Toronto Light Festival: The Art of Light

31
Our House by Tom Dekyvere (Belgium) at Toronto Light Festival
Our House by Tom Dekyvere (Belgium) at Toronto Light Festival

By Amy Sanderson

Torontonicity was invited to attend the media preview of the inaugural Toronto Light Festival at the Distillery District on January 26, 2017. The festival features Canadian and international light artists displaying their installations in this historic neighbourhood. Walking down Tank House Lane, I got a sneak peek at one of the art installations called “The Love Locks” by Matthew Rosenblatt. The installation featured a heart and the word LOVE lit in sequence. Each letter holds padlocks with messages chained to them.

Neon drinks in the spirit of lights served at Cluny Bistro at Toronto Light Festival
Neon drinks in the spirit of lights served at Cluny Bistro at Toronto Light Festival

Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie was the host of our event. We were led to a cozy back room where we would enjoy neon drinks in the spirit of lights. I tried the Electric Bumblebee with white cranberry juice and vitamin B to give the neon effect. Some other drinks included:

Happy Mood Water, The Aurora, which was vodka or gin mixed with Aurora tonic water and a selection of Mill Street beers.

Delicious hors d’oeuvres that were served include:

Lucky Lime Oyster at Cluny Bistro at Toronto Light Festival
Lucky Lime Oyster at Cluny Bistro at Toronto Light Festival

Lucky Lime Oysters – prosecco crystal granite, wakame

Scallop Ceviche at Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie at Toronto Light Festival
Scallop Ceviche at Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie at Toronto Light Festival

Scallop Ceviche – burnt eggplant, blood orange filaments

Sausage on a bun – mini smoked sausage, cluny mustard, sunchoke pickle

Mushroom Hot and Sour Soup – black truffle, lemon pickle, tarragon

Smoked Haddock Croquette – roasted garlic aioli, pea tendrils, silver leaf

Crispy Chicken Meatball at Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie at Toronto Light Festival
Crispy Chicken Meatball at Cluny Bistro and Boulangerie at Toronto Light Festival

Crispy Chicken Meatball – Yakitori glaze, green bean, almondine

Matthew Rosenblatt, Creator and Executive Director of the Toronto Light Festival
Matthew Rosenblatt, Creator and Executive Director of the Toronto Light Festival

Matthew Rosenblatt, both an artist and Toronto Light Festival Creator and Executive Director, let us know that installations came from both Toronto and Amsterdam and are rotated each year. Amsterdam has been hosting this festival for about 50 years.

The point of this festival is to help make the Distillery District a fun place to visit after Christmas during a quiet and dark time of year.

The theme, “Come out of the dark and into the light”, invites all Torontonians to enjoy a free festival to light up the city.

After enjoying snacks and beverages, guests were taken on one of several 20-minute tours offered. The full tour takes about an hour. Here are a few of the installations we saw:

Our House by Tom Dekyvere (Belgium) at Toronto Light Festival
Our House by Tom Dekyvere (Belgium) at Toronto Light Festival
Bands of Friendship by Vikas Patel and Santosh Gujar (India) at Toronto Light Festival
Bands of Friendship by Vikas Patel and Santosh Gujar (India) at Toronto Light Festival
Social Sparkles Studio Toer (Netherlands) at Toronto Light Festival
Social Sparkles Studio Toer (Netherlands) sensors light when you walk underneath
Magic Dance Mirror by Kyle Ruddick (USA) at Toronto Light Festival
Magic Dance Mirror by Kyle Ruddick (USA) at Toronto Light Festival
Me in front of the angels as part of the MIll Street Brewery contest at Toronto Light Festival
Me in front of the angels as part of the MIll Street Brewery contest at Toronto Light Festival
Mill Street Brewery contest at Toronto Light Festival
Mill Street Brewery contest at Toronto Light Festival

This art is meant to be quickly observed and judged whether you like it or not. It’s meant for everyone including kids. Very accessible.

The Yonge Street Mission is the main charity partner. The mission can feed over 2,000 youth if they reach their $10,000 goal. Donations can be made online at their gofundme account. https://www.gofundme.com/wus24jk-change-a-life. Light canons pointing at the sky will move closer together when the goal is reached. Locks provided for media guests to put a latch on the installation will be on sale to help contribute to the charity goal.

The Toronto Light Festival begins January 27, 2017 and runs until March 12, 2017. To find out more go to Toronto Light Festival.

Share your photos on social media using #tolightfest

31 COMMENTS

  1. we were in Toronto last year and loved it. this light festival sounds like such a unique experience. Will have to check it out when we are in Toronto next.

  2. The Toronto Light Festival sounds and looks like it would be amazing to see. I love that the food is even art as well. The art of lights is something I have always loved. Thanks for sharing the information and the The Yonge Street Mission charity.

  3. That sounded like an amazing time. Toronto is such a nice place to be. My parents used to take us there as kids. Recently I visited Montreal which was all that but I would love to check out Toronto now as an adult. I love the light show idea. The food looks divine as well. I love oysters. Great!

  4. nothing better than looking at all the beautiful Xmas lights in Toronto. Love walking down Young st. and all the lights and decorations are absolutely beautiful

  5. we attended this about 2 weeks ago and it was beautiful! So nice to see so many people outdoors, enjoying the nice weather and a free event! Tough to pick a fav!

LEAVE A REPLY