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’.”

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

Into The Woods Community Builds

Fernie Lantern Festival - Community Lantern Builds nights at The Arts Station

If you’re not familiar with Community Builds, let me tell you a bit about them. The Arts Station, the organization in charge of this whole amazing lantern festival and who has formed a lantern festival committee, hosts seven nights when you can come and make your own lantern for free.

At The Arts Station you will find a whole whack of materials and people who are there to help. You can come with an idea in mind, using the Into The Woods theme or not, or we can give you an idea that can help us create the Into The Woods installation.

Come when you can, pick a night or two or all seven! We will be there getting creative and experimenting. It’s all for fun and we hope you enjoy it.

Fernie Lantern Festival From Above

Fernie Lantern Festival - from above - drone photograph

Photograph by Kevin Urbanski, our volunteer photographer, using his drone camera. Although the camera isn’t at its best at night, this is our first and only photograph taken by a drone at any event.

More photos, from land, to come. “Thanks” to everyone that came out to the Fernie Lantern Festival! It was a beautiful and magical night.

Are You Free This Saturday?

volunteers needed

Who would we be…where would we be…what would we be without volunteers?!

If you’re free this Saturday, we will be needing people to help set up the lantern festival (installations and other decor), as well as, people to help during the lantern festival. If you’re able to help, come on by The Arts Station Saturday afternoon before or after 4 and 6 pm. Even if you could come for 15 minutes, that would be great and much appreciated! We have all sorts of jobs, big and small.

Community Builds Began This Week

community build - working in the arts station theatre community build - working in the arts station theatre penguin lantern

Our first two Community Builds have come and gone and, we’d have to say, they were both very successful. Thanks to everyone that has come out so far! The lanterns are looking beautiful! Our next community build is scheduled for Sunday November 16 from 11am-3pm. Come out and make something cool (at The Arts Station – in the theatre).