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HarbourKIDS: Monster
A FUN & FREE weekend for kids ages five to 12
Oct. 8-10, 2011

TORONTO, ON (Sept. 13, 2011) – Harbourfront Centre, along with its lead summer partner, the Toronto Port Authority, presents HarbourKIDS: Monster, a FREE three-day festival creatively investigating the scary, funny and exciting potential of monsters. Families are invited to visit Toronto’s downtown waterfront to explore ideas about “monster” through a wide range of performances and activities.

HarbourKIDS this October is all about the monstrous monstrosity of monsters. Visitors can meet and chase the monster from Mammalian Diving Reflex's Fresh Ground new works commission Monster Makers, join Helen Yung’s participatory puppetry-meets-new-media storytelling experience, or help create and star in a monster movie with artists Cathy Gordon and Ulysses Castellanos. Teen band sensation Volume returns to HarbourKIDS with their own brand of pop music, Monster’s Lair offers the chance to explore a monster’s environment and you can play with your food just like a monster with Garden Jane. Monster’s Storytime features tales of the beasties of the world’s different cultures, and there are no shortage of opportunities to create your own monsters, with Chomp Monster and LEGO®. At HarbourKIDS: Monster, monsters become manageable and our ideas about them can be explored in a fun, safe environment.

HarbourKIDS: Monster’s free weekend activities are a wonderful lead-in to the special production of Monster Makers, which runs from Thursday Oct. 13 through Sunday Oct. 16. This production, created particularly for children ages five to 10 and their families, is performed on Thursday, Friday and Saturday Oct. 13, 14 and 15 at 7 p.m. with matinees at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday Oct. 15 and 16. Tickets are limited and cost $10 for kids and $15 for adults. For more information and to purchase tickets, please call 416-973-4000 or email This is the premiere of this new work created by experimental theatre company Mammalian Diving Reflex, part of Harbourfront Centre’s Fresh Ground new works commissioning programme.

HarbourKIDS is Harbourfront Centre’s free family programme designed for kids from five to 12 years old, with three free weekend festivals each year. Stay tuned for HarbourKIDS: SK8, the annual family festival all about skating and urban culture, which will be held over the February Family Day long weekend.

Between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving, 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. Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?

For complete event details and full schedule, 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.


Daily at 1 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Meet and chase the monster from Mammalian Diving Reflex's upcoming performance, Monster Makers. The Monster Run will see the eponymous character lead kids and grownups on a whirlwind tour of Harbourfront Centre, featuring clowning, misbehaving and general monster madness.

Monster Makers is a charmingly inventive new participatory work for children and adults about the perils of success and the freedom of failure. The Sad Scientist just can’t get his monster to be monstrous. He needs help from the real experts: the kids. For more information and to purchase tickets for this innovative performance, which runs Oct. 13-16, please call 416-973-4000 or email

Daily, 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 3 p.m. (Studio Theatre)
Gulliver is an oversized papier-mâché puppet with lively video-animation eyes who interacts with people of all ages. Co-creator Helen Yung manipulates Gulliver’s movements with her feet and types the words that are transformed into his voice. The result is an incredible creation that moves, blinks, talks and sings.

Based on the titular character from Gulliver’s Travels, this larger-than-life creature invites kids and parents to sing, dance, tell jokes, and co-create a story with him, exploring our ideas of monsters. After the show, the audience is invited to a behind-the-scenes look at Gulliver’s inner workings – because monsters aren’t so scary when you find out what makes them tick.

Gulliver was commissioned by the artist-run centre Oboro and Festival Accès Asie (Montreal) and created by interdisciplinary artist Helen Yung and illustrator/animator Alex Kurina.


Daily at 12 p.m. & 2:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Move over, Bieber! Back off, Backstreet Boys! VOLUME is the next teen singing sensation to sweep the nation. This weekend these future rock stars are going to dig deep and unleash their inner monsters. The pre-teen rock idols of Volume are going to blow your mind with their energetic covers of head-thrashing, guitar smashing classics. In addition to performances around the GTA, the band performed at 2010`s HarbourKIDS: Harvest festival, and have become a HarbourKIDS favourite.


Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Brigantine Room)
Movie Monster allows visitors to star in their own monster movie – as the monster! Children and adults work together while preparing their very own monster movie, both behind the scenes and in front of the camera. Groups of all sizes will collaborate to make scary sets and monster costumes before enacting a short scene for the camera.

Artists Cathy Gordon and Ulysses Castellanos will guide participants through the movie-making process, addressing the question of who and what makes a monster by playing around with different movie genres. Participants can take part in a variety of activities, from costume and set design to getting their name and headshot in the credits.


Daily, 12 p.m. & 3 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
Chomp Make-a-Monster Workshops help kids stitch up their very own monstrous creation from felt, fluff and buttons. Following a guided, step-by-step process, little monsters can explore their creativity. All supplies and tools are provided.

NOTE: Capacity for these two-hour workshops, best suited for ages nine and up (younger kids are welcome, but should be assisted by a parent), is limited. Pre-registration, via email to, is required.

Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Marilyn Brewer Community Space)
We’re building a monster – out of LEGO®! Visitors can add individual pieces to the monster or participate by building their own structure and adding it on.

Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (West Arcade)
Meet monsters OD and DO and learn about the province’s new recycling program, Orange Drop. Be shocked by what happens when you don’t Make the Drop as you play wild and wooly sorting games on our touch-screen TVs. You can also make your own monstrous creations using Orange Drop magnets and markers on our magnetic whiteboard.

Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (West Arcade)
Unleash the monster! Design and build your own monster head using biodegradable boxes.


Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (International Marketplace Tents)
The Monster’s Lair is a circuit of activities designed to explore and celebrate monsters, from Creepy Crawlers Express’ real live ‘monster’ reptiles and amphibians, to games, crafts and more.

Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Ann Tindal Park)
A variety of games for groups of all sizes sure to build up a thirst for a free milk beverage sample from the Natrel® milk stand.

Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
The belly of this beast is a cozy, calm environment full of soft fabrics and comfy cushions designed especially for the tiniest of monsters and their grownups.

Daily, 1 p.m. & 3:30 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
A discussion about the fear of failure led by Dr. John Caffery, the lead character from Mammalian Diving Reflex's upcoming participatory performance for families, Monster Makers. The interactive and intimate discussion looks into what it means to fail. Workshop participants help the Monster Makers team create the show, which will be performed Oct. 13-16.

Saturday & Sunday, 2-2:30 p.m., 3-3:30 p.m., 4-4:30 p.m. (Miss Lou’s Room)
Every culture has monster stories: Japanese children fear the ugly green Kappa and the Jinshin-uwo, a thousand-metre-long eel. The Kraken haunts the Scandinavian seas, and the Rakshasa is an ogre who lives in a palace in India. These stories and more will be told in Miss Lou’s Room all weekend long.

Daily, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (Natrel® Pond)
Visitors can escape the chaos and enjoy a quiet canoe ride on the Natrel® Pond – while keeping an eye out for the Loch Natrel® Monster. $4 per person, 15-minute ride.


Daily, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. (International Marketplace Tents)
Monsters love to play with their food. Stop by Garden Jane's tent where playing with your food is not just allowed, it's encouraged! Mash and smash root veggies, like potatoes and squash, from nearby farms. Our plates are edible, so you can eat your plate, too – just like a real monster!

Daily, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
The World Café offers global cuisine to soothe the savage appetite.

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

HarbourKIDS is Harbourfront Centre's family programme, which presents contemporary arts and culture from a kid's point of view, making it accessible for all ages. HarbourKIDS guests participate in activities that explore big ideas through the lens of arts and culture. These big ideas challenge their notions, validate and illuminate their values and ask some questions of kids that aim to ignite imagination, creativity and thought. All HarbourKIDS programming is FREE.

Sign up for our HarbourKIDS eNewsletter and be the first to know about all the activities for kids and families at Harbourfront Centre!

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. Between Victoria Day and Thanksgiving, 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.

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

Jon Campbell
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