Experience the Magic of Illuminares

“Glowing stars hang in darkened trees; a hypnotic drum beat leads a procession of dancing figures holding fiery torches; stilt walkers stalk through thousands of costumed revelers, together animating a world of their own creation…”

-          Illuminares 2011

Sounds like a perfect escape.  And the best part is you don’t have to go to a land far, far away to experience it.  This is happening right outside Canada Place and along the seawall.

This, as you all are probably wondering, is Illuminares.  A festival of lanterns, organized by the non-profit organization Public Dreams, is a means of connecting the community through art, music and performance.  From fire-breathers to local bands, this festival has it all.

Now in its 22nd year, the mantra of this event has always been to create a large-scale celebration and expression of the arts.  So with that in mind, during the 10 days leading to the festival (July 20-30), you can get involved by participating in their Pre-Event Creative Workshops.  These workshops include everything from teaching you how to make a lantern to working with theatrical directors and community choreographers to organize a Flash Mob to present on the night of the event.  Workshops are by donation.  So even if you are completely in the dark about Illuminares, don’t worry because they have got you covered!

Also, if you are looking for a fun volunteering gig, they have plenty of positions available.  Volunteers are needed for everything such as pre-event promotions, set-up, donations, hospitality, and clean up.  For details on all these positions and contact information, visit http://www.vancouvercharity.ca/illuminares-festival-volunteers.  Also, be sure to check them out on Facebook and follow them on Twitter.

The festival itself takes place on Saturday July 30, from 6-10pm outside Canada Place and along the seawall.  So come out and enjoy one of Vancouver’s most magical events and breathe new life into the neighbourhood and community through participation in the arts.

By Jaishree Narsih