Corazón de México Presented by WestJet Vacations (July 8-10)

Harbourfront Centre along with its lead summer partner, The Toronto Port Authority, present Corazón de México (“Heart of Mexico”), a festival bringing together the traditional and the modern with sights, sounds and movements from Mexico. This festival is programmed in partnership with the Consulate General of Mexico in Toronto, and is generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico.
The sounds of Mexico take over Toronto’s downtown waterfront with performers Celso Piña (aka the Accordion Rebel) and Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible, who combine traditional norteño and techno music as they take to the WestJet Stage. Also performing is Toronto’s own Dirty Maria, a Latin-alternative rock band, and Mexican ranchera music singer Cecilia Guerrero.
Foodies can learn how to make authentic Mexican food alongside Chef Francisco Alejandri who will be making tostadas (chicken) with lime and chia agua fresca (a fresh fruit drink). Become an expert in tequila and mezcal (Mexican spirits) as professionals reveal the secrets and history behind these traditional favourites. Experience bona fide Mexican cuisine by some of the finest chefs from Mexico. Yuri de Gotari and Edmundo Escamilla are the founders of The School of Mexican Gastronomy and have studied anthropological, social, historical and cultural perspectives of Mexican food for over a decade. Their expertise is featured in a number of food demos throughout the weekend.
Corazón de México’s family events include Marionetas de la Esquina, a 35-year-old puppet theatre company from Mexico that entertains all ages with their show. Children will also enjoy clowns as they come to life during Clowntime in Mexico.
And for the grand finale, check out our fashion show that features Mexico’s best mariachi bands and folkloric dance companies.
Join us this summer as we explore “Hot Spots” of intensity, artistic brilliance, connectivity, and regions of conflict that shape the impressions we have of ourselves and our world. This theme is programmed into each weekend festival to bring together rich local artistic traditions and those from around the globe! It also presents a unique opportunity to experience top Canadian and international artists in a fun, family-friendly environment without ever leaving the city!
Hot spots may not always be comfortable, but they are conduits of change. Embrace change or defy it – it is ultimately up to you. This summer, Harbourfront Centre presents programming that asks: What’s your hot spot?
For additional information and complete event listings, the public may visit harbourfrontcentre.com/summer or call the Information Hotline at 416-973-4000. Harbourfront Centre is located at 235 Queens Quay West in the heart of downtown Toronto’s waterfront.

MUSIC

Sugar Heat (formerly known as Los Homeless)
Friday, July 8, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Sugar Heat is a high-energy, nine-piece band that plays a wide variety of Latin music. Their repertoire includes salsa, cumbia, merengue, cha cha and bachata.

Celso Piña
Friday, July 8, 8:30 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Mexican-born Celso Piña has risen to be one of the most notable figures in cumbia music. Cumbia has its origins in Colombia’s African and indigenous populations, but has since spread to be one of the most universal Latin American music genres. Celso Piña, also known as “the Accordion Rebel”, is known for blending the sounds of the tropical base with genres from norteño (a genre of music from north Music) to hip hop.

Quique Escamilla
Saturday, July 9, 5 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Quique Escamilla is a multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter based in Toronto. Despite living far from Mexico, he still remains very attached to his roots and is inclined to support diverse social causes such as human and civil rights and immigration reform through his music.

Dirty Maria
Saturday, July 9, 7:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Dirty Maria exploded onto Toronto’s music scene in early 2004, when the four members decided to establish the first Latin-alternative rock band in the city. Their unique compositions consist of lyrics in Spanish and English, covering a variety of topics ranging from comical life situations to politics.

Nortec Collective Presents: Bostich & Fussible
Saturday, July 9, 9 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
Grammy Award-nominated Nortec Collective materialized from burgeoning Tijiuana electronic scene. By combining Norteño (from the north) and techno, Nortec successfully merges traditional and modern music with a twist of entertaining visuals. Members Bostich & Fussible are committed to generating music that is a positive and proud representation of their hometown.

Cecilia Guerrero
Sunday, July 10, 12:30 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Cecilia Guerrero is a Mexican ranchera music singer (the music is a waltz, polka or bolero style). She began her career at age 12, and has now recorded five records and received numerous awards. In Toronto, Cecilia has been recognized as one of the best voices and interpreters of Mexican ranchera music.

Fandango with Café Con Pan
Sunday, July 10, 1 p.m. (Boulevard Tent)
Café Con Pan play son jarocho a traditional form of music from Veracruz, Mexico. They explore the roots of son jarocho while connecting with other traditions from Latin America and beyond. Over the past decade, they have maintained a multi-disciplinary relationship with son jarocho with projects that combine research, collaboration, visual arts, teaching and producing. Their performances are guided by band member Kali Niño’s uplifting voice and her effusive zapateado dancing, along with an array of traditional instruments.

El Fandanguito (Musical Bingo)
Saturday, July 9, 4:30 p.m. (Boulevard Tent)
Alec Dempster combines his skills as a visual artist and musician to create a unique workshop based on the Mexican form of bingo called lotería. The traditional lotería game consists of images and verses rather than just numbers. His version includes 60 images that represent son jarocho folk songs. The songs are sung while the players listen and try to identify the corresponding images on their boards.

FOOD

Tastes of Mexico: Chef Francisco Alejandri
Saturday, July 9, 3 p.m. (Boulevard Tent)
Chef Francisco Alejandri of Agave y Aguacate restaurant in Kensington Market has become one of the hottest chefs in Toronto. Francisco teaches how to make tinga mini tostadas (chicken) with lime and chia agua fresca (a fresh fruit drink) at the festival.

Tastes of Mexico: Tequila and Mezcal
Saturday, July 9, 6:30 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Tequila and meszcal are amongst the world’s great liquors and were created from the meeting of indigenous Mexico and the Spanish. Experts from Mexico take you through the tastes and the history of these most unique Mexican beverages.

The Mexican Gastronomy School of Edmundo Escamilla and Yuri de Gortari
Saturday, July 9, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. & Sunday, July 10, 2 p.m., 4 p.m. (Lakeside Terrace)
Outstanding chefs from Mexico introduce and highlight the tastes of diverse regions, techniques and the ingredients required to make authentic Mexican dishes.

DANCE/THEATRE

Ballet Folklorico Puro Mexico
Saturday, July 9, 1 p.m. (Redpath Stage)
Ballet Folklorico Puro Mexico is a non-profit organization whose goal is to spread and promote Mexican culture through folkloric dance. The organization works to preserve the heritage of traditional Mexican dances through researching, recording and teaching to reveal Mexico’s cultural diversity.

Film Fest of Lucha Libre with El Santo and Blue Demon
Friday, July 8, 9 p.m. & Saturday, July 10, 9 p.m. (Boardwalk)
A different film is featured on each festival day. Saturday, “Santo y Blue Demon en la Atlántida” (“Santo and Blue Demon in Atlantis”), “Santo vs Las Lobas” (“Santo vs the She-wolves”) is playing and on Sunday, “Santo en el Museo de Cera” (“Santo in the Wax Museum”) and “Santo y Blue Demon vs Los Monstruos” (“Santo and Blue Demon vs the Monsters”) are being featured.

Mariachi Fashion Dance Fiesta
Sunday, July 10, 4 p.m. (WestJet Stage)
For the grand finale of the Corazón de México festival, Toronto’s top mariachi bands, Mariachi Amigo and Viva Mexico Mariachi accompany a Mexican-themed fashion show. The event also features the Mexican Folkloric Dance Company who display the authentic dances, costumes and traditions of regions within Mexico.