If imagination is the core of the soul, then Toronto’s spirit is strong indeed, and on full display during Luminato. This annual celebration of arts and creativity brings to the city an international array of theatrical and dance performances, world-music concerts, visual art displays, literary events and much more—all of which you can read about here daily. Expand your horizons and imagine new heights; for 10 days in Toronto, anything is possible.
TODAY’S TOP TICKETS
NATION’S PRIDE Massey Hall once again hosts Luminato’s Canadian Songbook, a multi-artist showcase of this country’s most storied popular music. This year, Bruce Cockburn gets the tribute treatment: the legendary songwriter takes the stage to survey his hits with such friends as Hawksley Workman, Colin Linden and others. Massey Hall, 178 Victoria St., 7:30 p.m., $55 to $85.
NOVEL STANDPOINT Just as global affairs can be dictated by geographic concerns, so are the interactions of Canadians influenced by sense of place. As such, the meaning of East/West in Canadian Fiction is always a hot topic amongst local literati. A coast-to-coast quartet of writers—including Edmonton’s Lynn Coady and Newfoundland-born Michael Winter—refreshes the debate. Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge St., 7 p.m., free.
MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS
>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut, who succumbed to cancer last December, by viewing the Atom Egoyan–curated film installation Solar Breath (Northern Caryatids)/Light Air. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., free.
>> Experience a candy-coloured wonderland in the heart of Toronto: Miami-based art collective FriendsWithYou transforms the city centre into a “Rainbow City” with bouncing castles, giant totems and all-around warm feelings for its Wish Come True Festival. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., free.
>> He was only 12 when he hatched his dream of becoming a fashion designer; now Canadian Mark Fast’s knitwear is known the world over. A Luminato-exclusive showcase of his couture is now on display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.
>> Step on to a 30-foot Chinese junk and reflect upon life aboard the uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.
>>The delicate subject of Rights in the Arts—artists’ rights and intellectual property—is explored by Erika Batdorf (One Pure Longing), Anthony Black (Homage) and magician David Ben. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.
>> Three points of view merge in The Africa Trilogy, an East-meets-West exploration that unites playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queens Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.
>> Celebrated singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright achieves something stunning with his opera, Prima Donna, the spellbinding story of an aging soprano who ponders a return to the stage. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 7:30 p.m., $50 to $200.
>> Audience members—along with real-life gamers and game designers—help bring the theatrical production Best Before to life with the help of representative avatars. Berkeley Street Theatre, 26 Berkeley St., 8 p.m., $35.
Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.