Arts & culture are on our mind this week with the launch of Toronto's most creative festival, Luminato.

Toronto is a buzz with festivals this summer, as cutting-edge music fest NXNE and Luminato: Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity kick the season off this week with music, film, theatre and tons of Canadian talent to boot.

We've sifted through the long list of events to find the most unique fashion or South Asian-inspired content. Our Hot 5 picks for Luminato 2010:

Call Cutta
Documentary film by Rimini Protokoll.
June 20 / 1:00 PM / FREE
National Film Board – Toronto Mediatheque
 
Ah, those annoying telemarketers who call during dinner or right before you're leaving the house for a party, offering long distance phone services at a deal (2 cents a minute to India and Pakistan!). Call Cutta shows a more human side of the Indian call centre, by documenting a theatre piece that brings together Calcutta call centre employees helping a single man lost in Berlin.
 
 
Photo Credit Ryan MartisEast/West in Canadian Fiction
June 16 / 7:00 PM / FREE
Toronto Reference Library
789 Yonge Street, Toronto

He was nominated for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Award, and he won 4 Dora Mavor Moore awards for his dark play Bombay Black. Catch Indian/Canadian writer Anosh Irani and award-winning Canadian authors Lorna Crozier, Lynn Coady, and Michael Winter as they discuss how Canadian narratives are informed by both local and regional influences (stating the obvious?). Irani discusses the influence of Canada as his home and India as his muse in his magical-realism fiction.

 

 

 

(un)veiled: Muslim Women Talk About the Hijab
June 17 / 7:00 PM / FREE
National Film Board – Toronto Mediatheque

With the heated discussions on the hijab taking place in Quebec, Ontario, Europe, and even in Sex and the City 2, this timely documentary talks about the realities and controversies surrounding this piece of religious garb.

 

The Ascension of Beauty
June 11 – 20 / FREE
Adam Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place

TopShop is releasing a special collection of his work later this month, but Torontonians can catch the work of knit-master Mark Fast at his Luminato exhibit, The Ascension of Beauty.

One of the world’s hottest up-and-coming fashion designers, Canadian-born Mark Fast transcends the boundary between art, fashion, and beauty with an installation commissioned for Luminato in partnership with Lancôme. Fast will create a new kind of knitted sculpture, one which spirals out from a platform and through the architecture of the Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place. This blend of fashion, interpreting the rose, and sculptural installation elevates Fast’s famous knit-wear. 

 

World Music Celebration & President's Choice 1000 Tastes of Toronto
 
June 20 / 1:00 PM / FREE
Queen's Park North

The last time we saw Autorickshaw perform live was years ago in Vancouver, so we're excited to see how this jazz/funk/Bollywood inspired foursome performs with a 7-piece brass section, a string quartet and beatboxers. Party with Autorickshaw and other world music acts at Luminato's finale event, the World Music Celebration. The celebration also marks and honours World Refugee Day.

1:00 PM: Rahim Alhaj and Little Earth (Iraq, USA)
2:00 PM: Autorickshaw: Bollywood and Beyond (Canada)
3:00 PM: Mr. Something Something (Canada)
4:00 PM: Burkina Electric (Burkina Faso, Germany, USA)

All that dancing will make you hungry, so grab some tasty fare at the President's Choice 1000 Tastes of Toronto, where you can sample cuisine from some of Toronto's hottest culinary spots. Yum.

For event listings and more information, visit www.luminato.com.