by Virginia Munroe
Anthony Sargent has enjoyed a long and illustrious career – one that prompted the Queen of England to make him a Commander of the British Empire in her birthday honours list in 2013 in recognition of his lifetime contribution to the Arts.
Following an extensive search, Anthony Sargent was chosen, and is now serving, his first of a five year term as CEO of Luminato. We at Toronto Waterfront Magazine, wish him a warm and heartfelt welcome.
“I’ve known the former CEO, Janice Price, for decades and when she first came here I was fascinated by this amazing festival with the intriguing name, Luminato.
I’ve watched it quite closely from across the water in Europe. It’s produced an extraordinary body of work. It has commissioned an exceptional range of projects. Luminato has attracted remarkably talented artists from across the continent, some of whom had never before been seen in North America at all.
…Luminato has attracted remarkably talented artists from across the continent, some of whom had never before been seen in North America at all…
“I think that one of the most exciting elements in Luminato this year is the bringing together of everything in one grand location – the magnificent Hearn Generating Station. In previous years, Luminato was dispersed across the city, presenting its presentations to the public in a wide range of venues. For the first time this year, the public can come and experience all the events in one splendid location.
“Luminato is grateful for the financial support we have received from our inception. We are grateful to the public. We’ve had the biggest ticket sales ever in the history of Luminato, and that’s where you get a sense of how successful the festival really is, and can be long into the future.
“We’ve received the largest amount of individual donations (not counting the donations that originally launched the festival), including the largest donation ever given, at two hundred thousand dollars. We’ve also had the largest amount from trusts and foundations that the festival has ever received.
…We are at an unusual time where all three levels of government are highly motivated to support the Arts…
“With regard to the Province, we have a three year funding agreement, with the province currently developing a cultural strategy that it’s never had before. All this augurs well for the future.
“The city of Toronto has increased their budget – because in addition to adding to the cultural richness of the area, Luminato attracts a significant amount of tourism, which is good for everybody.
“What I think is very exciting at this time is the commitment of the city to the Arts. You only have to listen to Mayor Tory to realize the degree of dedication and excitement of leaders in this city to that enterprise.
“The Federal government has provided $900,000 to help underwrite the cost of the festival. They are positioning the Arts as an important asset, not just in Canada, but across the world – something which the previous government was less prone to do.
“We are at an unusual time where all three levels of government are highly motivated to support the Arts.
“I would say that if there is a sector we look forward to receiving more support from, it would be business. I think that is an area that we at Luminato can improve upon by raising our game in explaining the public relations and social benefits to corporations.
“This kind of approach is much more prevalent in Europe. And that’s something that as CEO of Luminato I plan to work very hard at in the coming years.
“I do want to make a special point of communicating my absolute respect for and appreciation of the Artistic Direction of Jorn Weisbrodt. It has been a privilege to work with Jorn; his intelligence and artistic sensibilities continue to amaze me, day in and day out.
“He will be sorely missed.”