Illuminating Ideas

Illuminating Ideas

Join a series of conversations between artists, audiences, and our shared geography on the shores of Lake Ontario, through performance and participation, song and soundscape, lively discussions, and actions to be taken.

Explore ideas of environmental activism, generational change, and most of all, love for this place. Let your imagination and your heart run wild as each of these Illuminating Ideas asks you to fall in love with the planet in new ways.

Event Supporters

Presented by:

Illuminating Ideas Online

Bird Song Mixtape

Created out of construction waste and transformed by the wind and water into a natural habitat, Tommy Thompson Park/The Leslie Street Spit has become a sanctuary for bird life migrating across the great lakes, and a refuge for city-dwellers in search of nature.

Hike the spit on your own or with someone you love, and while you walk, we invite you to listen to a set of mix-tapes, curated playlists featuring love songs from Luminato Staff. Start with environmentalist Andrés Jimenez Monges to learn the history of The Leslie Street Spit, the bird life that makes the park their home, and some of the quirks and works of art that have been created – sometimes by accident – in this incredible park. 

Unearthing Lost Taddle Creek
Online & IRL – Self Guided  
June 9 – 19

Journey through Toronto Metropolitan University, the old Ward neighbourhood and Toronto City Hall and see the landscape in a whole new light with the imprint of the old paths opening up new possibilities for reconciliation, resilience, and resurgence. 

Unearthing Lost Taddle Creek is an audio walk. Walking time is approximately 75 minutes to an hour. The distance is approximately 2 km. 

You can access the transcript here.

Click here for Audio Tour Route Map

In support of Swim Drink Fish

What makes you love Lake Ontario? Or the Humber River? Swim Drink Fish is an NGO devoted to protecting water, and they want to hear about the stories that make you love your lake (Or river, or stream). By sharing these stories, we can help protect the waters we love and make activism matter.   


Port Lands   
Film By Zachary Finkelstein  
June 9 – July 9

This short film presents Toronto’s industrial waterfront as a complex landscape in which past, present, and future geographies transition and converge. Using archival aerial photographs, microscopic videography and Lidar data mapping, this work documents how aquatic life has persisted despite intense industrialization.

In Our Hands Documentary by Soundings Media  
June 9 – 19

Before Paris & Kyoto, there was Rio. It’s been 30 years to the day since the United Nations Conference on Environment & Development (UNCED). This video features rare footage of what happened at Rio, including interviews with Dr. David Suzuki himself.

Illuminating Ideas at Yonge-Dundas Square

Before I Die…
June 9-12
Presented at Toronto Eaton Centre

Join this global participatory art project and share  your dreams for the future. First created by artist Candy Chang in New Orleans, and since recreated in 78 countries and 35 languages, leave your mark on the world at CF Toronto Eaton Centre. Located on Level 2, north end of the shopping centre.

Migration Celebration
June 11, 2:30 PM   

Flock to Yonge-Dundas Square for Migration Celebration, a stilt-walking, puppet-waving, bird-themed spectacle celebrating Toronto’s position along the migration path of our feathered friends, while honouring the many migrants, refugees, and newcomers who now call Toronto home. Featuring performers from Shadowland Theatre and the communities of North Etobicoke and Flemingdon Park.

Pearls of Wisdom
Featuring Pam Palmater, David Suzuki, Edward Burtynsky and the Youth Climate Collective from Lakeshore Arts
June 11, 3 PM

Traditionally pearls are the thirtieth wedding anniversary gift – do pearls of wisdom count? Looking back on the environmental movement in the 30 years (nearly to the day) since the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero, join Pam Palmater, Dr David Suzuki, and Edward Burtynsky in conversation about how the environmental movement has changed, celebrating the victories of the last thirty years, and examining the failures. Following a discussion the panelists will be joined by youth activist-artists from Lakeshore Arts’ Youth Climate Collective, to answer the question “What do we do now?”    
Before the talk, check out the 1992 film by Soundings Mindful Media In Our Hands (part of Illuminating Ideas on line) exploring the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janiero (You may recognize a few faces)

Drag Queen Story Time: Nature Edition  
Featuring Fay Slift & Fluffy Souffle  
June 12, 3pm   

Fay & Fluffy are here to make Storytimes a little more FABULOUS (with MUCH more glitter!). Their Storytimes are for everyone willing to have some laughs – from babies to grandparents.  Join the queens at Yonge-Dundas Square for a special Storytime all about nature, the environment, and sustainability.

Illuminating Ideas at Woodbine Park

The Ideas Tent at Woodbine Weekend

Illuminating Ideas at Woodbine Weekend is just one small part of the kick off to summer at our big outdoor music event at Woodbine Park. Join us for performances of Massey & Me, Augmented Reality by Quinn Hopkins, Indigenous teachings in partnership with Native Women In the Arts, community gatherings, as well as learning opportunities from local arts, environmental, and community groups.

Woodbine Beach Clean Up Crew
In Partnership with Swim Drink Fish  
June 18, 11 AM  

We find ourselves in a watershed moment. What can we do to help change the course of history? Join us as Swim Drink Fish guides a clean-up of Woodbine Beach, and learn more about our responsibility for the stewardship of the shoreline that defines our city. June 18 at 11am, meet at The Ideas Tent in Woodbine Park.

Ancestral Resilience  
Quinn Hopkins/indigital.eth  
June 18 & 19  

Discover ethereal monuments to Ojibwe culture using augmented reality on your smartphone using the Styly App. Visit Woodbine Park, find the project QR code and follow the on-screen prompts to access these incredible digital sculptures inspired by Anishinaabe pictographs, artworks and storytelling. 

Quinn Hopkins (b. 1998) is an artist inspired by innovative technologies – connecting them with the land and his roots as an Anishinaabe person. He utilizes techniques such as 3D modeling, digital drawing, editing, creative coding and machine learning as he collaborates with the computer to research, design and create his artworks. 

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Presented by:

Massey and Me
June 18, 1 PM & 4 PM  
June 19, 1 PM & 5:30

Sarah Garton Stanley presents a conversation in a series of five exchanges occurring “at the end of theatre”, loosely modelled on the annual Massey Lectures. (Her first was presented at the 2022 Rhubarb Festival). This critical reflection on the chassis of Canadian Culture(tm) explores the work presented at Luminato 2022 through the lens of the 1951 “Massey Commission,” which created the political and administrative structures that have defined professional arts in Canada to this day.

Performer and Creator:  Sarah Garton Stanley 
Music and Sound Designer : Richard Feren 
Creative Conversant:  Nick Carpenter 

Safe Harbour? 
June 18, 2:30 PM 

How do we navigate towards joy with the winds of history still in our sails? We do it together. Following a tour of the piece, join four artist/activists from different disciplines in a discussion about Black Ark, the history it evokes, about the future of making art in this place we call Canada. Featuring Adeyemi Adegbasan, Jacquie Comrie, Bushra Junaid, responding to Black Ark, created by Oluseye Ogunlesi. 

Adeyemi Adegbasan, Bushra Junaid, Jacquie Comrie