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luminato

Highlights of the 10th Edition of the Luminato Festival

The James Plays Trilogy (credit: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan)

JUNE 10 TO 26  For the last 10 years, the Luminato Festival has captivated audiences with a range of dance, music, theatre, literature and visual arts. In all, the event has commissioned nearly 100 new works of art, and hosted more than 3,000 performances by 11,000 artists from 40 countries, and inspired a cultural dialogue about the nature of art and how it can be shared and consumed by the masses. The milestone is a bittersweet one however: it also marks Jorn Weisbrodt’s swan song as the organization’s artistic director, a position he’s held for the last five years.

For the first time in the event’s history, it’s taking up residency at The P.L. Hearn Power Generating Station (440 Unwin Ave.) in the Port Lands, which will house a 17-day programming hub that includes a 1,200-seat theatre, a second floor art gallery, a stage for music and dancing, along with a beer garden, bars and restaurants.

Among this year’s highlights—and North American premieres—is the award–winning video installation Situation Rooms (June 10 to 19), in which the audience donning earphones and equipped with iPads—become the protagonists, seeing first hand the lives of individuals from different countries whose lives are shaped by weapons and violence, including an Israeli soldier, a Pakistani lawyer and a member of a Mexican drug cartel.

Scotland’s reign under three generations of Stewart kings during the 15th century is the inspiration for The James Plays (June 16 to 26), a trilogy of theatrical works written by Rona Munro. The only North American stop for this touring production from The National Theatre of Scotland examines the nature of Scottish culture and independence. The three works, James I—The Key Will Keep the Lock, James II—Day of the Innocents, and James III—The True Mirror, can be seen independently or in its entirety over 11 hours in a single day.

Modern dance work Monumental (credit: Yannick Grandmont)

In Monumental (June 15 and 16), a dark and somber take on modern life is presented through dance and music. Oppression, isolation and mistrust are among the themes explored by Vancouver–based company The Holy Body Tattoo, who is backed by music by Montreal’s post-rock collective Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Weisbrodt’s farewell season includes a special show by his spouse, Rufus Wainwright. For the first time, Toronto audiences can see Rufus Does Judy (June 23 and 24), a homage to Judy Garland’s 1961 spectacle at Carnegie Hall. Wainwright has previously mounted the production in New York, London, Paris and Los Angeles.

For a complete schedule of Luminato programming, visit luminatofestival.com.

18 Best-Bet Events for Toronto’s Luminato Arts Festival

Experience a "temporal village" at Fort York National Historic Site with The Encampment (1812 Centennial Events).

In its sixth year, Luminato adds some star power to its 10-day cultural celebration of music, visual art, dance, theatre and literature. The city-wide festival’s new artistic director, Jorn Weisbrodt, shines the spotlight on his fiancé Rufus Wainwright, but has also tapped some recognizable names from the worlds of music, film, art, publishing and dance to share their insights and talents.

Check out our picks »

30 Things We Love About Toronto This June

3. The Art Gallery of Ontario, complete with Henry Moore sculptures (photo by Roger Yip)

1. The soulful voice of Aretha Franklin, who opens the TD Toronto Jazz Festival with a free concert on June 24.

2. Donning red and white to cheer on the Toronto FC.

3. Admiring the collection of Henry Moore sculptures housed at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

4. Sipping a cappuccino from White Squirrel Coffee Shop while seeking its namesake critters in adjacent Trinity-Bellwoods Park.

5. Practicing your swing at Polson Pier’s lakeside driving range.

10. Toronto's skyline

6. Receiving a boisterous greeting from servers and chefs upon entering Japanese izakaya Guu.

7. Examining industrial-landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky’s latest exhibit about the oil business at the Royal Ontario Museum.

8. Strolling the pedestrian-friendly outdoor retail complex Shops at Don Mills.

9. The fervor of the “scramble” at Yonge and Dundas, where you can cross the street in any direction.

10. Taking the ferry to the Toronto Islands and looking back at the impressive skyline.

13. The Rex

11. Perusing refined Scandinavian design at Mjölk.

12. Admiring the cavernous grandeur of Union Station (65 Front St. W.).

13. Winding down the week with the live jazz and laid-back vibe at The Rex.

14. Walking beneath architectural artist Philip Beesley’s Sargasso installation, featured in Brookfield Place during Luminato.

15. The sense of otherworldliness in Sarah Anne Johnson’s Arctic Wonderland photos, displayed at Stephen Bulger Gallery.

19. Buca

16. Queuing for the $5.99 lunch specials at Sushi on Bloor—it’s worth the wait.

17. TV’s Rachel and Finn—a.k.a. Lea Michelle and Cory Monteith—belting it out on stage for Glee Live! In Concert!

18. Working up the courage to step onto the CN Tower’s glass floor, then looking down at the street 342 metres below.

19. Crunching on crispy pigs’ ears within Buca’s reclaimed industrial space.

20. Centering yourself at a drop-in yoga class at the Evergreen Brick Works.

24. Stillwater Spa

21. Finishing off a meal at The Gabardine with a burnt marshmallow ice cream sandwich.

22. Ordering creative cocktails and shareable snacks at Origin.

23. Admiring the elaborately designed merchandise windows at posh Holt Renfrew.

24. Getting pampered with a deep blue Tahitian massage at Stillwater Spa.

25. Picking up a new pair of flip-flops or sandals at always on-trend  shoe store Get Outside.

26. The Drake General Store

26. Quirky items from the Drake General Store to bring back home to your family and friends.

27. Tucking into tacos el pastor and a bowl of guacamole at Mexican stalwart El Trompo.

28. Coveting the volume of tomes at The Cookbook Store.

29. Scouring the rows of kitchenware at Chinatown’s Tap Phong Trading Company (360 Spadina Ave., 416-977-6364).

30. A stroll through the ravines of the Don Valley—you might glimpse a white-tailed deer by the river.

Weekend Roundup, June 17 to 19

Friday: Devo is among the bands at this year's NXNE (photo by Snarkygurl)

Friday, June 17
From June 16 to 19, the North by Northeast (NXNE) festival takes over Toronto with concerts by 650 bands, plus screenings of 40 music-related films and 50 panel discussions. Don’t miss free shows taking place at Yonge-Dundas Square this weekend, including acts like Descendents, DEVO and Men Without Hats.

Join in the annual Taste of Little Italy free street party where locals and visitors alike descend onto Toronto’s historic Italian neighbourhood on College Street between Bathurst and Shaw streets. Enjoy live bands, entertainers and street food from Friday through Sunday.

To fete its imminent opening at Toronto’s Yorkdale Mall in September 2011, British fashion store TopShop opens a pop-up location this weekend at Queen Street West and Soho Street. The Pop-Up Top Shop previews a collection for sale and also offers contest, a beach zone, free frozen yogurt and a live DJ.

Saturday: Get some haute street food at 1,000 Tastes of Toronto

Saturday, June 18
One of Toronto’s most anticipated foodie events takes place today and tomorrow along John Street (between Adelaide and Wellington). As part of  Luminato, 1,000 Tastes of Toronto showcases street food-sized portions of diverse cuisine from top restaurants like Woodlot, Queen Margherita Pizza and Lee.

Visit St. Lawrence Market for its annual Strawberry Festival, inaugurating the start of this delicious fruit’s harvest. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., you’ll be treated to samples, lessons on making strawberry jam, and cooking demonstrations by Toronto chefs Massimo Capra (of Mistura) and Michael Bonacini (of the Oliver & Bonacini restaurant group).

Iconic Beach Boys singer and songwriter Brian Wilson plays an intimate show at Massey Hall this evening, in promotion of his latest album, Brian Wilson Re-imagines Gershwin .

Sunday: See a revolutionary war reenactment at historic Black Creek Pioneer Village

Sunday, June 19
Celebrate this Father’s Day at Black Creek Pioneer Village, where you can watch as 200 costumed soldiers re-enact the Revolutionary War in the “Battle of Black Creek.” Walk around the village to see how soldiers lived in camps or visit the historic brewery for samples. Last but not least, end the day with a Father’s Day barbecue rib dinner.

The second annual Ontario Craft Beer Week kicks off in Toronto today. The festival showcases 27 craft brewers from across the province—at events and venues throughout Toronto—until June 25.

Crowds of screaming fans are sure to fill Queen Street West for the MuchMusic Video Awards tonight. Co-hosted by Selena Gomez, performers and guests include Lady Gaga, Avril Lavigne, Bruno Mars, City and Colour, the Black Keys and many more.

Hot Dining: Luminato’s Local Flavours

JUNE 18 & 19 Few cities in the world boast as much culinary diversity as Toronto. As part of Luminato, dozens of chefs and restaurants from around the city present their unique dishes for 1,000 Tastes of Toronto. During this open-air street food festival, foodies of all types can sample gourmet, globally influenced bites for $5 per dish, from such lauded restaurants as Lee, Woodlot, Milagro and more. Wander to the food demonstration stage while you eat to learn about how the chefs prepare their delicacies. On John Street, from King to Richmond streets, Saturday noon to 9 p.m., Sunday noon to 6 p.m.; call 416-368-3100 or click here for more information.

Wealth of Nations: Your Guide to Luminato

The all-encompassing Luminato festival bestows the world’s artistic riches on Toronto.

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (photo by Johan Persson)

It’s always a bit of a challenge to write about Luminato. Where has been covering this summertime celebration of the arts and creativity since its inception in 2007. Back then, newness was the event’s hook, and a small coterie of marquee stars were easy to pluck from a list of about 100 projects, but we quickly discovered many of Luminato’s smaller happenings, from public art installations to author discussions, were equally deserving of our attention, and that of our culturally astute readers. It proved very difficult to pick and choose.

Luminato continues to grow as it reaches its fifth anniversary. Its sheer scope is perilous for the scribe who would attempt to pare its programming for quick consumption. That same largesse is a boon for eager attendees. More than 150 ticketed and free theatrical and dance productions, concerts, readings and art displays are booked from June 10 to 19, and while it would be impossible to see everything on the schedule, that certainly shouldn’t stop anyone from trying.

As with many arts festivals desirous to share a cultural vision, Luminato carefully selects its programming on the basis of a particular yet broadly interpreted theme. This year, Luminato’s connective tissue is the idea, the tradition, and the many modes of storytelling, reflected foremost in its headline production, One Thousand and One Nights. Created by British director Tim Supple and Lebanese novelist Hanan al-Shaykh, and performed in Arabic, French and English (with surtitles), this special commission weaves the enthralling yarns of Shahrazad into an ambitious, two-part drama that comes complete with its own intriguing backstory. Although the show’s rehearsals in Egypt were disrupted by that country’s recent revolution, last-minute accommodations were found in a Moroccan palace—perhaps an even more fitting space in which to craft such an opulent tale. Canadians spin yarns with universal appeal, too, in such on-stage offerings as Tout Comme Elle—an oratorio for 50 voices that delves into the relationship between mothers and daughters—and the provocative Andromache, which frames the Greek myth and 17th-century French play as a tragedy of lust and obsession.

(more…)

Hot Date: Alice Dances Down the Rabbit Hole

Photo by Johan Persson, courtesy of the Royal Opera House

JUNE 4 TO 12, 23 TO 25 The peculiar imagination of Lewis Carroll is brought to life with music and movement in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a new dance work co-produced by the National Ballet of Canada and Britain’s Royal Ballet. Presented as part of Luminato, this North American premiere was choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon, who is known for his unique synthesis of neo-classical and modern dance interpretation. Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts, $21.50 to $201; call 416-345-9595 or click here for a schedule and to purchase tickets.

Luminato Logbook, Day Ten

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 (FINAL) TOP TICKETS

Climb aboard the Ship O' Fools

NAVAL GAZING It figures that a boat without a captain would find itself stranded in the middle of Toronto. Now that it’s here, why not make the best of it? Climb aboard Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s Ship O’ Fools—a salvaged, nine-metre-long Chinese junk—and embark on a voyage of sight, sound and discovery. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.

COMMUNITY CREATES The Young Centre for the Performing Arts becomes a multidisciplinary hub as a dozen resident artists curate works involving hundreds of their peers. On the last of its three days, the Waves Festival offers short theatre, dance and music performances staged throughout the venue. Enjoy the whimsy of Nursery Now, in which nursery rhymes are transformed with innovative music and movement, or seek out the impromptu, interactive Insta-Dance. And if the festivities leave you tuckered out, you can curl up in the Bedtime Stories sleep haven, where performers lull you to relaxation beneath a ceiling of glittering stars. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St., 1 to 6 p.m., free.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut 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.

>> Art, fashion and beauty are woven into the world-renowned stitch works of Canadian Mark Fast’s Luminato-exclusive display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free.

>> Feast on 1,000 Tastes of Toronto as the city’s myriad culinary delights are brought from the restaurant kitchen to the streets for just $5 a dish. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, noon to 9 p.m., free entry.

>> Tunes from around the globe close out the Luminato festival with a World Music Celebration. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, noon to 6 p.m., free.

>> Push boundaries at the Waves Festival, which fills every nook and cranny of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts with theatre, dance, music and artwork. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. 2 to 10 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in The Africa Trilogy, an exploration of East meets West uniting playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> Looks can be deceiving in Masters of Magic, starring top magicians Mac King, Max Maven, Bob Sheets and Juan Tamariz. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 8 p.m., $35 to $45.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Luminato Logbook, Day Nine

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

Julia Domna tells a colourful tale

THIS WOMAN’S WORK Sensual colours and kinetic motion are visual metaphors for the passionate and multifaceted title character of Julia Domna. Staged by Enana Dance Theatre, this intoxicating production blends traditional and contemporary Arab dance and music to tell the story of second-century Syrian woman who would become an empress of Rome. MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen’s Park, Sat. 2 & 8 p.m., $35.

FESTIVAL FEAST In between enjoying Luminato’s sights and attractions, there’s something nice about grabbing easy, inexpensive street food from a corner vendor—even better when it’s fresh from a bona fide gourmet chef. The closing weekend of Luminato brings some of Hogtown’s top restaurants and cooks out of the kitchen and on to the sidewalk for 1,000 Tastes of Toronto. More than 40 diverse restaurants offer an alfresco celebration of culinary creativity that’s sure to suit everyone’s tastes. Queen’s Park, noon to 9 p.m.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut 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 on display today. 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.

>> Meet the masterminds behind the Wish Come True Festival‘s creative dreamland in a Lunchtime Conversation. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Everyone’s talking about the future of books, including four well-known writers. They’ll be examining Fiction in the Age of E-Books today. Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles St. W., 1 p.m., $15.

>> Three points of view merge in The Africa Trilogy, an East-meets-West exploration that unites playwrights, directors and performers with the question: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> Looks can be deceiving in Masters of Magic, starring top magicians Mac King, Max Maven, Bob Sheets and Juan Tamariz. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 8 p.m., $35 to $45.

>> The birth and death of a monumental structure in Sarnia inspires Homage, a theatrical tribute to the poignancy of artwork. The Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 8 p.m., $35.

>> All day long, Queen’s Park plays host to the National Bank Festival: Global Divas and Global Blues, featuring female vocalists such as Creole jazz singer Carmen Souza. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, 1 to 11 p.m., free.

>> Push boundaries at the Waves Festival, which fills every nook and cranny of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts with theatre, dance, music and artwork. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. 2 to 10 p.m., free.

>> 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.

>> It’s your last opportunity to see Rufus Wainwright’s Prima Donna opera—a spellbinding story of an aging soprano and a dangerous romance. Elgin Theatre, 189 Yonge St., 7:30 p.m., $50 to $200.

>> The masterful music of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra is a city experience not to be missed. The renowned ensemble performs Beethoven’s thrilling Symphony no. 9 tonight! Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe St., 11 p.m., $20 to $69.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Luminato Logbook, Day Eight

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 TICKET

Meet the Rainbow King at the Wish Come True Festival (image by FriendsWithYou)

WORLD OF WONDER Quick! Put these guys on an urban planning committee! With its Wish Come True Festival, Miami-based design collective FriendsWithYou creates for Toronto a utopia of inflatable totems, bouncy castles and candy-coloured characters. This “Rainbow City” is sure to arouse warm and fuzzy feelings in all who enter its whimsical realm. Queen’s Park, Queen’s Park Crescent and Wellesley Street, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., free.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut 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.

>> Art, fashion and beauty are woven into the world-renowned stitch works of Canadian Mark Fast’s Luminato-exclusive display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, free

>> Reflect on your life’s journey aboard a 30-foot Chinese junk, salvaged by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller with the intent of examining artists’ and writers’ fascination with the image of an uncaptained Ship O’ Fools. Trinity Bellwoods Park, Queen Street West and Strachan Avenue, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., free.

>> Help push some boundaries at the Waves Festival, which fills every nook and cranny of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts with theatre, dance, music and artwork. Distillery Historic District, 55 Mill St. 6 to 10 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in The Africa Trilogy, an exploration of East meets West uniting playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> The birth and death of a monumental structure in Sarnia inspires Homage, a theatrical tribute to the poignancy of artwork. Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 8 p.m., $35.

>> Rufus Wainwright’s compelling opera, Prima Donna, is back for its penultimate performance. 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.

>> Looks can be deceiving in Masters of Magic, starring top magicians Mac King, Max Maven, Bob Sheets and Juan Tamariz. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 8 p.m., $35 to $45.

>> Arab dance and music tell the tale of Julia Domna—wife of a Roman emperor and descendant of Syrian kings, doomed to tragedy yet brilliant in her majesty. MacMillan Theatre, 80 Queen’s Park, 8 p.m., $35.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.

Weekend Roundup, June 18 to 20

This Father’s Day weekend is bursting with food, fun and festivals. Dad’s not the only one who’s going to have a great time!

Friday: Chortle knowingly as Jon Stewart points out what's wrong with the world.

Friday, June 18
Celebrate the proud heritage of Armenia, as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra—accompanying the beautiful voice of Isabel Bayrakdarian—fills Roy Thomson Hall with the strains of Ravel’s Shéhérazade and other related classical works.

Amidst the sprawling cityscape, The Power Plant offers an opportunity to philosophically reconnect with nature thanks to its mixed-media exhibition, Adaptation: Between Species. Enjoy a lakeside barbecue and music at tonight’s opening event.

Revel in the spry wit and piercing political barbs of Daily Show host Jon Stewart, who takes to the stage at Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort. After the show, check out the nearby nightlife and get a breathtaking look at the falls.

Saturday: See art on 401 Richmond's green roof and more (photo by veggiefrog)

Saturday, June 19
Familiarize yourself with the artists whose studios and galleries pack the 401 Richmond building, Toronto’s most creative address. This afternoon, partake in a free tour of the space and chat with the gallery owners and exhibiting artists during Brickolage Tour Series.

Sip 70-plus exquisite local vintages poured by the winemakers themselves at the annual Ontario Wine Fair at Café Taste. More than 20 wineries are participating in this event, which also offers the opportunity to nosh on 30 Ontario artisan cheeses.

“Whataya want from me?” asks glam American Idol singer-songwriter Adam Lambert in his similarly titled hit single. Make sure he hears your response at his Molson Canadian Amphitheatre show tonight. Expect to be treated to a number of cuts from Lambert’s upcoming debut album, For Your Entertainment.

Sunday: Get A.R. Rahman in your sights

Sunday, June 20
Treat dad to one of many options for a Father’s Day lunch. Amuse boasts an alfresco three-course meal served family-style at their Shared Table event; or call Casa Loma to reserve a table at its Father’s Day Royal Brunch Buffet. If you’re set on Italian, savour a Taste of Little Italy—the College Street party features numerous participating restaurants. And for a diverse range of nibbles—affordably priced at only $5 each—head to Queen’s Park to try 1,000 Tastes of Toronto.

Make it a Father’s Day dad will always remember with a war re-enactment, hearty ribs and fun for the whole family. Black Creek Pioneer Village presents the Battle of Black Creek—a lively re-creation of an 18th century skirmish for control of Upper Canada. Top of the invigorating spectacle with barbecued ribs or a tour of the Black Creek Historic Brewery.

Experience the musical talents of Oscar- and Grammy-winner A.R. Rahman. Known for his Slumdog Millionaire score, the Indian composer teams up with creative director Amy Tinkham (creator of concerts for Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys) in Jai Ho: The Journey Home Concert at the Air Canada Centre, employing international musicians and dancers.

Luminato Logbook, Day Seven

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.

Homage (photo by Nick Rudnicki)

TODAY’S TOP TICKET

SCULPTING A LEGACY It seems that with every passing day new wrinkles emerge in the debate over artistic value, rights and ownership. Halifax’s 2B Theatre Company tests the boundaries of these issues in Homage, a philosophical look at the 2005 demolition of a monumental sculpture in Sarnia, Ontario. Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, 227 Front St. E., 8 p.m., $35.

MORE MUST-SEE SHOWS

>> Pay tribute to Luminato co-founder David Pecaut 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.

>> Art, fashion and beauty are woven into the world-renowned stitch works of Canadian Mark Fast’s Luminato-exclusive display. Brookfield Place, 181 Bay St., all day, 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.

>> 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.

>> Learn more about the German avant-garde theatre troupe Rimin Protokoll’s “Reality Trend” performances in a Lunchtime Conversation. Roots (2nd floor), 100 Bloor St. W., 12:30 p.m., free.

>> Three points of view merge in The Africa Trilogy, an exploration of East meets West uniting playwrights, directors and performers who ask: How do we see each other? Fleck Dance Theatre, 207 Queen’s Quay W., 7 p.m., $30 to $45.

>> 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.

>> Challenge perceived reality in the magic show/comedy production Masters of Magic. Panasonic Theatre, 651 Yonge St., 8 p.m., $35 to $45.

Purchase Luminato tickets daily at the T.O. Tix booth, located at Yonge-Dundas Square.