Things to Do and See during 2019 Luminato Festival


House of Mirrors by Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney at Dark Mofo’s ‘interactive art playground’, Dark Park. Photograph byRémi Chauvin/Mona.

Luminato, Toronto’s international festival of arts and ideas dedicated to presenting programming that cuts across traditional artform boundaries has announced it 2019 lineup that features an adventurous and expansive season celebrating the unabashedly fearless, ambitious and daring from Canada and around the world.


The 13th annual Luminato festival lights up the city of Toronto with bold, high-energy, ambitious work from Canada and around the world from June 7-23, 2019.

Luminato 2019 will host over 165 Canadian and international artists, stage 7 world premieres, 2 North American premieres, 5 original Luminato commissions and 88 performances in 14 venues across the city.

Things to Do and See during 2019 Luminato Festival

  1. Get lost in a House of Mirrors that standing over 12.5 feet and weighing over 55 tonnes. House of Mirrors is an awe-inspiring kaleidoscopic maze designed to mesmerize. Created by Australian artistic duo Christian Wagstaff and Keith Courtney, this reality-bending, sensory-altering reflective wonderwill beone of the hottest tickets of the summer as it makes its northern hemisphere debut,taking over Exhibition Common at Harbourfront Centre forall 17 days of the festival this June. — June 7 –23, 2019 @ Harbourfront Centre, Exhibition Common
  2. Enjoy a free outdoor massive choral event at Harbourfront Centre — audiences will be enveloped in layers of sound coming from the land, water and from high above on the rooftops of the surrounding buildings. Using Toronto’s picturesque waterfront as a backdrop, Maada’ookii Songlines braids together the songs, styles and cultures of 200 diverse voices from eight choirs, four soloists and an ensemble of Indigenous performers from across Toronto. — June 23, 2019 @ Harbourfront Centre, Lakeside
  3. One of China’s most prolific choreographers,Yang Liping presents her ambitious new work Rite of Spring at MacMillan Theatre.image
    Set to the Igor Stravinsky score of the same name with an additional original composition inspired by traditional Tibetan music, Liping’s choreography breathes new life into the iconic masterwork using ancient Tibetan and Chinese symbols and rituals to illustrate themes of incantation, sacrifice and reincarnation. — June 20 –22, 2019 @ MacMillan Theatre
  4. Using large-scale projections of some of Mapplethorpe’s famously edgy photographs, Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) from the USA presented at Sony Centre for the Arts, explores Mapplethorpe’s uncanny ability to make his viewers question their commonly held beliefs on race, gender, sexualityand politics. This bold multi-dimensional examination of one of the most brilliant and provocative visual minds of the 20th century is presented with original music by Bryce Dessner(of Grammy Award-winning band The National), poetry by Patti Smith,Korde Arrington Tuttle and Essex Hemphill and the voices of Grammy Award-winning eight-person choral ensemble Roomful of Teeth. — June 22, 2019 @ Sony Centre for the Performing Arts
  5. Get lost in one of most dazzling pieces of Colombian contemporary dance, Flowers for Kazuo Ohno (and Leonard Cohen); a spirited homage to the legendary Japanese Butoh dancer and iconic Canadian artist by one of Colombia’s best contemporary dance companies, La Compañía Cuerpo de Indias.

    The company of Flowers for Kazuo Ohno (and Leonard Cohen). Photo by Carlos Lema Posada.

    June 19–22, 2019 @ Bluma Appel Theatre

  6. BIZIINDAN! features some of Canada’s most well-respected Indigenous artists and activists,culminating in a newly-commissioned,one-night only tribute to the ‘trailblazer of truth,’ Willie Dunn. Dunn, a Mi’kmaq and Scottish award-winning singer/songwriter, filmmaker and activist, was a pioneer of protest ballads and an advocate for Indigenous rights. June 14, 2019 @ Koerner Hall
  7. Ronnie Burkett brings the highly-anticipated world premiere of Forget Me Not at the Joey & Toby Tanenbaum Opera Centre, a provocative call-to-arms for hope,the enduring power of love and the written word.

    Puppet Heads from Forget Me Not. Photo by Jorge Ayala.

    June 5 –23, 2019 @ Joey & Toby Tannenbaum Opera Centre

  1. Enjoy Monday Nights, an interactive basketball clinic/theatre hybrid devised and performed by five men who played together on the basketball court at Queen’s Quay and Bathurst. Stagedin a found space at 291 LakeShore Boulevard East, the production highlights how a simple game can help us understand ourselves and connect us to our community.– June 6 –16, 2019 @ 291 LakeShore Boulevard East
  2. The Artport Gallery at Harbourfront Centre will host The Drawing Room, a free visual arts exhibition of large-scale renderings and sculptures created by five artists — Syrus Marcus Ware, Nathaniel Donnett, Shelley Niro and Robert Pruitt, Lesley Loksi Chan. June 8-23, 2019 @ Harbourfront Centre, The Artport Gallery
  3. The Cave at Tank House Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts presents an intimate, entertaining and urgent response to our changing environment. Asa forest fire rages all around destroying everything in its path, the forest’s animals escape to the safety of The Cave. As they wait for the fire to subside, tensions grow and the animals become keenly aware of how centuries of human activity have led to this moment and to the obliteration of their homes. Told from the perspective of the innocents, this powerful new cabaret is a gripping take on the effects of climate change. — June 18 –23, 2019 @ Tank House Theatre, Young Centre for the Performing Arts
  4. Celebrate humanity as one village with KIRA, The Path | La Voie, a new dynamic dance production at the Fleck Dance Theatre by Canada’s Lua Shayenne Dance Company and choreographed by Fara Tolno, one of Africa’s most influential artists. — June 6 –9, 2019 @ Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
  5. See the final installment of the critically-acclaimed, The Empire trilogy, Four Sisters, written and directed by Susanna Fournier with choreography by Amanda Acorn,chronicles the life of Sarah, a 279-year-old former madam who has defied death, survived the toppling of regimes and outlasted centuries of war. June 11 –16, 2019 @ The Theatre Centre
  6. Join for Luminato’s Illuminating works initiative. This series brings together a delegation of international and national presenters and producers to the city to experience a wide range of work created by Toronto-based and Canadian artists.
  7. Through forums and films, Illuminating Ideas, takes a deeper look into LGBTQ censorship in art, climate change in the North, building healthy male communities through sport and witch hunts throughout history.Forum discussions will take place immediately following each film.
  8. See Luminato’s 2019 film series curated in partnership with Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema.
  9. From award-winning artists Daniel Brooks and Kim Collier comes a provocative film theatre hybrid, The Full Light of Day, about an aging matriarch who must contend with her family’s corrupt legacy before she dies. — June 7 –13, 2019 @ Bluma Appel Theatre
  10. Vakhtangov State Academic Theatre of Russia, one of Moscow’s oldest theatre companies, returns to Toronto with Masquerade, a production based on the writings of Mikhail Lermontov, one of Russia’s most important 19th century poets. — June 9 –10, 2019 @ John W.H. Bassett Theatre
  11. Inuk artist Laakkuluk Williamson Bathory and queer theatre-maker Evalyn Parry share the stage in Kiinalik: These Sharp Tools; a concert, dialogue, and symbolic convergence between the North and the South of our country. imageThese two powerful storytellers map new territory together in a work that gives voice and body to the lived histories, culture, and climate we have inherited, and then asks how we reckon with these sharp tools. — June 12 –16, 2019 @ Berkeley Street Theatre,Downstairs
  12. Obeah Opera is a hand-clapping, foot-stomping, spirit-lifting, musical sensation. Steeped in Black music and sung entirely a cappella by a powerful all-female cast, Obeah Opera tells the story of the legendary Salem witch trials from the spellbinding perspective of the first woman accused, the young Caribbean slave Tituba. — June 13 –22, 2019 @ Fleck Dance Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
  13. Following a sold-out work-in-progress presentation at Luminato 2018, Hell’s Fury: The Hollywood Songbookmakes it world premiere at the 2019 festival. Internationally renowned baritone Russell Braun portrays the rise and fall of Hanns Eisler, the famed Oscar-nominated composer who fled to the United States from Nazi Germany only to become blacklisted by Hollywood film executives and banned from his adopted country at the beginning of the Cold War. — June 19 –23, 2019 @ Harbourfront Centre Theatre

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