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June 18, 2002
Celebrate Toronto's Diversity at Yonge and Bloor
  
TORONTO, ONTARIO - On July 6 and 7, 2002, the Yonge and Bloor intersection transforms into Celebrate Toronto Street Festival's World Within a City site presented by SuperPages. With one stage featuring traditional world music and dance, and another dedicated to hip hop, reggae and R&B, the festival's Bloor Site is a celebration of the diversity that is the heart and soul of this City.

This main intersection on the longest street in the world plays host to a fusion of traditional art forms from around the globe and the contemporary music and culture of Toronto's youth. The SuperPages Global Grooves Stage takes you on a trip around the world with Toronto based reggae band, Small Axe, African drumming and dance group Sankofa, and the Somali pop sound of Shego. Spotlighting hot young urban artists, the Urban Soul Stage ignites with Juno award-winning reggae artist, Blessed, the fast paced lyrical rhymes of G-Stokes, the smooth silky voice of Wade O. Brown, and the captivating soul of Graph Nobel. Rounding out the weekend, the Street Moves urban dance showcase, the fancy footwork of Craz-E-Crew's BMX tricks, a Slam Jam basketball show, 385 square dancers in a simultaneous performance and a behind the scenes look at Hollywood North with fun demonstrations.

On Saturday night, as part of the Celebrate Toronto Street Festival's Club Yonge presented by Molson Canadian, festival goers can catch a glimpse of the Canadian hip-hop scene on the Urban Soul Stage. With hip hop smarts & edgy rock attitude, Graph Noble joins Toronto's own Choclair to rock the mike with their heavy hip hop beats and rhymes. The Festival also adds a Latin flavour to the evening with Celebracion Latina on the SuperPages Global Grooves Stage featuring the vintage salsa sound of Con Caché and the hot salsa vocals and percussion of Johan y La Bestial.

The Celebrate Toronto Street Festival presented by Shoppers Drug Mart transforms five intersections along Toronto's famous Yonge Street - the longest street in the world - into five fabulous festival sites featuring 500,000 square feet of free entertainment, 12 stages, 1250 performers and more than 750 things to see and do!

The Festival's Opening Ceremonies takes place at Yonge and Eglinton on Friday, July 5, 8 - 11 p.m. The festival continues at all five sites along Yonge Street at Dundas, Bloor, St. Clair, Eglinton and Lawrence on Saturday, July 6, 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. and Sunday, July 7, 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. (with the exception of the Lawrence site which opens daily at 10 a.m.) The TTC Family Day Pass, usually only available on Sundays, will be offered on both Saturday, July 6 and Sunday, July 7 during the Festival.

Admission to the festival is free so everyone can get their feet on Yonge Street and Celebrate Toronto.

World Within A City @ Yonge & Bloor Programming Backgrounder

Music
Over the entire weekend, the main intersection of Yonge and Bloor becomes a world within a city as the SuperPages Global Grooves Stage is dedicated to traditional music from around the globe.

  • A free Saturday night concert, part of Club Yonge presented by Molson Canadian with the Latin rhythms of Con Caché and Johan y La Bestial and one of Toronto's hottest Latin DJs, DJ Billy Bryans.

  • The infectious Caribbean calypso rhythms and tight harmonies of Moses Revolution;

  • Mixing the style of kabebey and Sharah with their own brand of funk and rap, Shego create their own version of Somali pop;

  • With over three decades on the Calypso scene and direct from Guyana, the Yoruba Singers repertoire includes soca, jazz, calypso and Caribbean folk songs;

  • The uplifting sounds of roots reggae with Toronto based Small Axe;

  • The 'King of ska' Jamaican-born singer/songwriter Adrian Miller;

  • Bomba explores the rhythms and melodies of Latin America from Cuban son to Brazilian samba to Afro-Peruvian lando with a modern edge;

  • Spirit Wind's original worldbeat sound woven with First Nations traditions;

  • Sankofa Drum and Dance Ensemble cultivate African culture through music and movement;

  • Jeannie Niokos blends traditional Greek folk rhythms with classical jazz;

  • Michael Garrick delivers soulful rhythms true to the roots of Reggae music; and

  • Energetic and infectious 15-piece merengue band, La Banda Bella.

    Added to this main city intersection is the Urban Soul Stage featuring the contemporary music and culture of Toronto's youth.

  • A free Saturday night concert, part of Club Yonge presented by Molson Canadian keeps it real with the award-winning hip-hop beats of Choclair and rising R&B star, Graph Nobel;

  • 2002 Juno Award winner for Best Reggae, Toronto-based Blessed, one of the hottest rising stars on the reggae scene;

  • Soul hitting hip hop with potent lyrics and fresh beats, Motion brings her T.Dot flavour to the stage;

  • Butta Babees smooth vocals, mad beats and freestyling skills all the way from Montreal;

  • Detriot native Wade O. Brown's silky smooth voice reflects a deep gospel influence loaded with Motown energy;

  • Hip-hop newcomer G-Stokes will 'rock da block' with his electric sound and 'funk opera' appeal;

  • A new force in the urban music scene, brother duo TRD are one of Toronto's hottest new R&B groups;

  • Skitz combines hip hop beats with a rock edge creating his own distinct urban flavour;

  • A veteran of Toronto's hip hop scene, Carlito explodes with tight lyrics and a pulsating Latin sound with special guest vocalist Michelle 'Diva Latina' Malcolm;

  • R&B and soul from multi-talented actress and singer, Jewelle Blackman;

  • Mykal's unique mixture of hip hop, soul and classical Tamil riffs;

  • Raw hip hop sound of Juno award winning Ghetto Concept;

  • Former Base is Base member, Mista Cronks is back with his funky hip hop beats;

  • Home grown sounds of smooth R&B duo, Tef N' Don;

  • Back-up singer for Reggae star Beres Hammond, Sonia Collymore strikes out on her own with her jazzed up reggae vibe; and

  • The uplifting gospel sounds of Cameron Fray and the Sounds of Triumph.

    Fun Things to See and Do
  • Percussion Chaos
    Drumming is the key to this combination of beats from the African Draspora, the Caribbean and Brazil. Samba Squad brings the sounds of Rio de Janeiro to Yonge Street with their infectious beats and rhythms. Add to that a dash of island soul with the Caribbean Folk Performers traditional African and Caribbean dance movements to the beat of the drum.

  • Bollywood Toronto
    The Toronto-based Shimak Davar Institute for the Performing Arts, India's biggest Bollywood Dance School, combines fashion, dance and live music to bring the flavour of classic and contemporary Indian films to the stage.

  • Street Moves
    A showcase of urban dance moves from breakdancing to hip-hop to step featuring the smooth moves of all-girl group shebag, the HoneyKats, Fem-Nomena and 1-Unit, Breakdancers of Toronto and the Grassroots Step Team.

  • Cloverleafs & Maple Leafs square dancers
    Over 385 gay square dancers hit the streets in simultaneous dance performance as part of the Fun Badge Tour.

  • Shoppers Drug Mart Craz-E-Crew
    One of the largest extreme sports thrill shows in the world, this international touring stunt show is sure to impress. Reaching heights of 18 feet above the ground, the Craz-E-Crew stunt team showcase the most difficult and daring stunts on BMX bikes.

  • Shoppers Drug Mart Slam Jam
    In wild show, trampoline acrobatics meet extreme basketball as players take to the court to show their incredible stunts and tricks.

    Plus
    Along with all the amazing attractions, festival-goers can learn the tricks of the film biz trade at Hollywood North, try out the SuperPages Rock Climbing Wall, play street hockey with the Toronto Maple Leafs and learn to slam dunk with the Toronto Raptors. Shoppers Drug Mart brings some fun into the festival with their sampling stations and to protect audience from the heat, a Hydration and Sunscreen station.

    For more information call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or check out http://www.city.toronto.on.c a/special_events.

    Media Contacts:
    Aretha Phillip
    Event Supervisor, Marketing
    Toronto Special Events
    416-395-7381
    aphilli@city.toronto.on.ca

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


    Media Contact
    see Media Contacts above

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