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.
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 Oysters – prosecco crystal granite, wakame
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 – Yakitori glaze, green bean, almondine
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:
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.
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