In mid-March, when Toronto events began cancelling en masse (including Luminato), it was hard to envision our most renowned cultural festivals in any other way then what we knew, and loved. But the past months have proven that art emerges and happens, regardless of new constraints imposed by a global pandemic. The venues may be shut, our city stages bare, but the art doesn’t stop.  If we must experience our beloved arts & culture events in totally different ways then the familiar, we will. And while different, these new experiences can still be wonderful. 

Like Hot Docs and Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival, Luminato Festival has taken the plunge and reorganized everything to create a virtual festival. The lineup they announced today is exciting; reading through the programming sparked a burst of good feelings. 

Luminato’s first ever virtual fest will take place over three days (June 11 – June 13), and the announcement shares that the festival will include “20 hours of free programming, 4 world premieres and 4 works created specifically for the virtual edition”.

What we’re most excited for:

  • Cooking and singing session with international award-winning Canadian soprano Measha Brueggergosman
  • Conversations about climate change and activism with UK-based live artist Amy Sharrocks. 
  • Science journalist and author of Sea Sick, Alanna Mitchell, demonstrates the art of the interview in Field Notes from the Future, produced by The Theatre Centre and presented by FOLDA (Festival of Live Digital Art).
  • At 9:30 p.m. Friday, June 12 and 10 p.m. Saturday, June 13, the Festival will also feature dynamic late night programming with a Black Summers Night with Unit 2, Black Lives Matter Toronto and Tea Base and The REVELATION, featuring Les Femmes Fatales with DJ Nik Red and Live VJ Roxanne Luchak, respectively, both perfect for partying the nights away. 
  • Special appearances by acclaimed Anishinaabe hand drummer-singer Nimkii Osawamick, JUNO Award-winner Quique Escamilla, Halifax, Nova Scotia’s Zuppa Theatre Co. 
  • The full schedule of events is available online at; to attend the virtual festival tune into Luminato’s websiteFacebookInstagramYouTube and Twitter.

“Audiences will experience a re-imagined Luminato this June.  Our virtual offering includes selections from Luminato’s past, a taste of what would have been in this year’s originally programmed festival, and a sneak peek into the future: world premieres, theatre, film, singer/songwriters, local, national and Indigenous artists, all wrapped up with intense conversations, late night DJs and VJs, burlesque, special guests and more,” said Naomi Campbell, Luminato’s Artistic Director.  “In Luminato’s new free interactive digital space audiences from all around the world can connect through art, performance and conversation.” 

Without a doubt, the Luminato Festival is something to look forward, and we can’t wait to see how they’ve reimagined it for an at-home audience. Very cool.

Check the full schedule of events online at


In Luminato’s new free interactive digital space audiences from all around the world can connect through art, performance and conversation.”