Luminato is here! We love pleasant surprises of all varieties, and Luminato is great at giving us the goods (remember stumbling upon the ship in Trinity Bellwoods last year, or those crazy cartoon balloons in Queen’s Park?) This year the surprises will continue, and the best part is, a ton of them are FREE! (Be still my skint heart.) From a delicious $5 food bazaar from TO’s top chefs to Denis Gagnon’s interpretation of Alice in Wonderland to a flashmob-style Mp3 experiment, Luminato’s free programming is a feast for all the senses. 

Sargasso by Philip Beesly Architect Inc.
June 8-18
Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street
This seems to me like Planet Earth come to life: a responsive architecture installation inspired by the floating masses of living matter and waste in the middle of the Atlantic, it will immerse the galleria in the sensation of a living network of organisms. 

Habit by David Levine 
June 10-11, June 13-19OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Great Hall, 2nd Floor
Like real-life Big Brother, if there was art instead of stupid competitions (is that what happens on Big Brother?) Performers will live in a house, repeating the same dialogue every day and altering the context to suit their needs. Voyeur-istic! 

My Name Is Raj
June 10-12, June 14-19 TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West
See yourself as part of seminal Indian filmmaker Raj Kapoor’s world. Take your picture in a photo booth in the guise of one of his characters, and watch it projected on the screen!

The Luminato Reel: Indoor Screenings
June 10-11
TIFF Bell Lightbox, Reitman Square, 350 King Street West
Screenings of 2081, Requiem for a Dream (Friday) and , Il fiore delle Mille e una notte, (Saturday) at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. 2081 screens at 7, and Requiem and Il fiore at 7:30. 

Garden of Roses: Denis Gagnon Interprets Alice
June 10-19 Wintergarden Lobby, 225 King Street West (beside David Pecaut Square)
One of Canada’s most acclaimed designers creates a one-of-a-kind dress surrounded by a garden of roses in homage to the National Ballet of Canada’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. 

President’s Choice 1000 Tastes of Toronto
June 18-19 John Street (between Adelaide Street West and Wellington Street West)  
Om nom nom, it’s those family-friendly Gaylen Weston commercials come to life. John St. will become a delicious open-air market of $5 street food created by Toronto’s finest chefs. Throughout the weekend, chefs will demonstrate how they prepare their delicacies. 

The Luminato Mp3 Experiment
June 19
Clarence Square (July-Dec birthdays) Where Wellington Street meets Spadina 
CN Tower (Jan-June birthdays) Grassy area near the Tower Base, 301 Front Street West (grassy area near the Tower Base)
Download an Mp3 on your phone, and join others, coordinated by birthday, at meeting spots around the city…just press play! 

~ Haley Cullingham