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TIFF’s Festival Street returns bigger and better for 2023 with performances by Nickelback, Sho Madjozi, The Aubreys + more

Back for its eighth year, the excitement of the Toronto International Film Festival will pour out from the theatres onto Festival Street and David Pecaut Square. King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue will transform into an open-air experience accessible by the general public. 

New and exciting activations will line King Street in addition to food vendors, photo opportunities, and the Festival Street Music Stage housing musical performances throughout the opening weekend. There is no better way to celebrate “the people’s Festival” than with free activations dedicated to the Festival goers in Toronto.

“We’re thrilled to unveil this year’s Festival Street experience at TIFF. Embracing the heart and soul of the Festival, Festival Street will once again be a vibrant celebration of art, culture, and the shared love for storytelling,” said Cameron Bailey, CEO, TIFF. “As we welcome filmmakers, artists, and film enthusiasts from around the world, Festival Street will serve as a dynamic hub for connection, creativity, and unforgettable moments. Join us as we transform the streets of Festival Village into a shining example of community spirit at this year’s TIFF.”

MORE MOVIES AND MUSIC FOR FREE

Toronto’s biggest street party kicks off with A Night of Jazz, in partnership with The Rex (194 Queen St. W.). On Thursday September 7, the Festival Street Music Stage will feature jazz legend Dave YoungThompson Egbo-Ebgo, and the Jacob Chung Quintet, hosted by Raoul Bhaneja. Continuing the musical celebrations on Friday, September 8, Diamond certified rock band Nickelback hits the Festival Street Music Stage to promote the premiere of their TIFF Gala Presentation Hate to Love: Nickelback, an intimate portrait of the Canadian stadium rockers’ celebrated career to date. Additionally, electronica and pow wow techno artist Classic Roots will take the stage also on September 8. On Sunday September 10, revel in additional performances by Luna Elle (RBCxMusic Artist), Toronto Dance Theatre, and Doug Tielli. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop, the Festival Street Closing Performance will be by the Godmother of Canadian Rap, Michie Mee.

TIFF’s returning Cinema Park, presented by L’Oreal Paris, will present open-air screenings in David Pecaut Square, showcasing classic films of some of the talent in TIFF 2023 Official Selection films: The Spiderwick Chronicles; Batman; Contact; a 40th-anniversary screening of Superman III; a memorial tribute to Paul Reubens with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure; Rocky; plus four screenings presented by the Next Wave committee which include a 30th-anniversary screening of Addams Family Values, Clueless, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and Where the Wild Things Are

New this year, the TIFF Next Wave Block Party, presented by Snapchat, takes place on Saturday September 9. This party will include additional performances from The Aubreys, featuring Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard; Alex Porat; winner of TIFF Next Wave’s Battle of the Scores, daydream; Sho Madjozi; and Grammy Award winner Zakes Bantwini. Also new this year is the Festival Street Art Market, a market filled with fun activities in celebration of art and community from the city’s most exciting community film festivals and arts organizations on Simcoe St. Participants include: Inside Out Film Festival, imagineNATIVE Film Festival, Reel Asian Film Festival, Regent Park Film Festival, Hot Docs, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT), Muse Arts, Reel Canada, and Workman Arts. 

Taking place during the first three days of Festival Street is the Festival Street Mural Project, where street artists Darcy Obokata and Tim Fukakusa (TIFF’s POP Japan mural artist) will create an exciting and evolving large art mural – a Toronto love letter to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The mural will be an homage to Miyazaki and the studio’s influence on artists and film lovers all over the world, and will celebrate TIFF’s Opening Night International Premiere of Miyazaki’s latest, The Boy and the Heron.

Additional activations on Festival street include: Myseum of Toronto’s 36 Questions That Lead to Loving Toronto to Festival Street, an exhibition that invites Torontonians to fall in love with the city for the first time, or all over again; a Group Morning Mobility, a gentle mix of movement and meditation in David Pecaut Square by Have a Nice Day Pilates Studio on Saturday, September 9 at 11am for 30 minutes; and five additional vendors by BlackOwnedTO.

Torontonians and the City of Toronto are an integral part of TIFF and the Festival. Quite simply, Festival Street would not exist without their tremendous support. To say thank you to the city and the people who call it home, TIFF has once again partnered with the TTC to give Torontonians more access to Festival films. On Saturday, September 16, members of the public are invited to Roy Thomson Hall for the TTC Free Screening of a Festival title. More details will be announced closer to the date.

FESTIVAL STREET PARTNER ACTIVATIONS

Indeed – Indeed is bringing TIFF fans a double feature on the future of work at this year’s Street Festival. Feature One will take you on an exploration of tomorrow’s world of work through the lens of Indeed’s Rising Voices filmmakers, while Feature Two will help you craft your own narrative on the future of work, with a yummy twist. Each feature offers a captivating look at what the future has in store and a fun takeaway.

L’Oréal Paris – Taking a bold stand against street harassment: Join L’Oréal Paris and Right To Be in a powerful activation that empowers individuals to stand up against street harassment. On a mission to foster respect and dignity, we proudly introduce the Stand Up Against Street Harassment program. Through an immersive 5-minute training session, discover the impactful 5Ds methodology — Distract, Delegate, Document, Delay, Direct — equipping you to safely intervene against harassment. As a part of this movement, stand up, gain valuable tools to make a difference, and be a catalyst for change while receiving exciting incentives and products. Plus, stay tuned for special guest appearances and join us in creating a culture of empowerment and respect. Take a stand against street harassment: https://www.standup-international.com/ca/en/

We at TIFF strive to create an inclusive environment for everyone and believe in a world where every individual has the right to move through public spaces without fear of harassment or discrimination. Street harassment can affect people across varying gender identities, sexuality, race, size, ability, and religion.

Peroni Nastro Azzurro – Celebrating premier(e) taste: Peroni Nastro Azzurro, the world’s number one premium Italian beer brand, is bringing a taste of Italy to Festival Village with the House of Peroni Nastro Azzurro in David Pecaut Square! The Italian-style open house will allow guests to enjoy the best of Italian hospitality, take in in red-carpet views with a VIP fan zone, and enjoy the premier(e) taste of Peroni Nastro Azzurro and Peroni Nastro Azzurro 0.0% alongside an exclusive menu curated by International Celebrity Chef, David Rocco.

Pizza Nova – Celebrating a legacy of delicious style! In honour of its 60th anniversary, Pizza Nova will be serving signature pizza slices during TIFF opening weekend. Located at the corner of King Street and Simcoe, the Pizza Nova sampling booth will keep movie-goers well fed. Be sure to stop by the Pizza Nova Pizzeria for a slice and have a look at the limited-edition retro merchandise on display.

Snapchat Presents: Next Wave Block Party –”We are proud to partner with TIFF to sponsor the inaugural Next Wave Block Party and Creator Talks,” said Matt McGowan, General Manager, Canada at Snap Inc. “Celebrating, supporting, and elevating local creators and content is at the core of what we do. And there is no shortage of exceptional talent and creativity in this city! We can’t wait to see it all come together on centre stage.” The TIFF Next Wave Committee is a group of 12 young film enthusiasts who curate teen-oriented films and events at TIFF Bell Lightbox, including the annual TIFF Next Wave Film Festival. Taking place for the first time ever, the TIFF Next Wave Block Party will take place Saturday, September 9. Performers include The Aubreys (featuring Finn Wolfhard of Stranger Things), Zakes Bantwini, Alex Porat, daydream, and Sho Madjozi.

Tourist Office of Spain – Spain, straight out of the movies – The Tourist Office of Spain is presenting a cinematic experience at the Street Festival. Spain, with its diverse landscapes and rich history, has long been a cherished destination for filmmakers worldwide. The activation offers a unique photo studio with green screen technology, allowing attendees to virtually visit famous Spanish film locations, from iconic Westerns to futuristic realms and historical tales. Additionally, a contest offers a chance to win Spanish gourmet products, enhancing the experience with culinary delights.

UPS ― Small Businesses, Big Roles: There are great stories waiting to be told everywhere. But not every filmmaker has the opportunity to tell theirs. Join UPS in uplifting diverse-owned small and medium businesses behind the camera in film with live printed Be Unstoppable Film Project Tote Bags. In 2022, UPS partnered with The Black List to help two emerging filmmakers tell their stories. The films we love wouldn’t be possible without diverse owned small and medium businesses behind the camera. This year, we are uplifting even more unheard voices – with a focus on changing perceptions around diverse small businesses’ roles in the craft of filmmaking by providing new perspectives.

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