Better Together

A tribute to Luminato Festival’s volunteers

May 4, 2016 | BY: Saskia Rinkoff & Nicole Culp

A tribute to Luminato Festival’s volunteers

This year marks Luminato Festival’s 10th anniversary celebration, and it wouldn’t be a proper celebration if we didn’t pay tribute to our fantastic volunteers! Since Luminato Festival’s inception in 2007, volunteers have played an integral role in the successful execution of each and every event. It is with deepest gratitude that we would like to thank our devoted, enthusiastic, talented and diverse volunteer teams for their ongoing commitment and support. We are forever indebted to each of you for sharing our passion for bringing adventurous art to adventurous places and highlighting Toronto’s artistic vibrancy. We could not have done it without your generous contributions.


Over the past 10 years, Luminato’s volunteer program has grown by leaps and bounds. A team of 56 volunteers was involved with the first festival, and nine of those volunteers are still active after 10 years! The number of returning volunteers has steadily increased to a noteworthy 40 percent. This commitment speaks volumes about the kind of volunteers who become involved with the organization and the programming we offer.


Our festival volunteer team, year after year, has elevated and illuminated our programming by offering information, directions and naturally, smiles. In 2011, the Education and Outreach department formed a partnership with CultureLink, a local settlement and community services organization for newcomers to Canada. The intention was to join forces, share resources and provide CultureLink participants with the opportunity to work with trained mentors in preparation for volunteering with the festival. To date, approximately 180 newcomers have participated in this program. Some have moved on to become mentors themselves, but the true value lies in the bonds and networks that many of them formed over the course of their three-month journey.


In 2012, the Education and Outreach department established the Youth Volunteer Photography program. The program changes a bit every year, but it maintains its founding vision: to provide high school students with the opportunity to learn about photography and practice their skills with the guidance of professional photographers. From experimental Lomography to the construction of a pinhole camera, our YVPs (as they’ve been affectionately termed) have brilliantly captured the festival over the years and allowed us to see it all through their eyes. 

In our 10th year, we’ll bring together more volunteers than ever before to be a part of Luminato and contribute to its vision for Toronto’s future cultural ambitions. From June 10 to 26, our volunteers will turn on the Hearn and keep the power on through every day of the festival. For the first time, volunteers will take ownership of the building as the front-of-house team — greeting visitors, providing onsite information, taking tickets and seating theatregoers. They will be woven in to the experience of each person who enters the building, reflecting the Hearn’s indomitable spirit and Toronto’s diversity and keen love for the arts. We couldn’t do it without them, and we couldn’t be luckier to have this group with us as we march forward.

Learn more about volunteering at the 2016 Luminato Festival >



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