Ashkenaz Festival: A Celebration of Global Talent

Entertain your kids and feed their curious minds at the North America’s largest celebration of global Jewish music and culture. With a fun line-up of free family programming at Harbourfront Centre from Sunday, September 26 to Monday, September 3, it’s a great way for the whole family to spend Labour Day Weekend.

On Sunday, September 2 at 3 p.m. on the Redpath Stage, Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison (of the popular family entertainment trio Sharon, Lois and Bram) will perform much-loved classics including She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the MountainFive Little MonkeysOne Elephant and Skinnamarink, in addition to songs from their common Yiddish heritage such as I had an Old CoatDer Rebbe ElimelechOy Vey, Oy Vey, and the ever-popular I’m a Little Latke. Recommended for ages 12 and younger.

Magic lovers can catch The Great Dolgini (AKA Socalled) on Sunday, September 2 at 2 p.m. in the Boulevard Tent. Mystery, illusion and laughs abound as he demonstrates his sleight of hand with a daring display of magic, mischief and misdirection. Recommended for the whole family.

In a tribute to the late children’s writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak (1928-2012), Ashkenaz presents a two-part series with Toronto storyteller Dan Yashinsky: Sunday, September 2 at 4 p.m. at the Marilyn Brewer Community Space; and Monday, September 3 at 5 p.m. in the Boulevard Tent. The sessions will feature Sendak favourites, including his iconic Where the Wild Things Are, as well as stories that he loved and/or illustrated, and stories inspired by his themes. Recommended for the whole family.

The signature Ashkenaz Parade takes the spotlight on Labour Day (Monday, September 3) at 4 p.m. at the Redpath Stage. The Ashkenaz Parade transforms Harbourfront Centre into a swirling cavalcade of music, dance, theatre, giant puppetry, stilt walkers and various other forms of pomp and pageantry. Once again under the direction of Toronto street theatre stalwarts Shadowland Theatre, the parade features hundreds of musicians, artists and community participants in a joyful and whimsical procession. Recommended for the whole family.

Co-produced with Harbourfront Centre, the Festival offers exciting kid-friendly programming including concerts, crafts, book readings and more. Not Jewish? No problem. Half of the audience that comes to the Ashkenaz Festival is not Jewish, nor are many of the artists – it’s a celebration of global talent. For a full list of programming, visit www.ashkenazfestival.com.

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