Sydney Festival director heading to Canada

sydney festival
Olivia Ansell has accepted a new role as artistic director of Toronto’s Luminato Festival.

The woman who has led the Sydney Festival for the last three years will deliver her final event in 2025 before heading to a new role in Toronto.

Olivia Ansell has accepted a new role as artistic director of Toronto’s Luminato Festival beginning in 2025.

“I am honoured to join Luminato and curate for a renowned multi-disciplinary festival at an international scale,” she said.

“Toronto is a remarkable city and I look forward to fostering creative exchange among artists, organizations and communities locally and worldwide to amplify the vibrancy of this city’s identity through cultural storytelling and ambitious public play.”

Sydney Festival CEO Christopher Tooher said the board extended their “heartfelt congratulations” to Ansell in her new role.

“Following the remarkable success of the 2024 Sydney Festival, there’s enthusiastic anticipation for Olivia’s final instalment in January 2025,” he said.

“We eagerly await Olivia’s contributions, as she brings her passion, expertise, and boundless energy to engage with colleagues, artists, and audiences in Canada.”

Ansell replaces former artistic director Naomi Campbell who resigned this year.

“Ansell’s dedication to cultural storytelling, audience engagement and animating place will help deepen Luminato’s impact as a cultural city-building organisation,” said Luminato chief executive Celia Smith.

“She has a natural talent for understanding the pulse of a city and presenting it in an authentic manner.”