Toronto's Hare Krishna Temple

Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre (ISKCON Toronto), has always been the hub of a rich, vibrant and enthusiastic community. Whether it be grand festivals, programs at local universities and yoga studios, philosophical discussions, cooking sessions, or singing and dancing on the streets, there are events taking place for everyone's interest.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Your Official Guide to the Wild Nuit Blanche Kirtan!!!

5:32:00 PM By Kevala-Bhakti Dasa (Keshav)

Here we go!  This year, Toronto's Hare Krishna community has celebrated some really incredible kirtans: from the scintillating 12-hour kirtan the day before Ratha-Yatra and the amazing kirtan at Yonge-Dundas Square to the soul-stirring kirtans with HH BB Govinda Swami earlier this month, one might think that we are being spoiled here in Toronto.  Well, be prepared to really feel spoiled!

As has been announced over the last several weeks, we are getting an incredible opportunity to be involved in the massive Scotiabank Nuit Blanche festival taking place this weekend from Saturday, September 29th (7pm) to Sunday, September 30th (7am).

For those who don't know, Nuit Blanche is a highly-anticipated city festival wherein downtown Toronto is transformed into a giant contemporary art gallery for one night, from 7pm to 7am.  The festival annually draws over a million people.  This year, the chanting of Hare Krishna will be featured as one of the main projects and it's going to be an amazing experience that promises to introduce the sweet sounds of kirtan to tens of thousands of people!

Here is your official guide to attending and taking part in the amazing 12-hour kirtan during Nuit Blanche this weekend:

Dates and Times
Nuit Blanche officially starts at 7:03pm on Saturday, September 29, 2012.  The program continues to sunrise, or about 7am on Sunday!

The official kirtan art piece is called, "Eva Kevalam - Shifting Time and Space", organized by the Kirtan Collective, and will be located in a posh, downtown commercial lobby (indoors), located 2 Queen Street East, right at Yonge & Queen.

Getting There
There will be many road closures that will prevent vehicle traffic from accessing downtown streets.  The best way to access the venue is by TTC - Queen station.

The Kirtan Line-Up
Of course, this is the big question that is on everyone's mind!  What kirtan enthusiasts can we expect to see during this incredible event!  Joining us for our Nuit Blanche kirtan will be:

  • HH Bhaktimarga Swami (Toronto) - our very own Bhaktimarga Swami will be joining us for this kirtan experience and bringing his energetic style of chanting.
  • Amala Kirtan das (Brazil) - a new Toronto favourite, Amala Kirtan das will be bringing his incredible chanting to Nuit Blanche and will headline the evening!
  • Gaura das (London, ON) - one of our locals, Gaura das can bring the house down with his amazing kirtans!
  • Vani (Alachua) - a violin player that will leave your heart spiritually-swooning, Vani will bring sweet sound vibrations not only through the instrument, but also through her kirtan leading!
  • Dharma (Miami) - a young force who is a marathon mrdanga player and spent time in Vrndavan as part of the Kirtan Mandali, Dharma will have everyone dancing with his drumming 
  • Kana (Alachua) - one the Festival of India stalwarts and also having spent time in Vrndavan as part of the Kirtan Mandali, Kana will be drumming and chanting as part of our celebrations!
  • Dhira Grahi das (Toronto) - our own local kirtan powerhouse, Dhira will be chanting during the evening as well and getting everyone dancing!
Dress Code
Normally, for our kirtans, we encourage everyone to be dressed in colourful saris, nice dhotis and kurtas.  However, this kirtan is certainly different.  There will be a lot of members of the public that have never experienced kirtan before and, in an effort to ensure the experience is as newcomer-friendly for them as possible, we are asking devotees to come dressed in regular clothes (pants, shirts, etc).

Rest and Snacks
We realize that this 12-hour kirtan, taking place all night long, is like nothing else that has ever been done before.  Devotees are welcome to spend the entire 12 hours in the kirtan and, if people are feeling a little tired and want to take a quick nap, we are making arrangements for devotees to have a place to take some rest.  We are also arranging some simple prasadam through the night for our devotees.  So feel free to come and ask us during the kirtan if you are hungry or want to sneak in a quick nap!  Of course, it is highly advisable that devotees take some time to rest during the day on Saturday so that you'll have energy to join us throughout the whole night!

We look forward to seeing everyone tomorrow night at Nuit Blanche!