FESTIVAL OF COOL Returns to Harbourfront Centre for a Winter Celebration of Immersive Art, Music, Theatre and More

Harbourfront Centre
October 26, 2022

Toronto, ON – The fifth annual Festival of Cool, presented by Canada Goose, returns to Harbourfront Centre from December 8–18, 2022. Year after year, Harbourfront Centre is Toronto’s number one destination for outdoor fun and cultural activities. Festival of Cool will feature 10 days of exciting campus programming that focuses on theatre, visual art, music and community.

Festival of Cool is the spectacular finale to Harbourfront Centre’s year-long cultural initiative, Nordic Bridges. A national program led by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Bridges has connected hundreds of creators from Canada and the Nordic Region throughout 2022 in a year-long exchange of art, culture and ideas. Tickets and more information can be found at harbourfrontcentre.com.

“Nordic Bridges has helped to share Nordic and Canadian contemporary arts and culture programming across the country all year long. Festival of Cool is a brilliant way to celebrate the initiative’s final month right here at home, while additional partner events continue across Canada.” – Laura McLeod, Director, Cultural Engagement at Harbourfront Centre & Lead Producer, Nordic Bridges

This year’s Festival of Cool includes the one-night-only North American premiere of Jingyi Wang’s ground- breaking and interactive Post Capitalistic Auction, featuring the work of Ed Pien, Maria Qamar, KC Adams, Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth, and more. This is a live art auction reimagined: one that puts decision making power back into the artists’ hands, and allows bidders to use money, understanding, opportunity, and/or exchange as acceptable currencies.

Also on stage will be the Ontario premiere of Moby Dick, from award-winning French-Norwegian puppetry company Plexus Polaire, co-presented with Why Not Theatre. With ten performers, 50 puppets, video projections that blur the lines between truth and illusion, a submerged orchestra and a whale-sized whale, this adaptation of Moby Dick is a winter theatre season must-see.

Music lovers won’t want to miss the double bill of award-winning Nordic bands Tuuletar and VÍÍK. Fierce energy, beatbox rhythms and other-worldly harmonies: Tuuletar (Goddess of The Wind in Finnish mythology) takes Finnish music abroad with a novel approach. Scandinavian sextet VÍÍK, hailing from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, exists in a field between the hypnotic Scandinavian song tradition, progressive jazz and alternative rock. They were recently nominated as “Artist of the Year” and “Live Act of the Year” at the 2022 Danish Music Awards.

Additional Festival highlights include:

  • Art Spin’s outdoor, art-filled sauna, MobileSweatand the debut of SaunaObscura by Heidi Lunabba.
  • The Future of 2030 – A free Nordic Talk
  • An exhibit of worldwide reporting projects from the Nordic–Canadian Fellowship in Environmental Journalism.
  • Plus, additional visual art to explore on site including Fuglakvæðið (The Bird Ballad) by Faroese artist Edward Fuglø, Kjøt (Meat) by Faroese artist Heiðrik á Heygum, Eyes as Big as Plates from Norwegian-Finnish artist duo Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen and the Arctic/Amazon:Networks of Global Indigeneity exhibit at The Power Plant.


Moby Dick
December 13, 15 and 16 | 7:30pm | Tickets start at $20 | Age recommendation: 14+
Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W
A Plexus Polaire production co-presented by Harbourfront Centre and Why Not Theatre

Seven actors, 50 puppets, video projections, a drowned orchestra and a whale-sized whale equals a visually striking theatrical adaptation of Melville’s magnificent beast of a book from award-winning French-Norwegian puppetry company Plexus Polaire.

“My grandfather was a sailor. He had a naked woman tattooed on his upper arm, and I remember him as a smell of tar and tobacco. He came from an island on the west-coast of Norway, a tiny harbor filled with foreign ships and languages, fishermen, sailors and children waiting for fathers who never came home from the sea…I like how the sea somehow draws invisible lines between the different corners of the world, how it creates points of connection. How, facing this force of nature, we are all the same. And no one captures the battle between man and nature like Herman Melville in Moby Dick. An ancient white whale, a captain steering his ship into destruction and the inner storms of the human heart. MobyDickis the tale of a whaling expedition, but also the story of an obsession or an investigation into the unexplained mysteries of life. To quote Melville: ‘It is the image of the ungraspable phantom of life; and this is the key to it all.’” – Yngvild Aspeli (Director, Creator and Artistic Director, Plexus Polaire)

Post Capitalistic Auction
December 14 | 7:30pm | Free with Registration | Livestream Available
Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W

Post Capitalistic Auction (PCA) is a performative event, a real and alternative auction, an art project crossing over performance, contemporary art, academic research and social investigation.

The PCA audience is invited to bid for artworks in new ways, and actual transactions occur. The twist: bidders are invited to make offers not only with money; understanding, opportunity, and/or exchange are equally accepted currencies. The artists are present at the auction and will ultimately decide on the winning bid if they choose one at all. The format of the auction is also meant to encourage a diversity of bidders, and not only art lovers or auction goers. An advising panel offers different perspectives on the final decision. PCA is created by Jingyi Wang, a China-born, Norwegian-based artist. Zoë Foster is the guest curator for this edition.

Confirmed participating auction artists include Riitta Ikonen and Karoline Hjorth (Norway, Finland, USA); Ed Pien (Canada); Maria Qamar, also known as HATECOPY (Canada); and KC Adams (Canada).

The confirmed auction advisors are Julie Lomax (UK); Steven Loft (Canada); and Andy Keen (Canada).

Nordic Music Double Bill: Tuuletar and VÍÍK December 15 | Doors open at 7:30pm | $25 tickets Harbourfront Centre Theatre, 231 Queens Quay W

A high-energy double bill to chase away the winter blues.

Fierce energy, beatbox rhythms and other-worldly harmonies: Tuuletar (Goddess of The Wind in Finnish mythology) takes Finnish music abroad with a novel approach. The band’s virtuoso singers create a sonic landscape where beatbox rhythms meet global influences and Finnish poetry tradition. With freshly invigorating original music, Tuuletar’s heartfelt, tribal and captivating spirit enchants audiences globally with refreshing original music. Their debut album won a prestigious EMMA award (the Finnish equivalent to the Grammy Award) and in 2017, Tuuletar’s song Alku was featured on Game of Thrones.

The Scandinavian sextet VÍÍK, hailing from Norway, Sweden and Denmark, exists in a field between the hypnotic Scandinavian song tradition, progressive jazz and alternative rock. At the front of VÍÍK is Norwegian folk singer and composer Elisabeth Vik, who lures the audience into an enchanting universe of mysterious medieval ballads and fairy tales while reinventing the musical framework of Scandinavian folk music. They were recently nominated as “Artist of the Year” and “Live Act of the Year” at the 2022 Danish Music Awards.

Mobile Sweat
December 8–18 | Free
Harbourfront Centre

Winter like the Nordics! Art Spin is proud to present Mobile Sweat, a nomadic wood-fired mobile sauna and unique platform for contemporary art, featuring a program of contemporary sound and video art, as well as live performance to be experienced while you sweat. Mobile Sweat is free to all, but please bring your bathing suit and towel.

Also on site: Sauna Obscura, the tent edition, a newly commissioned project by Finnish artist Heidi Lunabba. Experience the combination of camera obscura and wood-fired sauna, where you sweat inside a camera with the surrounding environment projected onto the walls and the bodies of the sauna goers.

At its heart, Mobile Sweat will serve as a celebration of community building, public health, and social interaction, values that are at the very core of sweat bathing traditions around the world and which Art Spin team members had the pleasure of experiencing in a truly embodied manner during their recent travels to Norway and Finland to research more about Nordic sauna cultures.

This is Art Spin’s latest foray into exhibiting art in unique and alternative spaces; follow MobileSweatas it travels across the GTA and Southern Ontario as a part of Art Spin’s larger project Public Sweat coming in spring 2023.

Nordic Talks: The Future of 2030 December 8 | 7pm | Free with Registration
Harbourfront Centre, 245 Queens Quay W

Are we on track to transform the world in seven short years, and what does the future hold for 2030?

In 2015, at the start of a three-day Summit on Sustainable Development, an ambitious new global agenda to end poverty by 2030 and pursue a sustainable future was unanimously adopted by the 193 Member States of the United Nations. At the heart of this agenda are the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the 5Ps of the SDGs: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership.

View previous Nordic Talks, here.

Dispatches from The Nordic–Canadian Fellowship in Environmental Journalism
“Mother nature will provide our need but not our greed.” – Tutakwisnapšiƛ
December 8 to January 8, 2023 | Free
Harbourfront Centre – Exhibitions, 245 Queens Quay W

There has never been a more urgent time to document how climate change affects communities, culture and our planet. Recognizing the need to foster and encourage young voices, the year-long Nordic Bridges initiative included a fulsome journalism fellowship to encourage in-depth, collaborative and fact-based climate reporting. Emerging journalists (both Nordic and Canadian) conducted reporting trips in 2022, and their insightful research on climate stewardship, fast fashion, the future of forestry and more will be displayed at Festival of Cool and into the new year.

Ongoing, free visual art experiences at Harbourfront Centre related to Festival of Cool and Nordic Bridges:

Fuglakvæðið (The Bird Ballad) | Until January 8, 2023 | nordicbridges.ca/event/fuglakvaedid

Explore a selection of recent original paintings by the Faroese artist Edward Fuglø presented in a non- traditional gallery space: the 245 Queens Quay West warehouse.

Eyes as Big as Plates | Until January 8, 2023 | nordicbridges.ca/event/eyes-as-big-as-plates-hc Experience an ongoing photography series that began in 2011 to study personifications in nature and folkloric explanations of natural phenomena. A decade later, the series has evolved into a continual search for modern human belonging in nature, taking the Norwegian-Finnish artist duo Karoline Hjorth and Riitta Ikonen to sixteen countries on a quest to understand our relationship with our surroundings.

Kjøt (Meat) | November 25 until January 8, 2023

Displayed paintings by Faroese artist Heiðrik á Heygum depict different meat and fish that Faroese farmers raise or harvest, preserve and package, then sell online. The beliefs and practices surrounding meat as a food resource are centuries old and still exist today in the Faroe Islands. This series of new paintings as a subtle commentary: The subjects seem far removed from the land and sea from which they were harvested, but the connection between heritage and nature remains.

Arctic/Amazon: Networks of Global Indigeneity | The Power Plant (Toronto, ON) | Until January 1, 2023 nordicbridges.ca/event/arctic-amazon

Open and free to the public, Arctic/Amazonexplores the ways in which Indigenous contemporary artists take on issues of climate change, globalized Indigeneity and political contact zones in the Arctic and the Amazon regions during a time of crisis.

For more information about national Nordic Bridges programming, visit NordicBridges.ca or follow @NordicBridges and #NordicBridges on all platforms.

Enter to Win: Nordic Bridges with Inspired by Iceland North America is running a year-long contest offering trips for two to Iceland. The contest is open to residents across Canada, and contest details are available in English and French. Learn more here.

About Nordic Bridges | nordicbridges.ca

A year-long national initiative led by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, Nordic Bridges fosters cultural exchange between the Nordic Region and Canada and is supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers. Working with partners across Canada, Nordic Bridges supports the presentation of contemporary art, culture and ideas throughout 2022.

About Harbourfront Centre | harbourfrontcentre.com

Harbourfront Centre is a leading international centre for contemporary arts and culture operating a

10-acre campus on Toronto’s central waterfront. Harbourfront Centre provides year-round programming 52 weeks a year, seven days a week, supporting a wide range of artists and communities. We inspire audiences and visitors with a breadth of bold, ambitious and engaging experiences. We champion contemporary Canadian artists throughout their careers, presenting them alongside international artists, and fostering national and international artistic exchange between disciplines and cultures. We are a registered, charitable not-for-profit cultural organization.

About the Nordic Council of Ministers | norden.org

The Nordic Council of Ministers is the official body for inter-governmental co-operation in the Nordic Region, including Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. Their vision is to make the Nordic area the most sustainable and integrated region in the world by 2030. Joint Nordic Cultural Initiatives outside the Nordic region are initiated by the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture and intended to strengthen the interaction between the Nordic cultural sectors and the rest of the world, while also raising the profile of the Nordic culture sectors abroad and generating added value for the participants and artists.

About Canada Goose | canadagoose.com

Founded in 1957 in a small warehouse in Toronto, Canada, Canada Goose (NYSE:GOOS, TSX:GOOS) is a lifestyle brand and a leading manufacturer of performance luxury apparel. Every collection is informed by the rugged demands of the Arctic, ensuring a legacy of functionality is embedded in every product from parkas and rainwear to apparel and accessories. Canada Goose is inspired by relentless innovation and uncompromised craftsmanship, recognized as a leader for its Made in Canada commitment. In 2020, Canada Goose announced HUMANATURE, its purpose platform that unites its sustainability and values- based initiatives, reinforcing its commitment to keep the planet cold and the people on it warm. Canada Goose also owns Baffin, a Canadian designer and manufacturer of performance outdoor and industrial footwear. Visit www.canadagoose.com for more information.