Towards Artistic Excellence

Luminato in partnership with The Theatre Centre

Luminato introduces an exciting new creative development and presentation initiative which will support artists who have come through The Theatre Centre’s Residency Program. Established in 2004, this unique multi-disciplinary, long-term development program has led to the creation of many significant works by Canadian performing artists.

Each year, this partnership between Luminato and The Theatre Centre will provide a past Residency artist with the means to revisit their work and have it presented on the international stage as part of Luminato. 

Ian Kamau, a current Theatre Centre Resident and one of Toronto’s most interesting cross-disciplinary musicians and spoken word artists, performed in The Famous Spiegeltent as part of the 2017 Luminato festival.

In 2018, Luminato and The Theatre Centre will present Out The Window, a documentary project created by performer/director Liza Balkan that investigates memory, policing, witnessing, accountability, perspective, mental health, law and theatre. It was created after Balkan witnessed the death of a mentally ill man during an altercation with the police in the west end of Toronto in 2000. The show integrates verbatim court transcripts, sound, video and text derived from interviews with top lawyers from both sides of the bench, as well as with journalists, activists, artists, police force members, a police psychologist, mental health experts and family members of the deceased.

Out The Window began as a solo performance installation at Factory Theatre’s Lab Cab Festival. The showing led to an invitation to develop the project as a Resident Artist at The Theatre Centre. Scenographer Trevor Schwellnus, sound designer Thomas Ryder Payne and Lighting designer Michelle Ramsay came on board as collaborators. It saw many twists and turns and growing pains through the deeply rewarding process towards finding its voice and form. In 2012, Out The Window, with a cast of 8 that included RH Thomson, David Ferry and Julie Tepperman, played to sold out houses at The Theatre Centre. It will come to life again in 2018 as part of Luminato.

Liza Balkan is an Ontario-based artist who has spent over three and a half decades working in the theatre. She first trained as a dancer in Montreal and Toronto and then as an actor in New York City, where she spent the first 8 years of her professional career, before returning home to Canada in ’86.   She is an accomplished opera and theatre director, writer, librettist, educator, and Dora Award–winning actor. She has directed productions at Koerner Hall, Buddies in Bad Times, Lighthouse Festival, The Canadian Opera Company, the Shaw Festival's Directors' Project, and Tapestry Opera, among many others. 


The Renette and David Berman Family Foundation

RBC Emerging Producer Program

This year, Luminato is establishing an Emerging Artists Program which will begin with the creation of a new position, the RBC Emerging Producer. This twelve-month program will offer professional development to an emerging producer from any genre to further their expertise in their field through one-on-one training, hands-on practice, and by expanding their professional network. The RBC Emerging Producer will work directly with Luminato staff for consultation, mentorship, support and discussion to learn all aspects of conceiving, planning and delivering an international arts festival of scale and stature.



The work of emerging artists at Luminato is underwritten for the next three years by an anonymous couple, longstanding friends of Luminato; the first of a group of people supporting specific strands of Luminato’s work.