Stage Door News

Toronto: Luminato announces Celia Smith as new CEO

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Luminato Festival Toronto (“Luminato”) announces its Board of Directors has appointed Celia Smith as its new CEO, effective immediately. 

Ms. Smith has more than two decades in leadership roles across 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 a past Board Member for Luminato, past Board Chair for TAPA (Toronto Alliance for the Performing Arts) and Work in Culture, and currently sits on the board of Toronto Arts Council and 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.

Announcing Celia’s appointment, Board Chair Peter Herrndorf said: “Celia is an exceptional leader, and her track record in leading cultural organizations is nothing short of extraordinary. Celia is known for her collaborative and community-focused leadership style and for building high performance teams. We are thrilled to welcome Celia as Luminato’s new CEO.”

Commenting on the appointment, Artistic Director Naomi Campbell said: “I have watched Celia Smith move her way through Toronto’s cultural and civic communities for 25 years, making change and creating opportunities for others wherever she goes. I have been lucky to spend the last 2 and a half months working with her as Luminato’s Interim CEO and I am so excited to continue our collaboration. Celia has tremendous energy, enthusiasm, intelligence and imagination, and I am sure that she will have a huge impact on the organization over the years to come. We are very lucky to have her join the team.”

Reflecting on her appointment, Celia said: “In my work and volunteer life, I have put my energy into projects that have the potential for large impact and truly sustainable change, and I am now inspired to see what we can accomplish at Luminato. I feel strongly that exceptional arts and culture experiences can provoke broader discussions about the big issues of our time -- and bring together unexpected and daring collaborations. I believe that Luminato can play an essential role in helping our recovery from this period of unprecedented crisis -- for our artists and arts organizations, the city, province and country, and the wider global community. I am honoured to join this outstanding team of staff, artists, board members, volunteers and supporters and look forward to bringing this ambitious mandate to life.”

Ms. Smith was appointed Luminato’s Interim CEO on June 1st, succeeding Anthony Sargent who stepped down after five years in the role.