The Year of the Dragon: CIBC LunarFest 2012 Jan 20-24 in Toronto

From a media release:

CIBC LunarFest 2012
Ring in the Year of the Dragon at Harbourfront Centre Toronto
Friday, Jan. 20-Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012

Harbourfront Centre is pleased to announce that CIBC LunarFest, the celebration of the Lunar New Year, will be held from Friday, Jan. 20 through Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012. CIBC LunarFest is Canada's premier presenter of contemporary expression in Asian arts and culture, and this year’s festival, celebrating the dawn of the Year of the Dragon, will be centred on the theme of “Treasures of the Sea.”

The Lunar New Year is celebrated across a range of Asian cultures, and in 2012, CIBC LunarFest, Canada’s newest celebration of this ancient festival, comes to Toronto. Debuting in 2009 in Vancouver as a Winter Olympics Cultural Olympiad event, the festival endeavors to reach not only new Canadians, but also long-time residents, in order to share in the diversity of Canada. Through cross-cultural collaborations, new forms of artistic expressions are created and celebrated.

Lanterns play an important role in the festivities, as the Lantern Festival marks the end of the holiday period. At CIBC LunarFest, the festival’s centrepiece will be a giant Lantern Aquarium. Inside, a variety of exhibitions of traditional and contemporary arts created by some of Taiwan’s foremost artisans explore the world under the sea. In addition, the hundreds of children who have submitted their drawings on the festival’s theme of “Treasures of the Sea” will recognize their own work inside the Aquarium.

This winter, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that questions the BIG iDEA of perspective. Gain perspective on the Lunar New Year at CIBC LunarFest through a range of activities for the whole family: games, crafts, theatre, skating, holiday culinary options and much more, including Lunar Skate, a part of Harbourfront Centre’s DJ Skate Night series. A sampling of the activities on offer are below.

For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay W, in the heart of Toronto’s downtown waterfront.


The Boy, the Shark and the Sea: A Puppet Show by the Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company

Sat. Jan 21 and Sun. Jan 22 from 2-3 p.m. and 5-6 p.m.
Based in Taiwan, the Taiyuan Puppet Theatre Company finds new and creative ways to enhance the traditional art of puppetry, and has performed around the world. This production, which features lessons about our interactions with the natural environment, tells the story of a boy, his tarot-root-doppelganger, a friendly shark and the community around them. Audiences will have a chance to interact with the puppets and puppeteers after each performance.

Lunar Kids Workshops

Sat. Jan 20-Tues. Jan 24 from noon-8 p.m.
A range of workshops will get the whole family involved in Lunar New Year traditions. Experience the magic of lantern-making, paper-cutting, traditional couplet-making and many more fun-filled activities.

Lunar Kids Game Station

Sat. Jan 21-Sun. Jan 22 from noon-8 p.m., Mon. Jan 23-Tues. Jan 24 from 12-8 p.m.
A variety of fun and unique games tied into the celebration. Find out what’s in store for your Year of the Dragon in the Fortune Teller Game, test your knowledge of the sea in the Red Envelope Game, and give your brain a tease in the Memory Game. Stop by the vendor booth to sample Lunar New Year cuisine (food vendor will be open from 5-8 p.m. on Mon. and Tues. Jan 23 and 24).

The Natrel® Rink
Open daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 11 p.m.
Enjoy Toronto’s favourite artificially-cooled outdoor rink while skating to music and taking in the beautiful surroundings of Lake Ontario and the Toronto Islands. On-site skate rentals, change rooms, rental lockers and skate sharpening are all available.

Lunar Skate
Sat. Jan 21 from 8-11 p.m. (Natrel® Rink)
Part of Harbourfront Centre’s DJ Skate series, the Lunar Skate party will feature lanterns, skating activities, music and more.

CIBC LunarFest showcases multi-disciplinary artistic expressions; in addition to visual installations, programs in 2012 include puppet shows, workshops, traditional New Year’s games and culinary treats. A series of Lunar Skate programs will also see the merging of Lunar New Year with Canadian skating culture. The festival runs from Friday, January 20 to Tuesday, January 24, 2012 in Toronto and Wednesday, February 1 to Sunday, February 5 in Vancouver. CIBC LunarFest is produced by ACSEA, the Asian-Canadian Special Events Association.