Once again this year Luminato will create something super special at the Hearn Generating Station to celebrate the creativity and inventiveness of the city that gave birth to the Festival. In June the festival is going to #TurnOnTheHearn and transform this incredibly epic decommissioned power plant into a public art centre with a theatre, a music stage, a site-specific performance space, restaurants and bars, and more. Some artists and performances for Unsound Toronto have already been announced, and more are to follow.

As well, Pride Toronto will be presenting a performance by Canadian icon Rufus Wainwright , who will once again pay tribute to the greatest night in show business with “Rufus Does Judy, an epic recreation of Judy Garland’s infamous 1961 concert. Backed by a 36-piece orchestra led by Broadway legend Stephen Oremus, with special guest stars, two shows will take place on June 23rd and 24th, with a post-show after party not to be missed.

Rufus Does Judy

Jorn Weisbrodt, Artistic Director, Luminato Festival gave some insight into what can be expected this year.

The 2016 Luminato Festival marks its 10th anniversary. The Hearn Generating Station is a unique industrial landmark in the world. It is three times larger than the Tate Modern, the Statue of Liberty fits in it upright (or on its side), and it sits proudly on Toronto’s waterfront. Its smokestack is one of the only structures in Toronto (apart from the CN Tower) that you can see distinctly from across the lake on a good day. In the 20th century the Hearn Generating Station produced electricity. In the 21st century, it will produce art (well, at least next June).

2015 Unsound Toronto.
Photo by David Leyes.

In 2014 the Big Bang Bash Gala was the first public event ever held in the Hearn Generating Station, and last year the city was electrified by adding the unforgettable 48-hour Unsound Festival. This year is going to be even more spectacular.

Every great international city has a unique cultural institution. Buenos Aires has the Teatro Colón, Milan has La Scala, Paris has the Louvre, New York has MoMA, and in June 2016 Toronto will have the Hearn Generating Station. Luminato Festival was founded a decade ago to infuse new energy into Toronto, to ‘turn the lights back on’, to bring Toronto to the world, and the world to Toronto. In the Hearn Generating Station will be the world’s largest multidisciplinary generator of art and culture, offering a globally unique, exceptionally rich and highly integrated cultural experience.

2014 Big Bang Bash Gala.
Photo by George Pimentel.

The 2016 Luminato Festival will take place at the Hearn Generating Station and all over the city – here, there and everywhere. To complement this ‘residency’ in the Hearn Generating Station, instead of the Festival hub being in a succession of city squares (most recently David Pecaut Square, commemorating the festival’s co-founder), the festival will take over the plaza at the refurbished Union Station as the main gateway, where there will be daytime programming and a food festival, expanding on weekends to include larger scale, free events.

Union SquareUnion Square. Photo courtesy City of Toronto.

The renovated Plaza in front of Union Station is the new entrance hall to our city, Toronto’s front door. The Hearn Generating Station is a building that signifies what this city could be – today’s vision of the future. It captures everyone’s imagination: everyone knows it, hardly anyone has been there. In 2016, Luminato will occupy both spaces; the here – today’s entrance to Toronto; the there – the Hearn, the future, what Toronto could be; and the everywhere – with a visual art project (details coming soon) that will turn Toronto into the largest outdoor gallery in the world. There will also be a special celebratory event in David Pecaut Square remembering David’s extraordinary founding vision for Luminato, without which, and his partnership with founding co-Chair Tony Gagliano, none of this would be here.

Hearn Generating Station.
Photo by David Leyes.
Hearn Generating Station.
Photo by George Pimentel.

Get Social  #Luminato10 #TurnOnTheHearn


The 10th Anniversary Luminato Festival starts on June 10, 2016. 

About the Author

Bryen Dunn is a freelance journalist with a focus on travel, lifestyle, entertainment, and hospitality. He has an extensive portfolio of celebrity interviews with musicians, actors, and other public personalities. He enjoys discovering delicious eats, tasting spirited treats, and being mesmerized by musical beats. Reach out - bryen@thebuzzmag.ca