The Gabriola Lanterns of Wonder festival returns this month, with a slightly different twist from last year.
“The lantern festival will be the focus for a community celebration to honour the workers at our grocery store for what they went through during the dark days of the pandemic,” said Carol Fergusson, executive director of the Gabriola Arts Council, in an e-mail.
After the success of the inaugural event that saw more than 100 attendees last summer, GLOW is be one of several local events that will be funded through a $273,000 grant received by the arts council from the Department of Canadian Heritage.
“The [arts council’s] role is to provide community celebrations honouring all the community groups who really stood out during those two dark years, i.e. emergency responders, the clinic and healthcare workers, the children, etc.,” said Fergusson.
With the grant funding, the arts council and community partners have prepared several similarly inclined events in a new project called Gabriola: Together we Triumph that has been extended until March 2023. The project will include such events as a museum exhibit, a commemorative book, food security workshops, heritage skills workshops and a business fair.
Further information on the Triumph project can be found at www.gabriolatriumph.ca.
For GLOW, the lantern festival will again include a series of workshops in the week leading up to the main celebration on Aug. 20.
The workshops this year, which run from Aug. 15-18, will be facilitated by master lantern maker Matt Pearson to design and build paper lanterns for the festival’s parade. The classes will concentrate on shapes that can be made with bamboo and tissues. They will be free, have a maximum of 18 people, and require online registration at www.gabriolatriumph.ca/lantern-workshops prior to attendance.
GLOW will also see an ‘80s-themed dance party with returning local artist DJ Tim G. Also returning this year will be Trevor Gear as a juggler and Erin Mancor as a face painter. Danna Briscoe will introduce flow dancing this year.
The event will be held on Saturday, Aug. 20, from 7-10 p.m. at the Gabriola Commons Reservoir Stage, 675 North Rd., with free admission.