Luminato Festival's Opening Night Party Gets New Venue, Backing From Yves Saint Laurent

By Carla Warrilow June 16, 2011, 12:20 PM EDT

Photo: Emma McIntyre for BizBash

The opening night party for Luminato, a 10-day arts and creativity festival, took place Friday night in the lobby of Roy Thomson Hall in David Pecaut Square. For the first time, this year Luminato will have a single stage for all its free concerts, rather than stages throughout the city. The party takes over different venues each year, and this year's space highlighted the changes to the festival by looking out onto its new hub in the square.

The entire venue, including the stage and dance floor, was lit in blue, Luminato's signature colour. White and gold Victorian-style sofas were dispersed throughout the space. An outdoor lounge and bar overlooked the hall’s reflecting pool, lit with floating geometrical shapes. Servers circulated with drinks, hors d’oeuvres, and passed plates such as salmon tartar, pork belly with seared scallop, and tempura soft-shell crab. The evening had live musical performances by Miss Felicia and Robbie Wulfsohn, Beast, and Lily Frost. DJ Bee Bee took over as the evening progressed.

Also new this year was the absence of a V.I.P. area, which had been a staple of the opening night party in the past; and gift bags were offered to all guests instead of only to top ticket holders. “All guests are V.I.P.,” explained planner Barbara Hershenhorn, president of Party Barbara Co. “Luminato’s new partner Yves St. Laurent provided lovely gifts for all guests and therefore helped Luminato transition to one party experience for all.”

Gift bags included Yves St. Laurent makeup products and perfume, as well as a key that would open one of three cases at the Bay on Queen. Guests were invited to visit the department store in the following days to try their keys and receive a small gift, or—for a lucky few—an haute couture purse. Yves St. Laurent also had prominent on-site visibility, with numerous screens showing recent runway shows and advertisements. Guests could also sample the brand’s perfume and cologne, and festival partner L’Oréal provided makeup touch-ups with the latest Yves St. Laurent products.

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