Luminato festival adds energy to old Hearn generating station
Old Hearn Generating Station transformed into an art and light-filled artistic spectacle
The 10th annual Luminato Arts Festival kicked off Friday night at the Hearn Generating Station, which hasn't functioned as a power plant since 1985.
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The festival is taking over the entire massive station in the Portlands this year. Having sat in decay for decades, the Hearn, with its run-down, rustic aesthetic, has been used over the past few years for the sets of post-apocalyptic movies and for private parties.
Jorn Weisbrodt, the festival's artistic director for the past five years, says he wanted to use the space to show what a cultural institution of the 21st Century could look like.
"I want to create appetite with what we've done here, and set the bar so high it can't become a shopping centre or a car park," Weisbrodt told CBC News. "It's an opportunity to do something on the cultural level that has no equal in the world."
Weisbrodt said the festival at the Hearn has been a two-year 'passion project.' He said Torontonians haven't really had the opportunity to see the incredible building, but now they can.
"The space is just so beautiful. When you step into the space you feel like you're in a different world, and I think that's really what we want to try to achieve with art and culture."
The plant has been retrofitted with a theatre, a dance hall, a gallery and even a restaurant where visitors can dine atop the old control panels.
This year, artists have the run of the place, transforming the building's unique architecture and capitalizing on its strangeness.
Many of the artists are showing light-based installations, which bring warmth and movement to the concrete and rebar wasteland.
The festival, which has ticketed and free events, runs until June 26.