The 2012 Cultura Festival
Mel Lastman Square becomes a World in the Square for Six Friday NightsToronto, ON June 22, 2012: Presented by John Filion, in partnership withNorth York Arts, an initiative of Toronto Arts Foundation, this year’s CulturaFestival will feature music ranging from Quebecoise Folk, Soca, Calypso, SouthAsian, Banjo Jazz, Blues, Flamenco, Chinese and Persian traditional performances.
"This event shows that culture is alive andwell north of the 401. Cultural travelers from across the city will want to geton the subway and head north because there is really nothing quite like theCultura Festival anywhere else in Toronto." said John Filion, Founder ofthe Cultura Festival.
On July 6, David Rudderopens the 2012 Cultura Festival with the sounds of Calypso. Rudder’s unprecedented rise to fame in 1986has made him the subject of music critics around the world. From New York to London to Tokyo, where the Japanesehave released a CD of Rudder’s greatest hits complete with lyrics translatedinto Japanese, Rudder has been described as modern calypso’s most innovativesongwriter.
On July 13, Autorickshaw’smusic will ignite the square. Autorickshaw’s music lies on the cultural cutting edge, as contemporaryjazz and funk easily rub shoulders with the classical and popular music of India. Formedin 2003, Autorickshaw has become one of the most intriguing acts on the worldmusic and jazz landscapes, garnering 2004 and 2007 Juna Award nominations forWorld Music Album of the Year, winning a Canadian Independent Music Award in2005 and a John Lennon Songwriting Competition Grand Prize in World Music in2008.
On July 20, Le Vent DuNord, one of Quebec’s favourite folk bandswill show audiences why they are now one of the most-loved Quebec folk bands in the world. They have received several prestigiousawards, including a Juno Award. Thegroup’s current line-up consists of singers / multi-instrumentalists NicolasBoulerice, Simon Beaudry, Olivier Demers, and Réjean Brunet. Some of theirsongs come from traditional folk repertoire, while others are originalcompositions. Le Vend du Nord know how to deliver music that will move anycrowd – to their feet and in their hearts!
On July 27, Jayme Stoneperforms on the mainstage. With musicinspired by folk traditions from around the world, his latest album, Room of Wonders, explores music from Norway, Sweden,Bulgaria, Brazil, Italyand North America. The repertoire includes amovement from Bachʼs French Suite, a Moorish sword-fighting dance and Stoneʼslush, edgy originals. He is joined byKevin Turcotte (trumpet), Joe Phillips (bass) and Nick Fraser (drums). His Juno Award-winning albums, most notablyAfrica to Appalachia, both defy and honor thebanjoʼs long role in the worldʼs music, turning historical connections intocompelling music.
August 3 , Silk Road(Qiu Xia He, Pipa & Andre Thibault, Flamenco Guitar) performs. Silk Road Music consists of two groups headedup by Qiu Xia Heand Andre Thibault.Founded in Vancouver in 1991, the ensemblepioneered the kind of Chinese-Western musical fusions that one now hears inacts ranging from The Sparrow Quartet to Yo Yo Ma’s Silk Road project. It has blended Chinese folk and classical music withCeltic, Latin, Arabic, Aboriginal, jazz, and blues music. It developed two exciting educationalprograms to bring world music to school children, and in 2001, it created agroundbreaking recording and performance project that paired Chinese andEuropean-Canadian vocalists for bilingual duets of Chinese folk songs. This dynamic group has earned a Junonomination, two West Coast Music Awards, two Canadian Folk Music Awardnominations, and countless enthusiastic reviews.
On the final Friday on August 10, Sarv Ensemble,returns to the festival for an encore performance. Drawing inspiration from diverse classicaland folk traditions across Iran,they share this music through concerts, workshops, and outreach and communityevents. Sarv Ensemble presents music both in traditional contexts as well as incollaboration with artists from different traditions and disciplines.“Toronto Arts Foundationbelieves that the arts should be accessed and enjoyed in every part of thecity. We are thrilled to be partneringwith Cultura, through North York Arts, as it is already an enormouslysuccessful festival, and one that is sure to grow each year.” said ClaireHopkinson, Executive Director, Toronto Arts Foundation.
Cultura Festival 2012 willrun on the following Friday nights in July and August with Drew Gonsalveskicking off the first night at 7:00 pm on the side stage followed by DavidRudder performing on the mainstage from 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm. All performances thereafter are scheduledfrom 7:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
July 6 David Rudder / DrewGonsalves
July 13 Autorickshaw / Matra Project
July 20 Le Vent Du Nord /Joanna Moon
July 27 Jayme Stone / SuzieVinnick
August 3 Silk Road (Qui Xia He) / Yongli Xue
August 10 Sarv Ensemble /Sina Salimi
The Cultura Festivalgratefully acknowledges the generous support of its sponsors and partners:Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Zip Car, Toronto Centre for theArts, Canterbury Place, Now Magazine, Toronto Public Library, Gibson House,Global Café, Hotel Novotel, Entripy, Small World Music, Reel Canada, DispatchTalent, Random Acts of Dance, Finding Rhythm Drumming and Percussion, LittleMonsters and Cheshire Unicorn Productions.
The Cultura Festival is anannual six week celebration of culture in North York. Culturacelebrates the diversity of Torontoand the GTA by showcasing unique artistic talents, musicians, dancers, buskers,family-friendly drum circles and international food vendors. Each festivalevening closes with a featured film, displayed on a large screen. The festivalalso serves to benefit the local community, with funds from the proceeds ofbusker performances and a portion of vending sales being raised to supportlocally-based charities.
Cultura began in 2010 asthe brainchild of John Filion, who sought to showcase the usability of public spaces(specifically Mel Lastman Square)outside of the downtown core, while simultaneously promoting the arts in anopen air and publicly accessible venue. Since this time, attendance has grownfrom 12,000 to close to 20,000 visitors in 2011.
Now entering its thirdyear, the Cultura Festival continues to serve as a highly anticipated event inthe city, providing a showcase of the arts in North York.
For more information aboutadditional programming including the film schedule, please visit www.culturafestival.ca
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