Lantern–building workshops will be available throughout August, in preparation for the fifth annual Salish Sea Lantern Festival.
Run by community art group, ArtSea, the free festival lights up Sidney, Aug 24., and includes music from eco-rockers The Wilds, face painting, bubble blowing, a piratical magician and a family-friendly vibe. People come from across the Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria to see the colourful lantern procession, that starts from Sidney Bandshell.
“They are handheld and lit by little tea lights. So people from the community come and watch the parade of lanterns,” says Kirsten Norris, ArtSea’s communications coordinator. “The lanterns are stunning, really beautiful.”
Due to fire concerns, the lanterns will contain electric lights this year but will have all the other traditional elements.
Sencoten immersion singers will start proceedings with a traditional Sencoten prayer, followed with traditional songs sung by youngsters between 8–12 years old. The parade will then begin with lanterns carried by individuals and community groups – along Sidney’s waterfront and pier – their colours illuminated by the lights inside them, bobbing along in procession amid the growing gloom of night.
ArtSea is well known as a community umbrella group that offers artists support, hosts exhibitions and even distributes grants. As part of their role in organizing the festival, they are hosting over 10 workshops where individuals and families can build their own lanterns. Most of the workshops are free, although, as the festival costs $10,000 to stage, some workshops have a small fee.
If you would like to help repair lanterns and build new small-scale lanterns to be carried in the lantern procession, keep the following dates free.
- Thursday, Aug. 1, 2 – 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Aug. 6, 2 – 5 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 8, 2 – 5 p.m.
- Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2 – 5 p.m.
- Thursday, Aug. 15, 2 – 5 p.m.
- Monday, Aug. 19 to Friday, Aug. 23 studio will be open 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Community Workshops will be held outside of the regular open studio hours
- Aug. 17 and 18 – Family Balloon Lantern workshop: Two sessions; morning 10 a.m. to noon, afternoon: 1 to 3 p.m.
- Aug. 19 and 21 – Adult Lantern Making workshop 7 to 9 p.m.
The Aug. 19 and 21 workshops will cost $40 and involve creating intricate, hand-made lanterns that participants can keep. All workshops will be lead by ArtSea artistic director, Jennifer Witvliet.
These events will take place at St. Andrew’s Church and the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park. Exactly which events will be at which location will be announced shortly on ArtSea’s new website. Launched last month, the website includes an artist directory, calls to artists, online application forms and a list of community events happening across Vancouver Island.
“After the festival, lanterns will be on display at the ArtSea Gallery in Tulista Park, September 20 – 26, 2019, for the community to enjoy,” says Norris.
Visit artsea.ca for more details or email Wayne McNiven at email@example.com to register for the Aug. 19 and 21 workshops. All other workshops are drop-in events. If you would like to volunteer, there are just under 50 positions available, all details on the website.