SITE ALIVE – An Outdoor Winter Celebration of Arts & Culture

SITE ALIVE – An Outdoor Winter Celebration of Arts & Culture

STATEMENT: Illuminated public art installations on Harbourfront Centre’s site

In response to the recent stay-at-home order issued by the Government of Ontario, Harbourfront Centre and the Waterfront BIA will no longer promote the illuminated public art installed on Harbourfront Centre’s site.

The illuminated public art was installed to bring light to the waterfront during a challenging time. Harbourfront Centre security staff will be on-site to ensure health and safety protocols are followed, in accordance with the advice and guidelines of Toronto Public Health.

Thank you for your continued cooperation and understanding.

New COVID-Friendly Slate of Programming Designed to Showcase Immersive World of Sights, Sounds and Ideas

Harbourfront Centre and The Waterfront BIA are excited to announce the start of Site Alive | Winter Edition, a new slate of safe, ongoing programming and activities designed to offer Torontonians some fresh air enjoyment by the waterfront this winter season – all designed to be enjoyed while keeping with the utmost health and safety protocols in place.

Starting now and operating until February 7, 2021, the 10-acre waterfront campus will be transformed into a unique, immersive world of sensory experience. Throughout the course of the next two months, there will be a slate of new and different exhibits and happenings. First is Portraits in COVID Times: Documenting a Nation in Change, a stunning, large-scale photography exhibit featuring images by world-renowned celebrity photographer George Pimentel and others. It will be followed soon by a festival of light installation channeling Northern Ontario and an audio experience showcasing northern lives through the first-person accounts of artists.

“We’re very pleased to support opportunities to visit this winter that are distanced and spread out,” says Tim Kocur, Executive Director of the Waterfront BIA. “We’ve been fortunate that the people of Toronto have continued to come down here as a way to get outside this year, and we hope you’ll find something new to see and do each month when you’re here.”

“Site Alive | Winter Edition allows Harbourfront Centre to use our 10-acre campus as an outdoor canvas,” says Iris Nemani, Chief Programming Officer. “From photographs on our windows to light installations to walk through, we hope to bring some light to our community during these colder winter months ahead.”

Harbourfront Centre and The Waterfront BIA want to remind Torontonians that the city is currently in lockdown as it relates to COVID-19 restrictions. While all Site Alive | Winter Edition programming is curated to be a safe, family-friendly experience, with lots of open space for guests to spread out and enjoy the outdoors responsibly throughout the colder season, all visitors looking to admire Site Alive should do so only with members of their own household, wear a mask and maintain physical distancing until further notice.

The events:

Portraits in COVID Times: Documenting a Nation in Change
Dates: November 27 – February 7, 2021

This unconventional outdoor exhibit will provide inspiration to city dwellers with breathtaking photography taken by world-renowned celebrity photographer George Pimentel and others. Spanning the entire north face of 235 Queens Quay West and the construction hoarding at 318 Queens Quay (located at Rees Street), the installation touches on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on multiple aspects of daily life, from family to religion to health and community. Each photograph, taken between March and October of 2020, tells its own unique story, speaking to the ingenuity, kindness, grief, humour, hope and inspiration that has emerged from our shared pandemic experience.

covid portraits gallery at harbourfront centre

Northern Ontario Diaries
Dates: January 15 – February 7, 2021

This discovery-based audio experience allows audiences to explore the waterfront area, while listening to stories told by artists about regions and communities from the Canadian Shield. Visitors will be able to become immersed in northern life and have the opportunity to enjoy pit-stops along the way, while exploring everything that Site Alive has to offer.

Festival of Cool
Dates: January 15 – February 7, 2021

Guests can expect to be transported to Northern Ontario through a transformative installation involving audio, light and technology, brought to life by creators Rob Jensen, Warren Trezevant and Creos. Known from the popular U.S.-based Burning Man festival, Sonic Runway is a striking corridor of lights, more than 100 metres long, that brings sound waves to life, creating a rainbow bridge to a brighter tomorrow. Iceberg turns a monumental sculpture into a living instrument, creating a journey from glacial calving, to open water migration, to eventual melting. A true treat for the senses.

iceberg art installation             sonic runway art installation burning man

About Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre is a leading international centre for contemporary arts, culture and ideas, and a registered, charitable not-for-profit cultural organization operating a 10-acre campus on Toronto’s central waterfront. Harbourfront Centre provides year-round programming 52 weeks a year, seven days a week, supporting a wide range of artists and communities. We inspire audiences and visitors with a breadth of bold, ambitious and engaging experiences, and champion contemporary Canadian artists throughout their careers, presenting them alongside international artists, and fostering national and international artistic exchange between disciplines and cultures.

About The Waterfront Business Improvement Area (WBIA):

Representing businesses along the Queens Quay corridor between Bathurst and Yonge, the Waterfront BIA supports the continued growth of the waterfront as a premier destination that is well-connected to the rest of the City and is beautiful, clean and vibrant year-round. Activities of the BIA include representing the area on key policy and advocacy issues, making targeted public realm improvements and highlighting the area’s vibrancy with activations and daily promotion online. Follow us on Twitter @waterfrontbia and Instagram @TOwaterfront.


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