The Habourfront Centre, one of the most visited cultural centers in Toronto, hosted the festival “Ritmo y Color: The Streets of Mexico 2016” from July 15 to 17, 2016. This year marked the fourth time that Mexico has been the special guest.
In this edition, a wide range of cultural and artistic events was offered with the purpose of portraying the diversity of contemporary Mexican culture, music and dance. The program also featured other forms of cultural expression from our country, including delicious offerings of Mexican cuisine and various visual arts exhibitions.
Consul General Porfirio Thierry Muñoz Ledo, Mexico Tourism Board (MTB) Director Rodrigo Esponda, the Harbourfront Centre's CEO Marah Braye and its Creative Director Iris Nemani launched Mexico's participation in the festival.
The Consul General highlighted the fact that Mexico is a culturally rich and diverse nation, and that the government is promoting an active cultural policy focused not only on showcasing our rich heritage abroad, but also on connecting with Mexican communities and fostering ties of friendship with Canada.
The directors of the Harbourfront Centre expressed their excitement about the quality of the Mexican concerts and recognized the prominence of Mexican culture in Toronto.
Extremely successful performances were offered by the artist Astrid Hadad, the group Centavrvs and the bands Papi Chulo and Palo Dado, representing different genres of Mexican music, including bolero, alternative rock, pop-rock, progressive rock and folk rock.
Also taking part in the festival were Mexican music groups and artists based in Toronto, Manitoba and Montreal, such as Mamselle Ruiz, Rosy Cervantes y la Sana Rabia, Mariachi Ghost, Saul Torres, Jorge López's México Amigo mariachi band and the Mexican Folk Ballet company.
An innovative feature of the Harbourfront festival was the organization, in collaboration with Lucha T.O., of a series of lucha libre shows with Mexican and international luchadores (wrestlers), including Blue Demon Jr., along with Gabriel Fuerza and Vaughan Vertigo.
Parallel activities included talks on Mexican handicrafts offered by textile expert and curator Sarah Quinton, and by the directors of the Casa Cultural Mexicana, Jorge Zarate and Guadalupe Velasco. There were also family workshops teaching Mexican folk dancing, how to make piñatas, and how to play lotería.