Into The Woods in The Free Press

 Posted Nov 30, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Over 400 people came out last Saturday for the bi-annual Lantern Festival hosted by The Arts Station. - Photo by P. McLachlan

— Image Credit: Photo By P. McLachlan
By Phil McLachlan

Over 400 people came out last Saturday for the bi-annual Lantern Festival hosted by The Arts Station.

A dark snowy night was interrupted by the bright lights of hundreds of lanterns marching down 1st Avenue towards the Fernie Aquatic Centre.

This bi-annual lantern festival, hosted by the Fernie Arts Station, reached an all time record high in attendance numbers, attracting over 500 people to celebrate in a unique art project experiment.

“We started planning in August,” said Erin Teeple, Administrator for the Fernie & District Arts Council/The Arts Station. “We have a really dedicated committee of artists that get together and start conceptualizing the idea.”

The community events that were also hosted by the Arts Station as a build up to this event were all very successful, and the Lantern Festival finished off the project with a bang.

Fernie Hospice was in attendance, selling lanterns as a fundraiser for their organization.

The march traveled from the Arts Station to the Fernie Aquatic Centre, where a forest full of colourfully-lit creatures and mysterious creations stunned those attending.

With a ‘Northern Lights’ theme in the 2014 Lantern Festival and an ‘Into the Woods’ theme for this year, 2018 looks to another exciting and unique themed event which is yet to be announced.

For many years the Arts Station has been working to bring art to the community of Fernie and engage the public in an informative way. Teeple believes that this is extremely important to the well-being of a community.

“Art can be thought provoking, emotionally responsive and create a dialogue within community,” she said. “’Into the Woods’ engaged our community by encouraging public participation in both creating a lantern and showcasing it in the parade and installation site.

“When we invite others to experience art or create their own work; magical things start to happen. New worlds are created like ‘Into the Woods’.”

Into The Woods – Fernie Lantern Festival 2016 In Pictures

Into The Woods was something you needed to experience – these photographs don’t do it justice. It’s was a beautiful night. The snow was falling, the children were excited, the fox was ready for selfies. Amazing. Thanks for coming out!!

It’s Lantern Festival Day!

Into The Woods - Fernie's 4th Lantern Festival

Some things to think about

Get there early! The parade begins just after 6:30 so you should be there early to get or buy your lanterns. It’s best to be at The Arts Station between 6 and 6:30. If you don’t have a lantern, you should still parade with us to the aquatic centre. It’s quite the experience!

Start at The Arts Station! We all parade from The Arts Station to the aquatic centre. If you miss the parade,  just walk on over. You’ll see the glow.

Bring some cash! If you didn’t make a lantern, Elk Valley Hospice will be selling lanterns at The Arts Station for $10 each. There will also be yummy treats to snack on at Fernie Aquatic Centre, a fundraiser for Bright Beginnings, our local not-for-profit preschool. Hot Chocolate is free, thanks to Starbucks!

Lights and Bamboo Rods! If you weren’t able to find any lights for your own lanterns, The Arts Station will have some available, which can be returned at the end of the night. Rods with hooks will be supplied for the big parade. Show up after 6:00 to get all set up.

Entertainment! We will have 2 shows by an amazing woman from Edmonton. She will dazzle and amaze you.

Take Pictures! Don’t forget to take lots of pictures and share your experience with @theartsstation or #fernielanternfestival

Fernie Lantern Festival – We’re Getting There!

We are hard at work getting the Fernie Lantern Festival ready for November, 19th. 18 more days and it’s show time. Not only are the organizers working hard on planning and creating, the kids in Fernie are getting involved in their classrooms! It’s so wonderful to see some many people, of all ages, contributing to the Festival. It’s going to be a night to remember.

Balloon Lanterns Are Simple And Wonderful

One of the more popular lantern building techniques is the balloon, papier-mâché lantern. It’s fairly simple and can be finished in one, maybe two sessions.

You can also get creative with it and mold a face or more complicated structure into it. There are so many possibilities.

Our third community lantern build night is tonight.



Maybe you could give this a try! Just so you can wrap your brain around it, here are the 10 easy steps:

Step 1: blow up a balloon

Step 2: set it, upside down, on an empty yogurt container (for a bit of stability)

Step 3: Get your glue paste, brush and tissue paper. Tissue paper can be pre-ripped or just do it as you work. I, personally, like to pre-rip.

Step 4: Layer your gluey tissue paper on the balloon, but no more than 4 layers or it will start to be too thick to glow. Apply tissue paper to about 3/4 of the way down. You want to leave a hole at the bottom to insert the light and attach your string.

Step 5: Let dry.

Step 6: Pop the balloon.

Step 7: Hole side up, cut the jagged edge away so it’s nice and smooth and clean looking.

Step 8: With a hole punch, pop four holes near the edge and thread your string to create a place to attach your pole. (optional)

Step 9: Attach your pole.

Step 10: Smile with pride.

2nd Lantern Community Build Tonight

Lantern Making Inspiration - Abstract Ideas

We’re doing it! Our first evening, on October 20th, was packed with ideas and energy. Tonight we will be in the theatre at The Arts Station and we will have more room for all these great ideas and energy.

Don’t forget to come in through the back of the building!