Luminato Festival

Introducing ‘Garden of Light’: 2015 Luminato Festival Hub Features 100+ Hours of Visual Arts, Music, Food, and Performance Programming

Luminato Festival presents a diverse Festival Hub programming lineup for the 9th annual Festival that will bring David Pecaut Square to life from June 19 to 28. Open daily from noon and fully licensed, this year’s ‘Garden of Light’ Festival Hub will radiate with local and international talent throughout the Festival’s 10-day duration. A dynamic lineup of both free and ticketed events–over 100 hours of programming–will animate the Festival Hub: from celebrated Brazilian artist Regina Silveira’s ‘light’-themed installation Glossary, which will reach up and beyond the Festival Hub to illuminate Toronto’s skyline, to Kid Koala’s Satellite Concert as part of the first-ever Festival Cabaret Series, the Pan American Food Festival, and the celebration of up-and-coming Canadian musical talent with The New Canadian Music Series co-curated by Slaight Music and Luminato Festival

Conceived by Janet Rosenberg, one of Canada’s most distinguished landscape architects, and planted with the support of local greenhouses, flower markets, conservatories and Toronto’s greenest thumbs, the Garden of Light will be a veritable playground for festivalgoers and the perfect environment to experience Luminato’s diverse Hub programming.

“The Garden of Light at the Festival Hub is the best place to start and end your Luminato experience each day, from engaging with artist Regina Silveira’s specially-commissioned installation, to taking in daily music programming, to sing-a-longs, readings, performances and Pan American culture. It is different from anything we’ve ever done before. There is programming for everyone–at every age and for all tastes. It is Toronto’s biggest backyard and we take care of the food and the entertainment. The only thing you cannot do is pitch a tent and stay for the night. You have to go home, sleep there, and come back the next day.” says Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director, Luminato Festival.

First Night Garden Party: Biggest Backyard Hangout of the Summer

Luminato Festival kicks off with the biggest backyard party of the summer with a free First Night Garden Party on June 19 where festivalgoers can play lawn games, indulge in Festival eats by Parts & Labour and dance in the Garden of Light, a fully licensed urban oasis in Toronto’s downtown core at David Pecaut Square. The First Night Garden Party will unveil Regina Silveira’s immersive light and sculpture installation Glossary, a Festival must-see that incorporates a series of coloured, translucent marquees to form a playful pathway. Glossary will literally animate the Garden of Light, illuminating the Toronto cityscape nightly with a laser show beginning at dusk.

Luminato Festival Artistic Director Jorn Weisbrodt will host Orchestra Karaoke for the ultimate sing-a-long where 17 audience members–names randomly selected out of a hat–and celebrity guests will perform classic pop songs accompanied by the 45-piece Scarborough Philharmonic Orchestra. The evening will conclude with the return of Jason Collett’s Basement Revue at Luminato at the brand new indoor venue, the Festival Shed.

Explore the Luminato Garden

Taking over David Pecaut Square, the Festival Hub is the destination for all things Luminato this summer. The lush greenery encourages festivalgoers to make the Garden of Light an open community space: plant flowers of your own and host group activities. New at the Festival Hub this year is the Festival Shed, an indoor venue for ticketed events which will play host to dozens of weekend fêtes, literary talks, cabaret and daily late-night revues. The much-loved Luminato Lounge Featuring Parts & Labour returns with an all-new South American Grill menu, preparing the best in seasonal flare and serving up refreshing summer drinks for festivalgoers to enjoy in the city’s largest fully-licensed backyard. Open starting June 9, the Luminato Festival Box Office is the go-to for all ticketing needs.

The Festival Garden Stage is the Hub’s outdoor performance space that features a range of world music concerts each night for a fusion of musical talents from Toronto and around the world. Featured artists include 2015 Juno Award-winning Quique Escamilla, as well as the debut of Las Cafetera, Mundo Livre, Elijuri, and La Yegros.

The mainstage also presents a free daily showcase of the brightest Canadian talent with The New Canadian Music Series co-curated by Slaight Music and Luminato Festival.

The Heart of the Festival: Programming Highlights

The Festival Hub will host over 100 hours of activations highlighting music, visual arts, literary, and theatre talents, among many others. With this, each day at the Festival Hub will feature a different Pan American country and talents in a nod to this year’s Pan Am and Parapan American Games.

  • Jason Collett’s Revue at Luminato – June 19 to June 28: the Festival Hub’s late-night destination that brings mystery Canadian literary and musical talents to the stage with rock and roll sensibility to the Festival Shed.
  • Festival Cabaret Series – June 19 to June 27: the launch of a delightful and disarming meld of performance art, theatre, music and play. Artists include Kid Koala, Bridget Everett, Joey Arias, and Taylor Mac.
  • The North-South Project – June 20: a collective work of storytelling authored by celebrated writers working the breadth of the Americas, from the Canadian Arctic to Argentina.
  • The New Canadian Music Series – June 20 to June 28: a daily showcase of the brightest Canadian talent live at the Festival Garden Stage, including Wolf Saga, Jessica Mitchell, and Emily Reid.
  • Pan American Food Festival – June 21: a celebration of food with indigenous and Pan American flavour from local Toronto chefs.
  • TimeTalks Luminato – June 21: The New York Times brings its long-running, popular series of live and online conversations with the most celebrated artists, newsmakers and social influencers of the day back to Toronto. Featured talent includes Nelly Furtado, St. Vincent, and Charlotte Rampling.
  • Luminato Literary Talks – June 23 to June 24: a series of timely and entertaining panels that explore the zeitgeist through animated conversations.

    The Mexican Drug War in Film, Fact + Fiction: A discussion on Mexico’s drug trade with celebrated Canadian documentary photographer Louie Palu, renowned investigative journalist Alfredo Corchado, and Emmy Award-winning Angela Kocherga, alongside American crime writer Don Winslow, and moderated by Luminato’s Literary + Ideas curator Noah Richler. With a musical performance by Juno Award-winner Quique Escamilla.

    Music in Words: Lynn Crosbie, Alan Doyle, Eric Siblin join David Usher and Denise Donlon for a discussion on the influence and ideas of music in their works.

  • The closing weekend of the Festival wraps with breathtaking performances and events to conclude this year’s festivities:

    Brazilian Block Party – June 27: A family friendly event featuring day-long animation by strolling artists, craft-making workshops, and irresistible food. A carnival of cultural jamming, the Hub’s Block Party will give festivalgoers a taste of the Brazilian cultural landscape, including Roda de Samba, a traditional informal Afro-Brazilian dance and drum performance and Flávia Nascimento, an actress turned performer who brings her first big solo show to Toronto, among other music, food, and dance

    TSO Free Outdoor Concert: A Symphonic Zoo – June 28: A beloved Luminato Festival tradition, the full forces of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, conducted by TSO Music Director Peter Oundjian, will perform a free outdoor concert at the Festival Hub to wrap up the Festival in grand style.

Festival Hub: Special Events and Highlights

This year’s Festival Hub features an incredibly diverse and all-encompassing arts and cultural lineup.  Special events and highlights include:

Daily Activities at the Festival Hub

The 10 day Luminato Festival features a number of free and ticketed events. Tickets start at $10. Tickets can be purchased 24/7 at or by calling the Luminato Festival Box Office at 416-368-4849 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday, or in person The Festival Hub Box Office at David Pecaut Square (55 John St.) from June 19 to 28, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ticket savings are available for youth (18 and under)/students, arts workers and groups (10+), or by bundling four or more events in a ticket package. For full ticketing details, dates, times and prices, please visit

Luminato Festival programming details can be found at
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About Luminato Festival

Luminato Festival is Toronto’s international multi-arts festival for people open to having art change their outlook on the world. For 10 days each June, Luminato Festival transforms Toronto’s theatres, parks and public spaces with hundreds of events celebrating theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, magic, film, and more.

Luminato Festival is a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization whose vision is to commission and present significant local, national, and international programming that reflects Toronto as a crossroads of ideas, cultures and traditions. Now in its 9th year, Luminato Festival has become one of North America’s leading arts festivals. The Luminato Festival runs June 19 to 28, 2015.

Luminato Festival gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its Founding Luminaries, SuperNova donors, and Patron Circle Members. Luminato Festival proudly acknowledges the support of the following partners:

Founding Government Partner: Province of Ontario
Major Partners: Government of Canada, L’Oréal Canada
Presenting Partners: City of Toronto, CIBC
Program and Official Partners: BMO, Manulife, Slaight Music, Mill Street Brewery, OLG, President’s Choice® Black Label Collection
Major Media Partners: Toronto Star, Bell Media, The Globe and Mail
Marketing Partners: Classical 96.3 FM and AM740, Air Canada Centre, CBC
Government Partner: Ontario Arts Council
Corporate Supporters: Aimia, Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, The Boston Consulting Group, glaceau smartwater, glaceau vitaminwater, Janet Rosenberg & Studio, Next Pathway Inc., Stikeman Elliott LLP

Media Contacts:

Elizabeth Han
The Knot Group

Ashley Ballantyne, Director of Communications
Luminato Festival
416.368.3100 x 242