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May 22, 2003
Toronto -- A City of Festivals
  
Toronto boasts a summer festival industry that includes performing arts and
cultural festivals, sporting events and lifestyle shows, as well as hundreds of
street fairs and community festivals in our diverse neighbourhoods. Toronto is
indeed Canada's City of Festivals.

Below are just a few highlights of Toronto's annual festival and event calendar:

-- Celebrating its 36th anniversary in 2003, Toronto International Carnival
(July 18 to August 4, 2003) is the largest Caribbean festival in North America
attracting an audience of more than 1 million, including hundreds of thousands
of American tourists. Highlights of the two-week celebration include the King
and Queen of the Bands Competition, a two-day Olympic Island Caribbean Arts
Festival and the spectacular Toronto International Carnival Parade along
Toronto's Lakeshore Boulevard.

-- Toronto's annual Pride Parade (June 29, 2002) is ranked alongside New York
and San Francisco as one of the three largest pride parades in North America
with an attendance of 850,000. The parade is part of Pride Week (June 23 to 29,
2003), a 7-day celebration of Toronto's gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual,
transgender, intersex and queer community featuring a street festival, seven
live-music stages, the Dyke March, a marketplace, community outreach fair and
dozens of other community events.

-- The Celebrate Toronto Street Festival presented by Shoppers Drug Mart
transforms five major intersections along the world's longest street, Yonge
Street, into a world-class, free, one-of-a-kind festival. Scheduled for July 4
to 6, 2003, the multi award-winning Celebrate Toronto Street Festival honours
the city's rich culture and diversity with spectacular performances by local,
national and international artists. The festival, which draws more than one
million revellers each year, is a great stop for locals and tourists alike to
toast this great city.

-- The Toronto International Film Festival (September 4 to 13, 2003) is one of
the most successful cinematic events in the world, "second only to Cannes in
terms of high-profile pics, stars and market activity." (Variety Magazine) The
festival acts as a catalyst for increased production and sale of Toronto film.

-- The 8th Annual Taste of the Danforth (August 8 to 10, 2003) is the largest
Greek festival in North America and the largest food festival in Canada,
featuring authentic cultural cuisine from more than 100 participating
restaurants.

-- 2003 marks Toronto's 99th annual Santa Claus Parade (November 16, 2003), the
largest and longest running event of its kind in Canada. The parade annually
launches the holiday season across the nation, broadcast on television from
coast to coast.

-- Toronto's Royal Agricultural Winter Fair (November 7 to 16, 2003) is the
largest indoor agricultural, horticultural and equestrian exhibition in the
world. The fair's agriculture show is Canada's showcase to the world,
attracting thousands of international visitors and buyers with a showcase of
the latest in Canadian livestock breeding and technology.

-- Founded in 1879, Toronto's Canadian National Exhibition (August 15 to
September 1, 2003) attracts more than 1.4 million visitors. The exhibition
culminates with the world-famous Canadian International Air Show (August 30 &
September 1, 2003), now in its 54th year.

-- Based on the European event model, Doors Open Toronto (May 24 & 25, 2002)
was the first event of its kind in North America, inviting the public to
explore Toronto's most historic and architecturally significant buildings.
Building on the successful of Toronto's event, Doors Open Ontario (April to
October 2003) was launched last year across the province.

-- Toronto hosts two major annual literary festivals. The 11-day International
Festival of Authors (October 22 to November 1, 2003) features readings by more
than 100 authors from countries around the globe -- no other literary festival
boasts such a staggering array of literary talent gathered together at one
time. Word on the Street (September 28, 2003), a free one-day literary street
fair, takes over Toronto's trendy Queen Street West with more than 500
attractions. Activities include author readings and book signings and thousands
of current and back-listed books and magazines for sale.

-- As a testament to the City's thriving jazz scene, Toronto plays host to not
one, but two major, annual international jazz festivals: Toronto Downtown Jazz
(June 20 to 29, 2003), and the Beaches International Jazz Festival (June 23 -
25, 2003).

-- Toronto's diverse ethnic communities offer an exceptional array of
year-round festivals and events. A small sample of these events includes Taste
of Little Italy street festival (June 13 & 14, 2003), Toronto International
Festival Caravan (June 21 to 29, 2003), Toronto International Dragon Boat Race
(June 21 & 22, 2002), CHIN International Picnic (June 29 to July 1, 2003); and
Harbourfront Centre's Rhythms of the World summer festivals (weekends, June 20
to September 1, 2003).

-- Molson Indy Toronto (July 11 - 13, 2003) is one of the most popular annual
spectator events in Canada and a premier race within the CART/FedEx
Championship World Series.


Media Contact
Amber Authier
Toronto Special Events
395-7318
aauthie@toronto.ca

Kimberly Bain
Toronto Special Events
416-395-7411
kbain@toronto.ca

 

 

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