Fresh Ground new works

Commissions

2012-2013 – Open Call Commissions

Our fifth call for submissions included an open national call in December 2011 and an invitational call in January 2013. The award-winning projects celebrate our 40-year history of championing contemporary international arts and culture while embracing our unique waterfront site, its relationship to the Toronto Harbour and Lake Ontario, and our role as a gateway to the city.

The Speedy Presented as part of World Stage
May 15-18, 2014
Using the 1804 sinking of The HMS Speedy in Lake Ontario to investigate storytelling, this theatrical performance by UnSpun Theatre creates an interactive installation that rebuilds part of our shared history. In this strange, yet true, story of shipwreck, murder and magic, audiences are immersed in a surprising emblem of contemporary Toronto, and a history we didn’t even know it had.

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The Tale of Harbourfront Centre Presented as part of World Stage
Now Online
A radio play by FIXT POINT celebrating the 40th anniversary of one of Canada's premiere national arts and cultural centres. Collected stories on Harbourfront Centre's contributions to Toronto's cultural landscape are woven into an online audio play as part of FIXT POINT's award-winning national Tale of a Town series.

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2012-2013 – Invitational Commissions

Shore Lunch May 18-19, June 20, 29 and July 1, 2014 Shore Lunch addresses the layered history of Toronto's shoreline, as well as those of other Great Lakes. Lisa Myers, in collaboration with Kip Jones and John Myers, has created a multi-site art venue for video, performance and food in the form of a camp kitchen. Shore Lunch explores the historical interaction of waterfront leisure areas and industrial hubs in Canada's Great Lakes. In a performance collaboration with media artist and musician Melody McKiver, Shore Lunch acknowledges the past sustenance of this place.

> May 18-19

> June 20

> June 29 & July 1

Suspended Time June 27–July 1, 2014 An outdoor immersive installation inspired by the urban imaginary and history of Harbourfront Centre. New media artist Emmanuel Sévigny will create an original streetscape digital work that connects participant and passerby in the collective history of Harbourfront Centre with Toronto's waterfront, Toronto's diverse cultural communities, artists and audiences.

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2010 Commissions

This year's Fresh Ground new works commissions aim to be a catalyst for the creation of stimulating new multidisciplinary arts experiences intended specifically for children and youth. The projects not only involve, stimulate, entice, intrigue and engage young people with the arts, but also reflect the diversity of Canadian youth.

Museum of Indulgence Presented as part of Craft
November 11 - December 4, 2011
Museum of Indulgence was a multi-media project that explored the stereotypes and consumer culture of hip hop in an exhibition reminiscent of natural history museums. Dioramas came to life with in-house rap shows, an interactive recording studio and a whole new take on the term "consumer culture."

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Ideas of CanadaPresented as part of Visual Arts
June 18 - September 25, 2011
and April 21 - July 15, 2012
A multidisciplinary inquiry into contemporary and emergent ideas of Canada combined with a youth-led creative lab designed to develop alternative public forms of expressing and questioning concepts of national identity.

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Everything Under the Moon Presented as part of World Stage
In association with The Power Plant
February 18-23, 2012
Everything Under the Moon follows two small, winged creatures as they set out together on an urgent quest to save themselves. Collaborators Shary Boyle (a Toronto-based visual and performance artist) and Christine Fellows (a Winnipeg-based songwriter and performer) re-imagine the concept of the old-time shadow play. Using simple, analog tools – overhead projector and acoustic instrumentation – they create a fantastical narrative for the whole family, told through hand-animated projected image and song. After premiering at World Stage, the performance was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding Production (Theatre for Young Audiences Division, 2012).

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Enter the Shadow Presented as part of NextSteps
November 24-27, 2011
Lead by co-artistic directors Jon Reid and Lee Pham (who are part of the Supernaturalz), Break it Down, a dynamic, youth-led organization that makes productions from the diverse perspective of the hip hop generation and teaches our youth the empowering aspects of hip hop culture through education and mentorship programming. After premiering in NextSteps, Enter the Shadow also toured to the Capitol Theatre in Chatham, ON.

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Monster Makers Presented as part of HarbourKIDS
October 13-16, 2011
Monster Makers is created by Toronto’s award-winning performance experimenters at Mammalian Diving Reflex, led by artistic director Darren O'Donnell. Explore the perils of success and the freedom of failure in this charmingly inventive new participatory work for children and adults. The Sad Scientist just can't get his monster to be monstrous. He needs help from the real experts: the kids.

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2008 Commissions

Neighbourhood Diaries: Stories from where I livePresented as part of Visual Arts
Spring 2010
Neighbourhood Diaries: Stories from where I live was a social networking process toward a writing-tutoring centre for children.

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voice-box Presented as part of World Stage
November 2010
voice-box showcases some of Canada's top vocal performers and draws upon vocal techniques ranging from scat-singing to throat-singing.

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Too Cool For School
Art & Science Fair and Exhibition
Presented as part of Visual Arts
Spring & Fall 2010
Too Cool For School, Art & Science Fair and Exhibition was a project encouraging creative amateur exploration into both art and science.

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PHOTOG Presented as part of World Stage
Fall 2010
PHOTOG examines the life of a photographer who wrestles with his reality of standing behind the lens, instead of in front of it. After premiering at World Stage, the production by Boca del Lupo toured to Halifax, Montreal, Vancouver and Burnaby.

> more info

Haida Made: New Collaborations in DesignPresented as part of Visual Arts and Craft
Fall 2010
Haida Made: New Collaborations in Design was an exhibition that balanced the traditions of First Nations with forward-looking design solutions to develop new methods that respect and elevate local traditions.

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2007 Commissions

FishNet: The Great Lakes Craft and Release Project Presented as part of Visual Arts
January - June 2008
A popular mnemonic device for teaching school-age children the names of the great lakes is HOMES for Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. But if the notion of home is the very exemplar of the familiar and the valued, how ironic that we are so unfamiliar with the lake's life-processes and, by implication, put so little value on them. What's in the lake? How often have those of us living next to Lake Ontario or to any of North America's other "great inland seas" considered the question? Remounted in a slightly different format at the Ontario Science Centre in April 2009 as part of Environment Month.

> more info

Blue Note Presented as part of World Stage
September 2008
Blue Note told a story about a group of individuals who come together to sing, and explored site-specific staging and an interactive audience/performer relationship. It has since been presented at the 2010 Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Kitchener/Waterloo, Ontario.

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Dance Marathon Presented as part of World Stage
February 2009
Dance Marathon looks at contemporary issues such as physical and psychological endurance, interpersonal competition and intimacy. After premiering in the World Stage 2008:09 season, the performance made its European debut in June 2009 at the Cork Midsummer Festival, Ireland to rave reviews. Dance Marathon was part of the Cultural Olympiad during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver and was also mounted in New York, Melbourne, Tasmania, Edinburgh and London before returning to Harbourfront Centre's World Stage in May 2012. In 2013 the production toured again to the UK, and in 2014 was part of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival in Halifax.

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AfterImage Presented as part of World Stage
April 2009
AfterImage showcases an eight-person multitasking chorus cast playing 21 characters, singing the score, and manipulating a large copper wire set illuminated with electrified sparks. Robert Chafe won the 2010 Governor General's Award for Drama for his script, and the production also toured to St. John's, NL.

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2006 Commissions

The Terrarium Project Presented as part of Visual Arts
May - July 2006
A series of art installations which explored the role of museums in representing stories and artifacts and constructing reality.

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Fifteen Restless Nights Presented as part of Visual Arts
September - November 2006
A series of art installations which explored the role of museums in representing stories and artifacts and constructing reality. The project has been featured at the Metropolitan Museum of Photography in Tokyo, Japan for the International Section of The Media-Arts Festival in 2007, the Gallery Connexion, Fredricton, New Brunswick in 2010, and, most recently, MOCA in Calgary from September 6-26, 2012.

> more info

Static Presented as part of World Stage
March - April 2007
A performance, installation and experiential look at man's deepest fears and living life to the fullest.

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Bridge of One Hair Presented as part of World Stage
April 2007
A community art project originating in central Etobicoke which used the rituals and objects of tea drinking, storytelling, music, text and imagery to bridge diverse communities.

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Trudeau: Long March / Shining Path Project Lead: George Elliott Clarke, librettist
Collaborator: D.D. Jackson, composer
Presented as part of World Stage
April 2007
A contemporary opera based on the life of Pierre Elliott Trudeau including a mixing of elements of Cuban, Chinese, contemporary classical and jazz music. The opera has been performed at the Sir James Dunn Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 2010 and recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio.

> more info

To date, a generous group of visionary donors have supported the creation of 23 new commissions. We would like to thank the following supporters of the Fresh Ground new works commissioning programme for their leadership and continued support of artists: Peter Allen, William J. S. Boyle, Lionel F. Conacher and Joan Dea, Margaret and Jim Fleck, Michael and Sonja Koerner, Judy and Wil Matthews, George E. Myhal, Sonja Smits and Seaton McLean; and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and the J.P. Bickell Foundation.

For information on how you can become a Fresh Ground new works supporter please contact Jeremy Smith, Chief Development Officer, at jsmith@harbourfrontcentre.com or 416-954-9912.
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