Lights of Hope’s new interactive art piece needs you to keep it glowing

Dec 5 2019, 3:22 pm

There’s no time like the holidays to give back to your community, and St. Paul’s Foundation is looking for Vancouverites to help keep hope alive this festive season.

St. Paul’s Hospital has just unveiled a new interactive art piece called the Living Light at their annual Lights of Hope display. The three-foot star shines brightly when you tap your contactless credit card to donate, and it fades when it goes too long without support.

The Lights of Hope fundraising campaign is a 22-year-old tradition that supports the patients of St. Paul’s and the residents of Providence Health Care’s seniors’ homes. This year, thanks to the Living Light, anyone can light a star for as little as $2.

This translates directly into things that make patients’ lives better, such as pins that list the languages hospital volunteers speak ($2), feminine hygiene products for a Foundry youth ($5), or funding for one hour of peer support ($20), among many others.

Installed front and center of the display, the Living Light star is built with a dimmer that slowly waxes and wanes, as though the light is breathing. A kiosk installed below the star is fitted with a plaque that asks visitors to choose a donation amount, tap a contactless credit card to donate, and “Help Keep Hope Alive.” The star glows brightly every time a donation is made before gradually dimming again if it goes too long without a tap.

Visitors to the highly Instagrammable event can also take in over 100,000 twinkling lights and more than 200 shining stars — free of charge.

“When visitors come over the holidays, Lights of Hope is a must-visit! Rain, or shine, or snow, I love it,” says Stanley Wong, a former employee and 40-year supporter of St. Paul’s. “Lights of Hope inspires our family, because it’s so important. The money you give supports many different programs. It gives the doctors the tools and equipment they need to save lives. And it helps the hospital meet its greatest needs.”

This is the first year that donations will also aid in the construction of the new St. Paul’s hospital at the Jim Pattison Medical Centre. The new St. Paul’s will continue to be the provincial referral centre for heart and lung care, renal, eating disorders, and specialty surgeries and transplants.

The campus design will support collaboration between researchers, clinicians, and industry experts to provide British Columbians with unprecedented access to the latest medical breakthroughs. The Foundation is already 99% of the way toward their $3.2 million fundraising goal for this year’s Lights of Hope — which just goes to show what’s possible when Vancouver comes together.

“The Living Light is a really perfect reminder of how important every donor and every donation is to our patients and residents,” says Dick Vollet, president and CEO, St. Paul’s Foundation. “And it’s a perfect reminder that community can banish isolation, light can banish darkness, and hope can banish fear.”

Take your loved ones on a holiday adventure to the Lights of Hope at 1081 Burrard Street until January 6, 2020, and donate to the Living Light. More information on St. Paul’s Foundation and Lights of Hope can be found on their website.