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Family Programming for Hot Spot Summer at Harbourfront Centre
Hot Spot Summer festivals and events have family fun covered!

TORONTO, ON (Wednesday, May 18, 2011) – From May to October, Hot Spot Summer on the waterfront is the hottest place in town for kids and families! Harbourfront Centre, along with its new lead summer partner the Toronto Port Authority (TPA), invites kids 12 and under to take part in FREE activities including games, crafts and workshops. These activities are designed to present contemporary arts and culture from a kid's point of view and to make it easily understandable and accessible – not to mention fun!

Each of our summer festivals offers Sunday afternoon family programming from 1-3 p.m. There are also two festivals exclusively for HarbourKIDS this summer in May (Victoria Day long weekend) and in October (Thanksgiving long weekend) that bookend the Hot Spot Summer season.

Other family-friendly programs running all season long include Dancing on the Pier, Longo’s Friday Picnics and canoe rides on the Natrel® Pond.

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.

Join us this summer as we explore “Hot Spots” of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, and regions of conflict that shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. This theme is programmed into each weekend festival to bring together rich artistic traditions from our own backyard and around the globe! It also presents a unique opportunity to experience top Canadian and international artists in a fun, family-friendly environment without ever leaving the city!

Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?


Step right up to experience HarbourKIDS: CIRCUS! Harbourfront Centre, in collaboration with Zero Gravity Circus, presents an extraordinary FREE, three-day circus featuring artists from around the world. This event is programmed as part of Harbourfront Centre’s HarbourKIDS family programming.

Co-produced with La Franco-Fête de Toronto
Franco-Fête is one of the most important French-language events in Ontario, being Toronto's premier francophone music, arts and culture festival.

• Mystéric’s Mathémagic Show
Saturday, June 25, 12:30 p.m. & Sunday, June 26, 1 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Ottawa-based Mystéric (Éric Leclerc) is a two-time Canadian Magic Champion. His show Mathémagic is a hilarious, interactive and educational combination of magic with math. And, all the way from Quebec City, Kromatik’s phenomenal team of professional makeup artists transform festival-goers into works of art.

• Natalie Choquette
Sunday, June 26, 3 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
The award-winning soprano plays La Diva Malbouffa, who has a huge passion for opera and loves to share it. The show is amazing and fun for kids to watch, and the adults who like to tag along will love it as well.

• Mike Ford
Sunday, June 26, 2 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
This singer-songwriter entertains through a variety of rhythms and musical textures in his new show directed towards youth. Based on the adventures of Étienne Brûlé in the Great Lakes, and the 18th century First Nations, the narrator draws from contemporary realities to explore themes of the environment, consumerism and technology.

Focusing on provinces such as British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario, Canada Day at Harbourfront Centre celebrates all the things that make Canada unique! By reaching deep into Canada’s diverse cultural landscape, explore and connect the country through music, arts, food, film and more!

• Learn to Curl with the Capital One Rocks & Rings program
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. (South Orchard)
The Capital One Rocks & Rings program is designed to introduce the Olympic sport of curling to elementary school children. During our Canada Day celebration, kids have the opportunity to throw curling stones and learn the ins and outs of this great Canadian sport.

• Canada Day Crafts
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent)
Come to our HarbourKIDS Zone Tent and learn how to make a craft that keeps you cool and helps show your Canadian pride - a maple leaf sun visor!

• Strawberry Cooking Classes for Kids
Friday, July 1, 2 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Cooking is a family affair on Canada Day! Kids and parents can enjoy our family-focused strawberry cooking workshops and create sweet treats with this versatile fruit. Learn about new ways to experiment with strawberries and take your creation home with you!

• Giant Connect Four
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. (North Orchard)
Enjoy some larger-than-life gaming this Canada Day as Harbourfront Centre presents a super-sized version of that ‘70s classic, Connect Four! Pick a colour, drop a disc, and have some fun!

• Giant Twister
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m., 3 p.m. & 5 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park)
Get ready to be tied up in knots on our giant Twister mat!

• Giant Chess
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. (Sculpture Court)
Kids can test their cleverness and skill with our super-sized version of chess.

• Rope-skipping demonstrations
Friday, July 1, 1 p.m. (Natrel® Pond)
It’s playtime for adults and kids with demonstrations by our province’s champion competitive rope-skipping teams. Come play a familiar game with new songs and new rhythms. Courtesy of the Brampton Acro Ropers.

• Family Films from the National Film Board of Canada: “Talespinners 2”
Friday, July 1, 3 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
“Talespinners 2” features seven stories of children who confront challenges with creativity and originality. Young viewers will be captivated by the adventures and determination of the Talespinners children.

• Family Films from the National Film Board of Canada: “Finding Farley”
Friday, July 1, 5 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Karstern Heuer, Leanne Allison, and their son Zev set out to trace the footsteps of one of Canada’s most famous writers, Farley Mowat. The family treks, sails and paddles from the prairies to the Maritimes on the same path that Farley took over 60 years ago.

Come embrace the element of surprise! On The Pulse is a two-day weekend festival of discovery in music, theatre and dance for the whole family! This festival provides the opportunity to witness artists who are pushing the boundaries of creativity, and artists that embrace participation, technology and interconnectivity.

• Second City’s Absolutely Positively Completely Made-Up Show
Saturday, July 2, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Second City’s Absolutely Positively Completely Made-Up Show tickles the funny bone of young and old with an hour of interactive improvisation and theatre games for the whole family. Pulling ideas from the audience, Second City’s performers reach deep into their imaginations to create original stories and songs, all made-up right on the spot!

• HarbourKIDS - The Real Life Where’s Waldo Game
Sunday, July 3, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage and Harbourfront Centre site)
The Real Life Where’s Waldo Game is an exciting twist on the classic, world-renowned book. Taking the idea straight from its pages, various fake Waldos are displaced across the Harbourfront Centre site. Each fake Waldo has clues to the whereabouts of the real Waldo, but they won’t just give that information to anyone. Through completing several exciting tasks for different Waldos, as well as some clever sleuthing, one can solve the mystery and find the real Waldo once and for all.

• Canadian Improv Games’ Intro to Improv
Saturday, July 2, 2-3 p.m., 4-5 p.m. & 5-6 p.m. (South Orchard)
Intro to Improv introduces participants to the wonderful world of spur-of-the-moment entertainment. Stories, narratives and character work are part of this interactive performance.

• Cumbia with Me
Saturday, July 2, 1:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
From one of the most popular music and dance methods from South America, cumbia, this workshop has audiences learning the steps from its folkloric roots to its growth across South America and beyond.

• Maori with Attitude!
Sunday, July 3, 1-2 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Members of Moana & The Tribe host the workshop exploring the traditions of Maori music that originates from New Zealand. The interactive workshop is led by members who are skilled in haka (traditional Maori posture dance), pot (Maori dance), taonga puoro (traditional Maori instruments) and waiata-a-ringa (Maori action song dance).

• Hoop Dance Workshop with Beany John
Sunday, July 3, 4:30-5 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Audiences learn the rich form of storytelling dance as Beany John performs and leads a hoop dance workshop, using up to 30 hoops.

Presented by WestJet Vacations
Bringing together the traditional and the modern, the Corazón de México (Heart of Mexico) festival showcases the sights and sounds of a culture always moving and spreading outward. It is a culture that reflects hard realities and the vibrancy and warmth of its people.
Generously supported by the Mexican Consulate.

• Clown Time in Mexico-Double Double Theatre
Saturday, July 9, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. & 6 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park & around site)
On the streets of big cities and in the squares of small villages throughout Mexico, there is a long history and tradition of clowning. Clowns create short stories, satirical confrontations and interact with the public to bring hilarious characters to life.

• Marionetas de la Esquina
Saturday, July 9, 3 p.m. & Sunday, July 10, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Marionetas de la Esquina is a puppet theatre company from Mexico that has entertained children and adults since 1975. Since their creation, the company has helped develop the art of puppetry in Mexico with a repertoire of 10 enchanting shows.

COLOMBIAN COLOURS – Il Diaspora Festival : July 15-17
This festival showcases the diversity, infinite cultural expressions and ethnic diversity of Colombian culture by highlighting the work of Colombian diaspora artists.

• Colombia’s Culture and “Kaptain Leaf” Scavenger Hunt
Sunday, July 17, 1 p.m. (location TBA)
Kaptain Leaf, protector of the environment, guides families though the beautiful streets of Colombian towns on a fascinating journey. Families gather clues and solve riddles to win amazing prizes, and learn about Colombian culture. Brought to you by Kiddo Magazine.

• Zumba dance and rhythms for children
Sunday, July 17, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Join Luna Art Club’s children on stage for fun - make sure to bring your energy and a sense of humour!

Presented by Liberty Development Corporation
Is eternity timelessness? Boundlessness? Or an ideal? At the Tirgan Festival, come explore the multi-disciplinary artistic and cultural ideals of the theme, Visions of Eternity. Tirgan is the “Hot Spot” this weekend, sizzling with Iranian art, culture, cuisine, activities, entertainment and shopping!

• Silk Road Dance Company
PERFORMANCE: Saturday, July 23, 4:30-5:30 p.m. & Sunday, July 24, 3:30-4:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
WORKSHOP: Sunday, July 24, 12:30-1:15 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Silk Road Dance Company presents the Canadian premiere of a repertoire of folkloric dances as well as a workshop in Persian dance.

• Golden Puppet Theatre
Sunday, July 24, 3-4 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Vida Ghahremani brings puppets to life on stage with the story of The Fairy King’s Daughter. Vida will also hold a workshop to teach children ages 12 and under how to make puppets and perform a show.

An entertainment-packed two and a half hour showcase featuring eight of the most wildly popular and original calypso songs of the 2011 Calypso Tents Music Series (CTMS), presented by the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes. This evening of music, dance and carnival features four top Canadian soca artists, a virtuoso steelpannist Garth Burgess, D Famer’s Rhythm Section band, interactive Sailor Dancers from Afro-Caribbean Dance Co. and Moko Jumble characters from Swizzlestick Theatre. The Calypso All STARS house band for the evening is led by award-wining arranger/producer Ossie Gurley.

ISLAND SOUL: July 29-Aug. 1
Island Soul 2011 celebrates Riddim & Resistance with the historical self-transformation of the Caribbean islands from a colonial “Hot Spot” of cultural conflict into a creative hot spot of carnival culture. The Caribbean culture is celebrated through music, dance, storytelling, workshops and traditional carnival characters at this year’s Island Soul festival!

• JOUVAY! An Ole Mas Carnival Parade!
Friday, July 29, 8-9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Traditional Trinidad and Tobago carnival characters come alive! Starting from the Redpath Stage and accompanied by steelpan, the midnight robber costumed characters and blue devils display Ole Mas Placards, stopping to re-enact them to spectators with satirical parody, spoken word and dance.

• Pan Rootz: From Skin to Steelpan
Saturday, July 30, 2:30 p.m. & 4:30 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent)
Joy Lapps from Drum Artz Canada teaches an interactive steelpan, iron instrument and skin drum workshop for kids. Participants can discover the amazing sounds of each of these instruments and learn a brief history of their musical evolution from skin to steel.

• Ring Ding! Jamaica Family Day Event!
Anansi Children’s Crafts
Sunday, July 31, 1 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Kids can create Jamaican arts and crafts including Anansi (spider fans), web short stories and colourful drawings.

• Ring Ding! Jamaica Family Day Event!
Stories of Anansi the Survivor: Raise yu hands and sing along!
Sunday, July 31, 1:30 p.m. & 3 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Storyteller Phyllis Walker, “Keeper of the Anansi Flame,” combines amusing Anansi stories with children’s songs and finger games.

• RITMO: Cuban Clavé and Drum Rhythms Family Event!
Sunday, July 31, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Families are invited to explore the Cuban clavé (a percussion instrument) at an hour-long, interactive drumming, dance and song workshop exploring the roots of African riddims in Cuban music. This workshop is open to all skill levels.

Guest Artistic Director Andrew Burashko of the Art of Time Ensemble, along with the staff of Harbourfront Centre, has programmed a festival that goes well beyond the normal concepts of classical music to create an event unlike any other. Exploring influences from popular music and traditions from Western Europe to Latin America, from the Middle East to the Far East, the second incarnation of the What’s Classical? festival re-defines how we see classical music.

• The Story of Babar the Elephant Narrated by Steven Page
Saturday, Aug. 6, 3 p.m. & Sunday, Aug. 7, 3 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
The Story of Babar the Elephant is a classic French children's story created by Jean de Brunhoff in 1931. In 1940, French composer Francis Poulenc was challenged by his daughter to play The Story of Babar on piano, much like Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf yet with subtle differences. Poulenc improvised a piece of classical music that is fantastically entertaining set to the words of Jean de Brunhoff. With Steven Page as narrator, Babar comes to life with a new energy.

• Joe Trio’s Carl Stalling Lecture and Performance
Sunday, August 7, time TBA (Studio Theatre)
In this one-hour lecture and performance, Joe Trio explores the work of “Looney Tunes” composer Carl Stalling (1891-1972), who was the expert at adjusting musical style changes according to cartoon movement.

What’s on the menu as we explore the “Hot Spots” of Pan-Asian cuisine? Through food, dance and music, this festival focuses on the culinary energy of Asian hot spots and how this energy has rippled out to influence food across the globe.

• For Fortune Cooking with a Chef
Friday, Aug. 12, 6:30 p.m. (location TBA)
Three lucky families get to cook dinner with one of our Fortune Cooking chefs. Enter Harbourfront Centre’s online contest between July 1 and Aug. 1.

• Tasty Little Journeys
Saturday, Aug. 13, 1-8 p.m. & Sunday, Aug 14, 1-6 p.m.
The whole family is invited to join the Tasty Little Journeys which allows kids to create their own ‘Passport to Fortune Cooking’ which is stamped as they visit a variety of programming stations throughout the site. Each site offers a taste of Asian cultures, from food to craft to sport.

• Chai Found Music Workshop
Sunday, Aug. 14, 3 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
The musicians from Chai Found Music Workshops of Taiwan recreate animal and nature sounds with their traditional Chinese instruments. Artistic Director, Mr. Huang, introduces and provides a brief history of traditional instruments, with the opportunity for children to try them out.

Canada's favorite South Asian festival returns to Harbourfront Centre, celebrating the rich, dynamic and diverse cultures from all regions of this global Hot Spot!

TELUS TAIWANfest: Taiwan Rising (Aug. 26-28)
Co-produced by ACSEA
Celebrating the cultural treasures of Taiwan with performances by artists from the island of Taiwan and from around Canada. A “Hot Spot” of energy and connectivity, influxes of various cultures have not only impacted the formation of new Taiwanese culture, but have also become the foundation of new expressions in art. In anticipation of the next Lunar New Year, The Year of the Dragon, kids will get to create their very own paper dragon boat.

Presented by NOW Magazine
Hot & Spicy returns for its 14th edition as one of the premier food events in the city, packed with a full menu of culinary arts, music, film panels and dance. Highlighting culinary “Hot Spots” around the world, the rise of hot culinary neighbourhoods in the GTA and a favorite summer pastime, BBQ, expect a festival full of fiery performances for all the senses!

HARBOURKIDS: MONSTER: Oct. 8-10 (Thanksgiving long weekend)
This October, Halloween isn't the only thing scaring us silly! Face your fears with ghoulish games, monstrous making, fiendish fun and a brand new Fresh Ground new works commission, The Monster Makers. This event is programmed as part of Harbourfront Centre’s HarbourKIDS family programming.


Longo’s Friday Picnics
Fridays, July through August, between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park)
Buy a sandwich, a snack, or an internationally inspired meal at the World Café and then enjoy it sitting on the Ann Tindal lawn, or pack your cooler with your favorite feast! Live entertainment will vary each week.

Dancing on the Pier
Thursdays, June 23 to Sept. 1 (various locations on the waterfront)
Explore culturally hot dance trends and movements from across globe that will heat up the Harbourfront Centre site and its surroundings! The waterfront will be filled with sizzling flavors, movement and sounds from the best choreographers, social dance clubs and DJs to heat up the boardwalk!

Canoe Rides on the Natrel® Pond
Daily, May to October
Our famous canoe rides will be available at the Natrel® Pond all summer long! Take a break and enjoy a fun float beside our picturesque boardwalk.

Zones of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, regions of conflict – all of these shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

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. For more information visit

The Toronto Port Authority, Harbourfront Centre’s lead summer partner, owns and operates the Port of Toronto, the Billy Bishop Airport, and the Outer Harbour Marina. It is committed to building a waterfront community that is vibrant and enjoyable for Torontonians and visitors, by working with partners to create a clean, green, prosperous water’s edge. For more information visit


For more information contact:

Althea Linton

Rosie Shaw

General email:

For high-resolution images and additional media resources:

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