We are lucky enough to live in a beautiful city, chock-full of culture and creativity. Luminato is a festival that celebrates that very fact and aims to reflect the authentic richness of the arts in Toronto. Conceptualized in 2003 and unveiled to the world in 2006, Luminato has become one of the most prominent art festivals in North America. This year shall be no exception, with a host of events to get your artistic juices flowing including free outdoor concerts featuring notable artists such as singer-songwriter Rosanne Cash (yup, Johnny’s daughter) and Canadian rapper/singer/songwriter K-os.
Check out our wee rundown of must-see events at Luminato’s 2013 offering…
Joni: A Portrait in Song
In celebration of Joni Mitchell’s 70th birthday, the Luminato peeps worked directly with Joni to bring together an all-star lineup of musicians including Rufus Wainwright and Chaka Khan. There are rumours that Joni herself may be making an appearance… well worth the ticket price if it happens.
Tuesday, June 18th and Wednesday, June 19th, 7.30pm to 10pm, Massey Hall.
A three-time Juno award winner, Ryder will be making her Luminato debut and will no doubt please the crowd with a performance of her chart-hit Stompa. This one is a freebie so get in there before this Torontonian gets all international mega-star on us.
Friday, June 14th, 9pm to 10pm, The Hub at David Pecaut Square.
A Literary Picnic
I like this one because it’s really for the unknown artists of our city to have the opportunity to meet and learn and inspire one another. Held in Trinity Bellwoods Park, this is the perfect excuse to pack up a picnic basket, grab some of your favourite books, and get comfy on a blanket under the sun. Over 60 authors will take to three stages to read excerpts from their own work and to talk about how and where a story begins. Immerse yourself in words for a lovely Saturday afternoon. Oh! And there’s food trucks.
Saturday, June 22nd, 12pm to 4pm, Trinity Bellwoods Park.
I love this guy. Many of his songs contributed to the soundtrack of my very first Toronto summer, so he holds lots of memories for me. I also had the pleasure of bumping into him at the 2008 Virgin Festival on Toronto Island. No pretense or celebrity ‘tude here. Well worth the trip to see this Canadian mega-talent. And you don’t even have to pay!
Friday, June 14th, 8pm to 9pm, The Hub at David Pecaut Square.
L’Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato
Praised as “one of the great dance works of the twentieth century” by The New Yorker and “a modern miracle” by The Huffington Post, this one is a must-see if dance is your thing. And if not, then as well as two-dozen dancers the show also comes armed with a 26-member chorus, four solo vocalists and an orchestra. So put that in your artsy pipe and smoke it.
Friday, June 21st to Sunday, June 23rd, Times Vary, The Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.
Space Cadet – Kid Koala
For those of you who prefer a little trip in your artistry, look no further than world-renowned Montreal-based, scratch DJ Kid Koala. I can’t think of any reason this would be my cup of tea. Other than the fact that the audience listens through an individual headphone system as Kid (can I call him that?) brings his music to life using a piano and loads-a turntables. For the first time ever, Mr. Koala will add custom scents to the whole experience… that’s right, you can actually smell the show. The audience sits in inflatable space pods. I am so in.
Now, this is being touted as a show for all ages but I’m thinking it sounds more like the perfect environment for those with a chill demeanour and a severe case of the munchies. Just saying.
Friday, June 14th and Saturday, June 15th, 10:30pm to 12:30am, The Hub at David Pecaut Square.
Get more info on these and tons of other shows and buy tickets on the Luminato website.
The festival runs from Friday, June 14th through Sunday, June 23rd, 2013.