Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity

Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity

July 31, 2006 14:00 ET

Toronto to Celebrate Creative Spirit With "Luminato"

The Toronto Festival of Arts & Creativity Announces New Name, World Premiere Programming and Internationally-renowned Arts CEO

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - July 31, 2006) - Luminato, the new Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, was unveiled today with the announcement of June 1-10, 2007 as the dates for the first of the Festival's annual celebrations.

The Festival, founded and co-chaired by Tony Gagliano, Executive Chairman and CEO of St. Joseph Communications and David Pecaut, Senior Partner at The Boston Consulting Group and Chair of the Toronto City Summit Alliance, will celebrate the creative spirit across all the arts each year. The Festival will feature the best of Canadian and international artists in music, theatre, dance, visual arts, film, design, literature and other disciplines. It will include both ticketed and free events throughout the city engaging residents and tourists in what is hoped to become, over time, one of the great arts festivals in the world.

"Our vision started with the premise that Toronto, one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world, has the potential to become one of the most creative cities, as well," said Gagliano. "Luminato, in time, will bring the best of the world to Toronto, and the best of Toronto to the world."

An original name and brand was chosen to signal the festival's unique focus on celebrating creativity. "In choosing the Festival's new name - Luminato - we wanted to capture the essence of the creative spirit, so we chose the notion of light, hence 'lumina,'" said Pecaut. "It was also important to capture the spirit of the city of Toronto itself, which is exemplified by 'TO.' We hope 'Luminato' will become synonymous with the power of the arts to enlighten all of us."

Following on an earlier announcement in July, the founders were also pleased to formally introduce Luminato's newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Janice Price. A veteran international arts leader, Ms. Price was most recently President and CEO of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia and was both the Interim Executive Director and Vice President of Marketing and Communications at New York's Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Ms. Price began her career in Toronto, working with the Hummingbird Centre for the Performing Arts, the Stratford Festival and the Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. She has also served as a board member for Factory Theatre, the Toronto Dance Theatre, the United Way of Greater Toronto and the Casey House Foundation of Toronto.

Ms. Price will lead the non profit organization in developing Luminato into one of the world's great arts festivals attracting a large local, national and international audience to Toronto. "I'm looking forward to reconnecting with Toronto artists and audiences," said Price. "I've spent many years managing cultural facilities, and know first hand the positive impact those facilities have in a community. But what drew me to this amazing opportunity was the chance to come home and create a truly world-class festival of artistic collaboration and creativity -- one that can expand beyond walls in its engagement with audiences."

The Festival has received significant support to date, including generous contributions and backing from governments, as well as numerous arts, business and civic leaders.

"The Government of Ontario is contributing $2-million in development funding to help launch the first Luminato Festival," said The Honourable Greg Sorbara, Ontario's Minister of Finance. "This Festival builds on the many creative investments in Toronto in recent years and will provide an opportunity for us to invite the world to Toronto each year to celebrate the creative achievements of both Canadian and international artists."

The City of Toronto has also been very supportive in the development of the Festival. "This festival fits with the City of Toronto's broader vision of building on Toronto's reputation as a city rich in arts and culture and underscores our desire to have Toronto become known throughout the world as a creative city," said Mayor David Miller. "The City is supportive of initiatives like this one."

Today's announcement also provided a tantalizing glimpse of what Torontonians and visitors can expect in the next year in terms of the Festival's programming. Luminato will begin on June 1, 2007 and run through an exciting 10 day program, including the debut of world premiere events. A sampling of the programming includes:

Opening Weekend - Royal Ontario Museum

The Festival will launch in conjunction with the opening of the Royal Ontario Museum's Michael Lee-Chin Crystal on June 2, 2007. An evening outdoor ceremony will feature the public debut of the dazzling Daniel Libeskind-designed building, outdoor concerts and free museum access all night long. There will be illuminations, entertainment, and dancing in the street as the ROM celebrates the opening of the Lee-Chin Crystal and kicks off a week of festivities for the Toronto Arts Festival. Plans are also underway for a Luminato street festival surrounding the ROM throughout the weekend.

"Not the Messiah" - by Spamalot creators Eric Idle and John Du Prez

Luminato and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have commissioned an oratorio from Spamalot Tony and Grammy Award winning duo Eric Idle and John Du Prez to write the music and lyrics of a new work based on Monty Python's Life of Brian. The oratorio will be called "Not the Messiah". The Festival is proud to present the world premiere. "It will be funnier than Handel, though not as good," said Idle. Not the Messiah will be conducted by Peter Oundjian, Music Director of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, who is also Eric Idle's full cousin. It will be performed by a narrator, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, with guest soloists and choir.

Visual Arts Display - Atom Egoyan and Kutlug Ataman - "Auroras/Testimony"

"Auroras/Testimony" will be a collaborative multi-media installation created for the Festival with the Art Gallery of Ontario and exhibited in a public space in Toronto. It is the world premiere of a co-creation by two artists, an Armenian-Canada and a Turkish-Argentinean, who found commonalities in each other's work when introduced to one another in New York last year.

Young Centre for the Performing Arts and The Distillery District

Throughout the ten days of the Festival, in the various venues of the Young Centre for the Performing Arts and throughout the Distillery District, celebrations will be held in theatre, dance, music, and visual arts with the remarkable community of artists that live and work in Toronto. As well as showcasing some of the most inspiring work the artists have created, the Distillery portion of Luminato will present original collaborations between disciplines and generations with a particular emphasis on youth and emerging artists.

Closing Weekend - Waterfront - "Carnivalissima: A Spectacle of the Senses"

Carnivalissima will be a bold celebration of Carnivals of the World, including Brazilian, Caribbean, European, Lenten Winter Festivals (Venice, Switzerland, Brussels, Spain), Latin and Mardi Gras. Produced by Luminato and Harbourfront Centre, the Carnivalissima will become a huge celebratory street party of carnivals, parades and other spectacles, including a bold fusion of local, national and international spectacle on the streets, on the stages, and in the water. The Festival will use carnival traditions found in diverse Toronto communities as a launching point for a carnival "extravaganza."

Additional information on Luminato can be found at

About Luminato

Luminato is a non-profit organization created to oversee the management of the city's most significant multi-disciplinary celebration of artistic achievement and creativity launching in June 2007. The annual festival will celebrate the creative spirit across all the arts. It was formed as an initiative of the Toronto City Summit Alliance and by leaders of Toronto's arts and cultural communities. The Toronto City Summit Alliance is a non-profit corporation dedicated to building the Toronto region through broad civic leadership. The Alliance is directed by a Steering Group of 50 leaders from the private, labour, volunteer and public sectors and can be contacted through its website:

Contact Information

  • Counsel Public Relations
    Dorenda McNeil
    (416) 961-5898 x 216