Nordic Bridges, which will run throughout 2021, will highlight Nordic art and culture in a range of disciplines. The lead organization, Harbourfront Centre in Toronto, one of Canada’s leading multidisciplinary arts and cultural centres, is now starting the curatorial process. The CEO gives a hint of what to expect.
“Nordic Bridges will connect audiences across Canada with contemporary Nordic culture and ideas through art and performance, to celebrate the things we have in common, while creating new experiences,” says Marah Braye, CEO, Harbourfront Centre. “Programs will provide for international collaborations, and the enhancement of existing programs with focus on the Nordic Region, via four key pillars: artistic innovation, accessibility and inclusion, indigenous perspectives, and resilience.”
Programs will provide for international collaborations, and the enhancement of existing programs with focus on the Nordic Region, via four key pillars: artistic innovation, accessibility and inclusion, indigenous perspectives, and resilience
Sustainability high on agenda
Artistic innovation, minimizing the carbon footprint, and demonstrating how arts and culture can be integral building blocks in society, were important considerations when the Nordic culture ministers decided this spring that Canada would be the host country for their next joint Nordic cultural initiative – Nordic Bridges.
“We’re delighted to present Canada as the host of the joint Nordic culture initiative in 2021, and we welcome their high levels of ambition, not least in terms of sustainability, inclusion and exploring new artistic expressions. With climate action high on agendas across the world, we believe that Nordic Bridges can provide a forum for discussions on the era we live in, and strengthen relations between people from the Nordic countries and across Canada”, says Lilja Dögg Alfreðsdóttir, Icelandic Minister of Education, Science and Culture, on behalf of all eight Nordic Ministers for Culture.
With climate action high on agendas across the world, we believe that Nordic Bridges can provide a forum for discussions on the era we live in, and strengthen relations between people from the Nordic countries and across Canada
Local anchoring key to success
Local anchoring with strong arts institutions and the commitment of the Nordic diplomatic stations abroad have been crucial for the success of previous initiatives, and the same applies for Nordic Bridges.
The renowned Harbourfront Centre and its´ Canadian partners across the country aim to establish partnerships with cultural actors in the Nordic countries, building bridges to different networks and locations.
Nordic embassies in Canada played a pivotal role in securing Canada as the host of the 2021 Nordic Cultural Initiative, with the Nordic ambassadors to Canada making the following statement:
“The Nordic embassies in Ottawa look forward to working with Harbourfront Centre and partners across Canada. The project will highlight contemporary Nordic culture and artistic innovation, creating valuable connections and opportunities for Nordic artists, as well as unique experiences for the Canadian audience. This initiative will demonstrate how culture and artists are integral in building bridges in all areas between societies that are free, equal, inclusive and sustainable.”
The global impact of COVID-19 has prompted the ministers for culture to postpone Nordic Bridges in Canada by one year. It is now scheduled to start in January 2022. Nordic Bridges is the third joint Nordic cultural initiative by the ministers for culture, and is led by Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. Nordic Bridges seeks to promote interaction and exchanges between Canada and cultural sectors in the Nordic countries.