Vanessa Mugoa is a Creative Writing Intern for GEM. This summer she volunteered at Toronto’s Luminato Festival. GEM asked her to share her volunteer experience and give us a taste of what the festival was like from the inside.
During this past week, I had the pleasure of being a part of the Youth Volunteer Photography (YVP) team for Toronto’s annual Luminato Festival.
The YVP program is an educational initiative for youth between the ages of 14-18 who are passionate about photography and enjoy giving back to their community. Placed in a team with other YVP students, I was mentored by an experienced photographer as we photographed various Luminato events and played an active role on Luminato’s social media networks. We also got the chance to attend two workshops that focused on different photography techniques and the role of event photography prior to the festival.
This was my first year volunteering with the Luminato Festival, which was a very exciting and unique experience. Not only did I get the opportunity to enhance my photography skills, but also witness the many magnificent shows and performing artists as a spectator.
It is difficult to pin-point the highlight of my Luminato experience because there were a great number of amazing things to see and hear. However, one epic event was Contemporary Color, where artists, like David Byrne and Nelly Furtado, collaborated with one of ten participating high school color guard teams from across North America to compose an arena-scale staging of sport, music, dance, and culture.
In all, the Luminato Festival is not just an arts festival; instead, it is an orchestra of the cultural and creative energy that lies within Toronto. I look forward to what Luminato will bring next year.