City of Waterloo announces 2023 Lumen Festival lineup

Posted On Friday September 08, 2023

The City of Waterloo is pleased to announce the line-up for the 2023 Lumen festival. This magical celebration of light, art and technology will take place in various locations in uptown Waterloo on Saturday, September 23 from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. The free festival boasts over 30 installations and performances from 50+ local and international award-winning artists.

“The City is excited to present the work of local and international artists to our community and to visitors of Waterloo,” said Mayor Dorothy McCabe. “We know that magic happens when art and digital media intersect with human curiosity.”

Notable installations include:

  • After the Rain, a giant inflatable by LeuWebb Projects and presented by STEPS Public Art
  • Wavelengths by artist Stephen Orlando featuring the Waterloo Wellington Canoe and Kayak Club which will be hosted on the newly opened Silver Lake shoreline
  • AURA/L, by Static Channel, which allows audiences to play audiovisual instruments with their presence.

Throughout the month of September, attendees are encouraged to check back frequently to the festival website to discover festival offerings and to plan their visit and route: Information will also be posted on Create Waterloo social media channels.

In addition to the one-night offerings, the City is once again presenting several longer installations in Waterloo Public Square and Waterloo Park from Sept 16 to Oct 15. 


Lateral Office et CS Design a production of Quartier des Spectacles Partnership and distributed by QDSinternational

An interactive work that will warm hearts of all ages.

Impulse is an interactive work comprised of seesaws of various sizes, with lighting and sound.  The installation and its streamlined design will delight children and adults as they play with the effects it produces, filling the space with a dance of sounds and lights and bringing joy through the days and nights.Part playground apparatus, part interactive installation, the 15 seesaws transform the space with the sound and light emitted when people play on them. To activate the seesaw, one person sits down on each end. The seesaws, fitted with LED lights and speakers, then produce a series of beautiful sounds. The intensity of the light varies as the board’s angle changes. The closer you get to the work and the more you play on the seesaws, the more you notice subtleties in the installation and details in the sound and light. Impulse is an urban installation that renews itself for each different audience. Each person becomes, while on the seesaws, the player of a novel instrument.

 Location: Waterloo Park, Silver Lake Terrace/Park Inn parking lot 


EKUMEN, a co-production of Quartier des spectacles Partnership and Ekumen, distributed by QDSinternational.

About Loop: A participatory work that will spark the imagination.

Loop is an interactive work that plays short flipbook-style movies inspired by Quebec literature. At the centre of each giant wheel is a music box to provide accompaniment for the hand-drawn animations. The work is inspired by the zoetrope, an optical toy invented in the 19th century. Loop is a hybrid of the music box, zoetrope and railway handcar. Sit down inside the zoetrope, pump the bar, and make the image cylinder turn. The pictures will spring into motion. The images, tinted by a strobe, are reminiscent of the earliest movies. The speed of the whirring pictures, the frequency at which the light flickers and the tempo of the music are all determined by how fast you move the bar. Have fun!

Location: Waterloo Public Square

About 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.

Lumen is delivered by Create Waterloo, the City of Waterloo’s arts and culture unit. The festival is supported by a wide range of partners, collaborators, artists, organizations and volunteers.

Many sponsors also help make this festival happen, including support from our Spotlight sponsor, HIP Developments/Strata.


Media contact:
Shirley Luu
Communications Consultant