Sunday, June 20, 2010

Luminato Festival: first the happy faces

I didn't have time to catch much of Luminato 2010 in Toronto other than the Wish Come True Festival presented by FriendsWithYou, a Miami-based visual arts collective. Queen's Park looked as though a giant box of toys had been spilled: bouncy mushrooms you could crawl inside, smiling lollipops and totem-pole peppermint sticks, super-sized beach balls you could bat around and sweet little characters roaming around, followed by delighted kids. Just for Luminato, FriendsWithYou created Rainbow City, populated by the Rainbow King and his celestial friends, a happy place of magic, luck and joy. It's hard to thrill a kid these days but FriendsWithYou managed to do it with the number and sheer size of the pieces. There were a lot of adults, too, shoving those giant tether balls back and forth, loathe to leave the park.
It struck me that while happy faces filled Queen's Park this week, it would have an entirely different atmosphere just a few days from now. The park is the designated site for official protests to the G20 summit. Whatever else Toronto may be, it's never dull.