DesignTO Festival Launch Party: Celebrating Design in the Heart of Winter

[January 2024, Toronto] The DesignTO Festival invites you to kick off its 10-day event with the Launch Party at Harbourfront Centre on Friday, January 19, from 7-11pm. Celebrating design, art, and community in Toronto’s vibrant winter, this year’s festival features 100+ free exhibitions, art installations, tours, talks, and events. Taking place in 100+ venues across Toronto, the Festival showcases the ingenuity of 300+ local and international artists and designers, all contributing to a sustainable, just, and joyful world. Our comprehensive online festival events schedule is available for your design journey.


Laura Smith, Parliamentary Assistant to the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.
Deputy Mayor and Councillor, Spadina-Fort York Ausma Malik, Photo by Alexis MacDonald
Toronto Mayor, Olivia Chow
Celebrating its 14th year, DesignTO is honoured to welcome Laura Smith, Parliamentary Assistant to the Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport, Mayor Olivia Chow, and Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik to celebrate the launch of the 2024 event.“Mayor Olivia Chow aligns the festival with the city’s aspirations, remarking that “DesignTO embodies our city’s vision for a sustainable, equitable, and joyful world.” The festival brings a unique vibrancy to Toronto, highlighting our city as a creative hub,” adds Deputy Mayor Ausma Malik.
2019 DesignTO Launch Party, Photo by SVPhotography
The Launch Party brings the community together with art, design, and music. For one night only, the event will feature ‘The Case at Harbourfront’, an immersive multimedia installation by Toronto-based multidisciplinary artists elsewhere Collective. This unique installation is a dynamic conversation woven from personal videos, hand-drawn animations, and found footage, creating an engaging narrative experience.
elsewhere Collective, ‘Crack in the Case’ installation, Nuit Blanche 2023.
In tandem with the immersive installation, DJs Fly Lady Di and Adeola will set the mood with their distinct musical styles. Known for her eclectic mix spanning hip-hop, R&B, Soulful House, and Dancehall, Fly Lady Di brings a vibrant energy to the event, while Adeola blends African sounds with diverse genres to create an inclusive atmosphere with his transcendent music.
Yassine Ben Abdallah. ‘The Bittersweet Memory of the Plantation’, 2022. Photo by Florian Lafosse.
Partygoers can also experience ’Future Matters’, a group exhibition curated by DesignTO at Harbourfront Centre’s Gallery 235, running until April 28. It features the work of Yassine Ben Abdallah, Nada Al-Obaidi, Safaa Alnabelseya, Sonny Assu, Adrian Chiu, Morgan Possberg, Denne, Julia Rose Sutherland, Cole Swanson, and Elaine Whittaker. This exhibition explores the intersection of traditional and futuristic materials and practices across various mediums like sculpture, video, and textiles, emphasizing themes of material expression, innovation, and environmental sustainability.
REVISITING SYCORAX. Charmaine Lurch. ‘Sycorax Scene II’, 2020. Acrylic and wire on canvas. Photo by Toni Hafkensheid.
The ‘Illuminate’ exhibition at Harbourfront Centre features a collection of works by a diverse group of artists. This exhibition includes ‘Revisiting Sycorax’ by Charmaine Lurch, ‘On Any Given Day II’ curated by Melanie Egan with artists Jeremy Mayall, Dr. Fiona Pardington, Louise Potiki Bryant, Bridget Reweti, among others, and ‘Everyday Lighting II’ curated by Kate Tessier, showcasing the works of artists Patrick Li, Chari Cohen, Jesse Bromm, Julia Hepburn, and others. These artists bring together a dynamic exploration of light and design, creating an immersive and visually stunning experience.

With these elements combined, the Launch Party promises to be a night of creative exploration and celebration, perfectly capturing the essence of DesignTO’s commitment to design, community, and sustainability.

As DesignTO continues to champion designing a better future, we invite you to experience an evening where design not only connects but also inspires. This event is more than a celebration; it’s a glimpse into a future shaped by design.

The ‘DesignTO Festival Launch Party’ is organized by DesignTO in partnership with Harbourfront Centre, and supported by the Government of Ontario, Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, and Weston Premium Woods, with media partner AZURE Magazine.

DesignTO is supported by Major Funders the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, and The Ontario Arts Council.

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About DesignTO

DesignTO is a non-profit organization that curates exhibitions, presentations, and educational programming to increase the public’s knowledge and appreciation of design and its role in creating a sustainable, just and joyful world.

DesignTO is best known for the DesignTO Festival, Canada’s leading and largest annual design festival that celebrates design as a multidisciplinary form of creative thinking and making. The festival brings the public together with over 100 exhibitions and events that form Toronto’s design week every January. | INSTAGRAM | FACEBOOK | X (TWITTER) | LINKEDIN

For additional information, visual assets, and to set up interviews, contact Michael Madjus at [email protected].