Luminato Festival: Shining a light on contemporary art

This week Toronto kicks off one of the most preeminent arts festivals in all of North America. Since its inception in 2007, the Luminato Festival has commissioned over 66 new works of art, and featured 7,500 artists from 40 countries. The festival spans across all types of artistic expression using the city as the canvas and stage for a huge number of art exhibitions.

Performance of JONI: A Portrait In Song, at Luminato Festival 2013.

Luminato began with Tony Gagliano and David Pecaut, two businessmen with a keen appreciation of the arts. They saw in art the power to transform, engage, and change people for the better. They also saw arts as a means to develop communities and build up the city. “We shared the vision of a festival that would reflect the authentic richness of the arts in Toronto,” explains Tony Gagliano. “We wanted it to take its vitality from the diversity of the city’s cultural communities. We wanted it to touch all residents while also inspiring visitors from around the globe to come to Toronto.”

Light installation at Dundas Square at Luminato Festival 2008.

Michel de Broin’s giant disco ball, the world’s largest mirrored ball, illuminated the city at the 2013 Luminato festival.

An evening of music at the Luminato Hub at Luminato Festival 2014.

“Luminato began as a dream that each year Toronto would invite the world to join us in celebrating creativity. A dream where the best artists in the world and the best artists in Canada fill the stage that is Toronto with new and wonderful creations,” explained David Pecaut.

 “Luminato embraces the very diversity that is the beating heart of Toronto and is living testimony that creativity is best nourished where cultures come together in a spirit of common humanity and citizenship.”

Each June, the festival transforms Toronto’s theatres, parks and public spaces into hubs celebrating theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more. This year the full lineup of events includes Orchestra Karaoke, Indigenous Culinary Arts, Cabaret, and new musical acts like St. Vincent.

Apocalypsis will be on stage at the Sony Centre June 26-28.

One of the most anticipated acts of this year’s festival is Apocalypsis. The massive musical-theatre performance, based on the biblical Book of Revelation, was written by acclaimed Canadian composer R. Murray Schafer, and hasn’t been performed since 1980. The performance has a cast of over 1000 local singers and award-winning performers, and up to 20 conductors, making it the largest stage production in Toronto.

The festival runs June 19 – 28th in Toronto. For more information on the Luminato Festival please visit their website.


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