Toronto Light Festival

Toronto Light Festival melts winter blues away

Distillery District illuminated with artwork from Canadian, American, European artists

No one said that constructing a light show in Toronto was going to be easy, especially if the light don’t show up.

That’s what Matthew Rosenblatt, executive producer of the Toronto Light Festival, thought when deliveries didn’t show up on time.

“It was like a cartooned thermometer was going through my body, the temperature was going right through to the top of my brain,” Rosenblatt laughed afterwards.

Expected since Thursday and through the weekend, the lighted art finally arrived on Monday, just days before the event.

The Distillery District successfully launched its first-ever Toronto Light Festival.

From Jan. 27 to March 12, the festival showcases artworks from European, American and Canadian artists.

It’s to help Torontonians escape the winter blues, Rosenblatt said.

A few months ago Rosenblatt was looking at Burning Man pictures online for the Distillery. After noticing light sculptures, he thought of buying one for the Distillery. But if a sculpture becomes a part of the district’s fabric, it could eventually go unnoticed.

“I thought, how are we going to make things fun and fresh each year?” he said. “Part of that was a lights festival. People will hopefully miss them when they are gone and there can be new art to explore, hopefully, next year.”

Originally planning the event for 2018, Rosenblatt started searching for artists, connecting with the Amsterdam Light Festival which helped him find pieces. It was an opportunity to showcase the Distillery’s various personalities.

“On one side it has a beautiful small town charm to it. The Christmas Market was alter to that warm and magical Norman Rockwell small town,” Rosenblatt said. “But it’s also very urban and sophisticated, like SoHo in the sixties.”

The festival adds another contrasting layer of urban and modern cultures that haven’t been seen in the city before, he said.

The free festival runs after dark Thursdays through Saturdays to 11 p.m. and Sundays through Wednesdays to 10 p.m.