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January 8, 2003
Performer Backgrounders for Winterfest at Nathan Phillips Square
  
Celebrate Toronto at Winterfest February 7, 
8 & 9
54·40
54·40 has been turning out top ten hits for more than two decades, making them
deeply ingrained in the fabric of the Canadian music industry. Their latest CD
Radio Love Songs: The Singles Collection journeys throughout their vast career.
54·40 continues to play energetic live shows to sold-out audiences and remain
leaders on the Canadian tour circuit. 54·40 is currently in the studio
recording a new record. http://www.5440.com

7th Generation Image Makers
7th Generation Image Makers are a group of young Aboriginal artists who
regularly beautify the Greater Toronto Area by creating both indoor and outdoor
Aboriginal murals and artwork. The mural themes vary according to site location
but are centred around Aboriginal culture, teachings and history.
http://www.nativechild.org/7thgen.html

B-Girlz
From stilettos to skates, the campy glitz and glitter of hilarious drag queen
trio the B-Girlz offers a unique blend of comedy and theatre to enliven any
audience. Their show incorporates live singing with a large dash of campy
medley. Stars of the stage and screen, the B-Girlz (Barbie-Q, Conchita and Hard
Kora) have performed across North America. http://www.b-girlz.com

Emilie-Claire Barlow
Juno Award-nominated Emilie-Claire Barlow has received rave reviews from
critics and fans for her frisky scat singing and her ability to handle complex
jazz vocals with ease. There's no question that Barlow is one of the hottest
young jazz vocalists in Canada. Her most recent CD, Tribute, features guest
performances by Canadian jazz greats Guido Basso and the late Moe Kaufmann.
http://www.thebarlowgroup.com

Bodega
Known for their majestically fragile pop songs, Bodega has drawn comparisons to
the Beatles and the Beach Boys. The band recorded their most recent recording,
Without a Plan, in New York State with acclaimed producer Dave Fridmann
(Flaming Lips and Mercury Rev). The result is a disc that is truly loved by
critics and fans.

Chet Valiant Combo
Performing one of Toronto's best combinations of swing, jump and jazz, the Chet
Valiant Combo continuously receive rave reviews across the country for their
highly skilled musicians and witty, danceable tunes.

Crush
Winner of two East Coast Music Awards in 2002, Halifax band Crush draw from a
variety of diverse musical influences and backgrounds to shape their
distinctive modern-rock sound. Crush have become critical darlings of the East
Coast music industry for their tours, singles and recordings, including their
most recent effort, Here. Crush has supported The Jayhawks, Blue Rodeo and
Nelly Furtado. http://www.crush.ca

Do Jump
Using hilarious wit and extreme physical prowess Portland, Oregon?s Do Jump
leads audiences into a world where mischievous comedy, music, dance, theatre
and acrobatics astonish and, apparently, gravity does not rule. The troupe,
which was formed in 1977, uses everyday objects as props in a one-of-a-kind,
awe-inspiring spectacle full of offbeat gracefulness. http://www.dojump.org

The Foggy Hogtown Boys
Toronto's traditional bluegrass band The Foggy Hogtown Boys were recently named
Most Promising New Band at the 2002 Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards. The
poetic themes at the heart of their repertoire are unmatched in their unabashed
portrayals of bittersweet passions and universal human experiences.
http://www.foggyhogtownboys.com

David Gale
Culinary enthusiast David Gale brings the kitchen comedy of his savvy WTN
docu-comedy-cooking series Loving Spoonfuls to the Toronto Winterfest. His
saucy blend of great recipes, history and culture includes a fiesty grandma and
unpredictable conversation. Gale is also a recognizable Canadian actor,
director, writer and choreographer. http://www.lovingspoonfuls.com

The Hawaiian Pacific Magic
Clad in colourful traditional dress The Hawaiian Pacific Magic dance ensemble
twirls and sways performing traditional dances and songs from the islands. The
group was formed in 1982 with five dancers and has grown to over 200 members
that perform internationally. The group?s repertoire represents the people of
the South Pacific.

Jeff Healey?s Jazz Wizards
Although best known as a Canadian guitar icon, Jeff Healey has successfully
crossed over to traditional jazz with his 7-piece Jazz Wizards band. Healey's
diverse musical talents are showcased, as he plays guitar, trumpet, trombone
and sings from a repertoire of jazz traditions of the early 20th century. Jeff
Healey?s Jazz Wizards have been receiving the warmest of reactions wherever
they have played. http://www.livetourartists.com/jeff_healey

IceCulture Inc.
See Mel Lastman Square Backgrounders

Taborah Johnson
Taborah Johnson received her break in a production of Hair. That role led to
performing with Rick James as part of the Stone City band, appearing on five
albums and touring from 1979 to 1982. In addition to her vocal talents, Johnson
is an actress with guest appearances on TV shows such as Cagney and Lacey and
For Coloured Girls to her credit. Captivating, witty and with a voice like rich
velvet, Johnson is known as one of Canada?s finest musical performers.

Ken Kostick
Winnipeg native, Ken Kostick has become one of Canada's most popular food
personalities. Best known as host of What's For Dinner?, he is also a
best-selling cookbook author and Reader?s Digest columnist. His new daily
series, Ken Kostick and Company (Food Network Canada), focuses on a different,
delectable culinary theme every day.
http://www.foodtv.ca/tv/hosts/hostdetails/host_24182.asp

Leejahn
Smoothly mixing the musical genres of dancehall reggae, hip-hop, funk and
soulful ballads, Toronto's Leejahn are internationally recognized as one of the
top reggae bands performing today. The group was formed in 1989 by brothers
Andy and Mike Lee and has since been nominated for both Juno and Canadian
Reggae Music Awards, and has played sold-out shows at some of North America?s
premiere reggae establishments. http://www.leejahn.com

Loco Zydeco
Formed by multi-instrumentalist and composer ?Sameday? Ray Walsh, Loco Zydeco
has been presenting the rich history of Zydeco music to Canadian audiences
through their memorable live performances. The group has quickly earned a
reputation leading to a contribution to the soundtrack of a documentary on a
film made about Toronto?s legendary Junction neighbourhood. Loco Zydeco are
currently recording their debut CD.

Men in Tights
Men in Tights are an audience participation show where goofy characters perform
unique on-the-spot improv. Pegging their shows as ?streetmosphere,? their
characters meander through the crowds and interact with passers-by in various
different ways. The troupe has also performed hilarious, scripted versions of
classical plays. http://www.angelfire.com/mn2/menintights/mainpage.html

Mexico Amigo
Mexico Amigo provides an exciting and vivid view of Mexican folklore and
culture, featuring authentic costumes and instruments. Their extensive
repertoire has won them audiences around the Americas and led to being voted
the Best Mariachi Band in Toronto Life Magazine.

Graph Nobel
With a unique style that defies typical labels, up-and-coming Toronto singer
Graph Nobel smoothly swings from soulful rhymes and hip-hop to straight-up pop
and rock. Nobel and writing partner ?Doc? Martin McKinney (Esthero) are putting
the finishing touches on her debut CD. http://www.blackcorners.com

OSADIA
Direct from Barcelona, Spain OSADIA invites volunteers to take a seat in their
barber chairs and become walking works of art. Whose Hair Dares? is an
innovative and bold showcase of hairsculptures where the audiences literally
becomes characters in the show. OSADIA, making their Toronto debut, have
mesmerized audiences in Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Scotland and
Australia. http://www.osadiaonline.com

Viktor Petrenko
Olympic, World and European Gold Medallist Viktor Petrenko is known for his
beautiful artistry and superior technical skills making him one of the most
popular and well-known international skaters. As an amateur and now as a
professional, Victor is hailed for his versatility as a performer. Whether he
is performing to the classics, romantic love songs or modern rock, his programs
always blend explosive power and deep emotion.
http://cmmskating.com/petrenko.shtml

Les Productions Haut-Vol
Taking childish bedtime antics to extremes, Montreal's Les Productions Haut-Vol
delivers an astonishing acrobatic performance complete with artists catapulted
40 feet in the air, hilarious theatrics and fantastic flips, stunts and jumps!
The company, which was formed in 1995, presents full-scale trampoline shows
complete with storylines and costumes.
http://pages.infinit.net/hautvol/hv_p2.html

Raoul and the Big Time
Raoul and the Big Time offer up unbridled enthusiasm and tough musical
sensibility to create a distinct blues sound that continues to make a
significant mark on the Canadian blues scene. It?s got all the right
ingredients ? craft, enthusiasm, and a lean, musical style. The group has won
numerous awards and received praise for their debut recording Big Time Blues.
http://www.raoulbhaneja.com

Tammy Raybould
Being nominated for the Best New Solo Artist award at the Canadian Radio Music
Awards along side Nelly Furtado, Sarah Harmer and Molly Johnson speaks volumes
of the talent of singer songwriter Tammy Raybould. She performed as part of
Lilith Fair and has a song featured on Dawson?s Creek. Her comforting voice
also produced a single dedicated to the victims of the U.S. attacks, Forever
and a Day. http://www.tammyraybould.com

Ron Davis Trio
The Ron Davis Trio blends piano, bass and drums with fabulous vocals for one of
the best jazz acts in the country. Their fresh approach smoothly moves from
hard swing to lyrical balladry, always with crowd-pleasing effects. Davis?
intelligent and thought-provoking performances have won the trio both critical
and audiences acclaim.

Emanuel Sandhu
Canadian national champion Emanuel Sandhu continuously thrills audiences with
his fluid movements and dynamic routines. Sandhu has a background in dance and
studied at the National Ballet of Canada which has given him a unique approach
to musical interpretations on the ice.
His graceful ability to land triples and quads has earned him a well-deserved
title as one of the world's best.
http://www.skatecanada.ca/english/cdnse/athletes/a_sandhu.html

Joe Sealy
Hailing from Montreal, Joe Sealy is an enormously talented jazz pianist who has
enjoyed success around the globe. Sealy is highly regarded for his Africville
Suite, a tribute to Canada?s oldest black community. Sealy has played with
artists such as Sammy Davis Jr., Joe Williams, Milt Jackson, Blood Sweat and
Tears, and appeared three times on the Canadian comedy series SCTV. The Joe
Sealy Quartet has performed internationally including countries such as Norway
and Denmark. http://www.missenlink.com/artists/joesealy/joesealy.pdf

Sarah Slean
Singer-songwriter Sarah Slean's sweet mix of playful cabaret tunes bridges an
eccentric assortment of musical genres from jazzy folk to playful pop and
sultry torch songs. This young pianist weaves a tapestry of tinkling ivories,
indelible melodies and dazzling musicianship. Her current CD Night Bugs was
produced by Toronto musician Hawksley Workman. http://www.sarahslean.com

Mark Bird Stafford
Performing an authentic blues sound, Mark Bird Stafford has become one of
Toronto's most respected harmonica players and blues vocalists. His dynamic
stage presence that has been experienced by audiences worldwide. Stafford is
currently recording the follow-up to his hugely successful the birdman CD.
http://www.markbirdstafford.com

Melissa Stylianou
As one of Canada's fastest rising jazz vocalists, Melissa Stylianou has
commanded loyal local and international audiences with her sultry vocals,
startling range and sassy expressive technique. Stylianou quickly discovered a
love for jazz while getting her start in the theatre. She has since studied
with vocal great Carol Welsman. Her latest CD, bachelorette*, has received
critical acclaim. http://www.melissastylianou.com/main.htm

Ember Swift
The unique and unpredictable style of singer-songwriter Ember Swift blends
brilliant jazz vocals with punk, folk and blues instrumental arrangements. The
Toronto resident has carved a unique niche for herself as one of Canada's truly
substantial artists. Among other recent honours, Swift was voted Toronto's
vocalist of 2001 by the readers of NOW Magazine. Her most recent release is
Stilt Walking. http://www.emberswift.com

Swing de Paris
Top-level Toronto jazz musicians Swing de Paris perform romantic and lyrical
ballads and rhythmically dynamic up-tempo numbers in the musical style of
Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. From jazz standards to Latin rumbas,
tango to bossa nova their repertoire gets audiences on their feet.

The Vic Lawrence Seven
Audiences can dance down memory lane and recapture the spirited sounds of the
big band era with the The Vic Lawrence Seven. Playing the very best in swing,
Dixieland, Latin and waltzes for dancing and listening, the group offers fresh
arrangements that give standards from the swing era new feeling and energy.

Vinnick Sheppard Harte (VSH)
Evolving out of separate noteable solo careers, Vinnick Sheppard Harte (VSH)
are enjoying their success of the songwriting union. The group offers up warm
vocals rich with emotion and blended with an energetic fusion of pop, blues,
rock and folk. Suzie Vinnick, Kim Sheppard and Elana Harte portray their
electric energy and collective sense of humour on their debut disc And They All
Rolled Over. http://www.vshmusic.com

Wave
Niagara Falls soulful singing-songwriting duo Wave have released a number of
indelible pop hits jam-packed with tight harmonies and punched-up guitar riffs.
With three top 40 hits, a certified gold album and two top 5 videos under their
belt they're on their way to superstardom. Their latest release, State of Mind,
captures the spirit of Wave?s energetic live performance.
http://www.officialwave.com

Carol Welsman
Voted Vocalist of the Year at the 2002 National Jazz Awards in Toronto,
internationally acclaimed singer and pianist Carol Welsman dazzles with an
expressive vocal style and a dynamic stage presence, which has captivated
audiences around the world. She has sold close to 50,000 CDs in Canada alone.
Her latest CD is Hold Me (BMG). http://www.carolwelsman.com

Media Contacts:
Amber Authier
Event Supervisor, Marketing
Toronto Special Events
416-395-7318
aauthie@toronto.ca

Kimberly Bain
Event Supervisor, Marketing
Toronto Special Events
416-395-7411
kbain@toronto.ca


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