About Lumen

A projection above the Waterloo Public Library looking like stained glass.

Lumen is on September 23, 2023

What is Lumen?

Lumen is an annual, free, all-ages festival that is open to the public and run by the City of Waterloo’s Arts and Culture team (Create Waterloo). The event features the work of artists as they explore the interplay of light, art, and technology in installations located throughout uptown Waterloo.

Established in 2018, Lumen takes place on the last Saturday of September at various indoor and outdoor installation locations, bringing together tech industry leaders like the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), the Perimeter Institute and Shopify, with locally and internationally renowned multi-disciplinary artists.

Traditionally hosting 30+ visual, interactive, new media, and performance-based installations, the event was adapted in 2020 to a virtual format in order to accommodate for the safety of the community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic: Lumen at Home. A virtual festival where art, light and tech meet. In 2021, we hosted Lumen Lite, an adapted version of the annual festival of light, art & tech, with COVID-19 protocols put in place. And 2022 saw the return of the full festival.

This year, we are excited to bring another full festival to the streets up uptown Waterloo. Residents and community members are invited to enjoy this free festival and think about our community’s public spaces and how they transform our shared experiences.

In addition to a lineup of high-caliber artists, Lumen has also featured collaborations and partnerships between the City of Waterloo and cultural organizations such as Button Factory Arts, Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery, Waterloo Public Library, Mary Allen Studio Tour, Centre for International Governance Innovation, Kazoo!Fest, THEMUSEUM, City of Waterloo Museum, Department of Fine Arts, University of Waterloo, Institute for Quantum Computing, University of Waterloo, LAUNCH Waterloo, Canada Learning Code.

A metal sculpture in the shape of an anglerfish light up at night