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TO2015 to Bring Sizzling Sounds of the Americas and Caribbean to streets of Toronto, Hamilton and Markham

For Immediate Release

TO2015 to Bring Sizzling Sounds of the Americas and Caribbean to streets of Toronto, Hamilton and Markham

Vintage pickup trucks to deliver salsa, samba, reggae, funk and calypso to street corners in August


TORONTO July 29, 2013 — The TORONTO 2015 Games are hitting the streets once again this summer to celebrate the Games and the diverse cultures of the Americas and Caribbean through the power of music.

STREETSIDE presented by CIBC, the ultimate summer block party, follows the phenomenally successful Play Me, I’m Yours street piano project that invited everyone last summer to sit down and play a tune at locations across downtown Toronto to mark the three-year countdown to the Games.

This summer, the music is mobile — thanks to a fleet of beautifully-appointed vintage pickup trucks — and travelling to street corners in Toronto, Markham and Hamilton, starting August 10. STREETSIDE is part of the TORONTO 2015 Arts and Culture Festival presented by CIBC.

STREETSIDE is inspired by the multi-coloured chivas of Colombia, the Pied Piper-like sound systems of Jamaica and mass tailgate parties of North America, showcasing Latin American and Caribbean sound explosions guaranteed to cool a hot summer’s night,” explained Don Shipley, the creative director of arts and culture, festivals for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).

The music officially starts with a free, public concert on Thursday, August 8 at 6:00 p.m. when the nine pickups and their travelling musicians — specializing in salsa, tango, samba, soca, reggae, funk and calypso — will converge at Harbourfront Centre, in the heart of Toronto’s waterfront.

Salsa supergroup the Lula All Stars will open the three-hour music and dance spectacle at Harbourfront Centre’s newly-opened Ontario Square, with musicians such as Jay Douglas, Joaquin Diaz and Quique Escamilla also performing. Canailles, an exciting new Québécois group that fuses foot-stomping bluegrass with Cajun and folk influences, will close out the night.

To get everyone in the spirit of STREETSIDE, professional dancers will be on hand for the opening night and CIBC will offer salsa lessons at its tent, as well as maracas — so it will be impossible to stand still! The night will take listeners on a winding musical journey from Canada to the southern tip of the Americas.

“CIBC is proud to present the TO2015 Arts and Culture program that celebrates Canada’s multicultural mosaic and the rich Pan American culture and heritage. Like Play Me, I’m Yours, we envision STREETSIDE bringing our diverse communities closer together through the universal language of music,” said Stephen Forbes, CIBC’s Executive Vice-President of Marketing, Communications and Public Affairs.

Following the concert, the vintage pickups will appear on streets for the next three weekends, starting Saturday, August 10 at noon in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district: the John Street corridor. The bands will spill out of the pickups and perform while parked at various locations — but never for too long.

The other musicians performing as part of STREETSIDE include: award-winning Latin Jazz singer Amanda Martinez, high energy band Loco Zydeco and the calypso-inspired Kobo Town.

“Any visitor to this great city quickly realizes that the Greater Toronto Area is a mosaic of cultures that give it energy and life,” said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). “Our Government is pleased to support the TORONTO 2015 Games, which are igniting a celebration of sport and culture in communities throughout southern Ontario with exciting community events like STREETSIDE.”

Michael Chan, Ontario Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games, added:  “The People’s Games are bringing Ontarians a unique mix of sport, community and cultural events. STREETSIDE is a wonderful, entertaining way to bring the excitement of the TORONTO 2015 Games to our communities in a way that celebrates our rich cultural diversity and promotes our talented artists.”


In August, STREETSIDE can be found in:


Thursday, August 8         6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.      Harbourfront Centre’s Ontario Square


Saturday, August 10        12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.    John Street (Queen to Front streets)

                                         4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.      John Street (Queen to Front streets)


Saturday, August 17        2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.      Church Street (Carlton to Wellesley streets)

                                        7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.      Church Street (Carlton to Wellesley streets)


Saturday, August 24        12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.    Bloor Street West (Spadina to Bathurst streets)

                                         7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.      The Beaches (along the boardwalk)



Sunday, August 11                12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.    Main Street Unionville

                                                4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.      Main Street Unionville



Sunday, August 18           2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.      Pier 8, along the Waterfront

                                         7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.      Pier 8, along the Waterfront


About TO2015

The TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) is tasked with the responsibility of planning, managing and delivering the Games. Its mission is to ignite the spirit through a celebration of sport and culture. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7–14.

The 2015 Games are funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, as well as other partners and sponsors. CIBC is the Lead Partner of the Games.

For more information about the Games, please visit

About CIBC

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at


About Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre is a Canadian charity operating the 10 prime acres of Toronto’s central waterfront as a free and open public site. We celebrate the multiplicities of cultures that comprise Canada and enliven the city through the creative imaginations of artists from across the country and around the globe. Harbourfront Centre attracts more than 17 million visits to its site each year to experience 4,000 diverse public events and activities. Harbourfront Centre receives operational support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto and program funding from all levels of government, the private sector and individual donors.     


For further information, please contact:

Beth Sulman

For TO2015

[email protected]