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THE SCOOP | Harbourfront Toronto Announces Dynamic Winter 2022 Season Of Arts Festivals

By Anya Wassenberg on December 2, 2021

CoMotion Festival, rapper Signmark (Photo courtesy of the artist)
CoMotion Festival, rapper Signmark (Photo courtesy of the artist)

The stages of Harbourfront Toronto will come back to life in January 2022 after the long pandemic with a string of festivals that showcase local, national, and international artists.

“January 2022 will be a special time as we reopen our performance venues and welcome back our audiences to Toronto’s downtown waterfront,” says Marah Braye, Harbourfront Chief Executive Officer in a media release. “We are very excited to launch new festivals bringing diverse artists and audiences together to inspire conversations and meaningful creative exchanges. This year, our multidisciplinary winter programming is designed to spark those human connections and expand our hearts and minds.”

Festival performances will take place in the Harbourfront Centre Theatre, Fleck Dance Theatre, and include the launch of the largest international Deaf and disability arts festival in Canada.

Festival details

NORDIC BRIDGES
January–December 2022
Nordic Bridges, a year-long initiative showcasing contemporary Nordic arts and culture, connecting the global Nordic Region with Canada through collaborations with artists and others. Nordic Spotlight presentations are woven into the programming throughout the season, along with monthly talks exploring crucial issues related to the future of arts.

FESTIVAL OF COOL
January 19 – February 13, 2022
The annual festival resumes, bringing global Northern cultures to Toronto, with a focus that includes vital issues like climate change, tourism, and other global policy matters.

Highlights:

  • Nordic Lights: January 20 – February 13, 2022, a cross-campus public art installation featuring Nordic and Canadian artist light sculptures. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
  • DJ Skate Nights: Saturday evenings at 8 p.m., starting January 22, 2022 with local and international Djs.
  • Exhibitions by graphic designer Liv Aurora Jensen alias Liss Stender (January – March 20, 2022); Design Matters, a curatorial project. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.

KUUMBA
February 1–28, 2022: Toronto’s largest and longest-running Black Futures Month festival, celebrated through music, dance, theatre, educational workshops and literary events.

Performances include:

  • Trey Anthony’s A Black Girl In Love (With Herself): Let your breakdown be your breakthrough (Canada) February 5–6, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • Kuumba Comedy Night with Trixx & Friends: February 11–12, 2022 at 8 p.m.
  • A dance Double Bill: Still…HERE…STAND + A Seat at the Table (Canada): Kevin A. Ormsby and Esie Mensah, February 12, 2022 at 8 p.m.
Festival of Cool, Pressure by Hans E Madsen (Photo: Stig Nygaard)
Festival of Cool, Pressure by Hans E Madsen (Photo: Stig Nygaard)

TORQUE
February 4 – May 23, 2022
An international contemporary dance series, including four Toronto premieres.

Performances include:

  • Story, story, die. (Norway) / winter guests | Alan Lucien Øyen, February 4–5, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
  • Chapter 3: Brutal Journey of the Heart (Israel) / L-E-V | Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar, March 3–5, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Only You (Canada) / Anne Plamondon Productions, April 8–9, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
  • Sky Dancers (Kahnawake, Québec) / A’nó:wara Dance Theatre | Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo, May 20–21, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. and May 21–23, 2022 at 2 p.m.

CoMOTION
April 20 – May 1, 2022
A multidisciplinary festival spotlighting innovation and expressions by Deaf and disabled artists, including visual arts, music, performances, digital art, workshops and panel discussions.

Performances include:

  • Non-Toxic (United Kingdom) / Jess Thom (Touretteshero), April 20 and 22, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. British comedian and activist Jess Thom returns to the stage with a brand new stand-up show.
  • One Night with Signmark (Finland) /Signmark, April 29, 2022 at 8 p.m. A Finnish Deaf rapper, spreads is message over strong beats where complex, low frequencies and bass play a crucial part in his performance. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
  • Violette (Canada) /Joe Jack et John, April 29, 2022 from 5–9 p.m. and April 30 – May 1, 2022 from 12–8 p.m. An immersive, interactive hybrid between theatre and virtual reality.
  • Dancing With The Universe (Canada) / REAson d’etre Dance Productions April 23, 2022 at 8 p.m. and April 24, 2022 at 2 p.m. Co-director Vivian Chong’s life story of losing her sight and re-discovering
    herself as a multidisciplinary artist and athlete.

JUNIOR
May 21–23, 2022
Canada’s largest international children’s festival, for children ages 4–14.

Performances include:

  • Spoiiiiiiiiing (Denmark) / Kitt Johnson X-act, May 21–23, 2022 at 11 a.m. (Ages 6+) Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
  • A Story of a House That Turned Into a Dot (Denmark) / Teatret Gruppe 38, May 21–22, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. (Ages 7+) Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
  • Those Who Run in the Sky (Greenland) / The National Theatre of Greenland (Nunatta Isiginnaartitsisarfia), May 21–23, 2022 at 11:30 a.m. (Ages 10+) Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.

Pay What You Wish

Harbourfront is adopting a Pay What You Wish policy for 2022.

  • Buyers will select the price they wish to pay;
  • There will be a suggested price as a guideline;
  • Any payment over the suggested price will directly support programming, and Harbourfront’s commitment to accessibility.

“We are incredibly proud of this long-awaited season, and premiering new international programming that promises to challenge, delight and inspire our audiences,” says Iris Nemani, Chief Programming Officer for Harbourfront. “By introducing our new Pay What You Wish ticket pricing, we are ensuring that our programs are financially accessible for everyone. It’s our way of acknowledging that this has been a challenging time for all and to welcome everyone back to live, innovative programming.”

Tickets for the 2022 festival lineup are now on sale here.

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