September 1, 2014 4:42 pm
Updated: September 29, 2014 3:26 pm

First ever ‘Festival Street’ will turn TIFF into an outdoor party

TORONTO – In a matter of days the stars will descend on the city for the 39th annual Toronto International Film Festival. For the first time ever, organizers have taken the party to the streets with a pedestrian-only event from September 4 to 7.

“The whole stretch from Peter Street to University is being turned into a pedestrian promenade. There is literally something for everyone at Festival Street. They can go and check out some plays and experience pop-up performances,” says Nobu Adilman, Special Events Programmer for Festival Street.

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One of the highlights will be the eclectic roster of musical talent set to turn King Street into an outdoor concert. deVah is an electric string quartet that plays rock covers with a unique artistic twist.

“We sound like a prog-rock band. The electric violin sounds like an electric guitar. The electric cello sounds like an electric bass,” says Liza McLellan, one of the members of the quartet.

Other bands and musicians include Adrian X, DJ Misty, BADBADNOTGOOD, and Juno award-winner, Bob Wiseman.

A life-sized chess game, listening stations at Simcoe and King by Rdio and a Festival Street piano will invite the public to participate in the fun.

Norman McLaren, founder of the National Film Board of Canada animation studio and one of Canada’s most legendary artists will be honoured with an outdoor screening of his short films with original music performed by Toronto experimental group, Absolutely Free.

Comedians will also be lightening the mood as part of the weekend celebration. Faisal Butt, a local actor and entertainer, plans on performing new material for the crowd.

“It’s going to be a combination of comedy and improv. I’m going to sort of figure it out on the fly.”

Festival Street, however, has involved months of planning, and it will likely be a welcome addition to this popular annual event.

Key Locations During Toronto International Film Festival

© Shaw Media, 2014

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