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Luminato Festival
Location(s) Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Artistic director Josephine Ridge[1]
Foundation 2007
Date(s) 10 days each June
Luminato Festival Official Website

Luminato Festival, Toronto's Festival of Arts and Creativity, is an annual ten-day celebration of the arts in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, launched in 2007. Over the past nine years, the Festival has presented over 9,400 artists from 40 countries and has commissioned over 75 new works of art. Each year, Luminato Festival presents over 250 events – the majority of which are free – and reach over 800,000 Festival-goers locally and internationally.


Luminato was founded by Tony Gagliano, Executive chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications, and the late David Pecaut, CM Senior Partner at The Boston Consulting Group, in 2007.[2] Luminato Festival works with a Festival Advisory Committee consisting of local arts leaders.[3] Janice Price was Luminato’s first CEO and remained in this position until November 2014.[4] Anthony Sargent was appointed CEO in May 2015.[5] Chris Lorway was selected as Luminato Festival’s first Artistic Director, until 2011. Followed by Jörn Weisbrodt, a German arts administrator and past Director of Robert Wilson's Watermill Center from September 2012 to June 2016. In July 2016, Josephine Ridge, former creative director of the Melbourne Festival and executive director of the Sydney Festival, was named Luminato’s new Artistic Director. She programs her first Luminato festival in 2017.[6]

Iteration Dates Highlights
12th June 6–24, 2018
11th June 14–25, 2017
10th June 10–19, 2016
  • Luminato takes over Toronto's decommissioned Hearn Generating Station as the main festival venue[7]
  • The National Theatre of Scotland's trilogy The James Plays
  • Unsound Toronto returns to the Hearn
  • Rimini Protokoll's award winning Situation Rooms
  • monumental from Holy Body Tattoo and Godspeed You! Black Emperor
  • Rufus Wainwright recreates Judy Garland's 1961 Carnegie Hall show
  • Choir! Choir! Choir! and Rufus Wainwright perform Hallelujah: the recording has 5.5 million view on YouTube[8]
9th June 19–28, 2015
  • Ontario premiere of Mariano Pensotti's El pasado es un animal grotesco
  • Canadian premiere of Unsound Festival, an electronic music event
  • World premiere of Contemporary Color, a pep rally pop music mashup conceived by David Byrne
  • Canadian premiere of Malpaso Dance Company from Cuba
  • World premiere of Blast Theory's My One Demand, an interactive film
  • R. Murray Schafer's Apocalypsis, performed in full for the first time since its world premiere in 1980
8th June 6–15, 2014
7th June 14–23, 2013
6th June 8–17, 2012
  • 14 commissioned and co-commissioned new works, eight premieres, and over 270 events at 25 theatres, museums, parks and public spaces throughout Toronto
  • 1093 participating artists, representing 20 different countries, including six Canadian provinces.[14]
5th June 10–19, 2011
  • 400 mostly free events at 29 venues across Toronto
  • Almost 1 million Festival-goers
  • 750 Canadian and international artists from 28 countries
4th June 11–20, 2010
  • Nine new commissioned and co-commissioned works
  • North American premiere of Rufus Wainwright's Prima Donna
  • World premiere of Volcano Theatre's The Africa Trilogy
  • Five world premieres, four North American premieres, and one Canadian premiere
  • North American debut of Syria's acclaimed dance company, Enana Dance Theatre
  • 36 venues across the city, featuring artists representing 30 countries
3rd June 5–14, 2009
2nd June 6–15, 2008
1st June 1–10, 2007
  • 1,300 local and 214 international artists, over 30 venues across the downtown Toronto core.[17]
  • Over 1,035,000 attendees
  • 10 world premiere events, including 6 commissioned or co-commissioned works: Book of Longing, VIDA!, Norman, Not the Messiah, Pulse Front, and Auroras/Testimony.
  • Book of Longing, a music theatre piece using Leonard Cohen's poetry set to music by Philip Glass
  • Not the Messiah (He's a Very Naughty Boy), the comedic oratorio commissioned by Luminato, and written by Eric Idle & collaborator John Du Prez
  • Pulse Front: Relational Architecture 12, a light installation produced by Mexican-Canadian artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer situated at Toronto's harbourfront. The installation was dependent on audience participation, with 20 onsite handlebars linked to computers that transmitted the heart beats of those who touched them to one of 20 searchlights streaming above Harbourfront Centre, Toronto.


Luminato receives funding from sponsors, private donors, ticket sales, and various government agencies. In 2005, the Ontario Government committed $1 million in funding, which moved the project forward for the first festival. In 2008, the Ontario Government announced a series of strategic investments in the province's cultural industry. As part of that initiative, Luminato received $15 million, which was internally restricted by the board of directors towards commissioning future projects and securing first-performance rights from Canadian and international artists.[18]

In 2007, L'Oréal was announced as Luminato's "exclusive presenting partner." This partnership has since been presented under the banner "Luminato /L'Oréal: Partners in Creativity.”[19]


  1. ^ "Globe and Mail Website". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. March 16, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Luminato Official Website". 
  3. ^ "Luminato Official Website". 
  4. ^ "Luminato's Janice Price heads west as new president of The Banff Centre". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. November 25, 2014. 
  5. ^ "Luminato lands Anthony Sargent as CEO". Toronto Stars. Toronto. May 19, 2015. 
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-05. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-20. Retrieved 2014-07-22. 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-12. Retrieved 2014-04-08. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Luminato to host North American premiere of Abramovic 'opera'". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. November 19, 2012. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  15. ^ "Luminato Official Website" (PDF). 
  16. ^ "My Bindi". 
  17. ^ Chung, Matthew (June 12, 2007). "Luminato a big success, say organizers". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  18. ^ Knelman, Martin (April 2, 2008). "Ontario giving $75M to arts". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved March 27, 2010. 
  19. ^[permanent dead link]

External links[edit]