The Secret Lantern Society is hosting the 18th annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival in communities around Vancouver tonight. The public, young and old, is invited to gather on the East Side, in Yaletown, on Granville Island, in Chinatown, and new this year – in South East False Creek.
Each neighbourhood event starts off with a procession then ends up at a community location where there will be dancing, music, and a lantern labyrinth in some.
Procession: 6:00pm to 7:00pm / Solstice House Concerts: 6:00pm to 7:00pm
Start the evening with in-the-house concerts in 3 neighbourhood homes at 2256 Parker, 2253 Parker St, and 2162 Parker Street.
Britannia Community Centre events: 6:00pm to 11:00pm enjoy the lighting of the Swedish Fire, local choirs, storytellers, bluegrass, and orchestral entertainment. There will also be a Labyrinth of Light featuring 700 beeswax candles.
Processions: 6:00pm at Cooper’s Park, Emery Barnes Park, and Vancouver Aquatic Centre. Each are lead by drummers along the sea wall.
Roundhouse Community Centre events: 7:00pm to 10:00pm hosted by the Master of Solstice Ceremonies Ari Lazer. Meet performers, learn about the celestial origins of winter solstice, watch aerial dancers, folk dancers, and more.
Processions: 6:00pm at Leg-in-Boot Square (where there will be a drum jam), Triangle Square, HR MacMillan Space Centre. These three processions will make their way to the False Creek Community Centre where they will have the traditional torch-lit Song Of Welcome by The Vancouver Morris Men.
False Creek Community Centre events: 7:30pm to 9:30pm Entertainment will follow from The Carnival Band, Rhythm Spirit Drummers, storytellers, jingle dancers, and more. Learn about solstice traditions from roving Mistress of Ceremonies Shauna Born (the lady in the top hat). Performance Works events: 7:30pm to 8:30pm African dance with Jacky Essombe. 8:30pm to 9:30pm join the drum circle.
South East False Creek
Procession: 6:00pm from Leg-in-Boot Square but instead of heading to Granville Island, follow the sea wall over to Creekside.
Creekside Community Centre events: 7:00pm to 10:00pm with hot chocolate, saxophone by Shane Krause, stilt-walker Lindsey Longlegs, and a labyrinth of light. More entertainment, hand-crafted instruments and festivities will follow throughout the evening.
Procession: 6:00pm from the Strathcona Community Centre, lead by Russell Shumsky & Friends through the streets of Strathcona.
Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden events: 6:00pm to 10:00pm samba rhythms, jazz, choral performances, a ceilidh featuring Toddish McWong and the Black Bear Rebels & Friends, and more will take place at the World’s Best City Garden. Heron and koi lanterns will dot the garden landscape while a floating installation by HyungMin Yoon will dazzle participants. Make a lantern, contribute to the community lantern, and view a collection of antique lanterns.
Should the weather be completely unbearable, proceed directly to the indoor venues for 7:00pm. All events are free for the public to attend although some events have admission by donation. With your support, events such as these can continue to celebrate the arts in our communities.