Since its initial cancellation in 2008, the Illuminares Lantern Festival—formerly one of the most popular summer events in East Van—has been hard to find: It was back at Trout Lake (its original home) in 2009, then moved to Gastown in 2010 and Canada Place in 2011.
This year, the Lantern Festival returns to Trout Lake, buoyed by a huge swell in community support. Haunting and poetic—and fun, too—the Illuminares Lantern Festival, which includes gorgeous lanterns, the traditional processional around the lake, live music, interactive art installations, and a grand finale (a spectacular 30-person fire show by Radiant Heat) is an event that shouldn’t be missed.
According to The Georgia Straight, who interviewed Public Dreams (the organizers behind both the Illuminares Lantern Festival and the Parade of Lost Souls), the return to Trout Lake has re-invigorated the Festival: more people have volunteered this year and many, many more lanterns (often made by attendees) are expected than the (relatively) poor showing at last year’s Canada Place event.
Also new for 2012: Public Dreams asked artists to propose art installations for the festival. The Georgia Straight describes the art installation standouts:
…[A] piece that invites the public to move light around and create living, breathing shadow play; a choir crafting live soundscapes; a 12-panel medicine wheel; a giant, illuminated pyramid-shaped cloth fort that’s partly for exploring and partly for meditating; and live sculptures involving bicycles hooked up to instruments that the public can pedal to make music.
Workshops for making your own lanterns are happening now: details here.
Illuminares Lantern Festival 2012 Schedule – Saturday, July 21
- 6pm – 9:45pm – Festival start; art installation exhibits, live music
- 9:45pm – Lantern Processional around Trout Lake
- 10:15pm – Grand Finale: 30-person fire show from Radiant Heat
Public Dreams reminds festival-goers to take public transit (there will be no on-site parking at Trout Lake) and bring cash for the food and lantern vendors.