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Harbourfront Centre presents fun free festive season events for families

TORONTO, October 13, 2005-Harbourfront Centre celebrates the Winter season with fun free family-centered weekend festivities starting Saturday November 19. Activities range from free daily skating at the Natrel Rink to festive cultural forays at the Swedish Christmas Fair and at the Ten Thousand Villages-Mennonite Christmas Festival. Every Sunday afternoon, families can also enjoy ZOOM! family programs including Gallery Kids and the ZOOM! Room.

All festive season events occur at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto). All events are free and are suitable for all ages. For more information the public can call 416-973-4000 or visit www.harbourfrontcentre.com

Natrel Rink
Skate away those Winter blues at Canada’s largest outdoor artificial-ice surface, the Natrel Rink. It is open daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Sunday through Thursday) and from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. (Friday and Saturday) beginning November 19, 2005 through March 12, 2006 (weather permitting). Skate rentals and sharpening services are available. The Natrel Rink also offers an adjoining indoor space,  Lakeside Eats, where patrons can enjoy casual dining and hot and cold beverages.

Swedish Christmas Fair
The twenty-fourth annual Swedish Christmas Fair takes place Saturday November 19 and Sunday November 20 (11 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Experience a traditional Swedish Christmas with a Lucia Pageant, Swedish singing and folk-dancing. The event also features the sale of handmade crafts and decorations, plus home-baked goods and imported Swedish food. There is also a chance to win a trip to Sweden! This event is presented by the Toronto Chapter of the Swedish Women's Educational Association International Inc. (SWEA).

Ten Thousand Villages-Mennonite Christmas Festival
Support skilled artisans from more than 30 developing countries through the sale of fairly-traded handcrafted gifts at the Ten Thousand Villages-Mennonite Christmas Festival. Festival activities include caroling by members of the Pax Christi Chorale, while audiences can also sample Mennonite baking at the Tea Room. This year, through the Living Gift program, shoppers can buy memorable gifts which will help families in countries like Croatia, Rwanda, Laos and Burkina Faso. The festival also has exquistely designed and crafted Persian, Bokhara and Tribal carpets from Pakistan available for purchase.

The festival takes place on November 25 (6 p.m. to 10 p.m.), November 26 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) and November 27 (noon to 5 p.m.). Presented by Ten Thousand Villages, a non-profit fair trade programme of the Mennonite Central Committee, the relief and development agency of the Mennonite and Brethren in Christ Churches of North America.

Bounty
Visitors can also shop at Bounty: Contemporary Canadian Craft Shop, open daily (except Mondays). This store features blown glass, wheel-thrown ceramics, lathe-turned wooden bowls and a diverse selection of contemporary handmade jewelry. Support Canadian artists with your holiday shopping by purchasing unique works created by Harbourfront Centre's Craft Studio residents and alumni. Works are also for sale by some of Canada's most prominent independent craft artists.

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Media Contacts: 
Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655, sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com
Bill Bobek, 416-973-4428, wbobek@harbourfrontcentre.com
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