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Coming this Sunday: the Festival on Bloor

June 8th, 2012 · No Comments


The Festival on Bloor takes place this Sunday between Bathurst and Spadina. Come on out enjoy the music, food, and atmosphere. Courtesy Bloor-Annex BIA.

By Victoria Prouse

June 10 marks the kickoff of summer in the Annex. Making a strong case for the Annex as Toronto’s friendliest neighbourhood, the Bloor Annex Business Improvement Area and the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre are co-hosting the Annex Festival on Bloor—a lively street party to which the entire city is invited.

From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Bloor Street West between Bathurst and Spadina will be closed to vehicular traffic. “This is Bloor Street—a busy street—and to see it transformed is amazing,” says Maxine Bailey, festival organizer. “It’s going to be so animated.”

Bailey anticipates 15,000 to 20,000 people will attend this festival, now in its 16th year. The diverse array of activities, events, and performances planned indicates this party will be great entertainment for everyone.

The Tranzac Main Stage (292 Brunswick Ave.) will serve as the centre of the action. Michael Booth from Tranzac will ensure the energy levels remain high through his role as host of an afternoon of musical enjoyment. University of Toronto’s CIUT Radio will be broadcasting on site the entire afternoon.

Artists will perform a variety of genres and styles, infusing the festival with a multicultural flavour. Confirmed acts include the Randolph Academy Show Choir, Makossa-style Central African music by Fojeba, traditional Cuban music by Los Caballeros Del Son, klezmer entertainment by Dia and the Kishkes, violin folk by Jaron Freeman-Fox and the Opposite of Everything, Son Jarocho Mexican music by Café Con Pan, and singer-songwriter Calamity Royale.

Energy and excitement will by no means be limited to the Tranzac Stage, but will permeate throughout the entire street. A parade, led by multi-instrumentalist Dave Clark and idiosyncratic jazz collective GUH, will kick off the festivities. Visitors will be entertained all afternoon by more than 15 unique performances—acts to be featured in the upcoming Toronto Fringe Film Festival. Notable groups include Paul Watson Productions and the Kokus Dance Company.

A medley of over 70 specialty arts, crafts, and street vendors will enhance the existing array of patios, cafes, and boutiques along Bloor that are set to welcome guests to the area. The cultural adventure continues with the many activities planned to take place along Bloor Street. There will be booths offering henna art, shiatsu demonstrations, a Tai-Kwan Do workshop, life-sized chess game, along with representatives from the Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, CIBC, and Pepsi. Street buskers will also be interspersed throughout this interactive milieu.

Recognized as one of Toronto’s most popular festivals, the Festival on Bloor is exceptional in its offerings of diverse activities and entertainment suitable for all ages. The Children’s Village will surely be a highlight for young attendees. This year, the Children’s Village will feature a plethora of activities—including a blow-up castle, sports, and a face-painting station—that will undoubtedly satisfy the interests of all kids for the entire afternoon.

Bailey identifies this aspect–the liveliness and unbridled energy of the children—as her favourite part of the festival. “Seeing the kids with their faces painted, the Children’s area, it’s the animation of the site,” says Bailey.

Do not miss this great multi-cultural event celebrating the diversity and talent in the Annex and Toronto.

Tags: Annex · General