The excitement of the Toronto International Film Festival will once again filter out of the theatres and onto Festival Street (King Street West between Peter Street and University Avenue) and David Pecaut Square.  New and exciting activations will line King Street in addition to food vendors, photo opportunities, and the Festival Street Music Stage housing musical performances throughout the opening weekend. MORE MOVIES AND MUSIC FOR FREE

On Friday September 8, Diamond certified rock band Nickelback hits the Festival Street Music Stage at 7pm to promote the premiere of their TIFF Gala Presentation Hate to Love: Nickelback, an intimate portrait of the Canadian stadium rockers’ celebrated career to date. Additionally, electronica and pow wow techno artist Classic Roots will also take the stage that evening.

On Sunday September 10, revel in additional performances by Luna Elle (RBCxMusic Artist), Toronto Dance Theatre, and Doug Tielli. In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the birth of hip hop, the Festival Street Closing Performance will be by the Godmother of Canadian Rap, Michie Mee.TIFF’s returning Cinema Park will present open-air screenings in David Pecaut Square, showcasing classic films of some of the talent in TIFF 2023 Official Selection films: The Spiderwick Chronicles; Batman; Contact; a 40th-anniversary screening of Superman III; a memorial tribute to Paul Reubens with Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure; Rocky; plus four screenings presented by the Next Wave committee which include a 30th-anniversary screening of Addams Family Values, Clueless, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and Where the Wild Things Are

New this year, the TIFF Next Wave Block Party, presented by Snapchat, takes place on Saturday September 9. This party will include additional performances from The Aubreys, featuring Stranger Things star Finn Wolfhard; Alex Porat; winner of TIFF Next Wave’s Battle of the Scores, daydream; Sho Madjozi; and Grammy Award winner Zakes Bantwini. Also new this year is the Festival Street Art Market, a market filled with fun activities in celebration of art and community from the city’s most exciting community film festivals and arts organizations on Simcoe St. Participants include: Inside Out Film Festival, imagineNATIVE Film Festival, Reel Asian Film Festival, Regent Park Film Festival, Hot Docs, Native Canadian Centre of Toronto (NCCT), Muse Arts, Reel Canada, and Workman Arts. Taking place during the first three days of Festival Street is the Festival Street Mural Project, where street artists Darcy Obokata and Tim Fukakusa (TIFF’s POP Japan mural artist) will create an exciting and evolving large art mural – a Toronto love letter to Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. The mural will be an homage to Miyazaki and the studio’s influence on artists and film lovers all over the world, and will celebrate TIFF’s Opening Night International Premiere of Miyazaki’s latest, The Boy and the Heron.Additional activations on Festival street include: Myseum of Toronto’s 36 Questions That Lead to Loving Toronto to Festival Street, an exhibition that invites Torontonians to fall in love with the city for the first time, or all over again; a Group Morning Mobility, a gentle mix of movement and meditation in David Pecaut Square by Have a Nice Day Pilates Studio on Saturday, September 9 at 11am for 30 minutes; and five additional vendors by BlackOwnedTO.

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats.