2013 Illuminares Lantern Festival – 25 Light Years (Win an Artist-Made Lantern!)

Lantern in Tree @ Illuminares Festival

WHEN: July 20, 2013 from 6:00pm to 10:30pm

WHERE: Around Trout Lake in John Hendry Park

The Public Dreams Society is pleased to announce the 2013 Illuminares Lantern Festival will take place on Saturday, July 20, at its traditional location around East Vancouver’s Trout Lake. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the iconic community festival, and for this edition of their signature event they are marking that milestone with the theme ’25 Light Years’.

While the human energy of the first Illuminares rippled out through the Trout Lake area communities, the light energy sped upward towards the stars – passing Alpha Centauri after five years, zooming past Sirius, Procyon and Altair, until just this summer reaching the star Vega, twenty-five light years from Earth. This summer, visit the shores of Trout Lake and take a journey back through time with Public Dreams, navigating their history using these stars as your signposts!

Illuminares has been described as an iconic part of the cultural landscape in Vancouver, and earlier this year it was named ‘Best East Vancouver Festival’ in the Vancouver Courier newspaper. Drawing over 20,000 people a year to John Hendry Park, the Lantern Festival is a spectacle for all ages and one of the Don’t-Miss events of Vancouver’s summer. Most importantly, Illuminares started as a community festival and it remains one to this day, relying on public participation to create its special kind of magic.

We’re giving away One Artist-Made Lantern of the winner’s choice! All you have to do is post a comment below and we’ll randomly select a winner at noon on Wednesday, July 10th and notify the winners by email.

Updated Wednesday, July 10th: Congratulations Sebastien! You are the lucky winner of an artist-made lamp of your choosing in honour of the 2013 Illuminares Lantern Festival. Please check your inbox for further details on how to go about claiming your prize. Thank you to everyone who posted a comment!

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116 Responses to 2013 Illuminares Lantern Festival – 25 Light Years (Win an Artist-Made Lantern!)

  1. Holly

    A brilliant event, the highlight of the year in Vancouver.
    I would be thrilled and deeply honoured to win an Artist’s special creation (-:

    • Ron S E

      I have many fond memories going back at least 20 of the 25 years, from my child’s growing up years to my own emptynesthood it has been a wonderful time and 25 Light Years is the perfect name for this year’s event.

    • Faye Hutchison

      Wow! Trout Lake is where I spent my childhood summers 45 years ago, with all 7 of my Brothers and Sisters. We would spend the whole day at the lake, and in the winter it would freeze over and our Teachers from laura Secord school would walk the whole class down to the Lake so everyone could skate. It hasn’t frozen over in many years now but it is still amazing in the winter for snow angels and snowball fights. It is so great to see that it has remained a beautiful community lLake and area for family’s to gather and enjoy.

      • Notdog

        A magical summer evening festival…This is one of my faves!

        All the best (and a big thank you!) to the staff and volunteers who are preparing for the big event.


  2. cari

    oh, wow, I love lanterns and would LOVE to win any of these gorgeous creations. Many thanks for the opportunity!

  3. Christine Camley

    The art that people are able to create in the Illuminares Lantern Festival moves me profoundly. Some of my very best moments in life have come from attending the festival and seeing the amazing creations that people are able to share. I would feel honored to win such a special creation.
    Thanks so much for the chance.

  4. Turtle

    Can’t wait! :)

  5. Kim

    Very cool! Would love to have one :)

  6. I’ve never been! It sure looks gorgeous! :)

  7. Chris

    Wow, almost 20 years in Vancouver and I never knew there’s this event. I’ll come check it out this year! If I survive the wisdom teeth extract in the afternoon :0

  8. Christal Van Wyngaarden

    Beautiful ! Love it !

  9. Renee Jackson

    What a beautiful lantern. I love seeing family events like this in Vancouver. It is why Vancouver is such a wonderful city to live in.

  10. Kristy

    Illuminares is my favourite festival. Magical!

  11. Cristina L

    What a beautiful way to light up a Summers night! I would love one of those lanterns!! :)

  12. Rafika

    Wooooo! This will definitely illuminate my day. Thanks for the event reminder! And yes please to my own artist-made lantern :)

  13. Karen

    Always so lovely!

  14. Marina

    Always wanted to make it to the Lantern Festival in Tofino and never knew that there is one in Vancouver!

  15. Trish

    The best festival in the city!! Gorgeous and beautiful in the evening.

  16. Christine

    What a great community event that gets people to “reach for the stars” together!

  17. Christine

    What a great community event that gets people to “reach for the stars” together!

  18. Kristy

    Always a great community event!

  19. Khya Fellingham

    What a beautiful lantern – caught my eye right away!

  20. Richard W

    Cool! One of the must see festivals in Vancouver!

  21. shells


  22. Kristina

    This is a great event at Trout Lake! I love to go every year to see all of the beautiful lanterns and enjoy the community atmosphere. I would love to win something so special!

  23. falcon

    thats awesome

  24. love that this is in my neighbourhood. can’t wait to attend!

  25. Robin

    Always beautiful.

  26. mary

    I would LOVE to go!

  27. Shayla H

    Wow. So beautiful.

  28. ben

    Illuminares is a beautiful family festival.
    It showcases public art!!
    As always, Thankyou Public Dreams!

  29. Carrie

    I am so happy the Illuminares is back this year at Trout Lake. Definitely a highlight of the summer for me.

  30. Illuminaries is one of my favorite festivals.
    This will be my sons 2nd year, he is 13 months so he will be much more aware of it this year.
    I would love to have a lantern to take with us.
    Thank you for the opportunity!


  31. Angela L

    Will definitely have to check this out. Have loved lanterns since living in Japan.

  32. Celia

    Illuminaries festival, is a great artist run event that truly showcases Vancouver’s talent and community. I am hoping to actually make one this year and participate in the excitement!

  33. Teina

    I’ve lived in Vancouver a few years now, and have missed Illuminaries every year. Going to get off my behind and finally check it out this year!

    Just know that I’m bound to have pretty high expectations after having seen the Tofino lantern festival. Can you guys beat a DJ playing on a tugboat in the middle of the forest, with laser lights cascading across the surrounding trees?
    (Kidding, I’ve seen some other Public Dreams exhibits and you guys are AMAZING).

    I would absolutely love to win an artisan lantern. This season things have been more than a bit rough for me, and I could really use some light and magic to guide the way. :)

  34. Wow that’s a beautiful lantern!

  35. Michelle

    What a great festival. I went for the first time last year, and loved it!

  36. Jason

    I love the lantern festival! I can’t wait to see it again. So many beautiful pieces glowing in the summer night. Vancouver is really lucky to have such a creative community gathering. Inspiration and illumination are virtues we should all be so lucky to share!

  37. Jellica

    This event sounds amazing! Definately not going to miss it! #stoked

    • Jellica


  38. Dana

    What a lovely image, the light of our festival reaching Vega this year. It’s comforting to think of the festivals living on in this way, I treasure them and miss them. While I plan to blow the dust off my own star once again, I hope to make another lantern for old time’s sake, too, this year.

  39. lora

    This would add a nice touch to my backyard. Bbq anyone?

  40. Jessica

    Marking July 20th on my calendar for this event. The beautiful ambiance is something I don’t want to miss! John Hendry Park here we come!

  41. Kim


  42. Praveena

    Would love to go..

  43. Amandine

    My first summer as a Vancouverite and I am soooo looking forward to going to this vent!

  44. Sara

    Illuminated is my favourite Vancouver festival. It’s a magical event. I look forward to it every year. Better get started on my lantern…

  45. Katherine

    So much fun! I have been going every year since I’ve been born. So 25 years! Too bad they didn’t hire me again to perform I was very disappointed. They always change there even coordinator. Apparently this year they have no funds for a fairy harpist. I would have done it for free. Oh well!

  46. Kathleen

    Would love to win one!

  47. One of my favorite things to do with the kids. Such a beautiful event.

  48. Tracy Cliffe

    Would be an honor to win a lantern from one of these talented artists who work so very hard to make such a special event happen each and every year! looking forward to this year especially as it is such a treaessured community event and deserves our participation and respect!

  49. DF

    It would be my first.

    Lanterns have always been a Christmas tradition from my culture; I am excited to see it celebrated being a part of my Canadian culture !!!

  50. Michelle N.

    I have heard about this festival and would love to go with my family. My daughter would especially love it as it would be like the floating laterns in the Disney Rapunzel movie!!

  51. Jill Andersson

    Love this event!

  52. Jordana Kearns

    I first saw your breathtaking lanterns at the Folk Festival about 20 years ago and have been enchanted by them ever since. Thank you for bringing such beauty and light to people’s lives.

  53. Gina

    I live further out in Port Coquitlam, so I often miss out on cool Vancouver events, and I had no idea this festival was a thing! The breathtaking picture you posted immediately caught my eye, and I’m glad it did. I love summer night activities… this will be just the perfect thing to slot in between meteor shower and sky watching trips.
    Thanks for reporting on it!

  54. I’ll be there. It is a great celebration and gathering of the community

  55. monica

    What a great way to celebrate the light that is in each of us in this infinite galaxy of stars.

  56. Jen

    We look forward to this midsummer highlight, and we have taken many out of town friends and family members to Illuminares over the years.

    Always an enchanting evening.

  57. Public Dreams is always the highlight of my Halloween with their Secret Souls Walk – I’ve never been in town for Illuminares. This year is the year!

  58. Pat

    The finest festival of the summer, and it’s so, so nice it’s back at Trout Lake.

  59. Hayley

    I love that this is back at trout lake.

  60. Johanna

    I love bringing visitors from out of town to Illuminairies. It gives them a unique and beautiful experience to remember our city by. The lantern in the photo is absolutely fantastic!

  61. Sébastien

    Hey I just found out this festival! Sorry I’m quite new in Vancouver! I will definiteky check it out! See you there!!!

  62. ruth

    I’m new to Canada and this sounds like a great event. cant wait to visit.

  63. Jennie

    HavE never been to this festival, though I was a regular of the same idea in Victoria for years! Will be out this July for sure!!

  64. Mary

    When I’m not working I’ve been to a few lantern festival on trout lake! I have always loved it. It’s so mystical can’t wait to see this years event…perhaps I’ll be one of the lucky ones to win a lantern :)

  65. katie

    This will be my first Illuminares festival! so excited~

  66. Gary

    Want! :D

  67. Angie

    I have been volunteering at Illuminares for a few years now. This year will be the year where I actually get to take part in the event! And what better way to do that with a lantern ;DD

  68. tart

    This will be my first time going to this event, I’m really looking forward to it!

  69. Laura

    This is my vavourite event of all time! Can’t make it this year since I’m committed to volunteering at the Folk Festival but will be there in spirit!

  70. Caroline

    I’m in in spirit as I’ll be in Bear country that day, but I’m definitely sharing the event on Facebook : inviting family and friends to attend! You should go!

  71. Danielle

    Illuminares = Summer in Vancouver to me. One of my absolute favorite nights of the year.

  72. Lianne

    So much fun! Looking forward to this year’s event!

  73. Priya

    I look forward to going to this festival with my family every year!

  74. justine

    A magical event that I love sharing with my family and friends. My son runs around enchanted with the lanterns and design. One of our top community events of the year!!

  75. Elizabeth Brodie

    The moon is round,
    As round can be..
    Two eyes,
    A nose
    And a mouth
    Has he

  76. KAY

    I love lanturns

  77. Jen

    Can’t wait to check out this amazing event…I love the lanterns, so beautiful!

  78. micky

    Hopefully I can go this year!

  79. Trina

    This has become a family tradition for us. Wouldn’t miss it!

  80. Angelika

    Greetings from the Netherlands!!
    I visited beautiful Vancouver for my vacation last may and stayed 4 days. Would love to travel back right away and come to the lantern festival. Too bad, it wasn’t held during my stay.
    This lantern is so beautiful, love it and would be happy to win one.
    Where can I find more information about the Festival?

  81. Sher

    Illuminares has always been my favourite festival in VanCity. Art, community, culture, spirit, light, laughter, romance, music, playfulness, dancing, drums, magic, ….so many aspects to love. This iconic event will be sadly missed, but left behind are treasured memories and gratitude. Thanks to the Public Dream Society and community participants for so many great years.

  82. Selena Phillips

    I love the lantern Fest!!!! :) I’m so excited to go to this amazing event!!!….& I would be so proud and honored to win a beautiful lantern of my very own!! :)

  83. paula

    Illunimaries is my absolute favorite event in Vancouver.
    To all of you that have never been get off the chair and get there.
    I would love to have the beautiful lantern in my home as a reminder of the magic the festival has brought to friends and family over the years.

  84. At two Public Dreams festivals, I have had many strangers tell me that my works were the most inspiring that they had ever seen. Thank you, Public Dreams, for allowing me opportunities to share my passion for art and to inspire others.

  85. Jennifer Tsang

    This is one festival I’m dying to take my children to. Every year we always miss out because something always happens to change our plans. Hopefully this will be the year we get to go.

  86. JT

    That is one gorgeous lantern!

  87. GJ

    What a beautiful lantern!

  88. Aaron surridge

    The Illuminates Festival is a cherished time each year. It warms the soul and illuminates the imagination.

  89. BX

    Haven’t heard of this before. But it looks awesome!

  90. Ruby

    I can’t wait to go this year! It will be my first time going, but I have heard wonderful things about it.

  91. Anastasia

    So many interesting things happen around!

  92. Dear Inside Vancouver,

    I have been following Illuminares from afar since the turn of the century. Public Dreams has been my north star in establishing lantern parades where I live. My sweet baby darling, the Atlanta BeltLine Lantern Parade, is in its 4th year and was just granted permanency. So, this is the year for me to visit Illuminares! I’ll try not to cry. Of course, I would love an artist’s lantern. But we would have to ship it 2000 miles. I’d be delighted to simply see it in person.

    Count your lucky stars, Vancouver, that you have Public Dreams!

    My Best,
    Chantelle Rytter
    Atlanta, GA

  93. I am traveling from Dublin, Ireland and this is one of my must-see attractions while in Vancouver.

  94. Angela

    Never made it to the Vancouver festival, on the one in Victoria. Maybe next year! The photo with the article is stunning!

  95. Lilly Rose

    It would be amazing if I managed to win the lantern. I most definitely look forward to the festival!

  96. Jonny

    These lamps on a scale of one to fantastic… Are magical! That’s how amazing they are! And you have to admit, that’s pretty awesome….

  97. Yoomin

    I am new to Vancouver so I have never been to this event!
    Will definitely check it out!

  98. Lloyd

    My favorite night of the year is only a few weeks away!!

    I am so looking forward to being there again. It’s a magical evening.

  99. Sandy

    I have never heard of this event and I have lived in Vancouver for over 45 years!! Yipes! I think I need to get out and about more. It sounds wonderful!

    I won’t miss it this year!!

  100. Emma

    Looks awesome, I can’t wait to see all the lanterns in person!

  101. Seni

    Wow! I’ve never been to such event, but for sure I’m going to be there this year. It’s my first visit to Vancouver, so I wish to see & experience as much as possible!

  102. Sandy

    Breathtaking! Would be so grateful.

  103. Andrew W

    Pick Me Pick Me. :) Enchanting Evening to be sure.

  104. Michelle Su

    I would love to win a lantern!!!

  105. Dana

    Looking forward to attending this event for the first time!!

  106. Susy Ong

    This is my first lantern festival. I can’t wait to see it :)

  107. Caroline Lima

    II’ve always wanted to see a festival like this! I’ll be there for sure =)

  108. Liz

    The festival is awesome. Definately, saving the date and bringing the family to this magical event.

  109. wxue

    25 years of public enchantment in our beloved city of Vancouver! Congratulations for all the amazing artistry and community involvement in such a dreamy public event! Vancouver is so fortunate to have such an festival!

  110. Trevor

    I look forward to the event and the chance to win a Lantern.

  111. laurel bower

    I have never been to a lantern festival! I cannot wait to be a part of this! Thank you Vancouver!

  112. blaire Chapman

    I am bringing the family this event! I love Vancouver!