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Harbourfront Centre School Visits stimulates young minds with engaging arts and culture programs

TORONTO, Tuesday, September 9, 2008 — Every year, thousands of elementary and high school students from across Toronto and surrounding areas visit Harbourfront Centre School Visits. For over 30 years, Harbourfront Centre School Visits has been offering diverse, innovative, curriculum-based programming that provides engaging educational experiences to school groups. Students have the opportunity to create clay/paper masks, rod/shadow puppets and cool podcasts; try their hand at African djembe drumming; learn all about the advertising industry and how to break dance; discover Toronto’s waterfront; visit Toronto’s City Halls; attend a court in session; gain knowledge of changing demographic patterns and the fascinating cultural histories of Kensington Market and Chinatown; and more! School Visits runs from September 2008 to June 2009. To register or for more information, teachers can call 416-973-4091, email or visit

Through contemporary programs in the visual arts, performing arts (drama, dance and music), literary arts, media literacy and urban studies (science, social studies and geography), students gain new and accessible entry points into key curricular subjects, as well as opportunities for self-discovery and self-enrichment. Students participate in hands-on, interactive activities that foster successful skill development, while creating awareness of contemporary culture and the physical environment in which they live.

This year, School Visits is pleased to offer many new and exciting programs. Capoeira: Brazilian Movement provides high school students with the opportunity to explore this 16th century art form that emerged from African slaves and Indigenous people. Marked by fluid acrobatic play and groundwork, this Brazilian art-form teaches students five fundamental principals: respect of space; harmony; courtesy; integrity; and self-respect. Students are engaged through the learning of history, movement and the playing of traditional Brazilian instruments: berimbau; atabaque; pandeiro (tambourine); agogo; and reco-reco.

Other new programs include Spoken Word (Poetry in Action), where high school students work with contemporary spoken word artists to create and present poems dealing with a wide range of topics and experiences. Every school group also receives an interactive tour of Harbourfront Centre’s Craft Studio, its visual arts exhibitions and its newly opened Architecture Space.

The popular Behind the Curtain program returns! Behind the Curtain, offered in partnership with leading performing arts companies includes a matinée performance, an interactive workshop with company members, and a responsive arts workshop with School Visits educators. On November 20, students are invited to /Dis/(sol/ve)r, a world premiere of a bold new work by Toronto Dance Theatre Artistic Director Christopher House and a dance workshop with members of the company, as well as a responsive arts workshop. From February 24 to 26, 2009, COBA (Collective of Black Artists) presents Sankofa, which includes selections from its repertoire of traditional and contemporary dance about African heritage to celebrate Black History Month, along with a percussion workshop and a responsive visual arts workshop. From May 11 to 25, 2009, Stan’s Cafe, one of Britain’s most innovative theatre companies brings its internationally acclaimed performance installation, Of All the People in All the World, to Harbourfront Centre. Using 15 tonnes of rice, Stan’s Cafe brings local, national and global statistics to startling and powerful life. Each grain of rice equals one person and each statistic is represented by a finely counted and weighed pile of rice. From the number of military serving in Afghanistan to the number of Canadians who eat fast food every day, this ever-changing and interactive landscape gives new insights on how one counts in the world. Students will have the opportunity to research statistics and create their own installation.

Harbourfront Centre Learning Philosophy
As a multidisciplinary contemporary arts facility, Harbourfront Centre engages people of all ages and backgrounds in creative learning experiences in a dynamic and inclusive environment. Harbourfront Centre offers the full spectrum; from theatre-based performances to structured educational workshops to spontaneous discoveries. Harbourfront Centre is committed to providing visitors with stimulating opportunities to explore a diverse world of art and culture from local, national and international perspectives. Whether one is a teacher, a student, a family looking for an enriching experience, or an individual seeking a creative outlet, Harbourfront Centre bridges the gap between learning and contemporary culture.


Media Contact:
Linda Liontis
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