Nordic Bridges cultural initiative kicks off today!

27.01.22 | News
The work “Great Minds” by Aleksandra Stratimirovic
Photographer
Brian Medina

Nordic Lights – part of the official opening of Nordic Bridges – is a series of outdoor light art installations from Nordic and Canadian artists for the public to enjoy at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. The work “Great Minds” by Aleksandra Stratimirovic features in the photo. 

Nordic art and culture will be placed firmly in the spotlight when the Nordic Bridges cultural initiative officially launches in Canada on 27 January 2022. Built on pillars such as resilience and artistic innovation, throughout 2022 programme partners across Canada will offer engaging performances and conversations involving Nordic artists and thinkers.

The year-long cultural venture has been initiated by the Nordic ministers for culture and is led by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. After being postponed for a year due to the pandemic, the Nordic ministers for culture are delighted to announce the kick-off of the most extensive Nordic cultural venture abroad to date. 

 “We’re very pleased that the time has finally come for the Nordic Bridges cultural initiative to open in Canada. We’re looking forward to this key year for Nordic art and culture - a year in which Canada and the Nordics will come together to exchange art and culture, knowledge and ideas,” says Anette Trettebergstuen, Norway’s Minister of Culture and Equality and chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture in 2022. She continues:

“No pandemic can prevent culture from building bridges! This is a unique opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of art and culture in society and in people’s day-to-day lives. Led by the Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, programme partners across Canada are working together to deliver engaging performances and conversations involving Nordic artists and thinkers throughout 2022. Velkommen!”  

We’re looking forward to this key year for Nordic art and culture - a year in which Canada and the Nordics will come together to exchange art and culture, knowledge and ideas.

Anette Trettebergstuen, Norway’s Minister of Culture and Equality and chair of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Culture in 2022

Nordic Lights, Design Matters, and Nordic Talks

In line with current pandemic protocols, outdoor and online events will kick the initiative off, with larger-scale collaborations, such as live festivals and in-person performances, to follow later in 2022. At Harbourfront Centre – one of Canada’s leading arts and culture institutions – the opening is long-awaited. Iris Nemani, Chief Programming Officer at Harbourfront Centre & Executive Producer, Nordic Bridges, says: 

“For over two years we have worked with hundreds of Nordic and Canadian artists to get ready for Nordic Bridges, and we are thrilled to present their work, throughout 2022, from coast to coast to coast. This is a unique opportunity to have our artists, innovators and thinkers come together and share what’s important to them in contemporary cultural conversations, and we’re ready to welcome the public to experience outstanding artistic performances across artistic disciplines from dance to theatre to visual arts.”   

    LIVE from 27 January:  

      Programme highlights from Canadian partner organisations such as Toronto International Film Festival, BreakOut West and National Arts Centre, include performing arts, visual and digital arts, craft and design, literature, film, culinary arts, societal debates and journalism.

      Nordic artists and stakeholders from all the Nordic countries will collaborate with and perform alongside Canadian artists at festivals, arts institutions, and museums across the country. 

      International collaboration is crucial

      The programme for Nordic Bridges and the co-operation between artists, innovators and thinkers are built on four key pillars: artistic innovation, accessibility and inclusion, indigenous perspectives, and resilience and sustainability. These are highly important issues in both Canada and the Nordic Region.

      Paula Lehtomäki, Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, is looking forward to international awareness being raised about Nordic art and culture, which also provides great opportunities for important conversations on pressing challenges facing us now and in the years to come:  

      “Nordic Bridges gives us a very special opportunity to explore and exchange ideas and experiences across borders - through art and culture. Art has an undeniable ability to pose questions, drive innovation, and create understanding, particularly when the world is facing unprecedented shared challenges. I’m proud to see that the Nordic Region has so many internationally sought-after artists and creatives, whose work is not only hugely significant for the development of the cultural sector, but also for the Nordic Region as a whole.”

       

      Stay tuned for updates!

      For more information about Nordic Bridges visit NordicBridges.ca or follow @NordicBridges and #NordicBridges on all platforms.

      About Nordic cultural initiatives

      The Nordic Region has a strong, high-quality and diverse art and culture sector, which is in great demand internationally. The Nordic ministers for culture initiate initiatives outside the Nordic Region that will lead to greater interaction between Nordic culture and the rest of the world and raise the profile of Nordic culture. Nordic Bridges in Canada is the third major joint Nordic cultural initiative by the ministers for culture, following on the previous initiatives Nordic Matters in London and Nordic Cool in Washington.  

      Anette Trettebergstuen, Norway's Minister of Culture and Equality and chair of the Nordic Council of Ministerers for Culture 2022. This year-long venture which seeks to raise awareness about Nordic art and culture in Canada throughout 2022, is the most comprehensive ever.