10 June 2011

Luminato Lights Up Toronto

One of the elements I will miss most about working in downtown Toronto when I leave on sabbatical for a year (more on that later!) is the feeling of being right in the centre of things - the centre of the universe, it sometimes feels - that comes with working smack-dab in the core of the financial district.

Brookfield Place (or BCE Place, as it was formerly known and is still colloquially referred to by long-time occupants) is itself a destination building in tours of the downtown core, namely for it's stunning Alan Lambert Galleria, an immense archway of steel scaffolding and glass which connects the two towers at 161 and 181 Bay Street.  I never,
ever tire of walking through the Galleria on my way to a meeting, to lunch or just to refresh.  My favourite time of year is the holiday season, when thousands of fairy lights are suspended across each rib of the arch and seem to float in the air like fireflies, but a very close second is the annual 10-day art festival in Toronto at which the Galleria plays host to at least one usually huge, generally amazing art installation that anyone can observe, admire and appreciate.

Every Day.  For Free.

I'm referring, of course, to the Luminato Festival, a collaboration of local, national and international artists celebrating creative partnership, accessibility and cultural diversity.  From the Luminato website:
"For 10 extraordinary days in June, Toronto's stages, streets, and public spaces are illuminated with arts and creativity.  Now in its fifth year, Luminato is an annual multi-disciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, fashion, film, magic and more."
This amazing initiative kicks off today (June 10) and runs through to June 19.  There are exhibits installed city-wide in nearly every neighbourhood, featuring both free and ticketed events: be sure to check the website for more details!  Remember that Luminato is a charitable, not-for-profit cultural organization so where there are ticketed events, all proceeds are redirected back to the program.

If you are local to Toronto (or can make a day trip or two into the city!) I absolutely encourage you to attend.  Where else can you find exhibitions such as this, on a similar scale and for absolutely free to the viewing public?

installation in progress

If you do attend, I would love to hear about it.  Drop me a line or sound off in the Comments section below and let me know what you saw, and what you thought!

I will be taking a break on Monday but I wish you all a very happy slash productive slash relaxing weekend; I'll be back bright'n'early on Tuesday (June 14) with this month's
Top 10!