The New Embassy
In 2022, The Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) presented The New Embassy: a digital series spotlighting a new wave of CanLit influencers.
Originally released in February and April, 2022, the events were curated by Yousef Kadoura, Canisia Lubrin, Jen Sookfong Lee, Kai Cheng Thom and Syrus Marcus Ware; and featured spoken word, poetry, fiction and non-fiction, theatrical readings, music and dance performed by a roster of influential artists, including Sze-Yang Ade-Lam, Britta B., Courage Bacchus, Aedan Corey, Rodney Diverlus, Beau Dixon, Jaz Fairy J, Aisha Sasha John, Kama La Mackerel, Joy Lapps, Janice Jo Lee, Kim Ninkuru, Dainty Smith, Zoey Roy and others.
The New Embassy is a celebration of Canadian voices in the 21st century, presented in the spontaneous and innovative spirit of Toronto’s iconic Bohemian Embassy: the iconic 1960s coffee house that helped cultivate the careers of many storytelling legends, such as Margaret Atwood, bpNichol, Gordon Lightfoot, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Lorne Michaels, Michael Ondaatje and Al Purdy. The Bohemian Embassy is considered to be the foremother of the Harbourfront Reading Series, which has grown into the Toronto International Festival of Authors we know today.
Prompted by the renowned Ai WeiWei quote “Everything is Art, Everything is Politics”, The New Embassy brings forward diverse perspectives and lived experiences through artistic works that explore the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality and identity.
The New Embassy project was piloted in October 2021 as part of TIFA’s flagship Festival, with special performances by Jennifer Alicia Murrin, Seán Kinsella and Denise McLeod. You can watch their performances here.
As part of a special re-release celebrating Canadian voices, The New Embassy events will be available to watch from Thursday, July 7 at 12:01am ET to Wednesday, July 13 at 11:59pm ET for free.