Luminato - Toronto Festival of Arts, Culture and Creativity
Luminato builds on the Toront03 Alliance, a previous TCSA initiative which helped to rebuild Toronto's tourism industry post-SARS. Shortly after the wrap-up of Toront03, TCSA Chair David Pecaut met with St. Joseph Communications Executive Chairman and CEO Tony Gagliano to discuss a vision for a festival that could unite the artistic talents of the city with artists from around the globe and create a celebration specific to Toronto but open to the world. The festival soon became known as Luminato and was developed as a project of the Toronto City Summit Alliance until emerging as a fully-incorporated non-profit organization in July 2006. Luminato hosted its inaugural festival in June 2007 to both critical and popular acclaim and is quickly becoming known as North American's biggest multi-site, multidisciplinary festival of arts and creativity.
Three touchstones serve as guiding lights for Luminato: diversity
– reflected in the breadth of programming; collaboration
– local and international artists, cross-genre and co-productions; and accessibility
– manifested in close to 50 free events in 30 different venues. In addition to these touchstones, building Toronto's international creative reputation is another important goal for Luminato. With the participation of over 1000 local and 200 international artists, and 26 international arts producers and managers, as well as the generous international press coverage received, Luminato's 2007 debut made millions of potential tourists aware of the Toronto region and its cultural assets. By the end of the 2007 festival, over 1 million attendees had taken in what Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival CEO and Luminato Artistic Committee member, described as "the skies, screens, stages and galleries of Toronto for 10 magical days of cultural discovery".
Plans for year two have already begun. The world premiere of playwright Kevin Loring's "Where the Blood Mixes" and a 40th anniversary reading of George Ryga’s seminal play "The Ecstasy of Rita Joe", in association with The Vancouver Playhouse Theatre Company, will be part of Luminato 2008. The program will also include musical performances by the Kronos Quartet and acclaimed Inuit Throat Singer Tanya Tagaq.
Luminato is capitalizing on Toronto's cultural renaissance and providing myriad opportunities for showcasing local and international talent. Socially and culturally, the festival has already formed a lasting impact on the community evidenced by: new audiences, new funds for the arts and a heightened sense of pride in our city region. Please mark your calendars for June 6 -15, 2008, when Luminato will return to bring Toronto's best to the world, and the world's best to Toronto. For further details, please visit www.luminato.com.
Janice Price is the CEO of Luminato, which is co-chaired by Tony Gagliano, the Executive Chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications, and David Pecaut, Chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance and Senior Partner of The Boston Consulting Group.