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UNITY Festival presents DAM FUNK, Zaki Ibrahim, Lido Pimienta, Above Top Secret and more

Unity Festival 2016The 8th Annual UNITY Festival, presented by Tangerine, returns with the best visual art, spoken word, breakdancing, beatboxing by Toronto youth and international artists July 20 – 23, 2016. UNITY Festival will include three days of concerts, artist discussions, dance exhibitions and a visual art showcase at the Super Wonder Gallery, followed by a free all-day concert at Yonge-Dundas Square.

UNITY Festival will kick off on Wednesday, July 20 with an opening celebration at Super Wonder Gallery featuring graffiti and artwork by over 15 of Toronto’s most prolific artists, music and dance performances, and a social/political discussion by filmmaker and activist Paul Nguyen and rapper Blacus Ninjah. Lido Pimienta will be the headlining performer in addition to drumtalk-poetic-rapologist Mahlikah Aweri, soul singer Adria Kain, dance crew The Moonrunners and beatbox duo PARALLEL (Psyreine and Sparx).

On Thursday, July 21 UNITY Festival will present the MC & Spoken Word Showcase in partnership with RISE. Spoken Word artists, poets and MCs including Erik Flowchild, Faduma Mohamed, Ikeno, La-Vane Kelly, Nasim Asgari, Ohm Simon Yohannes, Tamir Holder, Zak’isha Brown, Brooke Whitley, Rahan Boxley, and Amalia Mamalia will share their inspiring stories of success, struggle and survival through words and song.

On Friday, July 22 UNITY Festival and Beatbox Canada will host two epic battles with 1vs1 Beatbox battles with Toronto’s Top Eight beatboxers and 2on2 breakdancing competitions with dancers from UNITY’s drop-in programs. The beats will be provided by DJ Dopey, Paul Chin, Re.Verse, and Nye The Glitch as the dancers give it their all.

On Saturday, July 23, the free all-day showcase will spotlight new and established artists in multiple art forms at Yonge-Dundas Square. Musicians representing the latest sounds in funk, soul, jazz, hip-hop, and electronica will perform including DAM FUNK, Zaki Ibrahim, The Soul Motivators, Sacha Williamson, Above Top Secret, Dynesti Williams, Rise Ashen, Ghettosocks, Lex Leosis, Troy Sexton and more. There will also be a live graffiti wall, partner activations, and dance cyphers throughout the day.

UNITY is proud to partner with The National Film Board to screen the animated short BAM by Howie Shia, at Yonge-Dundas Square at the UNITY Concert on Saturday, July 23. An official selection of TIFF 2015, BAM tells the story of an unassuming young boxer struggling to understand the disturbing consequences of his explosive temper.

The UNITY Festival is UNITY Charity’s annual showcase event presenting the most dedicated and talented youth performers from across Canada recruited from UNITY’s school and community programs and open auditions. UNITY uses hip hop to improve young people’s lives creating healthier communities.

About UNITY Charity Founded in 2007 by Michael Prosserman aka “Bboy Piecez”, one of Toronto’s most preeminent B-boys, UNITY has reached over 100,000 youth across Canada through its after-school and community programs designed to teach positive self-expression through beatboxing, breakdancing, spoken word, poetry, graffiti, and more.

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