The Yiddish side of Côte-des-Neiges takes over the neighbourhood during Zumerfest
In the spirit of Dora Wasserman’s legacy, the currently running second edition of the Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival brings the world to multicultural Côte-des-Neiges. Designated to be a biennial event (the first edition took place in 2009), it shows the wonderful diversity of Yiddish culture.
You think Yiddish is limited to two or three countries? You will be surprised to discover more than 150 artists from Israel, Austria, Canada, Romania, Poland, France and many more. "What makes that festival so unique is that, over 80 events, Yiddish [culture] is celebrated through theatre but also music, cinema, conferences, etc.," says Zumerfest coordinator Kenny Stein.
Zumerfest is a free outdoor party that will take place on Father’s Day in Mackenzie-King Park (it will move to the Segal Centre in case bad weather keeps crashing our summertime celebrations), led by a lineup of Yiddish musicians and singers, as well as special guests from the Chinese, Haitian and Filipino communities. "It’s an all-generations outdoor event, and we want to encourage non-Yiddish people to come and discover a glimpse of what they could appreciate in Yiddish culture," adds Stein.
The Zumerfest audience will be entertained by host Mendy Cahan, quadrilingual frontman of Der Yiddish Express and founder of Yung Yidish (a youth organization promoting Yiddish culture). Joining him will be two headliners.
Toronto’s Sisters of Sheynville, a band inspired by klezmer, swing and roots music of the 1930s and 40s, will start up the fun with their intricate vocal arrangements and passionate jazzy improv. Later on, power pop and hard rock band Yiddish Princess will bring their Brooklyn-born sound to the heart of Côte-des-Neiges.
Although the afternoon already seems filled up, special non-Yiddish guests such as Marco Gentille and Cynthia Cantave, Sinag Bayan Arts Collective and Zaftik Trio will also play and entertain the Zumerfest crowd. Between sets, feel free to meet with clowns, jugglers and magicians all over Mackenzie-King Park. Many other activities are planned, and for the hungry ones, this could also mean nosh time!
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At Mackenzie-King Park (Côte-Ste-Catherine Road, corner of Westbury)