Photo: roma_hq2 on Instagram
Last night, the official opening night of the 2017 Luminato Festival took place at Toronto’s David Pecaut Square. For this season, the grand opening of the annual arts and culture festival paid homage to First Nations performers. With a theme of Tributaries, the focus of the night was traditional Indigenous music and arts. The evening’s artists took to The Famous Spiegeltent, a 1920s era historical stage which was erected at the square especially for the festival.
Tributaries was presented by creative producer Denise Bolduc and associate producer Erika A. Iserhoff, who joined forces with Native Women in the Arts. The lineup of performances featured a stunning show from First Nations singer Laura Grizzlypaws, who graced the stage in a beautiful red traditional outfit. Grizzlypaws’ soulful and passionate voice filled David Pecaut Square, with its haunting melody. With meaningful lyrics which spoke of love and life, Grizzlypaws belted out a song which captivated her audience, seated on the grass before her.
Grizzlypaws’ set was followed by a dramatic Red Tidal Resurgence performance, which featured a group of female First Nations singers. The ladies on stage included Iskwe, Jennifer Kreisberg, Cheri Maracle, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Tanya Tagaq. Meanwhile, a 7-piece band filled the open air with notes from the cello, viola, drums, bass and French horn.
Overall, the opening night of Luminato honoured Canada’s First Nations people in true artistic form. From the pumping beats to deep vocals to intricate costumes, the evening kicked off the summer festival on a high note- literally.
Luminato runs until June 25. Read our guide to this year’s festival in the Summer 2017 issue of Real Style Magazine.