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Vibrant Colombia Diaspora Festival
Celebrating Colombian Culture in Toronto
Sept. 17-19 at Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, ON (Monday, Sep. 13, 2010)Vibrant Colombia Diaspora Festival is an event that has the intention of bringing together people of Colombian descent and members of other communities to celebrate shared ancestry, history and spiritual heritage within a three-day celebration.

The DIASPORA is a subject that resurfaced a few years ago: a word still unknown for many and for others confusing. For the organizers it is the perfect tool that defines who they are: a community that is establishing itself in a country that opened its doors to the world. A community judged by the actions of a few and that wants to gather to show and share the generosity of its people and its cultural richness and answer a few questions: What happens when an artist becomes part of a Diaspora? What happens when he or she moves from one place to another? Which artists are part of this Diaspora? What are they doing? Where are they?
What are they proposing? What are they witnessing? Is their art influenced with this new culture and is this new country affecting their art?

With more than 25 acts, Vibrant Colombia Diaspora Festival is an outstanding event featuring an eclectic mix of dance, music, film, theatre, visual arts, among other activities. It is the first event of this community held at Harbourfront Centre and promises to be a great opening for their second Festival in the summer of 2011. Full Festival information (including event schedule) can be found at or

Organized by the Casa Cultural Colombiana in association with Tridha Arts Association and Harbourfront Centre features artists like Diego Marulanda’s Quintet. Exploring the folklore of the Andean zone of Colombia, this group takes a modern approach, mixing native instruments like the Yapurutus and Maguarés with double bass and guitar.

On Sept. 18, Montreal-based Ballet Raíces de Colombia will showcase 20 dancers from different parts of the world that have fallen in love with this country’s culture, music and dance. This troupe is considered the best Folkloric group in Canada.

No Colombian festival will be complete without Salsa and Cumbia. Orquesta Fantasía, a staple in Toronto’s Latin music community, will perform Saturday evening. This 12-piece pioneering Latin music ensemble has been packing dance floors with their brand of Salsa, Merengue, Cumbia and Bachata for 30 years!

The vibrant, young and hip generation is represented by Ruben “Beny” Esquerra and his Solo Workz One Man Show. Described as “descarga meets hip hop” Beny’s show is taking audiences by storm as they witness the creation of layers of music produced live by one person. These highly participatory electro-acoustic performances involve beat boxing, violin vamps, interludes with wind instruments, and vocal hooks and verses, all while he plays the congas along with a variety of foot pedals.

Olga Barrios is also part of this newer generation of artists. Her show The Shower, recently presented at the Guelph Contemporary Dance Festival, will be performed by this energetic and beautiful dancer that recently got her MBA in Dance at York University.

Rounding out the Festival programming is a spate of food demos, Zumba (a Colombian creation) and flamenco workshops, traditional Colombian games, the Canadian Premiere of a film, a Colombian Cartoonist Exhibition, just to mention a few. Vibrant Colombia promises to be a celebration a community that has many stories to tell and share.

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.

*MEDIA NOTE* High-resolution images available on request.

Harbourfront Centre is an innovative, non-profit cultural organization which provides internationally renowned programming in the arts, culture, education and recreation, all within a collection of distinctive venues on a 10-acre site in the heart of Toronto's downtown waterfront.



Adriana Sabogal

Adriana Pazos

Rosie Shaw

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