For some people, winter kind of sucks. Driven away by the cold weather, a lot of people spend their winter months indoors. The main purpose of the Toronto Light Festival is to help people enjoy winter.
The festival is a 45-day event held in Toronto’s Distillery District over 13 acres and 44 buildings. Art installations created by international and local artists use thousands of lights to light up the night and bring people out of their houses.
“The festival is super children-friendly. We have an amazing installation called Birds Fly Around With You and there are tons of kids in it all the time running around and as they run the birds follow them. It’s very, very kid-friendly and kid-fun,” said Emily Zajac, the Associate Producer of the festival.
The festival showcases different artists from India, Canada, the United States, Japan, Hungary, Netherlands, and Austria. The artists’ work conveys different emotions like sadness, eeriness, and playfulness. They beautifully light up both the night sky and the spirits of those who come to watch. Some of my favourites were the fire-breathing dragon sculpture and the light-up piano interactive exhibit. I also really liked the hooded figures that lit up in different colours.
Regardless of the cold, many people arrived at the Distillery District to experience the wonders of the festival. People of all ages walked around the area, and visited the restaurants and cafes.
The festival doesn’t only bring light to its visitors, it also brings light to the homeless. According to Emily Zajac, the festival has an important purpose in partnering with Yonge Street Mission. “We try to raise money for at-risk and homeless Torontonians because, again, this is a very cold time of year. It’s not a fun time to be homeless and we want to try to help those people to bring them into the warmth as well.”
The Toronto Light Festival is a good way to brighten the dark and drab nights of winter and to get Torontonians out enjoying their city.