2nd Oct 2023


Nordic Bridges unveil latest highlights of Spring programme

  • CoMotion festival artist-in-residence, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen, performing as part of Nordic Bridges 2022, a cultural festival linking Canada with the Nordic countries (Photo: Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen)
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Twenty-two documentaries by Nordic filmmakers at the Hot Docs Festival in Toronto, musical acts Jenseeraq X Uummatit, ISÁK, and Sara Ajnnak and the premieres of the dance performances Story, story, die and The Days.

These are just a few Nordic highlights — from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland — that will take place across Canada over the next couple of months, following the announcement of the spring programme for Nordic Bridges.

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Nordic Bridges, which is a year-long exchange of art, culture and ideas between Nordic and Canadian artists, led by the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto and supported by the Nordic Council of Ministers, continues this spring with exciting premieres and events across the north American country.

"Our year-long celebration kicks into high gear this spring, with programming across Canada, and across performance genres," says Laura McLeod, director of cultural engagement at the Harbourfront Centre and lead producer of Nordic Bridges.

"Canadian audiences will have access to Nordic music, visual art, film, dance, and theatre that is either new to Canada, or a world premiere collaboration between Canadian and Nordic artists."

Highlights this Spring

There are lots of opportunities for Canadian audiences to experience both artists already well known in their home countries, and new talents, as well as other creative collaborations never before produced.

From dance performances, documentaries, theatre performances and art exhibitions, to music, workshops and talks. Here's a selection of Nordic highlights from the launch of the second phase of the programme:

• The Coastal Dance Festival in the Anvil Centre, British Columbia, with premieres by Sámi artists Liv Aira, Marika Renhuvud, Sara Marielle Gaup, and Camilla Therese Karlsen.

• The North American premieres of dance performances "The Days" by Maria Nurmela and Ville Oinonen, and "Story, story, die" by Alan Lucien Øyen and his company Winter guests (multiple locations).

• The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto presents Sasha Huber's first solo show in North America, "You Name It".

• Theatre performances for children and families from Teatret Gruppe 38, Kitt Johnson X-act and The National Theatre of Greenland at Harbourfront Centre's JUNIOR festival.

• Feature films presented by the Toronto International Film Festival, including works by Lone Scherfig, Amanda Kernell, Iram Haq, Pirjo Honkasalo, Katrin Ottarsdóttir and 22 documentaries by Nordic filmmakers at this year's Hot Docs Festival.

• Musical acts including Jenseeraq X Uummatit, ISÁK, and Sara Ajnnak at Alianait Arts Festival in Iqaluit.

• Monthly Nordic Talks, free to attend at the Harbourfront Centre, and much more.

The CoMotion Festival in Toronto, a deaf and disability arts festival, presented a multidisciplinary programme including visual arts, music, performances, digital art, workshops, and panel discussions.

Nordic artists featured in the programme include deaf rapper Signmark, and artists Gudrun Hasle, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen and Erla Björk Sigmundsdóttir.

Multidisciplinary artist Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen (pictured) from Finland is artist-in-residence at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. She sees this as a great opportunity for spending time immersed in another culture for several months.

Wallinheimo-Heimonen says: "I have many questions for local disability activists during my Nordic Bridges residency. For example, how do we fight for our right to exist in the future? And how to restore the sense of belonging of people with disabilities in communities? How to change the phenomenon whereby people without disabilities want to help us rather than get to know us?"

See the full programme here.

Successful launch

Nordic Bridges launched in January — in the midst of Covid-19 restrictions — with the acclaimed outdoor light art exhibition Nordic Lights at Harbourfront Centre, DesignTO's collaborative visual art exhibition Shared Terrain, TIFF's national tour of films by Roy Andersson, and events during BreakOut West in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The list of events, artists and acts will be updated continuously throughout 2022.

Keep up to date by following @NordicBridges on social media.

Author bio

Elisabet Skylare is senior communication adviser at The Nordic Council of Ministers, the forum for official Nordic Co-operation, which involves Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, the Faroe Islands, Greenland and Åland. It aims to make the Nordic region the most sustainable and integrated region in the world.


This article is sponsored by a third party. All opinions in this article reflect the views of the author and not of EUobserver.

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