Lumière Vancouver returns for its 6th year. This is the festival that sets “the city’s downtown and West End neighbourhoods aglow in spectacular fashion. The annual event that is inspired by light and artistic expression, with over 25 interactive art installations at four different sites: English Bay, Jim Deva Plaza, Lot 19, and šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square (formerly known as the North Plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery)”. (As taken from the press release).
The origins of this one of a kind light show came from the desire to breathe life into November. Between Halloween and Christmas this month sees slower visitor traffic and an increase in cold and rainy weather. So in order to combat this trend and bring life to downtown Vancouver’s prominent areas, Lumière is lighting up the night.
From November 1st to the 3rd you can expect live performers, great music, and interactive displays. But for those who can’t make it out between 6-10pm, you can still take in several of light displays until February of 2020.
The following are some of what you can expect from each site. Each completely different, so I suggest taking the time to visiting each one. But for a more telling view and engaging experience, check out my latest vlog, now up on my YouTube channel: MaggiMei.
We started at English Bay where the art work will remain until February. Here, the light installations are all animal themed, with a goal to bring awareness to the conservation of these endangered species.
“Luna” by MK Illumination is returning for her 5th year. The iconic whale was made specifically for “Lumière” in recognition of the whales in the waters around Vancouver.
Joining her is a heron in its twinkling nest. “Stanley” by MK Illumination is named after Stanley Park, which is home to one of the largest urban great blue heron colonies in North America.
“Davie” by MK Illumination is a 24 foot tall grizzly bear. He pays homage to BC’s wilderness, in hopes of shining a light on the story of BC’s grizzlies.
“Eugenia” by MK Illumination represents the iconic oak tree that has decorated the English Bay skyline for three decades. A colour changing tree, set to the beautiful English Bay backdrop and setting sun. The original currently sits on top of the famous Beach Avenue residency, Eugenia Place.
I especially thought the daddy long legs spider was creative. An eight legged creature that offered warmth and a place to sit with real flames and faux webbing. And this weekend “Ember Art Fire Performances will be putting on one “hot” show at 6, 7, and 8pm.
Next, we took a Vancouver trolley to our second stop. And if and when you visit, so can you. They have transportation services all throughout the weekend from 5-10pm. Free shuttles looping between the 4 locations, running in 15-20 minute intervals.
“Jim Deva Plaza” on Davie Street will have live DJ’s, drag performances, visual art displays, and a beer garden from 3-10pm November 2nd and 3rd.
As for the art installations, “Tetra Velo” by Hfour is a pyramid of lights that flash and strobe. It uses public data to generate and create colour patterns.
“Chromatic Shadows” by Willie Ng consists of 6 lamps facing a white backdrop. Here, your shadow becomes a moving installation. The exhibit mimics the colourful distortions that occurs when a lens fails to focus all colours of light onto the same spot.
“Woven” by Tangible Interaction is a series of arches, interlocking into one. The playful light patterns hop from arch to arch as you walk beneath them.
The “Lumière Block Party” by Public Disco is a licensed 3-day block party at Davie Village. Guests gather under a 80ft tent with smoke machines, disco balls, and strobing lights. Here there is a cash bar and seats to enjoy your beverage at. Or you can take your drink to the dance floor; and be inspired by the live dancer and DJ on the projected stage.
“Visitor” by Tangible Interaction was commission by the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) for digiPlaySpace. Covered in hundreds of responsive LEDs and proximity sensors, you are able to interact with this cloud through a button and a joystick.
Next on our “Lumière” tour was “šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énḵ Square”, at the “Vancouver Art Gallery”. Here, You can show your love for our city, by posing next to the giant “<3 VAN” sign.
“Neon at The Post” is presented by “QuadReal Property Group”. They have a partnership with the Museum of Vancouver to bring back to life some of the classic neon signs that lit up Vancouver in the middle of the last century. These 3 signs are available for viewing at Lumière, before permanently lighting up public spaces at “The Post” (the site of the former Canada Post building downtown).
“Alternity” by Wiz (Roy Tremmell) is a branching tree of lights that speaks to the future. It gets you to consider how everyday decisions determines your path through an infinity of possibilities.
“Segmentium” by Adrian Wilson and Dayna Scodras is a kinetic art installation whose speed and rotating direction are computer-controlled, and responsive to the ambient temperature. It it meant to represent a connection to the outside.
“Steely T” by Hippo Love Creative Art Society is a giant turtle with a shell that strobes lights and shoots flames. Riders are able to hop on and take in all the sights from an elevated perch.
“Orchidelirium” by Alysia Crissman is 3 steel orchids sprouting out from the concrete. You are able to customize the blooms by using the colour wheel touchpads, to change the colours reflected on their petals.
“Daisy” by eatART is the world’s largest solar-powered tricycle, used as the platform for Sam Carter and Emily Cheung to perform opera on. The carriage is the stage with room for a DJ booth.
Special Performances at this site includes the above mentioned opera nightly at 7pm, with rotating DJs at 8:30pm.
Then it was back on to the trolley and down to the last stop: “Lot 19”. Named after the parking lot that is located under this plaza.
Tonight, hula hoop artists and jugglers showcased their craft with LED lit equipment.
“Telefunkin’ Shadow Stage” by Alejandro Samper invites spectators to step behind their giant TV and have their silhouettes projected on the screen on the other side. You are encouraged to get wild and animated with your movements.
“The Beating Heart” by Ron Simmer is a 250lb., half-inch thick reinforced fiberglass polyester resin, anatomically correct heart. It represents the fragility of life, personal connection, and togetherness. You place your hand on a sensor and it will detect your heartbeat, reflecting it, amplify it, and projecting the rhythm of it through LEDs inside the heart sculpture.
“Key to My Heart” by Shadow Puppet Productions is built as two giant antique skeleton keys and a lock. It allows participants to change the lights within the lock, with their touch. You place you hand in the mold. A pulse sensor within detects your heartbeat, and the lighting of the infinity mirror lock will sync and flash to your pulse.
“Lux Memoriae” by Ari Lazer is a collection of large and medium scale geometric lanterns. Each lantern is designed to explore the harmonic form as it arises in nature or through the fundamental principles of space.
Once again majority of these exhibits will only be around for this weekend: November 1-3rd. So be sure to take in the experience and get excited for November and all the beautiful lights to come. For more information and specific performance times, visit their website with the link below.