in New Orleans (supported by the Louisiana Office of Tourism). Created by Olinda Fernandes.
Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
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