Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Taste of Iceland Festival

#Toronto shares a lot with our Icelandic brothers - snow, ice and probably a few inactive volcanoes, so it will be nice to see more of their culture when the festival comes to town March 21 to 24, 2013. They will leave their active volcanoes at home but Iceland Naturally will instead bring some of the traditional food, film and music of the island nation.
"Curious about the land of hot springs, volcanoes, Vikings and folklore? Perfectly juxtaposing old and new, Iceland’s sophisticated European culture based on age-old traditions, and its knack for mixing of ancient ways with new trends, makes it a must-see destination for any traveller. This spring, Toronto is ready for A Taste of Iceland in Toronto, as the festival returns to the city from Thursday, March 21 to Sunday, March 24. In addition, Icelandair recently announced year-round service from Toronto to Reykjavik, just a five-hour flight."

REYKJAVIK CALLING is a free concert presented by Canadian Music Week that takes place Saturday, March 23 at The Hoxton on Bathurst Street (doors open at 6:30pm) with Apparat Organ Quartet, Asgeir Trausti (joined by Cai.ro of Canada), and Soley (with Revelstoke of Canada).

The Icelandic Film Festival is another free event which will be held at the Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinema on Bloor Street West on March 21.

Drake Hotel's Head Chef Darren Glew will host award winning Iceland Chef Hakon Mar Ovarsson for four days (beginning March 21) of authentic Icelandic delicacies and inspired cocktails. You can check out the tasty menu below. Drake Hotel will also showcase Icelandic Art from March 20 through March 25 as well as the Iceland Airwaves Showcase on March 22.

Detailed information provided by the festival can be found after the jump. You can also find the link to enter a contest to win a trip to Iceland.

Icelandic cuisine by Chef Hakon:
First course
Tapas-style tasting menu of “Harðfiskur,” Icelandic hard-(dried)-fish with Icelandic butter; grilled Icelandic langoustine shell with garlic, butter and herbs; Atlantic shrimps, pickled vegetables, citrus dressing, cress and lumpfish caviar; deep-fried crispy balls of cod and potatoes and “Söl” mayonnaise; and pickled herring, sweet rye bread, curry dressing, green apples and spring onions.

Second course
House-made, cold-smoked filet of naturally raised Icelandic salmon, served with grainy mustard dressing, sour cream, dill oil and Icelandic rye bread.

Seared and slowly cooked filet of free-range Icelandic lamb, with glazed root vegetables, juniper berry-infused lamb jus reduction and a dust of dried, wild Icelandic herbs and blueberries.

Skyr of the Vikings, a delicate mousse of Icelandic skyr (a cultured dairy product unique to Iceland, and a staple since the Vikings), with apple jelly and crispy oat-hazelnut crumble. It will be served with cinnamon-flavoured, poached rhubarb.

REYKJAVIK CALLING featured artists:
Apparat Organ Quartet
Iceland’s Apparat Organ Quartet is sometimes described as “machine rock and roll.” Their latest album, Pólýfónía, was greeted with rave reviews and was featured on many end-of-year lists, including “Album of the Year” by Fréttabladid, Iceland’s largest newspaper. After finding success in Europe, Apparat Organ Quartet signed to Head in the Sand Records and are releasing Pólýfónía in Canada. Every note on Pólýfónía is hand-played; there is not a sequencer or computer in sight.

Ásgeir Trausti
Singer-songwriter Ásgeir Trausti's debut album was released in Iceland with great critical acclaim. It only took it six weeks to reach gold sales, and less than three months to reach platinum. An English version of the album is in the making with lyrics written by American musician John Grant. Last November, the album received six nominations for the Icelandic Music Awards taking place this month: Best Album, Best Song (Leyndarmál), Best Male Vocalist, Best Songwriter, Best Producer and Best Lyricist. In December, the album received the Icelandic Kraumur Award, as well as a nomination for the 2012 Nordic Music Prize.

Cai.ro has been on a steady rise in the Canadian indie music scene since the late 2011 release of their debut EP entitled Young Love. NOW Magazine called them a “must-see” in Toronto’s 2011 Indie Week round-up. Nate Daniels (vocals/guitar), Matt Sullivan (drums/percussion), Caitlin Grieve (strings/vocals), Dante Berardi Jr. (guitar/vocals) and Wooyoung Kim (bass) have an obvious affinity for haunting quiet and walls of sound. Their music – sometimes orchestral and sometimes minimal – can be characterized as strangely familiar while remaining unmistakably new.

Since Sóley's first solo release, Theater Island EP, in 2010 and the follow-up album, We Sink, in 2011, she has built an international reputation and devoted fan base with her delicate melodies and beautifully dark lyrics. Formerly of the band Seabear, her solo album and EP scored top marks and rave reviews in Iceland’s biggest newspapers, plus nominations in the Icelandic Music Awards. Sóley has toured extensively in Europe and recently completely her first solo U.S. shows, opening for Icelandic superstars Of Monsters and Men for a series of sold-out shows down the East Coast.

Towns are an abstract idea, in the same way that music is. The logician would argue that since a town is abstract and music is abstract then a town must be music. Revelstoke is a town in the British Columbian Rockies. The brainchild of Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist Andrew Seale, Revelstoke is a series of mini symphonies built using a 40-year-old mandolin from Ireland, a banjo and a guitar played with slides or violin bows or small hands. With a keen eye for storytelling and a delight for confusion, the experimental folk jams are sure to crawl through the ears and into the memory.

Friday, March 22, Drake Hotel, 19+, $10/all wristbands/passes accepted, doors open at 6 p.m.
Inspired by the country’s renowned music festival of the same name and presented byCanadian Music Week, this not-to-be-missed concert will feature the best of the country’s musical talent.

Endless Dark
Ásgeir Trausti
Apparat Organ Quartet

Endless Dark
Endless Dark is a post-hardcore band from Iceland. The music they make is an explosive, dramatic hybrid of powerful heavy guitars, retro-synth keyboards with a perfect mix of clean and scream vocals. Endless Dark has played festivals in Europe including Sonisphere (U.K.), Graspop (Belgium), Eurosonic (Netherland) and Iceland Airwaves (Iceland). They released an EP in February 2011 called Made Of Glass and are currently working on a full length album.

Apparat Organ Quartet will also perform Wednesday, March 20 at The Garrison at 10 p.m., and Endless Dark hits the stage Thursday, March 21 at Hard Luck Bar at midnight.

Thursday, March 21, Cineplex Odeon Varsity Cinemas (55 Bloor St. W.)
Film lovers will get a glimpse into life on the island and its music scene through the festival’s Icelandic Film Festival.

Jitters (93 min) – 6:30 p.m.
Gabriel is 16, gay and confused. Along with few of his closest friends, he is trying to figure out who he is and where he stands in an ever-changing and complicated world. Directed by Baldvin Z, the award-winning Jitters features a score from Olafur Arnalds.

Double feature (music-themed films):

Grandma Lo-Fi (65 min) – 8:10 p.m.
Shot mostly on Super-8 and 16-mm film, Grandma Lo-Fi was created over a period of eight years by three musicians debuting as directors, capturing the most creative period in the life of Sigriour Nielsdottir. Directed by Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir, Orri Jonsson and Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, Grandma Lo-Fi is a cinematic tribute to an amazing musician and her boundless creativity.

Backyard (70 min) – 9:15 p.m.
A DIY backyard concert turns into one of the most exciting and intimate music events of the year. Directed by Árni Sveinsson, Backyard features some of the most celebrated bands coming out of Reykjavík right now, including Múm, FM Belfast, Hjaltalín and Sin Fang Bous.

Drake Hotel

Davið Örn Halldórsson - beginning Thursday, March 21
The Drake Hotel will host an installation by Icelandic artist Davið Örn Halldórsson in cooperation with the Icelandic Cultural Centre and the Drake’s current exhibition Pattern Recognition. Halldórsson will create site-specific paintings for the front lobby in his vibrant multilayered style. He is a graduate of the Icelandic Academy of the Arts.

Paul Butler - Wednesday, March 20 to Monday, March 25
In addition, a lightbox installation from Paul Butler will be featured in the Drake Dining Room. Butler is a highly regarded artist from Winnipeg, whose work has been featured in the Nuna Now Icelandic cultural festival. This piece features beautiful arctic scenes with a conceptual twist; the people and animals have been cut out to reveal the fluorescent tubes that light the piece.

To celebrate Icelandair's year-round service from Toronto to Reykjavik, Iceland Naturally is offering the chance to win a trip for two to Reykjavik on Icelandair. Winners will receive four nights accommodation in Reykjavik; two 72-hour Reykjavík Welcome Cards, providing free access to Reykjavik’s world-famous thermal pools, museums and public transportation, plus various retail discounts; Iceland Airwaves passes for two; and much more. To enter and for full contest rules, please visit www.icelandnaturally.com. For more information about Iceland Airwaves, visit www.icelandairwaves.is.

A Taste of Iceland in Toronto is presented by Iceland Naturally, media partner NOW Magazine and music partner Canadian Music Week, and in cooperation with Icelandair,Reyka Vodka, 66° North, Blue Lagoon, Icelandic Glacial Water, Promote Iceland,Icelandic Group, Islandsbanki, City of Reykjavik, Keflavik International Airport (KEF),Landsvirkjun, Fjardarlax, the Government of Iceland, The Drake Hotel, The Hoxton andCineplex Odeon Varsity Cinemas.

About Iceland Naturally:
Iceland Naturally is a cooperative marketing organization that promotes the tourism, services, products and culture of Iceland. It represents the true essence of Iceland, its creativity and spectacular natural wonders. The group is comprised of Icelandair, Icelandic Group., Islandsbanki, Reyka Vodka, City of Reykjavik, Icelandic Glacial Water, 66° NORTH, Blue Lagoon, Keflavik International Airport (KEF), Landsvirkjun, Promote Iceland and the Government of Iceland.

Website: www.icelandnaturally.com
Facebook: Iceland Naturally
Twitter: @IcelandNatural
Instagram: IcelandNatural

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