A new lantern festival will be lighting up Gabriola Island.
On Aug. 20, the Gabriola commons will be illuminated by the Gabriola Arts Council’s inaugural GLOW festival, which stands for ‘Gabriola Lanterns of Wonder.’
“We love our acronyms here,” said Carol Fergusson, GAC executive director.
Fergusson said the idea for a lantern festival came from Sidney’s ArtSea Community Arts Council. For seven years ArtSea has been presenting its Salish Sea Lantern Festival; however, this year’s event has been postponed to 2022 due to COVID-19. Instead, ArtSea encouraged other Vancouver Island arts council to hold their own events as part of the Salish Sea Week of Lanterns from Aug. 15 to 21. GLOW is the GAC’s contribution.
In the week leading up to GLOW, the GAC is offering lantern-making workshops for adults and children. The youth classes teach children how to make pyramid-shaped paper lanterns and how to turn jars into lanterns. The adult classes cover basic geometric shaped paper lanterns and “advanced” large paper lanterns. All lanterns will be lit with electric lights.
The week culminates with a parade and dance at the commons. Fergusson said it will be an “unstructured” event, rather than “one of those things where you’ve got to line up here and register there.”
“This is really more of a free-form experience of people wandering the commons,” she said. “There’s going to be a DJ so this is also an all-ages community dance and the way Gabriolans work is they’ll create their own parade.”
WHAT’S ON … GLOW takes place at the Gabriola Commons, 675 North Rd., on Aug. 20 from 7 to 10 p.m. Free admission. To register for workshops, click here.