Toronto’s annual international arts festival presents
three days of theatre, music, film and conversation
for a global audience
Luminato Festival Toronto, Toronto’s international arts festival dedicated to performance, media and visual arts, and programming that cuts across traditional artform boundaries, is thrilled to announced the lineup of its first ever virtual festival which will run from 7 p.m. (EDT) Thursday, June 11 until 12 midnight (EDT) Saturday, June 13 and includes more than 20 hours of free programming, 4 world premieres and 4 works created specifically for the virtual edition.
The festival will feature an array of events including a cooking and singing session with international award-winning Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman, a conversation about Refuge, a new album by three-time JUNO Award-nominees Sultans of String, a request radio hour with Canada’s godfather of hip hop Ron Nelson and conversations about climate change and activism with UK-based live artist Amy Sharrocks. Science journalist and author of Sea Sick, Alanna Mitchell, demonstrates the art of the interview in Field Notes from the Future, produced by The Theatre Centre and presented by FOLDA (Festival of Live Digital Art). Reprised highlights from past Luminato Festivals will include R. Murray Schafer’s epic theatrical oratorio Apocalypsis with a cast of 1,000 (Luminato 2015), Blast Theory’s single-shot film My One Demand (also from 2015), and the sleeper hit of the 2019 festival, the cabaret concert The Cave with music by John Millard, lyrics by Tomson Highway, directed by Adam Paolozza. At 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 12 and 10 p.m. Saturday, June 13, the Festival will also feature dynamic late night programming with a Black Summers Night with Unit 2, Black Lives Matter Toronto and Tea Base and The REVELATION, featuring Les Femmes Fatales with DJ Nik Red and Live VJ Roxanne Luchak, respectively, both perfect for partying the nights away. Special appearances include acclaimed Anishinaabe hand drummer-singer Nimkii Osawamick, JUNO Award-winner Quique Escamilla, Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Zuppa Theatre Co. and a live stream of Alex Bulmer’s performance May I Take Your Arm presented by Kingston, Ontario’s FOLDA.
“Audiences will experience a re-imagined Luminato this June. Our virtual offering includes selections from Luminato’s past, a taste of what would have been in this year’s originally programmed festival, and a sneak peek into the future: world premieres, theatre, film, singer/songwriters, local, national and Indigenous artists, all wrapped up with intense conversations, late night DJs and VJs, burlesque, special guests and more,” said Naomi Campbell, Luminato’s Artistic Director. “In Luminato’s new free interactive digital space audiences from all around the world can connect through art, performance and conversation.”
“Prevented by the global pandemic from presenting our originally planned live festival, it’s been a thrilling high-speed challenge to replace it with our first-ever virtual Luminato. It’s completely different of course, but we believe our adventurous Luminato flame burns just as brightly in this new incarnation! After five unforgettably rewarding years leading Luminato, I am so happy to be leaving with this enormously exciting step into a new kind of future – for us all,” said Anthony Sargent CBE, CEO Luminato.
During the festival, Luminato will be encouraging donations to support Canadians affected by COVID-19. Individuals wishing to contribute to these efforts can make a donation through Luminato’s website to organizations providing COVID-19 relief: The AFC (formerly Actors’ Fund of Canada), Black Lives Matters Toronto, The Stop Community Food Centre and True North Aid.
Illuminating works, Luminato’s symposium for industry professionals, will return in an adapted form for its third year. Luminato will assemble a virtual delegation of international and national presenters, producers and artists for 4 hours over 2 days. The sessions will feature specially commissioned papers on the future of festivals, written and presented by 5 international festival directors, then responded to by 4 local artists. It is exciting to be initiating another chapter in an urgent conversation that is taking place around the word about the future of the performing arts. Illuminating works is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts.
Luminato Festival Toronto, now in its 14th year, typically brings artists from across the country and around the world to Toronto each June to perform ticketed and free events in a variety of venues, and on the streets of the city. The festival in its original form was scheduled to take place June 11 – 28, 2020 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.