06/18/2015 09:00 EDT | Updated 06/18/2016 05:59 EDT

Luminato festival kicks off today with opening party, fundraiser

Luminato, the annual multi-disciplinary arts and culture festival, will kick off the 10-day celebration Thursday night with an opening party and a fundraising event in Toronto's Port Lands area.

The Big Bang Bash fundraising gala at the Hearn Generating Station will mark the opening of the massive festival, followed by the opening party. Party guests will get a chance to experience Ephemera, an installation by Canadian musician and sound artist Tim Hecker, in a preview.

The festival, which runs through June 28, will transform the public space around the city with events showcasing music, visual arts, literature, theatre, film and food, among others.

One of the biggest draws this year is the nightly garden parties at David Pecaut Square. 

In what organizers hope will be "the biggest backyard party of the summer," the garden soiree kicks off on June 19. Partygoers can play lawn games, enjoy food and dance in the Garden of Light.

The first garden party will also unveil Regina Silveira's light and sculpture installation Glossary, which incorporates a series of coloured, translucent marquees.  

Luminato will also host David Byrne's world premiere of Contemporary Color, which brings together pop stars with 10 high school colour guard teams, performing acrobatic routines with props including flags, rifles and sabres. The arena-scale staging of sport, music and culture will include Kelis, Nelly Furtado, How To Dress Well, Devonte Hynes and more.

Then there's the 1,000-person performance, Apocolypsis. Written by Raymond Murray Schafer, it's said to be the largest production to ever take the stage in Toronto.

The full festival lineup can be found on Luminatos's website here.