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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tirgan Iranian Festival (July 21-24)
presented by Liberty Development

Experience Iranian culture through dance, theatre, film, visual arts and more


TORONTO, ON (Monday, June 27, 2011) Harbourfront Centre, along with its lead summer partner The Toronto Port Authority, proudly presents Tirgan Iranian Festival, a multi-disciplinary artistic and cultural festival that focuses on “Visions of Eternity,” asking artists, writers, and poets all over the world, “What do you deem eternal?” In a country yearning for change such as Iran, artists and writers transform old beliefs, understandings and representations through their artistic and literary creations by continually challenging them.

From July 21-24, Harbourfront Centre spectators are invited to celebrate Iranian culture with a multitude of world and Canadian premieres in traditional and contemporary styles of Iranian dance, music, theatre, literature, film, and visual arts.

Tirgan Iranian Festival has something for everyone including Golden Puppet Theatre with Vida Ghahremani. She recounts Fairy King’s Daughter, a story about a princess who falls in love with a commoner. Ghahremani also holds a workshop to teach children five to 12 years old to make a puppet and perform a show.

Harbourfront Centre’s nighttime visitors can enjoy Late Night Persian Jazz, a ticketed event ($25) featuring jazz-blues songstress Rana Farhan. Her songs meld 13th century poetry with American elements of blues and jazz.

Just as entertaining is Silk Road Dance Company, presenting the Canadian premiere of a repertoire of folkloric dances as well as a workshop in Persian dance. Their dancers have mastered a wide range of styles, including rare choreographies that are part of the company's “Legacy Repertoire.” The Silk Road Dance Company won the 2003 International Academy of Middle Eastern Dance Award for Best Dance Company.

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?
For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com/summer 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.


FULL EVENT LISTINGS

MUSIC:

• Pardis International Orchestra (ticketed event - $25)
Thursday, July 21, 8:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Composer Hamid Motebassem is an established Persian musician all over the globe. The founder of Pardis International Orchestra, Motebassem presents his version of “Eternity” with the accompaniment of rising star vocalist, Salar Aghili.

• King Raam
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 9 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
With compositions that are sometimes simplistic chords and others that are complex and symphonic, King Raam uses music as a means of expressing emotions and concepts that are often too deep to be expressed in words.

• Sarv Ensemble
Friday, July 22, 9:30 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Drawing inspiration from classical and folk traditions across Iran, the Sarv Ensemble performs original works produced through improvisation and collective composition.

• Shanbehzadeh Ensemble
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 9:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Shanbehzadeh Ensemble offers a unique variety of hypnotic dancers and traditional music from southern Iran and more precisely from the unknown region of Boushehr.

• Late Night Persian Jazz (ticketed event - $25)
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 10:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Rana Farhan, a jazz and blues singer, interprets Persian poetry from a musical perspective. She produces songs that bring together 13th century poets with the American elements of blues and jazz.

• Radio Javan House DJ Music
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 11:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
DJ Delbar has many years of experience spinning some of the best Persian, international and house music. One of the most sought-after DJs in Iranian culture, DJ Delbar keeps audiences moving all night long.

• The Vesal Ensemble conducted by Arjang Seyfisadeh
Saturday, July 23, 1:30 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
The Vesal Ensemble, conducted by Arjang Seyfisadeh, was formed in 2000 and has performed traditional Persian music as well as Kurdish music in Iran, Iraq and Portugal, receiving widespread recognition and acclaim.

• Rising Talents: Saman Shahi, Maneli Jamal & Maryam Toumrai
Saturday, July 23, 1:30 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
An Iranian-Canadian composer and pianist, Sman Shahi performs one of his compositions, “Arash,” with a string trio featuring two special guests. Award-winning solo acoustic guitarist Maneli Jamal creates a unique sound by combining Flamenco and Persian music, and with years of training in western classical singing, Iranian Canadian vocalist Maryam Tourmrai has been active in Toronto for over 20 years.

• Sepideh Raissadat
Saturday, July, 23, 2 p.m. & Sunday, July 24, 1:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
With her masterful voice, Sepideh Raissadat’s one-of-a-kind solo performance combines vocals and setar (Persian musical instrument).

• Vahid Monji
Saturday, July 23, 2 p.m. & Sunday, July 24, 5 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Toronto-based singer, songwriter and musician Vahid Monji has collaborated with professional musicians such as Babak Amini, Shahriar Ghanbari and Andranik. Vahid Monji, alongside Aria Heidran and Artin Yeaneh, performs Persian pop music.

• Baarbad Music
Saturday, July 23, 5:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
With new and interesting arrangements for each performance, Baarbad’s sound spans across many genres of musical cultures including classical Persian, central Asian folkloric and western classical.

• Iranian National Choir
Sunday, July 24, 6 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Kamal Taravati founded the Iranian National Choir in 2007. The choir, composed of talented and enthusiastic university students, has since become a staple in the Iranian-Canadian artistic community for their performance of Persian music.

DANCE:

• Kurdish House Dance Group
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Kurdish House Dance Group uses elegant and rhythmic movements called Halparke. These folkloric dance moves are one of the distinguishing characteristics of Kurd.

• Les Ballets Persans: Ballet, Iranian Style
Friday, July 22 & Saturday, July 23, 7:30 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
The closure of the Iranian National Ballet after the 1979 revolution in Iran was a great loss to dancers, choreographers, and dance educators. In 2002, Nima Kiann founded Les Ballet Persans in Stockholm as the reincarnation of the former Iranian National Ballet. The company’s thematic repertoire ranges from classical ballets to neoclassical works and contemporary productions inspired equally by Iranian literary and spiritual masterpieces and current social issues.

• Silk Road Dance Company
Saturday, July 23 & Sunday, July 24, 3 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Pulling inspiration from both Persian and Turkish cultures, the Silk Road Dance Company has mastered a wide range of styles and rare choreographies. This is the Canadian premiere of their unforgettable repertoire of Persian folkloric dance.

• Ida Saki
Saturday, July 23, 3:30 & 8:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Inspiring audiences with every performance, Ida Saki has received five national titles for her modern dance based on traditional Persian tales.

FILM:

• “Tall Shadows of the Wind” (Q&A with Director Bahman Farmanara)
Saturday, July 23, 5 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Based on a short story, “Tall Shadows of the Wind” takes place in an isolated village in Iran where peasants assemble scarecrows to protect their crops. Driven by superstition, the scarecrows become metaphysical creatures that control the lives of the villagers (presented in Farsi with English subtitles).

• “Death of the King”
Saturday, July 23, 9:30 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
“Death of the King” takes place in 644 AD when the last emperor of Iran has fled the country, and has been killed by the owner of a mill. The miller, his wife and their ailing daughter give their account of the incident. Their stories become more than a murder trial, extending to views of an empire that has already collapsed from within (presented in Farsi with English subtitles).

• “The White Meadows”
Sunday, July 24, 4 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, “The White Meadows” recounts the story of an elderly man who collects the tears of souls in pain. His encounters present an elegant, allegorical tale of persecution of artists and women, among others, for the choices they have made (presented in Farsi with English subtitles).

FAMILY ACTIVITIES:

• Iranian Arts and Craft
Saturday, July 23, 1 p.m. (HarbourKIDS Zone Tent)
Nowruz Parisa Ghavami teaches kids how to create a “Haft-Seen”, the traditional table setting of the Iranian New Year.

• Puppet Workshop and Performance
Saturday, July 23 & Sunday, July 24, 3 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Vida Ghahremani tells the story of The Fairy King’s Daughter, a tale of a princess who falls in love with a commoner. Ghahremani also holds a workshop to show children ages five to 12 how to make puppets. The workshop concludes with a puppet show.

• Music Workshop with Araz Nayeb Pashayee
Saturday, July 23, 3 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace) & Sunday, July 24, 2:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Araz Nayeb Pashayee is a multi-disciplinary percussionist specializing in Tombak (Iranian goblet drum), Daf (Iranian frame drum) and Udu (African drum). He studied with masters such as Farbod Yadollahi, Zakaria Yousefi and Kamran Montazeri. Pashaee presents a highly educational and entertaining Tombak workshop at a beginner level for music enthusiasts of all ages.

• Demonstration and Talk on Tar
Saturday, July 23, 6 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Arjang Seyfizadeh performs and discusses traditional Persian music as well as Kurdish tunes that have received acclaim in Iran, Iraq and Portugal.

• Storytelling with Ava Homa
Sunday, July 24, 1 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Ava Homa tells a Persian folk tale in English that children of all ages will enjoy.

• Dance Workshop
Sunday, July 24, 1:30 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Minou Akhlaghi holds a dance workshop for children between the ages of six and 12. Basic movements, the use of props (dayereh), and a sequence of phrases will taught to the children and then presented in a performance for parents.

• Storytelling with Ariel Balevi
Sunday, July 24, 3 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Ariel Balevi’s passion for cross-cultural storytelling and respect for tradition make this storyteller unique.

LECTURES & WORKSHOPS:

• Book Reading: Shahrnush Parsipur
Saturday, July 23 & Sunday, July 24, 1:30 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Shahrnush Parsipur has had numerous book readings in Europe and North America and a number of her novels have been translated to English, German and Russian. A movie based on her novel Women without Men won the Best Director Award at the Venice Film Festival. Parsipur has two book readings during this festival, one in English and the other in Persian.

• Book Reading: Abbas Maroufi
Saturday, July 23 & Sunday, July 24, 3 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
A graduate in Fine Arts from Tehran University with a prodigious artistic talent, Abbas Maroufi has been director of Tehran Symphony Orchestra, founder of Tehran-based literary Gardoon Magazine, and author of numerous award-winning and widely read novels. Maroufi offers two book readings at this festival: one in English and the other in Persian.

• Literary Presentation with Dr. Mohammad Estelami
Saturday, July 23, 4:30 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Dr. Mohammad Estelami delivers a talk in Persian on the concept of “Eternity” in Persian literature. Dr. Estelami is the author and editor of over 20 volumes of books and literary texts in the field of Persian Sufi literature.

• Literary Presentations with Dr. Mohammad Ebrahim Bastani Parizi
Sunday, July 24, 4:30 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
With a unique position as both a public educator and scholar with remarkable contributions, Professor Bastani Parizi presents a talk in Persian followed by a question-and-answer period.

• Nima Kiann
Sunday, July 24, 5 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
The founder of Les Ballet Persans and the European Dance Project, Nima Kiann has experience in dance from all around the world. With published articles on a variety of aspects of Iranian dance, Kiann presents a talk on Persian dance.

THEATRE:

Heart to Heart: Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, Sadreddin Zahed and Azizollah Bahadori
Friday, July 22, 8 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam, Sadreddin Zahed and Azizollah Bahadori have a conversation with the audience.

Zohreh and Monoochehr directed by Shahrokh Moshkin Ghalam
Saturday, July 23, 2 p.m. & Sunday, July 24, 5 p.m. (Fleck Dance Theatre)
An official member of the Comédie Fançaise (The House of Molière), Moshkin Ghalam directs and acts in a musical comedy, Zohreh & Manoochehr, by Iraj Mirza. The cast includes two legendary figures of Iranian theatre, Sadreddin Zahed and Azizollah Bahadori.

• Storytelling: Gordafarid
Saturday, July 23, 5:30 p.m. & Sunday, July 24, 1 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
One of the first female storytellers in Iran, Gordafarid has excelled in performing traditional narration of epic stories through 12 years of research, meticulous collection of narratives, and patiently following the footsteps of old masters of this ancient dramatic art. Gordafarid’s ability to capture the imagination of audiences has drawn large crowds to her numerous performances both inside Iran and abroad.


For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit tirgan.ca or harbourfrontcentre.com/summer 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.


SEASON-LONG EVENTS

SoundClash presented by NOW Magazine, Harbourfront Centre's Music Award
The summer’s hottest music competition happens at Harbourfront Centre with $10,000 in cash prizes up for grabs! Toronto’s hottest artists and bands take centre stage to compete for the SoundClash music award. A panel of music critics, bloggers, artists and industry reps selected the following five artists out of 250 submissions: Young Empires, Kids & Explosions, Miles Jones, The Worst Pop Band Ever and Saidah Baba Talibah. Each artist and/or band will play the WestJet Stage this July to compete for three cash prizes and a variety of giveaways. The winner will be determined by a combination of jury selections and public votes. harbourfrontcentre.com/soundclash

Longo’s Free Flicks
Tuesdays at dusk (approx. 9 p.m.), July 5 through Aug. 9 (WestJet Stage)
Join us outdoors by the lake for a screening of six different films, each highlighting the experience of living in a different city! Come explore Toronto, New York, Paris, New Delhi and Toyko and vote on the final film selection (Venice, Toronto or Cairo).

Hot Off the Grill
Come and enjoy the flavour of the season as our festivals put a spotlight on grilled foods from around the globe. Whether you prefer your grill from the Deep South or the Far East, a whole summer’s worth of food demonstrations is waiting for you!

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 Park lawn, or pack your cooler with your favorite feast! Live entertainment will vary each week.

HarbourKIDS
Sundays, 3 p.m. (locations vary)
A hot summer series devoted to young people and families, HarbourKIDS presents a hot lineup of artists and activities that will move, shake-up and entertain.

Dancing on the Pier
Thursdays, June 23 to Sept. 1 (Various locations on the waterfront)
Explore culturally hot dance trends and movements from across the 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!

World Café
Open weekends, July 1 to Oct.10 (Lakeside Terrace Tent)
World Café offers a variety of international cuisine prepared by a rotating selection of popular Toronto restaurants and caterers. Come check out our new location and patio seating area!

International Marketplace
Open weekends, May 28 to Oct. 2
Shop for delightful gifts and treasures from around the globe!

Canoe Rides on the Natrel® Pond
Daily, May to October ($4 per 15 minutes)
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.


ABOUT HOT SPOT SUMMER 2011
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?

ABOUT HARBOURFRONT CENTRE
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 harbourfrontcentre.com.

ABOUT TORONTO PORT AUTHORITY
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 torontoport.com.

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For more media information contact:
Rosie Shaw
416-973-4381
rshaw@harbourfrontcentre.com


General media email: summerfestivalsmedia@harbourfrontcentre.com
For high-resolution images and additional media resources: harbourfrontcentre.com/summermedia/
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