My Luminato

We caught up with some notable Torontonians to find out what they're most excited to see at Luminato this year

May 13, 2019 | BY: Luminato

It's that time of year again. It's getting warmer, flowers are in bloom and it's daylight past 7pm - Luminato is right around the corner! We're excited to reboot #MyLuminato: your sneak peek into what some notable Torontonians are most excited to see and do at this year's festival.  

We'll be releasing more #MyLuminato picks in the weeks leading up to the festival. Watch this space and follow along with the #MyLuminato hashtag on social media. Share your top festival picks with us using #MyLuminato and tagging us @Luminato in your posts! 


Ryan Sidhoo // @ryansidhoo
Director True North: Inside the Rise of Toronto Basketball 

Ryan's #MyLuminato picks:

Monday NightsBasketball is near and dear to my heart, making Monday Nights a project I am excited to check out. I gravitate towards work that challenges the standard definition of basketball and expands our understanding of what truly makes up the culture and soul of the game.  

Hell's Fury, The Hollywood SongbookMy family originally came over to North America under similar conditions that composer Hanns Eisler endured during the 1930's. Not only is there a personal connection driving my interest in this production but with today's polarized political climate, it's important we use emotional pieces of art to re-explore harsh realities of the past. Hell's Fury uses yesterday to remind us what is truly at stake today. 

Stephan Jost // @stephanjostago
Michael and Sonja Koerner Director and CEO Art Gallery of Ontario 


Stephan's #MyLuminato picks:

Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures - The subject matter of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photography is frequently seen as controversial but I am often inspired by the formal qualities of his work. He is simultaneously radical and timeless.
Flowers for Kazuo Ohno (and Leonard Cohen) - Bogota, the capital of Columbia, is a vibrant cultural center and larger than the GTA. The blending of contemporary Colombian dance and the spirit of Leonard Cohen is a must see for me – a lover of contemporary dance.

Diana Sanchez // @cinesanchez
Senior Director Film Toronto International Film Festival 


Diana's #MyLuminato picks:

Flowers for Kazuo Ohno (and Leonard Cohen)This transnational piece by a Colombian dance company is so intriguing. It really speaks to me and it fuses so many of my passions including dance, art, poetry and music.  As well, the piece connects a Japanese artist with a Canadian singer through non-other than the great Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca whom I’ve always been fascinated with.
House of MirrorsI love optical illusions and this is a piece that the whole family can go to. I think my sons will enjoy it.

BIZIINDAN! -This seems like a fascinating musical piece that speaks to our present reality where we need to think about our environment and our relationship to it, and it's important to engage audiences and be reminded of our shared responsibilities. 

Monday NightsPick-up basketball and theatre? This sounds incredible. I don't usually go for interactive theatre truthfully, but this sounds like an experience that I wouldn't want to miss out on. 

MasqueradeThis Moscow theatre piece is another must-see. I really loved Uncle Vanya and am looking forward to Rimas Tuminas's play. It's a window unto another place, and the costumes sound fabulous. 

Yannick Beaudoin // @ycbeau
Director General Ontario and Northern Canada David Suzuki Foundation 


Yannick's #MyLuminato picks:

Illuminating IdeasFilms have the power to create powerful change when we engage with them in the context of the real world. As a passionate defender of the planet, and in my current role as Director General for Ontario and Northern Canada at the David Suzuki Foundation, I'm interested to hear new perspectives on the impact of climate change in the North and to see if we can connect more people and dots to protect the region. 

Changing TidesI believe that when people start to see the real impact of climate change on our fellow humans, they will be spurred to act. I've had the privilege of working with several Indigenous leaders and activists in their fight to protect the land, water and wildlife on which they depend.

I look forward to seeing more stories from the front lines emerge to help inform and inspire the rest of us to pay more attention to Mother Nature.

Angry InukThe environmental movement needs to strike a delicate balance between working to safeguard the planet and doing no harm to the traditional Indigenous ways of life that have subsisted for centuries. 

I'm eager to see that balance play itself out in this story on the seal hunt ban - and to be reminded again that although there is no easy way forward, it's a path we must all walk together.


Meghan Yuri Young // @meghanyuriyoung
Correspondent Breakfast Television Toronto & Founder The Sad Collective 


Meghan's #MyLuminato picks:

Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) - I appreciate anything that pushes boundaries and forces people to stop and think about the realities of the world they live in. Not to mention the dimensions of poetry and song that will bring new life and a different perspective to the photographs being displayed.

Rite of Spring -To be able to see the North American debut of Yang Liping will be such a treat! I love supporting all things diverse and cultural, so I'm looking forward to seeing this acclaimed choreographer's work in person. 

Roger Mooking // @RogerMooking
Award Winning Artist Host Food Network and Cooking Channel 

Roger's #MyLuminato picks:

Illuminating Ideas - As a perpetually curious person, I'm particularly interested in the thought process of other creative folks and what led them to their specific conclusions through their crafts.

Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) - I'm constantly in search of other multidisciplinary artists and their work. I'm intrigued to see what Bryce has concocted.  

The Drawing Room The talent I most covet is being able to draw, it just seems like a magical ability to a person like me who relies on scribble and stick figures to relay anything visually. Any opportunity to take in visual art always sucks me in.

Roger Mooking's new album Eat Your Words is out now. Available here.

Lawrence Cherney
Artistic Director Soundstreams Canada

Lawrence's #MyLuminato picks:

Forget Me Not - We don't get nearly enough opportunities anymore to see Ronnie Burkett, so this is a rare and wonderful treat. There is simply no one like him and I love what he does. His puppets elicit the most profound human emotions, totally blurring the distinction between animate and inanimate. He adds a profound dimension to our human existence.

Maada'ookii Songlines - I've always been fascinated by multi-choral works that are site specific, whether indoors or outdoors. I am particularly looking forward to this one because if anyone can make magic on the waterfront it's Director Tim Albery. We've also worked closely with this project's Musical Director David Fallis, and most recently with the wonderful composer (and cellist!) Cris Derksen. A piece of music by an Indigenous composer that reflects a connection with the land, this is something special.

Hell's Fury, The Hollywood Songbook - Well as the producer of this project in co-production with Luminato, I would be remiss if I didn't mention it! Composer Hanns Eisler is the quintessential exile, never able to stay anywhere for long, always searching for an identity. We will never know what he would have composed had he not been forced into exile at key moments in his life.

These are songs of heartache and nostalgia for all that the exile must leave behind, universal in its resonance. And this one has the blue chip trio of Canadian opera; baritone Russell Braun, one of the great singers of lieder; Director and Devisor Tim Albery, who has created a grand architecture to reflect on the great -ism's of our age: capitalism, communism, and fascism; and award-winning designer Michael Levine.   

Celeste Cole // @ovita.cole
Toronto artistiAM Program Manager JAYU , Creative Sandbox collective

Celeste's #MyLuminato picks:

Obeah Opera Looking forward to the energy from this all-female cast who tell the story of the Salem witch trials. I’m curious to experience the mixing of calypso, spiritual, gospel, blues and jazz musics. I feel like my soul is missing this.
Changing Tides - As I become more aware of the poor drinking water conditions in First Nation communities in the province of Ontario, I look forward to this necessary discussion about our relationship with and responsibility to water in the western world.
The Cave - I’m eager to see this imaginative apocalyptic journey of animals who realize their inevitable death due to the environmental damage done by human beings.


Omar Ahmed // @omartakespix
Toronto Photographer  

Omar's #MyLuminato picks:

House of Mirrors - I'm super excited to experience House of Mirrors because who doesn't love a magical, Alice in Wonderland, optical illusion moment?!

Triptych (Eyes of One on Another) - I think it's more important than ever before to express ourselves in the LGBTQ+ community through art and expression and be proud of how far we have come and also work towards how much we have yet to accomplish.

Yasin Osman // @yescene
Award-winning Toronto photographer and visual storyteller 

Yasin's #MyLuminato picks: 

House of Mirrors - This is something I've been looking forward to as I've never been to one! I'm really happy Luminato was able to bring this show to Toronto as this is something I'm really excited for.

Monday Nights - As someone who loves basketball and theatre I was very interested to see how Monday Nights explored the art of basketball through theatre.

Tickets for all of these My Luminato picks are available on our website right now.
Stay tuned for more My Luminato and don't forget to follow along and share using #MyLuminato!