A Festival of Light and Wonder

Written by Vaiva Slapsys

If you’re not one to walk among the historic cobblestone streets of the Distillery District on a normal Saturday evening, now is definitely the time to make the trip down and explore the magic that it offers. Not only is it a beautiful place to visit every other day of the year, but from now until March 12th it has been transformed into a wonderland of light and colour that will take you away from the harsh winter winds and transport you into a place of imagination and inspiration.

How, you ask? Well, the creators of the Toronto Christmas Market decided that holiday cheer was just not enough for the long Canadian winter, so they enlisted the help of both Canadian and International artists to put on the spectacular (and free!) Toronto Light Fest. Artists come from all over the world, including Italy, the Netherlands, Israel, Belgium, and Australia, to name a few. The works displayed range from beautiful glowing sculptures, to light engineering marvels, to interactive pieces that invite guests to participate in fuelling the magical work. One of my personal favourites is a ceiling of spinning light fixtures operated by sensing movement beneath, where you might find children running back and forth or couples dancing and singing to coax the lights into moving and joining in on the fun. Many of the installations focus on the powers of friendship and international relations, shedding some light (pun intended) on how hope and camaraderie can help pull us through the hard times that the world is currently undergoing.

As the creator of the event puts it, “We want to help transform a moment of consciousness from the cold of the dark into the warmth of the light. Oh, and we really, really like pretty lights,” (Rosenblatt).

Check out their website for more info on the light festival!