Luminato Festival Toronto – the city’s international festival of arts and ideas – will return this summer from June 9th to June 19th with a bold line-up of exceptional art which will Reignite Toronto. Over the course of 11 days, Luminato will deliver a significant celebration of creativity that spans Toronto and the GTA in both familiar and unexpected places.
Luminato Festival Toronto will shine a spotlight on the Toronto region, offering inspiring, large-scale experiences that unite audiences and artists through exceptional moments of discovery, community building, and art. The festival will highlight climate change and sustainability, as well as equity and inclusion through visual art, theatre, music, and dance.
“Luminato is here to reignite the much-needed joy and inspiration that we all missed over the past few years; just like we did 15 years ago after the SARS epidemic,” says Celia Smith, CEO of Luminato Festival Toronto. “In 2022, we will be an enthusiastic reminder to local, national, and international audiences that the Toronto region is an exceptional place to visit and live, and that culture is at the heart of our shared stories and experiences.”
The festival will feature two free weekends of celebration beginning with the world premiere of Edward Burtynsky’s In the Wake of Progress at Yonge-Dundas Square. Luminato Festival Toronto visitors will be the first in the world to witness this spectacular immersive experience. The closing weekend will feature two days of free, accessible events and experiences at Woodbine Park including music, dance, installations, story-telling, food, and conversations. Luminato will animate a different GO Train line each workday of the Festival with in-station and on-train performances and activities, launched from stations located in diverse, high-commuter neighbourhoods across the GTA.
2022 Luminato Festival Toronto Highlights
Luminato’s selection of events (see below) begins June 9th with two celebratory weekend programs. Edward Burtynsky, David Suzuki with Why Not Theatre, and Donna Bailey Nurse will headline the June festivities. A wide range of accessibility initiatives accompanies and augment each event, with additional commissions filling out the Access Program. More details, collaborators, and activities will be shared in May 2022.
16th Luminato Festival: Reignite Toronto
“It’s been almost 3 years since we’ve had a live Festival and we are so excited that we can finally announce our program for 2022,” says Naomi Campbell, Artistic Director of Luminato Festival Toronto. “After so much uncertainty and upheaval we are full of hope about the amazing work we will share, and its ability to heal, inspire, engage and entertain you. There is nothing like the power of art, and we send it out with love to the whole region, celebrating the goodness and talent and wisdom of the artists, and all the workers and volunteers, who make it possible. I can’t wait to see everyone, all over the city, in June!”
Edward Burtynsky’s In the Wake of Progress
Commissioned and Co-produced by Luminato Festival Toronto
Produced by Edward Burtynsky, Bob Ezrin, and Julia Johnston
June 11-12, Yonge-Dundas Square
Free and Outdoors
The world premiere of renowned Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky’s In the Wake of Progress free to the public on the immense digital screens surrounding Yonge-Dundas Square, in a fully choreographed blend of photographs and film, with a staggering musical score.
This free, outdoor experience in the heart of Toronto tells the epic tale of humanity's impact on the planet. Co-produced by Canadian music legend Bob Ezrin, In the Wake of Progress presents the powerful imagery of global landscapes usurped by human activity in contrast to the dazzling urban centre, at a moment when the health of our planet is an urgent international priority.
An epic project, 40 years in the making, Edward Burtynsky’s In the Wake of Progress is an urgent call to action, and a quest for hope, as we face one of the greatest existential threats of our time: the climate crisis.
Supported by Loblaw Companies Limited, Hatch, and The Michael Young Family Foundation.
With Assistance from Louise MacCallum and Michael Barnstijn, Bullfrog Power, The S.M. Blair Family Foundation, and The K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation.
Produced in partnership with Branded Cities, Cadillac Fairview, Bentall GreenOak, Astral, Milkin Holdings Inc, OUTFRONT Canada, Yonge-Dundas Square, Rogers, Shoppers Drug Mart and H&M
What You Won’t Do For Love
A Why Not Theatre Production
Written by Tara Cullis, Miriam Fernandes, Ravi Jain, and David Suzuki
Directed by Ravi Jain
June 9-12 and June 17-19, Canadian Opera Company Theatre
Experience a special evening with renowned award-winning environmentalists David Suzuki and Tara Cullis in What You Won’t Do For Love, a unique and intimate theatre experience that asks whether the love we have for each other can inspire us to take action for the planet.
Actors and real-life couple Miriam Fernandes and Sturla Alvsvaag navigate a poetic and playful dialogue on stage with David and Tara (who have been a couple for 5 decades); through honest reflection and lively conversation, they share powerful insights and captivating stories garnered over a lifetime of environmental activism and the deep bond of their partnership.
Directed by Why Not Theatre Founder and Co-Artistic Director Ravi Jain (Sea Sick, Prince Hamlet) and produced by Broadleaf Theatre Artistic Director Kevin Matthew Wong (The Chemical Valley Project), What You Won’t Do For Love asks us to consider love’s capacity to inspire action and propel us all towards a healthier, sustainable planet.
After the performances, the audience is invited to stay and explore these questions during an informal Q&A with David, Tara, and special guests.
Lead Support of The National Artist Fund from The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation, with assistance from Bullfrog Power.
Beloved: A Celebration of Toni Morrison and Black Women Writers, with Donna Bailey Nurse
June 17-18, The Winter Garden Theatre
“If you surrendered to the air, you could ride it.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
Beloved: A Celebration of Toni Morrison and Black Women Writers, with Donna Bailey Nurse, brings together internationally renowned authors including the recipient of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize Aminatta Forna (The Memory of Love), Myriam J.A. Chancy (What Storm, What Thunder), Francesca Ekwuyasi (Butter Honey Pig Bread), Rebecca Fisseha (Daughters of Silence), Zalika Reid-Benta (Frying Plantain), and winner of the Nigerian Prize for Literature Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia (The Son of the House).
Hosted by Nicky Lawrence and directed by Dian Marie Bridge, each evening features acclaimed authors in conversation and celebration with leading Canadian curator and literary critic Donna Bailey Nurse complemented by readings and music from a house band led by Orin Isaacs. Join us as we honour the legacy of Toni Morrison and celebrate the unrivalled impact she has had on Black women writers around the world.
June 17: Zalika Reid-Benta, Rebecca Fisseha, Francesca Ekwuyasi, with a special guest appearance by Cheluchi Onyemelukwe-Onuobia.
June 18: Myriam J. A. Chancy, Aminatta Forna, with a special appearance by Esi Edugyan.
Presented by BMO
Supported by The Slaight Family Foundation, with assistance from Penguin Random House Canada, and Dundurn Press
Luminato Live at Yonge-Dundas Square!
June 9-12, Yonge-Dundas Square
Free and Outdoors
Luminato Festival Toronto 2022 will kick off with an exciting four-day, multi-disciplinary program at Yonge-Dundas Square including free concerts, artist talks, installations and more. The main stage concerts each evening at 7 PM will showcase an exciting range of artists including iskwē, Beverly Glenn-Copeland and the Queer Songbook Orchestra, the Molinari Quartet, and others. An environmentally-focused art fair, on Saturday and Sunday during the daytime, will feature an array of local collaborators and climate experts.
In Conversation with Edward Burtynsky and David Suzuki, part of Luminato's Illuminating Ideas program will launch the free, artist talk series.
Presented by Cadillac Fairview
Music at Yonge-Dundas Square is presented by OLG
Supported by ANDPVA, Joan and Jerry Lozinski, and Downtown Yonge BIA
June 18-19, Woodbine Park
Free and Outdoors
Wrap up Luminato 2022 and launch your summer with two days of free programming at Woodbine Park. With the lake breeze to keep you cool, enjoy live music from Canada, Australia, Haiti, the USA and more, storytelling by Necessary Angel Theatre Company in a secluded spot in the woods, Dutch Instagram dance sensations Let It Happen, Oluseye Ogunlesi’s installation Black Ark by the water (see below), delicious food, parades and sweet surprises around the site. See familiar faces from throughout the festival, and celebrate the communities and cultures of the region.
The full line-up is to be announced in May.
Presented by Meta and TD Bank Group
Supported by The Larry & Judy Tanenbaum Family Foundation
With Assistance from The McLean Foundation
Art in Transit: Luminato on the GO
(Theatre, Dance, Music)
Produced in partnership with GO Transit and Union
June 9, 10, 13-17, GO Lines
A fish walks onto a GO Train...
Art in Transit: Luminato on the GO follows grumpy, urban Fish suited and caffeinated, as he begins his morning commute, yearning for the water and feeling the call of the lake. With assistance from a cheery Train Conductor and chance encounters with musicians and dancers, rituals and readings, Fish rides the train all the way home to Lake Ontario, while slowly transforming from a fish-in-a-suit into his true aquatic self.
Waiting for Fish at Union Station is the Musical Welcoming Committee, featuring different artists each day, who joyfully join him on his final quest to the water.
Art in Transit: Luminato on the GO brings the delight and whimsy of street theatre to everyday train commuters. Popping up on a different GO Transit line, and in various Union Station lobbies, every weekday of the festival, this is a morning commute you won’t want to miss. Make sure to catch the GO so you don’t miss the boat!
Supported by KingSett Capital, Oxford Properties, and Brookfield Properties
With Assistance from the City of Brampton, and the City of Vaughan
Produced by Animals of Distinction
June 15-17, Trillium Park Pavilion, Ontario Place
On the shores of Lake Ontario, under the rays of the setting sun, Creation Destruction brings together members of the hypnotic chamber rock Godspeed You! Black Emperor with 11 of Canada’s most distinguished dancers, as they explore humanity’s capacity to adapt, innovate, and survive in the face of the climate crisis.
Created by Animals of Distinction, the Montreal-based multimedia dance company of renowned choreographer and dancer Dana Gingras, and the composers from post-rock band God Speed You! Black Emperor, with video design by London-based United Visual Artists.
Presented by Ian and Kiki Delaney, C.M.
Lead Support of The National Artist Fund from The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation
(Interactive Art Installation)
June 9 to September 5, Ashbridges Bay Park
Free and Outdoors
A vessel. A threshold. A space for reflection.
Artist Oluseye Ogunlesi explores Canada’s role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade through his installation Black Ark. Referencing the slave ships that were built in Canada, this looming cathedral-like structure invites you into the hull of a ship, creating passage and revealing the fractured and erased history of enslavement in Canada. Built of wood, metal, and found materials, Black Ark is an invitation to look back and move forward.
Black Ark is part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022
Produced by J MAR Electric in association with Theatre Passe Muraille
June 15-18, 21-26, Theatre Passe Muraille
Back by popular demand, Tomson Highway, John Millard, and Martha Ross’s apocalyptic cabaret, The Cave, returns to Toronto with new and magical animations by Vancouver’s Bruce Alcock. A 75-minute sung-through storey cabaret in English and Cree, The Cave combines live music and immersive visuals with wry humour and poignant storytelling. Intimate and entertaining, The Cave is a timely parable about animals trapped in a forest fire, the folly of our actions, and the impact of the climate crisis that rages around us.
Created by renowned Canadian artists John Millard (composer), Tomson Highway (lyrics), and Martha Ross (book writer), performed by John Millard, Neema Bickersteth, Andrea Koziol, Derek Kwan, and Alex Samaras, with Gregory Oh, Chris Pruden, Rob Clutton, Peter Lutek, Christa Mercey, and Matti Pulkki in the pit.
Um of Water
Commissioned by Luminato Festival Toronto and produced with Artsadmin (UK)
Free and Outdoors
Um of Water is an invitation to sit, listen, and be with Water.
Museum of Water began in the UK as a collection of public offerings of personal connections to water, intended to deepen our relationships with water. In this new collaboration, a purpose-formed Indigenous artist collective comprised of Elwood Jimmy, Leslie McCue, and Sara Roque reimagines this project with UK artist Amy Sharrocks as Um of Water.
Um of Water responds to and evolves with the Indigenous context of the land we are on, and the water we live with and rely upon for our collective survival.
The Um of Water activates locations across Toronto by the water, for the water, and on the water. Guided by the flow of the water and the watersheds we are on, local artists lead participants in experiences of resurfacing knowledge, communal gathering, and deep listening. Activities include a Sonic Boat Journey on Lake Ontario, a hydrophone installation at Yonge-Dundas Square, and a virtual interactive un-mapping platform.
All in Good Time
Commissioned by Luminato Festival Toronto and produced by Dreamwalker Dance Company
June 9-19 Online
In person from 7 am to 7 pm:
June 11 Loafers Lake, Brampton June 17 Trillium Park, Toronto
June 12 Marita Payne Park, Vaughan June 19 Ashbridges Bay Park, Toronto
Free and Outdoors
All in Good Time invites you into a guided ceremony of love and release. Designed for small groups and individuals of all abilities, this nourishing ceremony uses audio and visual prompts to open your awareness, activate your senses, and acknowledge our relationships with the land, waters, each other, and our communities.
Conceived and led by contemporary dance artist Andrea Nann, All in Good Time takes place throughout the festival at sites of natural wonder across the Toronto region. All in Good Time will also issue a daily prompt for at-home participation on each day of the festival.
With Assistance from Tourism Vaughan
The Arts, Culture & Creative Industry Development Agency (ACCIDA) and The City of Brampton
Luminato Festival Toronto 2022 Supporters
Founding Government Partner Province of Ontario
Major Partners Government of Canada, City of Toronto
Corporate Partners Cadillac Fairview, Meta, BMO, TD Bank Group, Loblaw Companies Limited, OLG, Hatch, Bloomberg, Power Corporation of Canada, Kingsett Capital, Oxford Properties, Brookfield Properties, Downtown Yonge BIA, CPA Ontario, GO Transit, Union, Yonge-Dundas Square,, and more.
Individual Donors and Foundations Anonymous, Ian and Kiki Delaney, C.M., The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Foundation, Joan and Jerry Lozinski, Sandra and Jim Pitblado, C.M., Gretchen and Donald Ross, O.C., The Larry & Judy Tanenbaum Family Foundation, The Michael Young Family Foundation, ANDPVA, The Azrieli Foundation, Elinor Gill Ratcliffe, C.M., O.N.L., LLD, Mohammad and Najla Al Zaibak, Douglas Knight and Shelley Ambrose, John and Leanna Bayliss, The Bennett Family Foundation, Helen Burstyn, C.M. and Family, Tiana Koffler Boyman and Marc Boyman, Tony and Lina Gagliano, Kevin and Roger Garland, C.M., Anthony and Helen Graham, O.Ont., Eva Czigler and Peter Herrndorf, C.C., Donald K. Johnson OC LLD, Lucille and Urban Joseph, O.C., The McLean Foundation, The George Cedric Metcalf Foundation, The Slaight Family Foundation, Louise MacCallum and Michael Barnstijn, K.M. Hunter Charitable Foundation, S.M. Blair Family Foundation, and many more.
Government Partners Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council
Media Partners St. Joseph Communications, Branded Cities, Astral, OUTFRONT Canada, Pattison, The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star
For more information visit luminatofestival.com or follow us on Twitter: @Luminato | Facebook: LuminatoFestival | Instagram: @LuminatoFestival | LinkedIn: Luminato | YouTube: LuminatoEvents | TikTok: @luminatofestival
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About Luminato Festival Toronto
Luminato Festival Toronto is a convenor and catalyst for big, bold contemporary works of art. Each June, Luminato kicks off the summer with a festival to welcome the world to Toronto, presenting, producing, and commissioning exceptional Canadian and international artists. Throughout the year Luminato works with artists from the diverse cultures and communities of the city region, supporting creative development, and bringing their art to the world stage. We connect local voices with global conversations and ground our work in equity, inclusion, accessibility, and sustainability. Most importantly, we believe in the power of art to start conversations and inspire audiences.