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HarbourKIDS: SK8
A winter festival weekend for kids ages five to 12

FREE family fun celebrating skate culture at Harbourfront Centre!
Dec. 4-5, 2010

TORONTO, ON (Nov. 8, 2010)Harbourfront Centre presents HarbourKIDS: SK8, a FREE weekend celebration of skating and the culture that surrounds it. The season of snow, ice skating and other winter sports, fashion, lifestyle – all of these cultural elements are part of HarbourKIDS: SK8.

Skating requires grace, style, energy and control. Balancing on a slim blade or on four wheels does not come naturally to most people, but with experience, a skater can “SK8” with grace and make the difficult look effortless. At Harbourfront Centre’s two outdoor rinks, the Natrel® Rink and the Natrel® Kinder Rink, kids can practice their skating skills for FREE, learn about the game of curling, or sit by the fire pits and enjoy the view of Lake Ontario. FREE hot chocolate for everyone is provided by Natrel®.

Indoor events and performances are also scheduled for those who want to stay warm! Performances include a family-friendly play full of jokes, music and magic called Jack Frost and the unique dance/music fusion of Breakdancing for Solo Cello. Inside, you can also give the Natrel® Indoor Skateboard Park a spin, make a variety of take-home SK8 crafts, or try a Beatboxing workshop with Sean Mauricette, a.k.a ‘Subliminal”.

Dave Bidini and the Bidiniband will lead the Hockey Card Cabaret, celebrating all things HOCKEY with the help of guest stars including songwriters Justin Rutledge, Ida Neilson, Chris Page and Jeff Meleras, as well as husband-wife comedy duo Eric Toth (The Imponderables) and Mary Ashton (CTV’s Dan for Mayor).

HarbourKIDS is Harbourfront Centre’s free family programme designed for kids from five to 12 years old, with three free weekend festivals each year. We celebrated Harvest in October, and May 2011 brings the exciting HarbourKIDS: CIRCUS back to town! February’s Family Day holiday also means FUN at Harbourfront Centre – come and check out the events and activities on Feb. 21!

For complete event details and full schedule, 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.



Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Natrel® Rink)
Every year, approximately 150,000 people make their way to Harbourfront Centre's Natrel® Skating Rink, which is one of Toronto’s biggest and most beautiful outdoor rinks. As one of the few FREE skating facilities in Toronto, the rink provides skate rentals, lockers and a family-friendly environment that celebrates one of our country’s favourite national winter pastimes seven days a week! Regular rink hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. (11 p.m. on Fridays & Saturdays).

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m (Natrel® Rink)
Ryan Gladstone returns as Ice Host for the second year. An excellent skater with a long history of improvisation and comedy expertise, Gladstone keeps an upbeat vibe going all weekend. He will help people navigate the Harbourfront Centre site and keep everyone on schedule so no exciting programming is missed!

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Natrel® Rink)
As you skate around the beautiful outdoor rink, watch for impromptu performances by our rink animation team! Combining skating, singing, live music and graffiti art, this interactive installation will be hard to miss! Theatre artist and former competitive ice dancer Patricia Summersett, along with keyboardist Nick Carpenter and interdisciplinary graffiti artist Gilda Monreal will collaborate to bring boundary-crossing performance to the Natrel® Rink.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Natrel® Rink – South Side)
A mini-curling venue will be set up on the south side of the Natrel® Rink, sectioned off from the rest of the ice. Curling experts will teach families the basic rules of curling and how to work as a team to get their “stones” in place on the target or “house”. Curling stones will be made from recycled milk jugs with frozen colored water in them to denote teams.

Saturday & Sunday, 2-5 p.m. (Natrel® Rink)
Free clinics will be offered over the entire weekend with a focus on beginner skaters. The clinics will be 15 minutes in length and limited to eight skaters per instructor. Kids will learn basic drills, principles of skating and play some fun ice games. These clinics are in partnership with Harbourfront Centre’s Learn to Skate programme.
**All participating skaters will be required to have a waiver signed by their parent/guardian
*helmets mandatory ($5/rental, or bring your own)

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace Tent)
Thanks to Artificial Grass & Landscaping (AGL), Harbourfront Centre is pleased to provide the optimal place for kids to learn how to skate and practice before moving on to the bigger skating rink. Located in the covered Lakeside Terrace Tent, above the big rink, the Kinder Rink allows new skaters to feel safer while learning how to skate. The Natrel® Kinder Rink is made from a revolutionary material with a 98% resemblance to conventional ice rink surfaces, so you can wear regular ice skates and skate on it all year round! Regular hours at the rink are 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Around the Natrel® Rink)
Cozy up to staff-controlled outdoor fire pits nestled among the trees overlooking Lake Ontario. Harbourfront Centre rink staff will keep the fires burning all day long, providing a relaxing atmosphere, whenever you want to take a break from skating!


Saturday & Sunday, 1:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
This incredible new work by Montreal breakdance troupe Solid State crosses boundaries of music and dance, integrating two different forms into one unique, engaging performance. Breakdance for Solo Cello draws out elements of beauty and fluidity that are not always seen beneath the explosive and athletic nature of breakdance vocabulary, while giving breath and new life to music composed hundreds of years ago.

Saturday & Sunday, 3:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
The Solid State approach to teaching allows kids to lose their inhibitions and empower themselves through self-expression. Participants will learn the basics of breakdancing and participate in a series of activities designed to encourage and foster growth in self-awareness and self esteem while jump-starting the child’s own creative search for identity. Facing one’s fears within the safe framework of a Solid State workshop is a great way to prepare for doing so later on in the “real world”.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Recommended ages: Seven to 12
In fitting with the culture and style of skateboarding and skate parks, a mobile skate park designed for kids and beginners will occupy the Lakeside Terrace. Experienced skateboarders will set up the park and give kids pointers while monitoring for safety*. The park can accommodate 12 kids at a time actively skating, and 12 skateboards and helmets** will be on hand for those who may not have brought equipment. The park will include a Quarter Pipe, Launch Ramp, Flat Bank, Grind Box, Grind Rails and a 3-piece Fly Box.
*All participating skaters will be required to have a waiver signed by their parent/guardian.
**helmets mandatory


Saturday & Sunday, 1 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Exclusively for HarbourKIDS: SK8, Canada’s foremost rock/hockey aficionado Dave Bidini curates The Hockey Card Cabaret. A celebration of all things hockey, this event is hosted by the aptly named Bidiniband and features a top-notch lineup of guest stars. Joining Bidiniband are singer-songwriters Justin Rutledge, Ida Neilson, Jeff Meleras, Chris Page, and comedy by husband-wife duo Eric Toth of The Imponderables and Dan for Mayor star Mary Ashton. Parents and kids alike can rock out to original songs, poems and stories, all about the best game you can name! Kids can sit down front while their folks kick back and enjoy the show in a relaxed “cabaret” setting. Non-alcoholic refreshments will be available.

JACK FROST presented by Cow Over Moon Theatre
Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m. & 4 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Jack Frost is one of the busiest winter sprites around. He is responsible for bringing winter to the world, and that is a lot of pressure, especially during Jacketville’s upcoming Winterbration. When the pressure is too much, Jack thinks about how much easier it would be to be a regular guy. Then he would not have to worry about everything he touches turning to ice, especially his friend Trudy Montag, the local snowball champion. When he decides to get rid of his powers, things do not go as he planned. Add in an evil Mayor, Trudy’s unusually ridiculous father and a magical Great Horn, and you have a show full of jokes, music, magic and frost.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Beatboxing is a form of vocal percussion which primarily involves the art of producing drum beats, rhythm and musical sounds using only the mouth, lips, tongue and voice. DJ, lyricist and producer Sean Mauricette has been beatboxing since he was six years old, and we are bringing him to HarbourKIDS: SK8 to pass on this art form to a new generation. Drop-in workshops start every half hour throughout the day (no activity from 1-2 p.m.)


Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (West Arcade)
One large component of skating culture, both in winter and summer, is EXTREME SPORTS: snowboarding, skateboarding, rollerblading, etc. This year at HarbourKIDS: SK8, embrace the extreme! At PICK-UR-PIC, kids get to be the artistic directors for their own extreme sport photo shoot! After dressing their model up in the skating outfit of their choice and creating an extreme pose, kids can capture a photograph themselves. They even get to choose a caption for the model, which will be written in a speech bubble beside them!

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (West Arcade)
Everyone knows that no two snowflakes are alike. Each one is a unique creation, unlike every other. At the One-of-a-Kind-Buttons station, kids create their own unique snowflake design and get it made into a button to wear all weekend long!

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (West Arcade)
Using pre-made hockey mask cutouts, kids design their own hockey mask to wear around the site for the weekend or to the Hockey Card Cabaret! Careful though – these masks are not designed to protect! They’re made for style!

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Arts for Children and Youth (AFCY) engages marginalized children and youth from priority neighbourhoods in high quality and meaningful arts programs. AFCY believes that direct participation in the arts provides young people with numerous benefits. During the weekend, kids can contribute their own work of art to be displayed in the room as well as add to a graffiti wall. As each unique piece is created, it will be added to the Arts for Children and Youth installation, giving each child the sensation of being a real artist! As the walls fill with SK8-based creations, the Marilyn Brewer Community Space will be transformed into an urban art gallery. Other activities include snowflake making and decorating Meals on Wheels lids for the holidays.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace Stage)
Who do you think would live in an ice castle? A princess in a fairy tale? An evil ice queen who rules over a frozen land? Maybe the abominable snowman has an ice dwelling of his own! If you could live in an ice castle, what would it look like? In the LEGO® Ice Castle room, you can build your own ice palace out of LEGO®.

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

HarbourKIDS Club Membership
Sign up to be a HarbourKIDS Club Member and receive your very own “Splooshy” temporary tattoo! Pick up a copy of our HarbourKIDS Activity Guide and explore our site on an interactive discovery walk! If you want, we’ll send you periodic emails to let you know about fun upcoming family events at Harbourfront!


Saturday, boarding begins at 10:30 a.m. (Foot of York Street)
Families are invited to join Santa and his elves for a magical harbour cruise aboard the Northern Spirit featuring music, entertainment and refreshments. Children are encouraged to bring their wish lists and have their picture taken with Santa for FREE! Conveniently located at the foot of York Street, boarding begins at 10:30 a.m., and the cruise is from 11 a.m. to noon. Tickets are $10 HST per person (children under six are admitted free). For tickets, visit or call 416-203-0178. Presented by Mariposa Cruises, Queen’s Quay Terminal, Redpath Sugar and The Waterfront BIA.

Saturday, 12-9 p.m. (207 Queens Quay West)
After the Santa Cruise, enjoy FREE crafts, live entertainment, face painting and giveaways for good girls and boys. For more information, visit or call 416-203-0510.

Saturday, 12-5 p.m. (PawsWay, 245 Queens Quay West)
Find out if your pet has been naughty or nice as Santa pays a special visit to PawsWay. Renowned pet photographer Garth Gourlay will capture that special moment with Santa and your pet (small fee applies). For more information, visit or call 416-360-7297.

Saturday & Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. (PawsWay, 245 Queens Quay West)
The northern breeds are similar in their thick coated, stocky, powerful bodies, with strong legs, a wedge shaped head, a wolf like expression, pointed ears and muzzle and a flowing tail. However each breed was developed for specific purposes. Come and meet the powerful Alaskan Malamute, the swift and elegant Siberian Husky, the American Eskimo, and many other breeds from Northern climates. See the Nordic breeds in harness, demonstrating their sledding prowess. FREE admission. For more information, visit or call 416-360-7297.

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.


Media contact:
Rosie Shaw
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