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Luminato Festival, Toronto's International Festival of Arts and Ideas, is an annual celebration of the arts in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, launched in 2007. In its first decade, Luminato presented over 3,000 performances featuring 11,000 artists from over 40 countries and has commissioned over 80 new works of art.

Luminato Festival
LocationToronto, Ontario, Canada
Artistic directorNaomi Campbell[1]
Festival date10 days each June
WebsiteLuminato Festival Official Website


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] Janice Price was Luminato’s first CEO and remained in this position until November 2014.[3] Anthony Sargent was appointed CEO in May 2015.[4]

Chris Lorway was appointed the 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.[5] In 2018, Naomi Campbell, who joined the festival as Company Manager in 2011 and then was appointed Luminato's first-ever Deputy Artistic Director in 2013, was named Luminato's Artistic Director in September 2018.[6]

Iteration Dates Highlights
13th June 7–23, 2019
12th June 6–24, 2018
  • International Human Rights Lawyer and Activist Amal Clooney made her first visit to Toronto for an evening of conversation with her father-in-law, veteran journalist, Nick Clooney. The sold-out event, Amal Clooney in Conversation with Nick Clooney[7] was co-presented by Luminato and the Economic Club of Canada. Sophie Grégoire Trudeau gave opening remarks.
  • Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds plays a sold-out show at Elgin Theatre
  • Hundred of Torontonians from all walks of life took over Nathan Philips Square to perform Le Grand Continental®
  • World premiere of the original Luminato commission Dreaming of Lions choreographed by Osnel Delgado and performed by Cuba's Malpaso Dance Company
  • Luminato launches Illuminating works, a program that gives presenters from Canada and around the world a chance to see work by a varied and exciting line-up of Canadian artist and companies programmed by the festival. In its first year, 25 Artistic Directors and collaborators from 17 cities around the world attended Illuminating works.
11th June 14–25, 2017
  • Artistic Director Josephine Ridge programs her first festival, bringing The Famous Spiegeltent toToronto for the first time and using it as a 'festival hub'
  • Luminato presents 3 world, 2 North American and 5 Canadian premieres
  • Three Luminato 2017 presentations are nominated for Dora Mavor Moore Awards, two win:[8]
    • WINNER: Until the Lions, an Akram Khan Production - Best Production - Dance Division
    • WINNER: En avant, marche!, an NTGents, and les Ballets C de la B production in collaboration with VLAMO - Outstanding Touring Production
    • Bearing, a Signal Theatre Production - Outstanding Touring Production
10th June 10–19, 2016
  • Luminato takes over Toronto's decommissioned Hearn Generating Station as the main festival venue[9]
  • 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[10]
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.[16]
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.[19]
  • 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.[20]

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."[21]


  1. ^ "Globe and Mail Website". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. March 16, 2016.
  2. ^ "Luminato Official Website".
  3. ^ "Luminato's Janice Price heads west as new president of The Banff Centre". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. November 25, 2014.
  4. ^ "Luminato lands Anthony Sargent as CEO". Toronto Stars. Toronto. May 19, 2015.
  5. ^
  6. ^ "Long-time Luminato producer Naomi Campbell promoted to artistic director". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  7. ^ "Luminato – Toronto's International Arts Festival - Luminato". Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  8. ^ "Recipients & Nominees - TAPA". TAPA. Retrieved 2018-11-15.
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-05. Retrieved 2014-07-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-20. Retrieved 2014-07-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-04-12. Retrieved 2014-04-08.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  14. ^
  15. ^ "Luminato to host North American premiere of Abramovic 'opera'". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. November 19, 2012.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-02-16. Retrieved 2013-02-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  17. ^ "Luminato Official Website" (PDF).
  18. ^ "My Bindi". Archived from the original on 2008-11-18. Retrieved 2009-04-16.
  19. ^ Chung, Matthew (June 12, 2007). "Luminato a big success, say organizers". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  20. ^ Knelman, Martin (April 2, 2008). "Ontario giving $75M to arts". The Star. Toronto. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
  21. ^[permanent dead link]

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