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January 21, 2002
Mel Lastman Square Offers Cool Fun for the Kids at Toronto Winterfest
  
Toronto Special Events -- In keeping with tradition, Toronto Winterfest,
Ontario's second largest winter festival, has created the ultimate family
entertainment destination at its North Pole location at Mel Lastman Square.

On February 9 and 10, Toronto Winterfest presented by Shoppers Drug Mart puts
the family fun back in to winter at Mel Lastman Square with a weekend bursting
with fantastic attractions, fun parades, face painting, make-and-take crafts
and some of North America's top children's performers. This year, kids can
embark on an interactive theatrical journey in the Mad Science and Kennedy
Space Center Visitor Complex's Mad Mission to Mars 2025, laugh at the
hysterical antics of the Daredevil Opera, join Thomas the Tank Engine and
Friends for their first Canadian appearance plus see a musical revue featuring
best-selling author Richard Scarry's beloved storybook characters. And there's
so much more!

Nathan Phillips Square continues to be part of the Toronto Winterfest and has
expanded its programming this year to include entertainment and activities to
accommodate the tastes of the festival's fast growing adult audience. For the
first time, Nathan Phillips Square will play host to the festival's Friday
night opening ceremonies and the popular ice show.

Toronto Winterfest is an incredible three-day, indoor-outdoor festival for
those who prefer to celebrate, rather than hibernate, during the coolest season
of the year! The festival fun begins at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, February 8 at
Nathan Phillips Square with the

Opening Ceremonies and continues throughout the weekend at both festival sites
from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 9 and 10:00 a.m. to 6:00
p.m. on Sunday, February 10 with a free pancake breakfast hosted by Enbridge
Consumers Gas to kick start each morning.

Ride the Rocket to both our festival sites! For Nathan Phillips Square located
at 100 Queen Street West, take the TTC Queen Street streetcar (501), or the
Yonge Line subway (exit Queen station) or the University Line (exit Osgoode
station). For Mel Lastman Square, take the Yonge Line subway (exit North York
Centre). Getting there couldn't be easier!

For more information on this or other Toronto Special Events, call Access
Toronto at 416-338-0338 or visit www.city.toronto.on.ca/spec
ial_events


Mel Lastman Square Backgrounder

Cool Things to See and Do
This festival site provides a family destination jam packed with exciting
children's performers from across North America--an experience that it sure to
delight audiences both young and old.

 Thomas the Tank Engine & Friends presented by Scotiabank
Thomas the Tank Engine heads this way for the Canadian premiere of the musical
revue "The All Aboard Tour", where he's joined by his friend James and Sir
Topham Hatt, who keeps everything running on time! Based on the Railway series
of books written by Rev. W. Awdry in 1945, Thomas was brought to the big screen
in 1984 to the delight of children around the world. The show can currently be
seen on Shining Time Station on PBS.

 Mad Science and Kennedy Space Centre's Visitor Complex?s Mad Mission to Mars
2025 presented by Mercedes-Benz
Kids can visit Mars without ever leaving Earth in this interactive theatrical
journey courtesy of those wacky Mad Scientists, Professor Pruvitt, and his cool
colleague Kelvin. Plus Astronaut Richard Searfoss will be on hand to talk
about his three space missions. Transforming the audience into "astronaut
trainees", they use live action, hands-on fun, stereoscopic 3-D computer
animation and spectacular theatrical effects to take guests on a unique and
educational voyage through the cosmos.

 Dare Devil Opera's Circus Inferno
Hailed by The New York Times as "One slam-bang show (literally)", this wordless
entertainment draws inspiration from animation, the circus and mythology
offering unique and thrilling clown performances that utilize sound effects,
music, slapstick, and outrageous props to create a hilarious form of live
action cartoon.

 Richard Scarry's Busytown Express presented by SuperPages
Richard Scarry brings his best selling storybook to life in this musical revue
based on the popular Busy World of Richard Scarry storybook series, a favourite
of children over the past 30 years. Children can meet their beloved characters
Huckle Cat, Hilda Hippo and Lowly Worm, sing and dance in a musical revue.

 Global Quilt: A Tapestry of Stories and Dance
Throughout the weekend, interactive songs and storytelling combined with dance
and drumbeats, weave a tapestry of cultural experience from around the world.
Kids can learn about the First Nations people with storyteller Shannon
Thunderbird. Caribbean dub poet Michael St. George and renowned choreographer
Patrick Parsons take us on an oral and visual journey of the Diaspora while
Emerita Emerencia recounts African-Caribbean "Stories My Grandmother Told Me."
Greenfire Celtic Dance Theatre and storyteller Nonie Crete share Irish tales
along with instruments, songs, jigs and reels.

 Preschool Clubhouse
The wee ones can enjoy this cool Winterfest Clubhouse featuring a colourful
stage and activities just for them. The Toronto Public Library engages the
children with classic children's stories. Charlie and Mimmo and Lucy from 64
Zoo Lane drop by for a sing-a-long and Juno award-winning Martha Johnson
thrills the audiences with her children's songs. To round out the experience,
there will be a Little Tikes Playground, special clubhouse handstamps, a
preschool drop in activity and more!

In addition to the incredible shows, kids can also enjoy the giant
pay-as-you-play midway with rides from Gravitron to Dizzy Dragon, check out the
giant igloo, take a fun pony or family hay wagon trails, and enjoy the sights
and sound of the travelling street
theatre performers. Those who like athletics can hone their skills with
football drills, the Maple Leaf table hockey and soccer with the Toronto Lynx.

ArtWorks
This year, amazing make and take arts projects have been designed for the whole
family.

 The Shoppers Drug Mart KidZone is a colourful world made exclusively for
children. Activities include stained glass making, the Life Bear Bouncer,
balloon hats and Pop-a-Shot.

 SuperPages Giant Igloo promotes literacy with tons of storybook fun and
family activities.

 The Enbridge Consumers Gas Children?s Fun Tent provides a fun-filled area
with face painting, tattoos, colouring and prize giveaways just for the little
ones.

 Aspiring young artists can participate in City Parent's on-site colouring
contest.

 Other creative activities include button making, Festival face painting, plus
signature Winterfest crafts, Via Rail Canada's Decorate Your Sunglasses, global
headbands at the Imagination Garden, Origami, the DiscoverAbility Mural and
more.

On the Ice

What would a winter festival be without the ice? This year, Mel Lastman Square
plays host to three events that invite the audience to take to the rink and
strut their stuff.

 Join surprise visitors from Hanna Barbara land as they take to the ice for
this fun Family Skating Party with the live music of Pop Machine. Families can
warm up with free hot chocolate and lively buskers.

 Mike and Christine, hosts of 97.3 EZ Rock Morning Show invite you to boogie
down to the 70s sounds of Sister Disco at their 97.3 EZ Rock Disco Skate on
Saturday afternoon.

 For those that enjoy pop music, skate to live tributes from pop performance
icons Shania Twain, Ricky Martin and Britney Spears at Pop Goes the Ice
presented by The Eaton Centre all weekend.

 Throughout the weekend, local skate clubs also take to the ice to showcase
their talents in Skate! @ Winterfest.

Music

Memorial Hall lights up with Sound Waves presented by Shoppers Drug Mart--a
salute to the Big Band, Jazz and Swing music era. Festival goers can visit the
tea room, and sit back to enjoy music from the 40s and 50s.

 Personality pianist, Floyd Andrew plays the most loved classics on the ivory
keys
 The pure sounds of the big band era with Swing Ward
 The Essentials provide souped up a Cappella with incredible harmonies and
range
 A big swing finale by 18-piece Toronto MegaCity Swing Band sure to get
everyone dancing.
 For those that like show tunes, Musical Memories provide just that with
favourites from West Side Story, South Pacific
 Sky's the Limit features an all female barbershop quartet
 Jazz standards by the nine piece York Jazz Ensemble
 Toronto Sounds, an 18-piece big band perform their extensive repertoire of
big band classics.


Media Contact
Access Toronto
416-338-0338

 

 

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