Festival News

It’s the 100 Day Countdown to the 100th Grey Cup Festival!


A Highlight of the Exciting Events Taking Place November 15 - 25

Toronto – The countdown is on as today marks 100 days until the 100th Grey Cup Festival.  What better way to celebrate than with a full day of events previewing what is to come as the festival team extends the Invitation to Our Nation to be a part of history in the making!  This celebration will mark the largest Grey Cup Festival in both size and scope, with jam-packed days and nights of programming to satisfy the entertainment, sport and culture fan in everyone, from passionate football enthusiasts to families looking for something fun to do with the kids.  Large portions of the festival activities are completely free to the public, making the celebrations extremely accessible for all to take part!

The Festival events are made possible in large part from the outstanding support of corporate Canada. The 100th Grey Cup Festival committee unveiled the Premier Partners for the 10-day festival.  Blue chip companies including Molson, Nissan, National Post, Scotiabank, TELUS and the Toronto Sun will lead the way in bringing the Festival to Torontonians and visitors to the city.

Kicking it all off in the evening of Thursday, November 15 will be Rushes presented by Nolitours, the first ever Football Film Festival, taking place at the Scotiabank Theatre in downtown Toronto.  Spanning 4 nights, this ticketed event will include red carpet talent, VIP sports and entertainment figures, as both vintage and current football-themed films will play on the big screen.  A post-screening Gala will take place at Everest, following the opening night film, officially launching the festivities to come over the next 10 days. 

Downtown Toronto will be animated by the Festival, with four zones themed with activities and entertainment for the general public to be engaged in.  With a family and community focus, The Nissan Family Zone at Yonge-Dundas Square will be bustling with activity to keep the kids busy and active.  A mini football field will be the place for your budding star to learn how to kick and throw a football, while Mom and Dad can feed the family with ease at the various food stations there. The main stage will feature cheerleader performances, live music and much, much more.  As part of the in-school efforts with the Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program presented by Tim Hortons, November 20 will be a celebration and massive rally dedicated to the cause, taking over the square that day.

Nathan Phillips Square is THE place for your extreme adventure seeker, where you’ll find the mbna Adrenaline Zone.  Anchoring the activity is the Toronto Sun Zip Line, which at 725 feet is the tallest urban zip line in North America!  Thrill junkies can fly between the iconic towers of City Hall, landing at the tip of Queen Street and stick around for top-notch live music acts, completely free to the public.  The evenings will house larger concerts, to be announced shortly.  An obstacle course led by the Department of National Defence and the Canadian Forces is guaranteed to work up an appetite, and fans can refuel at the High Octane Food Zone where trained chefs will be paired with culinary students to create some amazing and unique delicacies.

On Saturday, November 17, the 100th Grey Cup Festival is partnering with the City of Toronto for Cavalcade of Lights.  Live music, fantastic fireworks, beautiful illuminations, the lighting of the Christmas tree and high energy football antics will be free to the public and a sure-fire great time for the whole family!  Another exciting event which the 100th Grey Cup Festival is honoured to be a part of is the 107th Santa Claus Parade on Sunday, November 18.  The festival will have a football-themed float preceded by Argos cheerleaders, alumni and more, to welcome St. Nick to town!

Some of the best minds in the business world will converge on Tuesday, November 20 at the Art of Innovation Speaker Series taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  Featuring notables including Jack Welch, Sir Ken Robinson, Simon Sinek, Cynthia Montgomery and Charles Duhigg, these highly acclaimed individuals will inform and inspire all attendees with their wealth of knowledge in the business world. 

In the evening, the 100th Grey Cup Festival welcomes renowned author and parenting expert Barbara Coloroso to conclude the hugely empowering bullying prevention rally that took place earlier that day.  She will be addressing the crowd with one of her educational and emotional discussions on how to best protect our kids as well as prevent them from becoming a victim of bullying. 

Wednesday, November 21 marks another first for any Grey Cup Festival with the Scotiabank 100th Grey Cup Gala, with dinner taking place directly on the field of Rogers Centre, where the 100th Championship Game will be played only a few days later.  This highly-sought after ticket will provide guests with an experience like never before!  The entire Gala, chaired by John Tory, is focused around ‘firsts in Canada’, from the entertainment to the backdrop, this will be an evening you will need to see to believe.  The pre-show menu will be the work of acclaimed chef Rob Gentile from Toronto’s top rated Buca, while Canadian celebrity chef Mark McEwan and his team will execute the main event.

As the Grey Cup game approaches, so will the next phase of events for the hardcore football fans!  With the Nissan Family Zone and mbna Adrenaline Zone still in full swing, the footprint grows further with the Scotiabank Fan Zone at the MTCC and the TELUS Street Party.  Live concerts, team parties, food, beer tents and overall revelry will be in full swing both inside and out in the streets bounded along Front St. W., over to and including John to Simcoe. With a mix of ticketed and free to the public events, fans old and new can partake in an outdoor ribfest and the largest tailgate party presented by Frank’s RedHot, leading up to the Grey Cup game, ever to be staged! Within this second week of amazing football events, the Gibson’s Finest CFL Player Awards at Koerner Hall, the TELUS Player Party, the excitement of the CIS showdown at the Vanier Cup are a few more chances to get up close and personal to celebrate the 100th year of football greatness! 

“The difference between the 100th Grey Cup Festival and the other festivals in our city is we’ve touched on all elements of culture and entertainment and intertwined them around Canada’s most iconic sport championship, the Grey Cup.  We are thrilled to have the support of companies that are at the forefront of Canadian industry with Molson, Nissan, National Post, Scotiabank, TELUS and the Toronto Sun as Premier Partners of the Festival. People from across the nation will become engaged in some fashion over the course of the ten days and eleven nights taking part in this huge legacy for Toronto.  This is history in-the-making,” says Lou Ragagnin, President and Chief Operating Officer of the 100th Grey Cup Festival.

Keep your eyes peeled for more announcements and details in the coming weeks by visiting www.100thgreycupfestival.ca, liking us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/100thGreyCup and following on Twitter @100thGreyCup! 

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