Stage Door News

Toronto: Luminato Festival Toronto CEO Anthony Sargent to step down

Friday, April 17, 2020

Today Luminato Festival Toronto and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Anthony Sargent announced his decision to step down at the end of his successful 5-year commitment with Luminato, effective May 31, 2020. 

“I moved to Canada to lead Luminato for five years and will leave Toronto very proud of Luminato’s achievements.  I have enjoyed every moment working alongside my colleagues and contributing to art and culture in Toronto, but after five years separated from my European roots and my family this is the right moment to return home,” said Anthony Sargent, CEO of Luminato.  “Luminato is a vivid emblem of the city’s inspiringly diverse cultural energy and sense of adventure, and I wish the Luminato team every possible success as they prepare to celebrate Luminato’s 15th anniversary in 2021.”

“I’d like to thank Anthony for his tireless effort and commitment to Luminato and his significant contribution to arts and culture in Toronto and Canada during his time with the Festival,” said Peter Herrndorf, Board Chair of Luminato. “Under Anthony’s leadership Luminato introduced audiences to ground breaking Canadian and International performances. Perhaps the most ambitious of the projects was the unforgettable 10thanniversary residency in the Hearn Generating Station, for many people one of Toronto's most brazenly ambitious arts projects in recent years, and raising Luminato’s profile and Toronto’s profile on the world stage. It has been a pleasure working with Anthony and I wish him continued success as he returns to England.”     

Prior to joining Luminato, Mr. Sargent held leadership positions in a number of international arts institutions and organizations and in City Government. Key roles included chairing the New York based International Society for the Performing Arts and working in production and presentation for BBC radio and TV.  Prior to moving to Canada in 2015 to lead Luminato, he spent 15 years in Gateshead England as the Founding General Director of Sage Gateshead international centre for music performance and learning.   

Celia Smith has been appointed Interim CEO, effective June 1, 2020.  Currently a Luminato board member, Ms. Smith has held numerous leadership roles in the Toronto arts and culture sector, including President of Artscape, General Manager of The Canadian Stage Company and interim roles at the Canadian Opera Company, Toronto Symphony and Opera Atelier.  She is the past Board Chair for TAPA (Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts) and Work in Culture, and currently sits on the board of Musical Stage Company. Recently, she co-founded LEAN (Leadership Emergency Arts Network) - a grassroots pro bono response network to help Canadian professional non-profit arts organizations deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Caldwell Partners executive search firm has been engaged to conduct an international search to recruit a new CEO for Luminato. The goal is to have the successful candidate in place by fall 2020.

Luminato Festival Toronto is Toronto’s international arts festival dedicated to performance, media and visual arts, and programming that cuts across traditional artform boundaries. Luminato works closely with Canadian artists to support the development and creation of distinctive new works, as well as presenting today’s most exciting artists from around the world. Luminato will celebrate its 15th anniversary in June 2021.

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