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December 1, 2004
WinterCity spectacles WOW audiences at Nathan Phillips Square
  
Toronto Special Events - In its inaugural year, WinterCity established itself
as a world class event by producing seemingly impossible outdoor theatrical
performances during Toronto's unpredictable winter. Running from January 28 to
February 10, Toronto's second annual urban celebration of winter takes the 2005
festivities at Nathan Phillips Square one step further. The WinterCity
presented by American Express Foundation weekends present a unique combination
of Canadian theatrical talents and international pyrotechnic troupes at the
Wild on Winter (WOW!) series.

Groupe F is globally known as the experts behind the closing ceremonies of the
1992 Barcelona Olympics, the Millennium Eve fireworks at the Eiffel Tower and
the recent Athens Olympic Games opening and closing ceremonies. The troupe
produces fairy-like visions and shows distinguished by the brilliant blending
of improbable hues, thumping musical rhythms, dramatic street theatre and
unsurpassed creative design. Recognized as the world's hottest pyrotechnics
ensemble, France's Groupe F has created a unique winter composition of sound,
flame and explosives exclusively for Toronto's curved City Hall towers. An
international collaboration and world premiere, The Alchemist presented by
Scotiabank blends the enchantment of European artistry with the undeniable
talents of Canadian performers and technicians. Groupe F makes their Toronto
debut at WinterCity in Nathan Phillips Square on January 28 and 29. Shows begin
at 7 p.m. on both days.

Dutch street theatre troupe, Close Act, creates a mythical dream world where
huge birds and voluminous hot air balloons soar above the crowds, stilt-walkers
fight with fire and beautifully costumed characters tell their mysterious story
in a fluid fantasy language. This exceptional group of dancers, actors,
musicians, fire performers, acrobats and stilt-walkers will carry you away on a
journey to a uniquely magical place called Malaya. With Toronto City Hall as a
structural backdrop, big steel mobile art objects roll through Nathan Phillips
Square and futuristic silver creatures explore the surroundings with their
light binoculars. Fusing light, sound and motion, torch flames flicker in the
night and hot blazes of fire shoot into the dark sky to the haunting sounds of
cello and a graceful singer floating far above the ground. Close Act make their
North American premiere in Nathan Phillips Square on February 4 through 6.
Shows start at 7 p.m. each night.

The WOW! series also includes an extensive line up of Canadian talent. Street
level shows enliven Nathan Phillips Square throughout the WinterCity weekends.
Dubbed Winter Street Theatre, these performances by one-of-a-kind North
American artists expertly set the stage for the festival.

WinterCity Street Theatre performers include:

The Dynamic Fire Show - January 28 - 30 - International street artist, Keith
the Leaf takes fire juggling to a whole new level, integrating traditional fire
staff, rope and torch performances with fire tennis rackets, flaming dog
leashes and his own world-renowned invention, the "Flaming Slinky of Death"!

The Cowguys - January 28 - January 30 - "A comic explosion waiting to happen".
This Ottawa based performance duo blend circus, western and magic skills with
dexterity, wit, danger and stupidity.

Sea & Vivid Divas - January 28 - 30 and February 4 - 6 - Performing throughout
the weekend.
Creative, colourful sea-like creatures create a wandering art installation.

The Funny Waiter - January 29 and 30 - With HBO's The Larry Sanders Show and
ABC's Goodtime Café to his credit, comedic entertainer John Park delivers a
show unlike anything audiences have ever seen including flying marshmallows,
the amazing table cloth pull trick, and the hilarious "chicken or beef" routine.

Loose Moose Improv - January 29 and 30 - These Second City mainstage cast
members use their boundless wit and extensive Canadian comedic experience to
deliver a hilarious outdoor comedy show with improv games, storytelling and
loads of audience participation.

Aythan - February 4 - 6 - This award-winning Montreal street performer dishes
up Nouveau Vaudeville, which includes a gourmet fusion of circus, theatre and
comedy with crystal ball juggling, Olympic club swinging and fire painting.

Aidan Orange - February 4 - 6 - From freaky yo-yo and contortion tricks to
balancing large objects on his face, the unique skills of this outrageously
talented Toronto artist have shocked and amazed audiences on MuchMusic, the
David Letterman Show and at street theatre festivals around the world.

The Invisible Master - February 5 and 6 - This one-man musical marionette show
uses realistic custom-made puppets to entertain and amaze spectators. With the
timeless style of theatre and a hip, contemporary repertoire, the performance
is a showcase of quick-witted humour and unusual skill.

Kanata Native Dance Theatre - February 5 and 6 - Featuring magnificent
head-dresses, intricately beaded clothing and the pulsing beat of drums, Kanata
Dance Theatre offers Toronto audiences a rare opportunity to experience a broad
range of songs and dances from the Iroquois, Ojibway, Blackfoot, Cree and
Lakota including the thrilling hoop dance.

To complete the WinterCity experience, Nathan Phillips Square patrons can strap
on their skates and glide to the sweet sounds of some of the city's most
reputable musical artists such as Madrigaia (January 29, 1:30 and 6 p.m.),
Downstroke (February 4, 6, 8 and 9:15 p.m.) and Syreeta Neal (February 5, 1:30
and 3 p.m.). For more information on all these artists and a complete schedule
of WinterCity events, the public can visit www.toronto.ca/special_events.

The second annual WinterCity presented by American Express Foundation is a
14-day city-wide celebration of Toronto's culture, creativity, cuisine and
incomparable diversity of spirit. Running from January 28 - February 10, 2005,
this festival dares audiences to forget the weather and join the party in the
world's coolest city. With stellar free indoor and outdoor programming, the
hugely popular prix fixe restaurant promotion, plus tons of winter events and
discounts at Toronto's attractions, WinterCity provides the perfect opportunity
for tourists and locals to sample the city's vibrant arts scene.

For more information on WinterCity and other events produced by Toronto Special
Events, call Access Toronto at 416-338-0338 or visit www.toronto.ca/special_events.

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



 

 

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