Welcome to the 2010 Ashkenaz Festival!

Customize Your Festival

We are thrilled to announce this year’s lineup with the launch of a brand new website that we hope will be a helpful and informative resource to our audience. Please take advantage of the terrific new interactive features that allow you to personalize and plan your Ashkenaz experience, and be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay close to the action and up to date on latest festival developments.

Thanks to the incredible support of our generous community we are once again able to present the Ashkenaz Festival almost entirely free to the public, but as always there are a handful of not-to-be-missed featured performances for which tickets are required. Tickets will be available from the Harbourfront Centre box office as of July 20.

This year’s 15th anniversary festival will feature perhaps our most diverse lineup yet. Our 90 acts and 200+ individual artists represent the very best of the Canadian and international Jewish culture scene. With traditional and cutting-edge Klezmer and Yiddish music, increased offerings in Sephardic and Mizrachi music, a wide range of cross-cultural fusion, and unique multi-disciplinary performances, this year’s eclectic program offers numerous surprises. Illuminating context is provided by panel discussions, lectures, films, and participatory dance and music workshops, while kids activities and group celebrations like the famous Ashkenaz Parade unite our multicultural and multigenerational audience in a one-of-a-kind community experience.

Please join us Labour Day weekend to take part in this wonderful celebration!

Visual Arts Exhibit and Sale – June 24-July 8, 2010

Ashkenaz and the Al Green Gallery present
I Am From Here: The Paintings of Maciej Frankiewicz
Al Green Gallery, 64 Merton St. (Yonge/Davisville)


Opening Reception: Thursday, June 24th, 6-8 pm
Exhibition continues through July 8th, 2010.

Viewing hours: Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays 12-5pm; Thursdays 12-7pm; Closed Sunday, Monday, Tuesday
For more info phone the Al Green Gallery at 416-440-3084 or contact Ashkenaz at 416-979-9901

A portion of proceeds will benefit the 2010 Ashkenaz Festival

The incredibly unique and beautiful paintings by Polish artist Maciej Frankiewicz elicited a powerful response from our audience at the 2008 Ashkenaz Festival, including many inquiries to purchase the work right off the walls of Harbourfront Centre. We are thrilled now to partner with the Al Green Gallery in re-mounting an extended two-week exhibit and sale of this artists’ extraordinary, one-of-a-kind works.

Maciej Frankiewicz was born in 1968 in Starachowice, Poland, previously known as Wierzbnik to its once-sizable Jewish population. Frankiewicz has devoted much of his adult life to preserving the memory of a world and a people he never knew. He has worked in collaboration with North American and Israeli-based organizations of Jewish landslayt (former townspeople) from Wierzbnik/Starachowice, to restore and preserve the remains of the Wierzbnik Jewish cemetery and establish the “Memorial Room of the Wierzbnik Jews” in the Starachowice cultural centre. As a prolific painter he has produced hundreds of works depicting his vision of former Jewish life in Wierzbnik. These striking works are by turns surreal, provocative, and romantic, inhabiting an amorphous realm somewhere between “slice of life” documentary and nostalgic fantasy. In his various capacities as artist, historian, researcher, collector, and activist, Frankiewicz signals hope for the continuing preservation of the memory of the lost Jewish worlds of Poland, by those who grapple with the legacy of the Holocaust on their own soil.

Read an article from the Canadian Jewish News about Frankiewicz’s previous exhibit at the 2008 Ashkenaz Festival

2010 Curatorial Statement

The convergence of global and local forces has been at the heart of the Ashkenaz Festival since its inception. The festival emerged during the second wave of an international movement popularly known as the Klezmer/Yiddish Revival, which had begun in earnest in the mid-70s. Initially the esoteric domain of a small handful of committed researchers, musicians and artists in only a few farflung locales, such as New York, Winnipeg, San Francisco and Berlin, by the mid-90s the Revival was reaching larger audiences, attracting new converts and popping up in various manifestations in more and more communities around the world, including Amsterdam, London, Paris, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Chicago, Montreal, and of course Toronto.

The debut of the Ashkenaz Festival in 1995 was a significant milestone in the life of the movement, and from its very first edition Ashkenaz put Toronto on the map as a key centre in the international Klezmer/Yiddish Revival. By partnering with Harbourfront Centre and reaching a broad multicultural audience, Ashkenaz’s visionary founders placed the work of the Klezmer/Yiddish revivalists in its largest and most public context yet. And with the broadening over the years of the festival’s artistic mandate, Ashkenaz has both reflected and encouraged the extension of the Klezmer/Yiddish Revival into other forms of contemporary Jewish and non-Jewish music/art, creating numerous new subgenres.

The 15th anniversary Ashkenaz Festival is a significant milestone, during which the position of the festival at the convergence of so many local and global forces will be amply displayed. Ashkenaz 2010 will share the beauty and richness of Toronto’s renowned multicultural spirit with artists and audiences both from around the world and from around the corner. Ashkenaz 2010 will, as always, bring into focus the cultural vibrancy and interconnectedness of Jewish and non-Jewish communities at home and abroad. In short, through Ashkenaz an international cultural insurgency has dug deep roots in Toronto, and Toronto had made itself into a key influence in shaping the character and evolution of contemporary Jewish music and art.

Eric Stein
Artistic Director,
Ashkenaz Festival

The Klezmatics: On Holy Ground – April 22, 2010

Ashkenaz and the Toronto Jewish Film Festival are proud to present

The World Premiere screening of:

Preceded by a special concert presentation with Klezmatics members


Film followed by Q & A with the musicians and director Eric Greenberg Anjou

For over 20 years The Klezmatics have been at the vanguard of the international Klezmer revival movement. The Grammy award-winning group has redefined the boundaries of contemporary Jewish music, through nine albums and collaborations with such diverse artists as Chava Alberstein, Arlo Guthrie, Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Nelson. Following the group through tours in the US, Germany and Poland, this strikingly honest documentary portrait reveals the challenges faced by the Klezmatics as they strive to continue making joyous, boundary-breaking music while balancing the demands of family, career and their own individual lives.

To purchase tickets visit www.tjff.com Phone orders 416-967-1528 (beginning April 1)