SPOTLIGHT ON ISRAELI CULTURE in Toronto to Feature Music, Theatre & More

By: Jan. 16, 2015

For 50 years, the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation has been dedicated to supporting and developing artistic life in Israel through scholarships and grants, as well as showcasing Israeli culture in Canada. The 2nd Annual SPOTLIGHT ON ISRAELI CULTURE features Israeli contemporary art and artists with virtuosi from the worlds of music, theatre, dance, art, film and letters.

SPOTLIGHT ON ISRAELI CULTURE is supported by Israel's Office of Cultural Affairs of the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto, and curated by the Canada-Israel Cultural Foundation. Partner organizations including Aga Khan Museum, Ashkenaz Foundation, Austrian Cultural Forum, Dancemakers Centre for Creation, Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company, International Festival of Authors, Koffler Centre of the Arts, Miles Nadal JCC, Progress festival, The Rex Jazz and Blues Bar, Toronto Downtown Jazz, Toronto Jewish Film Festival, Toronto Jewish Film Society, Toronto Public Library, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, and Union Events, bring to Toronto the leading edge artists transforming Israel's vibrant contemporary cultural scene.

Presented as part of the RBC Piano Extravaganza, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra presents the National Arts Centre Orchestra with pianist Yefim Bronfman and Maestro Pinchas Zuckerman on the podium. Zukerman makes his final Toronto appearance as Music Director of the National Arts Centre Orchestra leading a hearty programme of Brahms' Double Concerto and Piano Concerto No. 2 at Roy Thomson Hall. (February 7)

Union Events presents singer-songwriter and alt-rock folk-soul musician Asaf Avidan as part of a three-week US/Canada tour, to promote his new album "Different Pulses," which also includes stops in DC, Boston, New York and Montreal. (February 9)

The Rex Jazz and Blues Bar presents The Ehud Ettun Trio, led by America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship winner, double bassist Ehud Ettun, with Daniel Schwarzwald on piano and Nathan Blankett on drums for an evening of world music, original arrangements and jazz standards. (March 10)

Ashkenaz and Aga Khan Museum present the Canadian premiere performance of DIWAN SAZ, an interfaith ensemble made up of Jewish, Muslim, Christian and Bedouin musicians who perform ancient music from Central Asia, Turkey, Persia, and the Holy Land promoting peace and harmony through their music. (March 12)

Toronto Downtown Jazz and the Consulate General of Israel in Toronto present the second ISRAELI JAZZ SHOWCASE at SPOTLIGHT featuring outstanding Israeli artists from at home and abroad. Making her Toronto debut, internationally-acclaimed Israeli clarinettist and saxophonist, Anat Cohen, performs with her quartet; Toronto-based Kobi Hass leads a quartet of local musicians; and New York-based pianist Guy Mintus leads a trio of America-Israel Cultural Foundation scholarship winners. (March 18)

The North American premiere of MARATHON, presented by Progress and the Koffler Centre of the Arts, combines theatre, dance and grueling physicality as three people literally run in circles struggling to fully experience life under a constant state of emergency. From interdisciplinary performance artist Aharona Israel born in Israel in 1973, MARATHON will be performed twice in English and once in Hebrew with English subtitles. (February 4-6)

Dancemakers Centre for Creation presents the return of Israeli dance artists, Oren Laor and Niv Sheinfeld in TWO ROOM APARTMENT. Following their successful studio performance and talk back as part of the inaugural Spotlight on Israel Festival last year with Dancemakers, this year the artists will present a full staging of their 2013 "Best Performance" (Israeli Dance Critics Circle) duet that reflects on their relationship as partners in life and as creators for the past decade. This performance is a contemporary interpretation of the 1987 seminal performance created by Liat Dror and Nir Ben Gal, and with whose company Sheinfeld spent his early career. (February 26 - March 1 including a master class for dancers on February 27)

Harold Green Jewish Theatre Company presents a special one-time dramatic reading of APPLES FROM THE DESERT, written by Savyon Liebrecht and translated by Shir Freibach. Winner of the 2006 Israel Best Play Award, APPLES FROM THE DESERT is a poignant drama about love and reconciliation, and religion and modernity, from one of Israel's most beloved and popular authors. (March 8)

Miles Nadal JCC and Austrian Cultural Forum present PRAYER, an exhibition from artist Dvora Barzilai. Born and educated in Tel Aviv, Barzilai is an observant Jew living in Vienna with her Cantor husband. Religion and Jewish tradition are at the centre of her work. PRAYER explores the Hebrew language in through mixed media including gold leaf, tempera, sand, cement, ashes, oils and canvas. (January 29 - February 19)

International Festival of Authors and the Koffler Centre of the Arts present THE BEST PLACE ON EARTH: IN CONVERSATION WITH AYELET TSABARI. Author Ayelet Tsabari reads from "The Best Place on Earth," her collection of stories populated with Mizrahi (Middle Eastern) Jews; confident, original and humane characters. The are people at the crossroads of religion, nationality and community whose stories are not widely shared or known. (February 3)

Toronto Jewish Film Society and Miles Nadal JCC present THE MATCHMAKER (PA'AM HAYITI), a joyous and sobering coming of age story set in Haifa in the summer of '68 (February 15); and the Toronto Jewish Film Festival presents GETT: THE TRIAL OF VIVIANE AMSALEM, winner of Best Film at the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival, and a powerful critique of faith and gender politics in Israel (February 22). The Toronto Public Library and the Consulate General of Israel present ISRAELI FILM SERIES with AVIVA, MY LOVE (Aviva Ahuvati), the tale of a hotel cook who secretly yearns to write and her sister who wants to make her dreams come true (March 16); and JELLYFISH (Meduzot) the tale of three women in Tel Aviv whose intersecting lives paint a portrait of secular life in Israeli. (March 23)

BroadwayWorld Awards Voting


Talk Is Free Theatres 2023 F. Joseph Anderson Award Goes To Matthew Macquarrie- Cottle Photo
Talk Is Free Theatre's 2023 F. Joseph Anderson Award Goes To Matthew Macquarrie- Cottle

Matthew MacQuarrie-Cottle receives Talk Is Free Theatre's 2023 F. Joseph Anderson Award at TIFT's Annual General Meeting.

Tarragon Theatre Announces THE GREENHOUSE FESTIVAL Lineup Photo
Tarragon Theatre Announces THE GREENHOUSE FESTIVAL Lineup

Mike Payette Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre and Managing Director Andrea Vagianos are excited to announce the lineup for the 2024 Greenhouse Festival, a festival of new work developed and incubated at Tarragon Theatre.

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG to be Presented at the Annex Theatre This Winter Photo
MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG to be Presented at the Annex Theatre This Winter

Shifting Ground Collective presents an ambitious production of Stephen Sondheim and George Furth's 'Merrily We Roll Along,' performed entirely by a company of young artists. This fresh take on the musical challenges the perception of the story's jaded bitterness and tragedy of aging, emphasizing the enduring hope and possibility of chasing dreams.

Review: BRIGADOON at Shaw Festival Photo
Review: BRIGADOON at Shaw Festival

The golden age of Broadway found lilting infectious melodies melding with captivating, if often whimsical stories. Lerner and Loewe's 1947 BRIGADOON ticked all the boxes in a world fresh off of World War II. The Shaw Festival in Niagara on the Lake has revived it's 2019 production and this version shines even brighter than it's first outing.

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