Festival

2022 Ashkenaz Festival

North America's largest celebration of Jewish music, arts and culture returns!

 

Welcome to the 2022 Ashkenaz Festival! This year’s  Festival is a celebration of Jewish musical and artistic creativity from across the globe, spotlighting diverse musical expressions of the Jewish experience, including: Yiddish opera, Klezmer funk, Ethiopian-Israeli jazz, Jewish bluegrass, Judeo-Persian soul, Sephardic/Ladino folk, Roma and Ukrainian-Jewish music, and so much more.

The Ashkenaz Festival is one of the largest and most prestigious showcases of Jewish music and culture anywhere in the world.  Since 1995, the festival has taken place biennially at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto’s premier venue for the presentation of world and folk culture and for the meeting of diverse communities through the arts. Originally founded as a showcase for Klezmer music and Yiddish culture, the Ashkenaz Festival has evolved over the years into an eclectic showcase of global Jewish art and culture, encompassing not merely the traditions of eastern Europe, but also Sephardic, Mizrachi and Israeli culture, and all manner of cross-cultural fusion. The Festival is offered 90% free to the public and attracts a multicultural audience of over 60,000 people. Nowhere else in the world does so large and diverse an audience come together to experience Jewish cultural arts. Though strongly focused on music, Ashkenaz is a multidisciplinary festival, including dance, theatre, film, literature and talk, visual arts, and kids/family programs.

Interested in Volunteering at the festival?

click here for the 2022 Festival Volunteer Application:

Frequently Asked Questions

click here for the 2022 Festival Volunteer Application:

Parking revenues help to support public programming and activities at Harbourfront Centre. Each time you park at Harbourfront Centre you are helping to contribute to the success of the many year-round events that you enjoy.

There are TWO easily accessible parking lots:

Lot P2 – 225 Queen’s Quay West (Underground)

Lot P3 (Rees Street Parking) 318 Queen’s Quay West (Street Level)

Glenn Gould Parking

There are three lots on Front street near the venue: 

*315 Front Street Parking- Has both Indigo Parking and GO PARK Parking

*206 Front Street West Parking 

Temple Sinai Parking

FREE PARKING in the adjacent lot.

Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre – 235 Queens Quay West

BY CAR: Head south on Lower Simcoe Street from Lakeshore Boulevard.

WALKING: TTC to Union Station, Harbourfront is an 8-minute walk South on York Street.

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: TTC to Union Station, take the 509 bus from Union. You can also take the 510 streetcar south from Spadina Station (at Bloor).

Temple Sinai

Temple Sinai – 210 Wilson Avenue

BY CAR: Take Highway 401 to exit 366 (Bathurst Street), and head 4-5 blocks West on Wilson Avenue.

BY PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION: Take TTC Bus Route #7 (Bathurst) to Wilson, and take TTC Bus Route #96 (Wilson) Westbound to Clyde Avenue.

Glenn Gould Studio 

Glenn Gould Studio – 250 Front Street West

BY CAR: Glenn Gould Studio is located two blocks west of University at 250 Front Street West. It is located in the CBC building, directly across the street from the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. 

BY TRANSIT: Take the TTC Line 1 to St Andrew Station. Walk one block south on University and one block west on Wellington. Then walk South one block on Simcoe and two blocks west on Front. 

Harbourfront Centre

Harbourfront Centre will offer a few food trucks onsite offering a variety of food and beverages. Ashkenaz will also have Elite Salads serving Kosher hot dogs and burgers.

Additional Food Vendors on Site: 

Sunshine Smoothies (freshly blended fruit smoothies)

The Mighty Cob (fresh corn on the cob)

Boxcar Social (coffee, light lunches/meals/snacks, drinks)

The Slip (drinks and burgers)

Lisa’s Ice Cream (ice cream cones, cups, and bars)

Other food options close to Harbourfront Centre:

Amsterdam Brewery (just west of Harbourfront on the waterfront)

Joe Bird (Queens Quay Terminal)

The Goodman Pub (Queens Quay Terminal)

Pie Bar (Queens Quay Terminal)

Kinka Izakaya Harbourfront (Harbour Street)

Swades Indian Cuisine (Queens Quay West)

Rosie’s Burgers (Queens Quay West)

Pearl Dim Sum Restaurant (Queens Quay Terminal)

Tim Horton’s (Queens Quay West)

Firkin on Harbour (Harbour Street)

Officially, unauthorized audio and video recording of Festival artist performances is prohibited. Unofficially, we do encourage you to document your Festival experience in various ways and to share your photos on social media.

We ask you to please be mindful and respectful of performers and other audience members in various venues, in order not to disrupt anyone else’s experience.

Harbourfront is a public venue, so unless your animal is restricted by law, all are welcome. Service animals are always welcome, unless legal restrictions apply.

There is no camping on the Festival site, but there are a multitude of hotels in the downtown Toronto area that can accommodate your needs.

The majority of Ashkenaz Festival events are totally free! This is only possible because of our incredible supporters and Festival patrons, like you. However, there are some special ticketed presentations that require ticket purchase: Bas Sheve, The Last Night at Cabaret Yitesh and the Concert of Women Cantors. 

The Ashkenaz Festival is a family-friendly community event. Unless the Festival schedule denotes differently, all presentations and shows are appropriate for every member of the family!

Unless it is purchased from a licensed vendor on site and kept within restricted boundaries, alcohol is not permitted.

Absolutely not! The Ashkenaz Festival is proud to reach a wide array of diverse cultures, ethnicities, and peoples. Many of our performers come from incredibly diverse backgrounds and travel all over the world, and many of them aren’t Jewish themselves! Everyone is welcome to enjoy!

Harbourfront Centre, Temple Sinai, and Glenn Gould Studio are completely wheelchair accessible. Please reach out and let us know if you have any other accessibility issues, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs. 

In case of an emergency, go to the Harbourfront Centre info and security desks, located at the north end of the Bill Boyle Artport. You can also flag down an Ashkenaz staff member or volunteer who will be pleased to assist you.

Lost and Found is located at the Harbourfront information desk in the Bill Boyle ArtPort, along with general Harbourfront Centre venue information. Ashkenaz-specific help can be found by asking one of our many volunteers around the site.

Lawn chairs and other assisted seating devices are permitted! Feel free to bring anything that may assist your experience along with you to Ashkenaz.

The Ashkenaz Festival will take place rain or shine. In the event of inclement weather conditions, depending on the severity, some performances on the outdoor stages (Concert Stage, Stage in the Park) might be affected.