Luminato Festival Toronto is returning to the city from June 9-19 after a COVID-induced hiatus.
The international arts and ideas festival will resume by thematically highlighting climate change, sustainability, equity and inclusion through the mediums of visual art, theatre, music and dance.
Drawing an apt parallel to the SARS epidemic that ground activity in Toronto to a screeching halt over a decade years ago, Luminato Festival CEO Celia Smith anticipates the event will be embraced by the city’s denizens after two years of uneasiness and uncertainty wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“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,” Celia Smith said. “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’s two free weekends will kick off with what promoters billed the world premier of Edward Burtynsky’s In the Wake of Progress at Yonge-Dundas Square, and close with music, dance, installations and storytelling at Woodbine Park. And to put Torontonians in a festive mood, GO Trains will feature busker performances each weekday.
Among the festival lineup’s most anticipated events will feature David Suzuki in the theatre show What You Won’t Do For Love from June 9-12, and again June 17-19, with his spouse of five decades, Tara Cullis, in which they engage in poetic dialogue with acotrs Miriam Fernandes and Sturla Alvsvaag -- themselves a real-life couple.
Ensuring there’s something for everyone, members of Montreal-based post-punk outfit Godspeed you! Black Emperor will be part of Creation Destruction on the shores of Lake Ontario from June 15-17, demonstrating Luminato’s reach with a cross-section of arts lovers.
With Summerlicious last week announcing its resumption this summer, it appears the dregs of the pandemic are nearly, and officially, in the rear-view mirror.