Luminato at The Hearn


Toronto’s Luminato Arts Festival has found a new home this year, at The Hearn Power Plant, a mothballed behemoth from the 1950s that lies crumbling and rusting at the edge of town near the lake. We went there on Sunday, with a group of friends, Boyd and Joanne, Lesley and Mary Wiens, lured by the publicity and the promise of – well, lots of cool stuff.

The space was pretty cool, no question – a photographer’s dream, in fact. I could have spent the whole day, or several days, photographing it. The installations and performances – well, not so much. And the volunteers, supposedly there to steer us and inform us, seemed clueless and uninterested.

We saw a pretty lame demonstration of parkour – you can find out what parkour is, here – by a couple of quite charming and extremely agile guys who led us around on an obviously unplanned and haphazard traipse through The Hearn looking for places where they could do fun stuff to show off their skills. A bit of improv, I suppose, but not quite what it said on the tin, as my son Jono would have said.

The huge disco ball glinting in the spotlights at the far end of the huge turbine hall was rather more intriguing, making an odd, rather spectral, star-warsy, space-shippy contrast with the derelict surroundings.

Perhaps I am selling it short – for a more upbeat and certainly more informative story on Luminato at The Hearn, you can read this story in The Globe and Mail.

What you won’t find in The Globe and Mail are these photographs.



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