Day of the Dead - A Celebration of Life | November 8-9, 2014 | Presented by Scotiabank

Uncover the ancient and contemporary stories, rituals and practices of Mexico and other Latin American countries with Day of the Dead. A joyous festival celebrating the living memory of the dearly departed, it's a vibrant way to usher in the Canadian holiday season.

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Curatorial Statement

Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a festival observed throughout Mexico and other cultures and countries around the world. The festival provides people with the opportunity to rejoice in the living memories of their loved ones. Although this Mesoamerican festival has been amalgamated with Catholic theology, it still maintains the basic principles of the Aztec traditions, such as the use of skulls (calaveras).

In this year’s edition of the festival we will explore the theme of Legacy as a continuum from the past, where the ancient rituals of pre-Hispanic civilizations have merged with new beliefs, rituals, and practices, and have transformed this festival into a unique twenty first century celebration. Just like the old Aztec Goddess Mictecacihuatl (Queen of the Underworld, or Lady of the Dead), has found a new identity as the modern "Catrina" (the lanky, skeletal female figure bedecked in sumptuous clothing and giant ornate hats). The festival will be a celebration of the life of people, their memories, their achievements, their influences; a celebration of their Legacy.

Umair Jaffar, Lead Artistic Associate


Harbourfront Centre Staff

Marah Braye

Chief Executive Officer

Melanie Fernandez

Director, Director, Cultural Engagement and Activation

Rodrigo Fritz

Head of Events

Diana Webley

Senior Project Coordinator/Artistic Associate

Janice Bearg

Head of Administration

Umair Jaffar

Artistic Associate, Lead

Anastasiya Fedorovska

Artistic Associate (Intern)

Arzu Abbasova

Administrative Coordinator

Sarah Zepeda

Administrative Assistant, Events (Intern)

Andrea Strachan

Event Production Manager

Kim Trollope

Technical Director

Eleni Mckinnon

Production Coordinator

Genevieve Peng

Volunteer Coordinator

Dorothy Szczurek

Assistant Volunteer Coordinator

Anna McGrenaghan

Volunteer Assistant

Special Thanks to Partners

Consulate General of Mexico in Toronto

A programme of the complexity and size of this 2014 festival season is only possible with the cooperation, contributions and hard work of every department and all members of the entire Harbourfront Centre staff and volunteer teams. We extend our thanks to them all.
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