There is no doubt that Canada is a northern country and that our winters here in Toronto can sometimes be a little harsh. But that’s no reason to hold anyone back from getting out there and enjoying the city to the fullest.
To ease the winter blues, the City of Toronto has developed a series of special events dedicated to bringing the city to life in the middle of winter. The WinterCity Festival is a city-wide celebration of Toronto’s culinary offerings (the popular Winterlicious restaurant promotion), a wide variety of free entertainment events and a showcase of Toronto’s vibrant arts scene, featuring live music, dance, theatre, spectacle shows, rink-side concerts and even aerial acrobatic performances. Throw in a number of child-friendly events, and WinterCity has something for everyone in the family.
I had a chance to talk to Grant Ramsey from the City of Toronto who is one of the key people behind WinterCity and he is providing a much more detailed overview of all the special events, artistic and culinary treats on offer.
1. Please give us an overview of Toronto’s WinterCity Festival. When did it come into being? When and where is it held?
This year will be the fourth WinterCity held. Prior to the name change, it was called WinterFest, which took place on one weekend. Since expanding the festival, it now runs for two-weeks and is held primarily at Nathan Phillips Square from, Jan. 27 to Feb. 9
2. Please tell us more about the “Wild on Winter Series”.
The Wild on Winter Series (WOW!) combines some of the best performances in Toronto. Two large outdoor spectacle shows, “Walk the Plank” and “Il Corso”, which take place on Saturday and Sundays of both weekends, feature some of the best pyrotechnic, special effects and sound displays in North America. Other WOW! Series performers include, stellar Canadian talent presenting the best in dance and live music all at Nathan Phillips Square.
3. Please tell us more about the “Warm-up Series”? Where does it take place, what events does it include?
The Warm up series offers great discounted events at some of Toronto’s hottest destinations. For those who just can’t brave the cold, The Warm Up Series offer excellent interactive entertainment at The Toronto Eaton Centre and other venues around the city.
Toronto Eaton Centre Schedule:
– Spin Cycle
Monday, January 30: 12:30 & 5:30 pm
The international vaudevillian duo of Greg Tarlin and Kristi Heath combine their talents as award-winning circus performers, Second City comedy veterans and skilled writers to engage, amaze and entertain with Toronto skills that include juggling, unicycling, stilt dancing and more.
– The Silk Road Acrobats
Three Man Acrobats & Hula Hoop Act
Tuesday, January 31: 12:30 & 5:30 pm
This performance combines the grace, delicacy and poise of the Chinese acrobatic tradition with the power and athleticism of Russian acrobatics. Three professional acrobats perform multiple towers, falls and strength poses along with an up-beat performance using a multiple hoop apparatus.
– The Silk Road Acrobats
Seven Man Acrobats & The Female Contortion Duo
Wednesday, February 1: 12:30 & 5:30 pm
Professional acrobats perform an amazing group demonstration of strength, coordination, group dynamic and impeccable timing. While balancing delicate vases on their hands and feet, the acrobatic female duo perform graceful contortions and remarkable poses, creating an effect that is truly enchanting.
– High Strung Aerial Acrobats “Dy-no-mite”
Thursday, February 2 & Saturday, February 4, 12:30 & 5:30 pm
A two-woman high energy aerial show with a sassy disco flair. Performed to hits from the 70s, like Disco Inferno, Ring My Bell and Macho Man, the show features aerial straps, a swinging ladder and trapeze. Throw in some audience participation, acrobatics and a kick-ball change or two, and you have a spectacle like no other.
– High Strung Aerial Acrobats “Impressed”
Friday, February 3 & Sunday, February 5:
12:30 & 5:30 pm
Witness aerial dance artistry, superior and surprising manipulations, and skills that seem to defy gravity. Wonder and marvel as these two breathtaking airborne lovelies perform startling acrobatic feats.
Events & Shows hosted by some of Toronto’s top attractions