8th Annual Celebrate Toronto Street Festival: World’s longest street to feature free entertainment covering the artistic spectrum|
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Toronto’s Yonge St., the world’s longest street, will once again be transformed into a curb to curb celebration of tastes, talent and all that is Toronto for the 8th annual Celebrate Toronto Street Festival, July 7 – 9, 2006.
Yonge St., where it intersects with Dundas St., St. Clair Ave., Eglinton Ave. and Lawrence Ave., will once again be converted into four distinct festival sites for free entertainment covering the artistic spectrum.
Each festival site provides a combination of musical entertainment, street theatre and visual arts ideal for the whole family. Each site also features uniquely-themed stages — Dundas site: Toronto Star Rhythms and Beats Stage, St. Clair site: the Scotiabank Big Band Stage and the Scotiabank Jazz Café, Eglinton site: the Midtown Mix Stage and Lawrence site: The McDonald’s® Main Stage and Discover the Arts Stage.
The celebration kicks off Friday, July 7 at Yonge-Dundas Square with Opening Ceremonies from 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. Performers include:
8 p.m. Pre-show wandering performances including “Accoules Sax” (tight funky beats and jumpy horn lines from this Marseilles-based mini-marching band); Dutch theatre group Close-Act’s new mobile act “Saurus” (strange oversized creatures that look like a sort of prehistoric animals generating atypical and flowing sounds) and from France’s Compagnie Colbok “Niki” (inspired by the sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle, these three big Mama's are curious, a little coquettish, sometimes provoking and sometimes lofty).
8:30 p.m. — Hamilton-based “modern rock troubadour” Tomi Swick (gifted singer/songwriter’s current single “A Night Like This” reached #3 on the Canadian charts).
9 p.m. — Vancouver-based R&B singer Rosette (Favourite Pop Artist at the 2006 Indie Music Awards)
9:15 p.m. — Jane Bunnett (Award-winning Canadian soprano saxophonist, flutist and bandleader).
9:40 p.m. — “Tricycle,” the world premiere of this large-scale roaming spectacle production from Toronto’s Circus Orange. Tricycle is a nomadic journey through public space by an ensemble of 16 Toronto-based performers. Includes a spectacular special effects finale.
Over the next two days over 500 artists from every corner of the world perform at the four distinct festival sites.
Musical highlights over the weekend for the Toronto Star Rhythms and Beats Stage at the Dundas site include:
- Kobo Town (soaring calypso meets heavy bass grooves of dub and reggae) Saturday at 6 p.m.
- Sisters of Sheynville (unique all-female fusion of high-energy, klezmer-infused 30s and 40s Yiddish swing) Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
- Eliana Cueves (a new voice on Canada’s world and jazz music scene) Sunday at 4 p.m.; Trinidad Bacchanal All-Stars (a collective of Toronto’s top Trinidadian and Caribbean musicians) Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
- Reggae Cowboys (reggae, flavored with Caribbean, old west, spaghetti western and, yes, even traditional reggae spices) Sunday at 7 p.m.
On Saturday night, July 8, at 8 p.m., the Toronto Star Rhythms and Beats Stage will feature: Marron Matizado Salsa Superband (high-energy whirlwind of salsa, jazz, funk and hip-hop), the return of Circus Orange’s “Tricycle” (large-scale roaming spectacle production) at 9:30 p.m. and Tumbao Inc. (one of Toronto’s newest and most innovative Latin orchestras) at 10:20 p.m.
Street theatre and circus arts performers at the Dundas site include:
The Silk Road Acrobats (award-winning acrobatic troupe); the North American premiere of the Ashton Brothers (four Dutch men with unnatural amounts of talent and ingenuity who will transform Yonge-Dundas Square into their playground); Accoules Sax (an eight-piece roving band from France, comprising of two drummers and six saxophonists); Roses (a Mandala project by Toronto visual and performance artist Chrysanne Stathaocs); and on the World of Dance Stage - Spirit of Toronto (high-energy dance masterpieces and innovative contemporary works choreographed by Van Arden Arts).
ST. CLAIR AVE. AT YONGE ST.
Musical highlights for Scotiabank Big Band Stage at the St. Clair site include:
- Babes in Jazzland (all-girl jazz band comprised of some of the Toronto’s top female musicians and singers) Saturday at 3 p.m.
- Toronto Operetta Theatre presents excerpts from “The Merry Widow” Saturday at 4:30 p.m.
- Emilie-Claire Barlow (Juno-nominee for Jazz Album of the Year) Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
On Saturday night, July 8, at 8 p.m., the Scotiabank Big Band Stage will feature An Evening with Jennifer Valentyne & Tyler Yarema (Breakfast Television’s Jennifer Valentyne and pianist-vocalist Tyler Yarema perform songs from the Great American Songbook) and The Fabulous Crooners (celebrating the superstar male vocalists of the past century including Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra) at 9:30 p.m.
Musical highlights for the Scotiabank Jazz Café the at the St. Clair site include:
- Serafin (a five-octave vocal range and powerful stage presence, Serafin is supporting his latest CD “2am at the Torch Café”) Saturday at 4 p.m.
- KellyLee Evans (2nd place finish in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Jazz Vocals Competition held at Kennedy Center in Washington supporting her debut CD, “Fight or Flight”) Saturday at 7 p.m.
- Laura Hubert Band (an eclectic repertoire of standards, blues and western swing) Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
- George Evans (one of the freshest voices on the Canadian jazz scene supporting his sixth solo CD “Bewitched”) Sunday at 7 p.m.
Also, at the St. Clair site, street performances include:
“When the Ballroom Meets the Buenos Aires Streets” (dance back in time to the 1800s with the Tango, Milonga and the Tango-waltz); The Monkey Toast Players (award–winning improvisation by David Shore, Carolyn Taylor and Lisa Merchant); the Toronto premiere of Lelavision (performers simultaneously animate kinetic musical sculptures/instruments through movement to create musical scores); and Suddenly Art with Erin Zimerman (see how the rhythm of the music, the step of the dance and the backdrop of Yonge Street inspire a full size mural of colour).
EGLINTON AVE. AT YONGE ST.
Musical highlights over the weekend at the Midtown Mix Stage include:
- The Toronto Blues Society Talent Search Finals (the culmination of a nation-wide quest to find the best up-and-coming blues talent now in its eleventh year) Saturday at 12 noon/Sunday at 2:30 p.m.
- Magneta Lane (the perfect balance of sinful rock and saintly melodies) Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
- Two Hours Traffic (from Charlottetown, PEI, edgy performances with killer melodies and meaningful, poetic lyrics) Sunday at 4 p.m.
- Matthew Barber & The Union Dues (sophisticated rock) Sunday at 5:30 p.m.
- The Meligrove Band (indie rock, melodic pop and moody orchestral arrangements, inter-connect with themes of love, life and the solar system) Sunday at 7 p.m..
On Saturday night, July 8, at 8 p.m., the Midtown Mix Stage will feature The Old Soul (an orchestral explosion of horns, drums, saxophones, vibraphones and accordions) and Shout Out Out Out Out (volatile dance music featuring two drummers, four bass players, two samplers, five synthesizers and one vocoder) at 9:30 p.m.
Street performers at the Eglinton site include:
The Canadian premiere of Cie Colbok’s “Niki” (street theatre on the move with the flirtations, frolics and curiousness of these ladies of generous measurements); the North American premiere of Close Act: “Saurus” (five metre high dinosaurs easily mistaken for the real thing); Fit One Competitions (an experience for everyone – featuring teams from Quebec, Ontario and the U.S, competing in Hip Hop, Double Dutch, Junior Freestyle Dance, Salsa, Quad Cheerleading and a “Dads over 35” group dance); and the Fruité Dance Idol Tour (popular video-based dance pad synchronized to music).
LAWRENCE AVE. AT YONGE ST.
At the Lawrence site, the McDonald’s® Main Stage will feature:
Little Bear’s Live Concert (see the imaginative adventures of a curious Little Bear and his friends Owl and Cat and let them take you on a spirited journey through song and dance) Saturday at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Sunday at 11:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
On Saturday night, July 8, at 8 p.m., the McDonald’s® Main Stage will feature a Kidz Dance Party with DJ Tony Sutherland and a special Movie Night featuring “Madagascar” presented by McDonald’s® at 9 p.m.
At the Lawrence site, on the Discover the Arts! Stage, performers include:
Sir Jerry (“Raffi meets Sgt. Pepper”) Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and the Canadian debut of Queen Nur: Sweet Potatoe Pie and such (a tasty treat of multi-cultural stories, songs and dance from African-American storyteller Karen “Queen Nur” El-Amin) Saturday and Sunday at 12 noon, 3:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Street performers and activities at the Lawrence site include:
The ABS Crew Dance Troupe presented by McDonald’s® (gravity-defying maneuvers to body contorting positions); The Pirates of the Street (a band of playful scallywags and sea-farin’ scoundrels offer adventure, merriment and hilarity for the whole family); and features the Ronald McDonald® Sports Zone (challenge yourself with our interactive sports games); and the debut of the Picnic Art Installation presented by Neilson Dairy Oh! (join in the colour creation as children become little Michaelangelos and paint various structures — affiliated with the Urban Beautification Initiative).
A full schedule with a complete list of all performers including bios is available in mid-June online at http://www.toronto.ca/special_events.
The Celebrate Toronto Street Festival also marks the return of the phenomenally successful restaurant promotion Summerlicious presented by American Express which will once again shine the spotlight on Toronto's hospitality industry. Summerlicious is back with prix fixe menus at 130 of Toronto's finest restaurants. The prix fixe menus are available at lunch and dinner at unbelievable price points. In past years Torontonians and tourists alike enthusiastically celebrated the diverse and innovative cuisine of Toronto with delicious menus available at restaurants city-wide. Summerlicious kicks off on July 7, to coincide with the Street Festival opening celebration, and runs until July 23.
Also, discover Toronto from July 7 – 23 with the Celebrate Toronto Coupon Program, offering discounts at 20 of Toronto’s most thrilling destinations. Visit http://www.toronto.ca/special_events for printable coupons or call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 for a list of locations where you can pick up a copy of the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival brochure.
Admission to the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival is FREE and getting there couldn’t be easier. All four festival sites are accessible via the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
Festival hours are:
- Friday, July 7: 8 p.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Yonge-Dundas Square only).
- Saturday, July 8: 12 noon – 11p.m. (Dundas, St. Clair, Eglinton sites); 10 a.m. – 10:30 p.m. (Lawrence site).
- Sunday, July 9: 12 noon – 8 p.m. (Dundas, St. Clair, Eglinton site); 10 a.m. – 8p.m. (Lawrence site).
For more information on the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival, the entertainment line-up and Summerlicious presented by American Express (including participating restaurants and menus) visit Toronto online at http://www.toronto.ca/special_events or the public can call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338.
Toronto Special Events