March Concerts at The Royal Conservatory


Koerner Hall celebrates its 500th concert!

Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin returns

Family Concerts continue with Jon Batiste and Stay Human

TD Jazz: A Salute to the Big Bands with Ryan Truesdell’s Gil Evans Project

La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach conducted by Uri Mayer and directed by Joel Ivany

Koerner Hall has been called an architectural and acoustical gem, stunning, superb, acoustically-flawless, one of the best and most beautiful halls in the world … the superlatives uttered by the media and the artists who have performed at The Royal Conservatory of Music since the doors opened on September 25, 2009. This spring will mark and important milestone – the 500th concert in the hall – performed by Georgian violinist Lisa Batiashvili.

Praised by audiences and fellow musicians for her virtuosity and “profound sensitivity” (Financial Times), Batiashvili has recently been name Musical America’s 2015 Instrumentalist of the Year, and she is also the 2014-15 Artist-in-Residence of the New York Philharmonic and NDR Sinfonieorchester Hamburg. She makes her Koerner Hall debut on March 27 with pianist Paul Lewis, who will return for a solo recital during the 2014-15 season. The concert features music of Schubert, Bach, Telemann, and Beethoven.


Invesco Piano Concerts

Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin is well known for his unrivalled blend of musicianship and virtuosity in the great works of the established repertoire, as well as for his intrepid exploration of the neglected music of the 19th and 20th centuries, both in concert and on disc. He last appeared at The Royal Conservatory during the inaugural 21C Music Festival in May of 2014, and he returns to Koerner Hall on March 1 for a program that includes works by John Field, Claude Debussy, Franz Schubert, and his own Pavane Variée. The concert is presented in association with Music TORONTO.


Family Concerts and Music Mix

Jazz piano prodigy from New Orleans, Jon Batiste, appears in Koerner Hall twice in one day on March 7. During the evening concert, he plays what he calls “Social Music” with his band, Stay Human, and in the afternoon they perform a second concert in The Conservatory’s new series of Family Concerts – grown-up concerts for 6-13 year-olds (and their parents, grandparents, and friends). For this special Family Concert, Batiste and his quartet (piano, sax, tuba, and tambourine) break down the roots of jazz and serve up a jambalaya of funk, rhythm, the blues, and spirituals. A recurring musical guest on The Colbert Report in 2014, Batiste has performed in over 40 countries, playing sold out shows in various venues in New York, London, and Paris, and collaborating with the likes of Prince, Cassandra Wilson, Lauryn Hill, Spike Lee, Wynton Marsalis, Jimmy Buffet, Eve, Lenny Kravitz, ?uestlove, and Asher Roth.


TD Jazz: A Salute to the Big Bands

The penultimate concert in the Salute to the Big Bands concert series features one of New York’s best new big bands conducted by Ryan Truesdell on March 28. Truesdell’s current production venture is the Gil Evans Project, an extensive compilation effort to unearth and bring to light some of the lesser known music of Toronto-born composer Gil Evans, who was Miles Davis’s collaborator on albums such as Birth of the Cool, Sketches of Spain, and Porgy & Bess. Throughout this process, Truesdell has discovered more than 50 works of Evans’s that were never before recorded or released and, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of Evans’s birth, he has produced Centennial: Newly Discovered Works of Gil Evans, an album of the very best of these previously unheard works.


Chamber Concerts

KahaneSwensenBrey was launched in spring 2012, when three virtuosi musicians – pianist Jeffrey Kahane, violinist Joseph Swensen, and cellist Carter Brey – reunited following a 25-year hiatus to establish a formally constituted trio. Each member of the trio has enjoyed a highly successful career as a soloist and chamber musician in addition to holding important leadership posts in the orchestra world.

Now they make their Koerner Hall debut together on March 8 in a program of Mozart, Schumann, Ravel, and Paul Schoenfield.


Royal Conservatory Orchestra & Opera Concerts

In their annual opera offering, the students of The Glenn Gould School perform a fully staged La belle Hélène by Jacques Offenbach for two nights on March 18 and March 20. In this parody of the story of Helen of Troy’s elopement with Paris, which set off the Trojan War, Offenbach’s witty political and cultural satire finds the perfect heroine to poke fun at many of the conventions of the past and present. The Royal Conservatory Orchestra and vocal students of The Glenn Gould School will be conducted by Uri Mayer with Brahm Goldhamer serving as artistic director, Camellia Koo as set designer, Ming Wong as costume designer, Bonnie Beecher as lighting designer, and Jennifer Nichols as choreographer. The opera will be performed in French with English SURTITLES™ and English dialogue by Michael Albano. Joel Ivany, founder and artistic director of Against the Grain Theatre (a Toronto-based cutting edge theatre collective) who has recently been engaged by both the Canadian Opera Company and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra for their 2015-16 seasons, directs.


Mazzoleni Masters

Alexandra Koerner Yeo Chair in Cello and Artist-in-Residence at The Glenn Gould School, internationally renowned cellist Andrés Díaz leads a solo and chamber program, including Schubert’s String Quintet in C Major with the Arkadas String Quartet on March 15.


The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists

On March 14, The Phil and Eli Taylor Performance Academy for Young Artists presents a free Taylor Academy Showcase Concert, performed by the leading young classical musicians in Canada. These future stars follow in the steps of lauded alumni such as Stewart Goodyear, Barry Shiffman, and Martin Beaver.


Rebanks Family Fellowship Concerts

On March 31, The Glenn Gould School presents another group of artists on the cusp of major careers in yet one more free event. This Rebanks Family Fellowship Concert features solo and chamber works by Vivaldi, Bolcom, Hasenöhrl, and Schubert performed by Rebanks Fellows currently enrolled in the one-year Rebanks Family Fellowship and International Performance Residency Program.



February 12, 2014 – OTTAWA (Canada) – The National Arts Centre (NAC) is mourning the loss of four well known Canadian artists who died in a tragic car accident that claimed five lives outside of Regina Tuesday. The NAC lowered its flag to honour the lives of Michael Green, Michele Sereda, Narcisse Blood and Lacy Morin-Desjarlais.

Michael Green, one of the founders and Co-Artistic Director of Calgary’s One Yellow Rabbit, was killed along with performance artists and community leaders Michele Sereda of Regina, First Nations leader and artist Narcisse Blood, and artist and educator Lacy Morin-Desjarlais.

Michael Green was a major force in Canadian Theatre, instigating and leading One Yellow Rabbit and Calgary’s international festival of the arts, High Performance Rodeo. He was also a curator and creative producer of the Calgary 2012 cultural celebrations. Narcisse Blood was a leader and elder in the Blood Nation, an award-winning filmmaker, and an eminent scholar and instructor at Red Crow Community College. He also taught at the University of Lethbridge and in the International Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Calgary. Both Green and Blood were key members in the creation of the Making Treaty 7 Society.

Both Sereda and Morin-Desjarlais were celebrated artists based out of Regina. Sereda was a major force in Regina’s arts community for a number of decades, but also had a wealth of experience on international stages. She shared her passion for the arts through teaching, both as a faculty member for the University of Regina’s theatre department, as well as an instructor in workshops around the province.

Sereda received the Mayor’s Arts and Business Award for Living the Arts in 2013. She was also the Artistic Director of the experimental theatre company Curtain Razors. Morin-Desjarlais was a Saulteux artist who was born in Saskatchewan and grew up in British Columbia. She moved back to Regina two years ago and recently began teaching at the University of Regina Conservatory.

Closing the High Seas to Fishing

Study recommends closing the high seas to fishing

SFU biologist Isabelle Côté has co-authored a new study that finds little would be lost by eliminating high seas fishing.

The high seas globally should be closed to fishing argues a new study in the journal Scientific Reports, co-authored by Isabelle Côté, a Simon Fraser University professor of marine ecology and conservation.

“Intense fishing in the high seas,” says Côté, an SFU Department of Biological Sciences researcher, “has resulted in habitat destruction and declining stocks of fish such as tunas and swordfishes.”

In this study Côté and her colleagues analyzed the economic impact of closing the high seas to fishing, identifying which countries would stand to financially gain or lose.

The world’s oceans are separated into exclusive economic zones (EEZs) and the high seas. EEZs are the coastal areas that are within 200 nautical miles of maritime countries that maintain the rights to the resources in these waters. The high seas are international waters outside of these boundaries that are shared by the world.

For the first time, the authors estimated the amount of fish caught in the high seas as opposed to EEZs. According to their study, less than one per cent of the global landings come from fish caught only in the high seas. The bulk of the world’s fisheries actually come from fish stocks that straddle both areas. This unexpectedly high level of exchange means that most fish stocks would still be available to be fished in EEZs, even if the high seas were closed to fishing.

The authors then evaluated the impact of closing deep-sea fishing on fisheries’ catches and values, and their economic consequences for individual countries.

“Under realistic assumptions, closing the high seas would result in no loss in fish catches or landed value of them on a global scale,” says a surprised Côté. “Of course, a few countries would lose out, but most would gain, including some of the world’s poorest countries.”

Commenting on the United Nations’ recent decision to consider creating a legally binding agreement to protect international waters, Côté says: “I hope our research increases understanding of the need for this. I am delighted that the high seas are starting to be recognized as a valuable resource that deserves protection and stewardship.”

The Global Ocean Commission, OceanCanada and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada funded this study, which was led by U. Rashid Sumaila at the University of British Columbia.

As Canada’s engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement.  SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada’s comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.

Tarragon Theatre Presents Abyss

Tarragon Theatre presents the English-language premiere of

Written and translated by Maria Milisavljevic

Directed by Richard Rose

Starring Cara Pifko, Gord Rand and Sarah Sherman

TORONTO (January 7, 2015) - Tarragon Theatre proudly presents the English-language premiere of Abyss, written and translated by Tarragon’s first-ever International playwright-in-residence Maria Milisavljevic and directed by Artistic Director Richard Rose. This poetic thriller about a missing woman premiered (as Brandung) at the Deutsches Theater Berlin, winning the prestigious 2013 Kleist Promotional Award for Young Dramatists. Abyss opens February 11 and runs to March 15, 2015 (previewing from February 3) in Tarragon’s Extraspace, and marks the Canadian debut of German playwright Milisavljevic. MISSING. Karla Richter, 24: a loving and trusting young woman, last seen before she left for the grocery store in blue jeans, a green parka and her red rubber rain boots. The police and papers ignore the disappearance, leaving her three friends – whose roots lie in Serbia and Croatia – to discover the truth. Karla’s lover Vlado, born into terror and war, Karla’s caring roommate Sophia, and Vlado’s roommate who is Sophia’s sister, search for their missing friend. As the story slowly unravels, it becomes clear that all three of them have been harbouring secrets as they realize how brittle the life they had built is. A search for Karla becomes a search for the self in this lyrical thriller and modern day epic cloaked in the mystery of Europe’s underworld. Tarragon is pleased to announce the talented actors for this award-winning work about love, loss, and the need for belonging: Gord Rand is “He” (Vlado), Sarah Sherman is “She” (Sophia) and Cara Pifko is “I,” Sophia’s sister and the narrator in the play.

Rand‘s credits include: Tarragon’s Wide Awake Hearts; Shaw Festival’s The Philanderer, The Cherry Orchard and more; Necessary Angel’s Hamlet; Mirvish’s The Innocent Eye Test (Dora Award), Volcano’s Goodness which he made into the feature documentary Goodness in Rwanda which won the Audience Choice Award at the 2013 ReelWorld Film Festival and Best Feature Documentary at the Thin Line Film Festival in Denton, Texas. Sherman‘s credits include: Canadian Stage’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Theatre By The Bay’s Twelfth Night; That Choir Unplugged member. Pifko’s credits include: Tarragon’s Léo; O Rejane for Bootleg Theater in Los Angeles; Soulpepper’s Top Girls; CBC TV drama This is Wonderland, which garnered her a Gemini Award for best actress; Stratford Festival - Coriolanus, Much Ado About Nothing; Canadian Stage - The Clean House; 2013 Best Actress in a Feature Film award from the FilmOut San Diego for her performance in Margarita. Born in Arnsberg, Germany, Maria Milisavljevic is an award-winning playwright, theatre creator and director and is Tarragon’s International Playwright-in-Residence. Her latest play Brandung (Abyss) received the 2013 Kleist Promotional Award for Young Dramatists and opened at Deutsches Theater Berlin and continues to run in rep there. Brandung was further named one of the five best new plays of 2013 by Spiegel Magazine, alongside works by well-known artists such as Martin Crimp and Rimini Protokoll. Over the past twelve years, Milisavljevic has worked with various theatres and companies across Germany and in London, UK. At Tarragon, she has worked as a script reader, script coordinator, assistant director and translator. Most recently for Tarragon, she translated her play Brandung (Abyss) and Florian Borchmeyer’s adaptation for Schaubühne Berlin’s of An Enemy of the People. She is the recipient of a three-year scholarship grant by the Bavarian Ministry for Sciences and the Arts. In 2009, Milisavljevic also received the John McGrath Scholarship in Theatre Studies of the Scottish Universities for her play Hero of the Day. In April of 2015, Abyss will open at the Arcola Theatre in London, UK.

Milisavljevic was inspired to write Abyss after hearing about the disappearance of a young woman in her hometown of Berlin and was struck by the fact that it was the missing woman’s friends and family that started a nationwide search for her – and not the authorities. Says, Milisavljevic: “I wrote Abyss while sitting by the sea in front of my mother’s house. The winter before, a young woman had disappeared – just before Christmas. One would come across a flyer with her picture on lamp posts and message boards at the university and in cafes. Her image haunted me and, while listening to the waves come in, I imagined her story – a story that sadly is the story of too many young women and men in our communities, both in Germany and in Canada. When writing my way into the loss and fear that her loved ones faced, stories from my own family history found their way into the play, and the missing girl became a friend.” Richard Rose is the Artistic Director of Tarragon Theatre. Prior to joining Tarragon in 2002, Rose was Founding Artistic Director at Necessary Angel (a position he held from 1978-2002), Associate Director for Canadian Stage Company, Director of the Stratford Festival Young Company and spent ten seasons directing at the Stratford Festival. He has directed plays across Canada, the United States, and in London’s West End in styles ranging from the environmental to the classical. Rose is well known for developing new work, including four plays that won the Governor General’s Award and nine other nominated plays. He is a four-time Dora Award winner for direction and production and has had numerous nominations. He has also been honoured with a Doctorate of Sacred Letters (jure dignitatus) from Thorneloe University (Sudbury, his home town), the Canada Council Walter Carsen Award for Excellence in the Arts and the City of Toronto’s Barbara Hamilton Award for the same. Set and lighting design is by Jason Hand and sound design is by Thomas Ryder Payne. The stage manager is Nicola Benidickson.

Opens February 11 and runs to March 15, 2015 (previews from February 3)

Tarragon Theatre’s Extraspace, 30 Bridgman Avenue, Toronto, M5R 1X3

Tuesday-Saturday at 8pm; Sunday at 2:30pm and select Saturdays at 2:30pm: Feb.14, Feb. 21, Feb. 28.

Regular Tickets: $42-$55; Previews: $27 (Discounts for seniors, students, arts workers and groups)

Rush Tickets: For every performance excluding opening night, specially priced $15 Rush Tickets will be sold (subject to availability) in person at the Box Office two hours before show time.

Follow Tarragon on Twitter @TarragonTheatre for updates on rush ticket availability and special ticket offers.

Toronto Festival of Clowns

10th Anniversary of the Toronto Festival of Clowns

We’re so excited about our new venue and the amazing talent that will be on those stages in June we couldn’t wait to tell you – expect fuller details in the coming months!

The Toronto Festival of Clowns is celebrating their Tenth Anniversary Festival!  From June 10 to June 14, 2015, join us as Canada’s best Clown and Physical Theatre performers take over Toronto’s Historic Factory Theatre!

Now entering into its 10th year, the Toronto Festival of Clowns continues to grow and solidify itself as a signature Toronto event – an event like no other! On this anniversary year, TFoC has had the rare good fortune to choose from applications totalling a 300% increase in submissions and select the very best of the best to showcase and highlight this year.  It’s a rare opportunity to see some of the best clowns, bouffon artists and physical theatre performers, our city and country have to offer.

Highlights of this Festival include new projects from THEATRE SMITH GILMOUR, KEYSTONE THEATRE, MULLET directed by Chris Gibbs, ADAM LAZARUS, perennial Toronto favourite FOO and PEA GREEN THEATRE brings WAR OF THE CLOWNS directed by Sue Miner.

Mr. Gilmour had this to say: “The Festival of Clowns gives something to the Toronto Theatre community that no other festival does: diversity of practice and style. It has given Canadian artists a unique opportunity to practice a kind of theatre that is conceived to tour and is rare in our community. This focus on diverse practice and style is vital to the health of our community.”

Pea Green is absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to present War of the Clowns at the amazing Toronto Festival of Clowns,” said Ms. Miner. “After all, as the clowns in this play say, ‘there can be no revolution without us.’

Taking over the entire historic Factory Theatre, aka the Factory Big Top, gives the Festival the opportunity to expand its programming into the Mainspace and Studio Theatres, the Courtyard and the Lounges. The use of these spaces allows for an expansion of the Red Nose District with double the performances hosted by Morro and Jasp, along with a blowout Lunacy Cabaret from Sketchy the Clown that is not to be missed!


“The festival is a focal point in the clown and theatre community calendar as it brings together all of the different forms of clowning allowing performers to watch and learn from each other’s styles and to incorporate new ideas into their performances and creations. As we grow we are also seeing more cross-over between art forms, says Artistic Director Adam Lazarus. “Because we encourage all artists to participate, including dancers, musicians and actors who perform within our “boundaries of clown,” we are finding that more and more members of these artistic communities are coming out to experience the unique infusion of their form with the world of clown,”  In 2015, our 10th anniversary, we want to make our mark on the Toronto cultural calendar.  We want the general public to know about us and be excited to see the unique brand of entertainment only a clown can bring.   Until now, we have built a strong fan base and loyal audiences, and moving forward we want more people to see us be funny!”


The 2015 10th anniversary lineup includes:


Theatre Smith Gilmour – The Asshole Project (Toronto)

Savage Cream Puff Productions – Mona Monaé (Vancouver) — Lagaffe – Arti-Chaut (Montreal)

Mi Casa Theatre – Inclement Weather (Ottawa)

Pea Green Theatre – War of the Clowns (Toronto)

Parry Riposte Productions – Much Ado About Feckin’ Pirates! (Ottawa)


QuipTake – Canine (Toronto)

Foo Productions – The Reverend Foo Revival Time (Toronto)

Mark Correia – An Evening of Magic (Montreal)

The Grand Salto – Philip and Lucinda in Existentialism is Hilarious (USA)

Whetstone Productions – Blue (Toronto)

Morgan Joy – Peggy’s Place (Toronto)

Virginia West – Becoming Dapper (Toronto)

Keystone Theatre – A Bit of Business (Toronto)

meMullet – Mullet’s Helpline (Toronto)

Dresden Commemoration 2015

Historical Society of Mecklenburg Upper Canada

Dresden Commemoration 2015

It is now 70 years that the cultural city of Dresden was incinerated by British and American bombers, along with countless other German cities.

There will be a remembrance, on Sunday, February 15, at 1:30 pm, at the Blue Danube Club, Meeting Room 1, 1686 Ellesmere Rd. (at McCowan) in Scarborough.

Free admission. Further Information at 416 439 1546.

The restaurant is open.


Voicebox - Opera in Concert


VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s 2014-2015 Season Finale

… a vision of the modern age

 Toronto, 04 February 2015…VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert completes the 2014-2015 season with LOUISE, Charpentier’s masterpiece that explores the modern age at the very dawn of the 20th Century.    Following LA VIDA BREVE and STREET SCENE, LOUISE completes the company’s survey of operas written from 1900 onwards, dealing with the friction between tradition and a new era.


The single performance takes place at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts on March 29, 2015 and stars soprano Leslie Ann Bradley in the title role. Ms. Bradley starred a Valentine in VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert’s LES HUGUENOTS in 2013 and has since been heard with the Orquesta sinfonica nacional de Mexico, the Louisiana Philharmonic, Toronto Symphony, Opera de Quebec and Pacific Opera Victoria.  Also featured are mezzo soprano Michele Bodganowicz and baritone Dion Mazerolle. Recently completing the cast is tenor Adrian Kramer singing the role of the poet Julien.  This performance marks Kramer’s major role debut as a tenor. A past member of the Canadian Opera Company’s Ensemble Studio as a baritone, he is in transition to the tenor fach and VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert is pleased to be his partner in this phase of his career development.


The denizens of Montmartre will be drawn from the VOICEBOX: Opera in Concert Chorus, led by the choir’s founding director, Robert CooperPeter Tiefenbach will be pianist and music director with Silva-Marin as artistic advisor for the production. 


The work, which arguably has Paris as the central character, premiered in 1900 at the Opera Comique and became a huge hit.  Against the backdrop of the city of light, Charpentier paints a vivid portrait of young love struggling to break free of societal conventions. Rarely has an opera so eloquently juxtaposed a private world with a sweeping, large-scale depiction of changing society.  LOUISE was Charpentier’s greatest success as an opera composer and though he lived till 1956, the latter part of his life was devoted more to social causes than composition.  An eclectic mix of social realism, symbolism and late romanticism are expertly combined and the heroine’s aria Depuis le jour remains a touchstone for lyric sopranos the world over.


Opera in Concert is supported by the Jackman Foundation, Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the Toronto Arts Council. Single tickets are available from the St. Lawrence Centre’s Jane Mallett Theatre Box Office, 27 Front St. East, by phone – 416-366-7723 or 1-800-708-6754 – or online at  The theatre is wheelchair accessible and close to public transit and municipal parking.  All performances are on Sunday afternoons at the St. Lawrence Centre at 2:30pm.


The endless Oberlander Case

One More Victim of German Bashing

The RCMP have said that 90 per cent of “refugee” claimants lie. This country is awash with refugee liars — Tamils and Somalis who return to visit the lands they claim to have fled for their lives. Canada’s ethnic-vote chasing politicians do NOTHING!

The endless Oberlaender case
The endless Oberlaender case

Germans, however, are seen to be passive. Easy to beat up on them and win praise and donations from the vociferous, German-hating “never again” Jewish lobby.

Helmut Oberlander, unlike many of these lying “refugees”, has made a major contribution to Canada. He is Volksdeutsche (an ethnic German born in the Ukraine). When National Socialist Germany made its pre-emptive strike on Communist Russia in 1041, the young Oberlander, fluent in Russian, Ukrainian and German,  was conscripted into the German army as a translator. When he came to Canada, he became a builder and developer and built a number of subdivisions around Kitchener, Ontario.

In his old age, his adopted country, egged on by that lobby that wants to continue to fight WW II, sought to strip him of his citizenship and deport him. The battle has taken many turns and cost a king’s ransom in legal fees. Announced on the eve of the  70th anniversary of the Soviet “liberation” of Auschwitz (could that be a coincidence?), a Federal Court judge has dismissed his appeal that he served in the German forces under duress.

Despite the National Post (January 22, 2015) misleading label “Nazi-era war crime suspect”, the 90-year-old Helmut Oberlander was never charged much less convicted of any crimes. He was a 17-year-old conscript, not a decision-maker.

Former Canadian diplomat and proud member of the Royal Canadian Air Froce (RCAF), Ian Macdonald writes some insightful comments on the latest German-bashing by the Canadian courts.

Paul Fromm

January 25, 2015

see also our post:


Duesseldorf Carnival Season Climax

Duesseldorf Carnival Season Climax on February 16, 2015:  Rose Monday Parade

Duesseldorf has been in party mode since the Carnival season began on November 11 with the awakening of the carnival spirit “Hoppeditz,” and the city is reaching fever pitch in anticipation of the season’s biggest event, Rose Monday, on February 16.  Expect a city out of control – in a good way – and the Carnival madness of millions parading through the streets melting any winter cold and heating up the streets, bars, and pubs in the Old Town with some of the best party atmosphere anywhere on this planet.  

Düsseldorf, Germany – Finding something delightfully unexpected in a place you visit is one of the best experiences in a great trip.   Düsseldorf at Carnival time is all about defying expectations – and then some. For most of the year, it is one of the finest cosmopolitan cities and centers of art, commerce and fashion you’ll find anywhere in Germany and beyond.  But during Carnival season, and especially the season’s climax on Rose Monday, the people of Düsseldorf and the thousands that visit pull out all stops and throw their usual civilized selves out the window to sing and dance around in costumes and parade the streets on floats like, well, a bunch of fools – a name they call themselves.  One million fools will fill the streets on February 16, 2015, for the traditional Rose Monday Parade, one of the best parties in the world.

The Rhine region is known as Germany’s center of carnival festivities, or Rhenish Carnival, and Carnival in Düsseldorf is one of the strongholds.  More than 300 Carnival sessions and costume balls take place during the season, also called Fools’ season, which kicks off on November 11 and ends on Ash Wednesday (the beginning of Lent: February 18, 2014). The season culminates on Rose Monday. The city has no fewer than 60 Carnival clubs, and their members are among the 5,500 parade participants who also make up about 45 bands and 60 floats. The parade is more than a mile and a half long.

Because of Düsseldorf’s 260 bars, pubs, and restaurants in the city’s historic Old Town, the city is also known as “the longest bar in the world.”  And these venues become the backdrop for the extended festivities as the parade spills into the entire city and the revelers take over.

Other highlights

In addition to the parade there is “Altweiberfastnacht” (Old Ladies’ Carnival) on the Thursday before Rose Monday (February 12).  Extremely popular with Düsseldorf’s women, it’s a time for them to storm the town hall and cut men’s ties off with scissors – a custom developed hundreds of years ago to show the town fathers who’s boss. Moreover, there is a “Youth Procession” on February 14, a family-oriented “Carnival Sunday” on famous shopping boulevard Königsallee on February 15, and a “Barrel Race” – people in barrels racing – on February 16.

For more information about Carnival in Düsseldorf and about hotel and visitor specials, visit  Düsseldorf’s tourism office is offering a hotel and city carnival special for stays between February 12 -17, 2015. The package, called “Carnival in Düsseldorf,” can be booked right from the tourism office’s website at  Prices start at €54 per night per person based on double-occupancy for a 2-3-star hotel in the city center and at €74 per person for a 4-star hotel.  The package includes breakfast and a Carnival-themed breakfast tray, one DüsseldorfCard (free public transportation within city limits plus 30 free or reduced admissions to city attractions), and a city information package. Please check the website for current information.




 Academy Award winner Meryl Streep and the Takács Quartet in a Gala Performance

 The Conservatory remembers Hurricane Katrina after 10 years with a series of jazz concerts from Cuba and the Gulf Coast

 Bass-baritone Bryn Terfel returns to Toronto

 Koerner Hall debuts by Bach Collegium Japan, The Knights, and Vienna Boys’ Choir

 Violinist Daniel Hope and pianist Sebastian Knauer celebrate Yehudi Menuhin’s 100 birthday

 Piano recitals by Sir András Schiff, Jan Lisiecki, Simone Dinnerstein, Paul Lewis, and Valentina Lisitsa

 Orlando Consort performs their soundtrack to the iconic film La passion de Jeanne d’Arc

All-star “Order of Canada Band” led by Jens Lindemann, O.C.

 Johannes Debus, Leon Fleisher, Julian Kuerti, and Tania Miller conduct the Royal Conservatory Orchestra


Barbora Kršek


TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning

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