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Art Events Set the Waterfront Abuzz This Weekend

Jun 18, 2015

The Hearn Generating Station

This weekend, Luminato transforms one of Toronto’s most iconic waterfront places, the Hearn Generating Station, with an art experience that thrills all the senses.

By Rebecca Carbin

Art has a unique way of revealing and exposing the potential of a place – potential to discover old stories, create new ones, have new experiences, both personal and shared, and forge new connections between people and places. For us, a lively and dynamic art program is an integral part of creating a vibrant public realm – and the public realm is of paramount importance in our revitalization of Toronto’s waterfront. While our bricks and mortar revitalization will take years to build out, we can begin the cultural and social revitalization by collaborating with other arts and cultural organizations to bring their activity to the water’s edge.  

Toronto has a wealth of arts festivals and events and we are thrilled that some of them are bringing their talent down to waterfront sites; this weekend, Toronto’s waterfront will be buzzing with art activity.


Christine Fellows and Shary Boyle collaborate

Musician Christine Fellows collaborates with visual artist Shary Boyle as part of 7 Monologues at Harbourfront Centre.

Luminato, which kicks off tonight with a gala event at the spectacular abandoned Hearn Generating Station, brings “a two day festival within a festival” to Harbourfront Centre, with the much anticipated 7 Monologues. This programme celebrates the narrative potency of the age-old singular story-teller, the voice that over generations has bestowed upon the next generation stories that will form the backbone of their world view. These stories, however, are told through dance, movement and imagery.

While you can plan to see just one of these intimate shows, it is best to see all seven and anyway then you wouldn’t have to choose who to see. It’s an inspiring lineup:

  • Charlotte Rampling and French cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton perform the works of Benjamin Britten and Sylvia Plath
  • Canadian playwright Daniel MacIvor stages a new work
  • Musician Christine Fellows collaborates with visual artist Shary Boyle
  • Artist Emilio Garcia Wehbi and Biutiful actress Maricel Álvarez reinterpret French artist Sophie Calle
  • A retelling of El Plebiscito: the campaign of hope used as the foundation for Pablo Larrain’s 2012 Oscar- nominated film No by the multi-award winning author Antonio Skármeta
  • A mesmerizing solo dance performance by Brazilian dancer-choreographer Eduardo Fukushima
  • A multimedia performance by Buenos Aires artist Rafael Spregelburd

There will be food too, so you really can plan to make a day of it and feel nourished body and soul. Check out details here: luminatofestival.com/festival/2015/7-monologues

Luminato brings Unsound Toronto to the Hearn Generating Station

Unsound Toronto is an electronic music festival that Luminato brings to the Hearn Generating Station.

At a completely different scale Luminato also brings Unsound Toronto to one of my favourite spots on the waterfront: the Hearn Generating Station. If any building ever beautifully embodied decay and potential at the same time, it is this place. Unsound Toronto is an electronic music festival with a lineup that will impress those who know this music. It’s an international list of headliner acts, what Luminato calls a mix of “pioneers, rising stars and fresh discoveries”. The Guardian has called this event (which started out underground in Krakow Poland) “One of the world’s finest curated music festivals.” And the New Yorker calls it “The most intense musical experience.”


This kind of energy in this kind of space is something that will create a night to remember. It’s a 2 night affair, June 19 and 20, check out details and buy tickets here: luminatofestival.com/festival/2015/unsound-festival-19th

In addition to this amazing programming Luminato is bringing us in the Central Waterfront and Port Lands, we also have a really exciting event taking place at Underpass Park in the West Don Lands.

Skate park at Underpass Park

On Saturday, the Live Art Festival will transform 23 concrete pillars in Underpass Park with day-long live painting event.

Live Art Festival logoThe Live Art Festival is a collaboration between Mural Routes StreetARToronto, CRBA and Friends of the Pan Am Path. On Saturday June 20, from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., 23 of the concrete pillars at Underpass Park will be transformed through a day-long live painting event.

You can come, watch and speak to more than 17 artists while they create work here. There will also be several performances throughout the day as well as sports activities and music. Get more details here: http://www.muralroutes.ca/live-art-festival-june-20th/



Waterfront Toronto has been focusing for years on bringing out the potential in the waterfront assets that we as a city have too long ignored. This weekend, sites along the water will truly come alive with excitement, thanks to the rich imaginations of artists and engaged citizens. 


Share your thoughts, comments and feedback – follow us on Facebook and Twitter – and join the conversation about our revitalized waterfront with the #TOtheWaterfront hashtag.

post contributor

  • Rebecca Carbin

    Rebecca was previously Waterfront Toronto's public art program manager. She holds a Masters in Curating Contemporary Art from Goldsmith’s College, University of London, UK. She was previously the Public Art Officer for the City of Toronto and she is the Founder of I Heart Your Work Art Futures, an artwork production concept that brings a kick-starter approach to contemporary art patronage.