Renowned for its world-class festival line-up, Harbourfront Centre kicks off return to in-person programming with diverse, multidisciplinary offerings
TORONTO, ON – Harbourfront Centre is thrilled to unveil its electrifying 2022 winter season, bringing live performance and in-person arts and culture programming back to Toronto’s downtown waterfront beginning in January 2022. The festival lineup showcases a dynamic array of international and national programming including dance, theatre and music performances, talks and workshops, and public art installations from some of the world’s most illuminating artists and thought leaders.
“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, Chief Executive Officer. “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.”
The highly anticipated 2022 winter season features a dazzling array of international festival performances that will once again grace Harbourfront Centre’s intimate venues, including Harbourfront Centre Theatre and Fleck Dance Theatre. Most noteworthy is the launch of our new festival CoMotion, an international Deaf and disability arts festival from April 20 – May 1, 2022. Curated by renowned Canadian playwright, actor and disability arts advocate Alex Bulmer, CoMotion is the largest festival of its kind in Canada.
Additional season highlights include the return of audience favourites: Festival of Cool, which brings the globe’s Northern cultures to Toronto’s waterfront from January 19 – February 13, 2022; Toronto’s longest-running Black Futures Month festival, Kuumba, from February 1–28, 2022; Toronto’s premier contemporary dance series, Torque, from February 4 – May 23, 2022; and Toronto’s beloved international children’s festival, JUNIOR, from May 21–23, 2022.
Also new to this year’s festival programming is Nordic Bridges, a year-long initiative connecting the Nordic Region with Canada, from coast to coast to coast, through collaborations with artists, innovators and thinkers. The Canada-wide initiative will showcase contemporary Nordic arts and culture across various disciplines and at Harbourfront Centre, through Nordic Spotlight presentations woven throughout the season.
To ensure Harbourfront Centre’s rich and diverse programming is accessible to all, Harbourfront Centre is introducing a Pay What You Wish pricing model for 2022. Ticket buyers will be encouraged to select the ticket price they wish to pay for a particular performance or event with a suggested ticket price as a guideline. Those who choose to select a higher ticket price than the recommended price will be directly supporting the artistic programming and Harbourfront Centre’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. “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.”
Harbourfront Centre 2022 Highlight Events:
Built on shared values of creativity, innovation and sustainability, Nordic Bridges will connect the Nordic Region with Canada through collaborations between artists, innovators and thinkers.
Nordic Talks (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland)
Monthly, January–December 2022
Once a month, join us to explore a new forward-thinking topic discussed live on-site as part of our monthly programming. Each case addresses a unique aspect of our future place in this world, headlined by industry game-changers. Dates, times, locations and April
- January 19: The Future of the Original Idea: Artistic Innovation in 2022
- February 9: The Future of Black Youth on a Global Stage
- March 9: I QUIT! The Future of Happiness at Work
FESTIVAL OF COOL
January 19 – February 13, 2022
Annually, the festival brings our globe’s Northern cultures to our campus, getting to the warm heart of their existence while championing their success and framing what impacts them, including climate change, global policy and tourism. Additional installations will be announced at a later date.
Nordic Lights (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Québec)
Co-produced by Fjord Studio (Oslo, Norway)
January 20 – February 13, 2022
Join us on campus as we celebrate the opening of Nordic Bridges. Nordic Lights is a cross-campus public art installation featuring Nordic and Canadian artist light sculptures representing the bridge that connects our two realms. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
DJ Skate Nights
Saturday evenings at 8pm, starting January 22, 2022
We’ll bring the tunes. You bring your moves! Everybody’s favourite Saturday night is back with local and international DJs bringing the heat to a cold night! The full line-up will be announced at a later date.
Long Journey Home: Liv Aurora Jensen alias Liss Stender
Curated by Marlee Choo and Melanie Egan
January – March 20, 2022
Graphic designer, Liss Stender, presents a series of her bold designs showcasing her contemporary interpretation of the landscape, people and fauna of Greenland. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
Curated by Anders Jansson
January – April 10, 2022
Design Matters is a curatorial project presenting disruptive design-driven approaches that are already or may soon become an integral part of our everyday lives. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
February 1–28, 2022
Celebrate Kuumba: Toronto’s largest and longest-running Black Futures Month festival. Through music, dance, theatre, educational workshops and literary events, the festival aims to support and help strengthen Toronto’s Black community by connecting the future to its past.
A Black Girl In Love (With Herself): Let your breakdown be your breakthrough (Canada)
February 5–6, 2022 at 8pm
Trey Anthony, an award-winning writer, motivational speaker, and relationship/life coach, is back again with another night of Black Queen Comedy that will have you gasping and ts ts-ing in the aisles. For two nights only, Trey will cut it up and have uplifting and hilarious girl talk at a time when we need it most! That’s fashore!
Kuumba Comedy Night with Trixx & Friends (Canada, USA)
Trixx, Correy Bell and Mike Paramore
February 11–12, 2022 at 8pm
North America’s top comedians hit the stage for an evening of hilarious stand-up performances. Featuring Toronto’s finest, Trixx, Correy Bell (Chicago) and Mike Paramore (Cleveland).
Double Bill: Still…HERE…STAND + A Seat at the Table (Canada)
Kevin A. Ormsby and Esie Mensah
February 12, 2022 at 8pm
Kuumba presents a double bill. Kevin A. Ormsby’s crucial dance work Still…HERE…STAND has an essential message at its core: resilience exists in being Black. Later in the evening Esie Mensah’s A Seat at the Table is an ode to the complexities and realities of the Black experience through choreography. Explore these with an authentic seat at the table to listen and learn.
February 4 – May 23, 2022
This year’s international contemporary dance series offers dynamic performances and singular choreographic voices from some of the world’s most celebrated companies and artists. Presenting four Toronto premieres as part of the 2022 festival, Torque promises to challenge, surprise and entertain audiences through provocative and breathtaking live experiences.
Story, story, die. (Norway)
winter guests | Alan Lucien Øyen
February 4–5, 2022 at 7:30pm
Through contemporary words and movements, Story, story, die. looks at the interdependency between lies and love: the things we do to be liked and how we constantly rearrange everyday life into stories in an attempt to craft a more desirable narrative. 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 7:30pm
A contemporary work about damage and brokenness and the beauty that comes when life compensates for your loss and repairs the unevenness in new and sometimes wonderful ways.
Only You (Canada)
Anne Plamondon Productions
April 8–9, 2022 at 7:30pm
Only You is an exploration of everything that binds and separates us. In a quest towards understanding, acceptance and honesty, its two protagonists gradually remove the invisible veils between them to unmask the truth.
Sky Dancers (Kahnawake, Québec)
A’nó:wara Dance Theatre | Barbara Kaneratonni Diabo
May 20–21, 2022 at 7:30pm and May 21–23, 2022 at 2pm
This visually stunning performance explores the impacts of the Québec Bridge disaster of 1907, which killed 33 Mohawk ironworkers from the community of Kahnawake. Using both contemporary and traditional practices, the work will captivate audiences while deepening our understanding of Indigenous people’s history.
April 20 – May 1, 2022
CoMotion Festival celebrates new ideas and expressions by Deaf and disabled artists in a multidisciplinary program, including visual arts, music, performances, digital art, workshops and panel discussions. Register online to find out first about CoMotion presentations.
Non-Toxic (United Kingdom)
Jess Thom (Touretteshero)
April 20 and 22, 2022 at 7:30pm
British comedian and activist Jess Thom returns to the stage with a brand new stand-up show exploring language, privilege, pandemics and exorcisms. Jess has Tourette’s Syndrome, and her surreal vocal tics make her the world’s only one-woman double act.
One Night with Signmark (Finland)
April 29, 2022 at 8pm
Signmark, a Finnish Deaf rapper, spreads his message over strong beats where complex, low frequencies and bass play a crucial part in his performance. In his music and with his positive approach, Signmark seeks to change attitudes towards the Deaf community to recognize Deaf people as a linguistic minority with their own culture, community, history and heritage. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
Joe Jack et John
April 29, 2022 from 5–9pm and April 30 – May 1, 2022 from 12–8pm
Become a witness to an untold story, both magical and tragic. In this interactive VR experience, Violette welcomes you into her personal space. This immersive experience is an innovative hybrid between interactive theatre and virtual reality, offering a meaningful and intimate exchange with a neurodivergent performer while tackling themes of isolation and consent.
Dancing With The Universe (Canada)
REAson d’etre Dance Productions
April 23, 2022 at 8pm and April 24, 2022 at 2pm
Dancing With The Universe tells co-director Vivian Chong’s life story of losing her sight and re-discovering herself as a multidisciplinary artist and athlete. The show is an interdisciplinary journey of human emotions that shines a light on loss, grief and resilience.
May 21–23, 2022
Canada’s largest international children’s festival, JUNIOR is Harbourfront Centre’s multidisciplinary festival for children ages 4–14. At JUNIOR, the aim is to provide insight and alternative perspectives and facilitate conversations about big questions while leaving lots of room for joy and fun!
Kitt Johnson X-act
May 21–23, 2022 at 11am
Kitt Johnson X-act presents a magical performance for children and their adults: Spoiiiiiiiiing, crossing a world full of trash, music and magic. 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 1:30pm
This whimsical and intimate shadow-play work from Bodil Alling, actor and Teatret Gruppe 38 Artistic Director, renowned for her influence in the paradigm shift of Danish children’s theatre tells a story about how long the road home is when you run away in anger. 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 11:30am
Those Who Run in the Sky is a coming-of-age story from the National Theatre of Greenland. Pitu, a young shaman, finds himself lost in the world of spirits and has to use his powers to find his way back home to the world of the living, his family and his one true love. This performance is in close collaboration with Canadian and Greenlandic artists. This piece is performed in Kalaallisut/Greenlandic. English context will be provided. Nordic Spotlight, part of Nordic Bridges.
Harbourfront Centre’s health and safety protocols – in strict compliance with provincial health orders – can be viewed at: harbourfrontcentre.com/covid
About Harbourfront Centre
Harbourfront Centre is a leading international centre for contemporary arts, culture and ideas, and a registered, charitable not-for-profit cultural organization 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.
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