Luminato 2018
Photo: Luminato (Facebook)
Luminato 2018
Photo: Luminato (Facebook)

Summer in Toronto is always such an exciting time and one of the highlights over the past decade has been Luminato. A festival that showcases local artists and introduces international artists to the city. It’s that time of year again. And no chilly spring day is going to dampen our excitement today as Luminato launches with a line-up that we are so thrilled about!

Luminato was founded in 2007. It’s Toronto’s international arts festival dedicated to performance, visual arts and media arts. This year’s festival, runs until June 24, and offers local, international music, dance, theatre and so much more. There are 29 different events showcasing local artists, world premieres of Luminato commissioned projects, international artists and their art in many forms showcased at venues across the city. There are both ticketed and free events taking place for 19 days!

The 2018 Festival will have a large focus on social justice issues, human rights, women’s rights and inclusion. Which highlights the role that artists and art have and continue to play in challenging and exposing truths. You’ll see this woven throughout the program and we encourage you to challenge your own thinking through this work.

We are busy planning our calendars so we can experience all that Luminato has to offer this month and we’re sure that there is something for everyone! We encourage you to visit Luminato’s website to learn about the entire line-up and make the most of this year’s festival. After doing just that, here are some of the stand-outs that we plan to experience this year!

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Photo: Luminato (Website)

Kicking off tonight and running throughout the festival is RIOT. A critically-acclaimed and awarded show that premiered in Ireland. It’s described as a “Riotous cocktail of dance, drag, circus, and comedy from Irelands greatest artistic hooligans”. It looks like it will be a great deal of fun while also provoking conversations and thought about social justice.


Sticking with Cabaret, from June 20-22, we’re hoping to see Ward Cabaret. Coming from Juno Award Winning and local musician and composer, David Buchbinder. Ward Cabaret celebrates the cultural make-up of Toronto’s Ward neighbourhood, the first multi-cultural neighbourhood in the city.


Also from Ireland is Swan Lake, Loch na hEala. It’s an adaptation of the classic ballet that reflects Irish folk mythology and the modern world. It also includes prominent social issues in Ireland. It runs from June 6th to 10th so be sure to get tickets right away!


Photo: Monica Schipper/WireImage

On June 22nd, we are keen to be at Roy Thompson Hall for a Luminato talks event featuring Amal Clooney a renowned international human rights lawyer. She’ll be having a conversation with American journalist, Nick Clooney.


And we hope to see the multi-media, docu-theatre piece, Out the Window, by local artist Liza Balkan. It’s based on her real-life experience witnessing the death of a mentally ill man as a result of police violence in Toronto. Taking place at Harbourfront Centre from June 19th to 24th, there are also some more events in response to this show.


Photo: Luminato (Website)

There are two projects that are free and invite volunteers from Toronto to take part in that sound exciting. The first is Le Grande Continental, taking place at Nathan Philips Square June 22, 23 and 24th. You’ll see close to 400 local Toronto volunteers in a large scale choreographed dance piece and then be invited to join them!


The second is Instruments of Happiness, a show that will include 100 electric guitarists performing a new work. The show takes place in BCE Place on June 16th.

These are just a few of the programs we’re excited to see. The truth is, there are so many more that will be worth viewing and visiting. Theatre, dance, film, music and opera, talks and ideas – so many opportunities. Experience great art, get inspired, challenge your thinking, learn something new and have fun. Head here for more information on Luminato, how to get tickets and plan your festival experience!