Vancouver Winter Solstice Lantern Festival 2011

One festival, five neighbourhoods will celebrate the winter solstice tomorrow evening with the annual lantern festival. Honouring many cultural traditions, the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the longest night of the year with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music and dancing!

East Side
6:00 – 11:00pm

Bring your friends, families and lanterns to celebrate the return of light in your neighbourhood! Come to Britannia at 6:00pm for the ceremonial lighting of the amazing Swedish Fire and warm yourself all night with music from such wonderful groups as Voices Rising (choir), Quatro (beautiful four-part harmony), East Side Enchantment (participatory singing – you can join in!) and Backspin (big bluegrass fun)! And when the procession arrives around 7:15 you can dance wildly in the courtyard to the joyous Eastern european music of Orkestar Slivivica!

You will not want to miss the fantastic Labyrinth of Light glowing all night long with the beauty of 700 pure beeswax candles.

7:00 – 10:00pm

These three lantern processions are led by drummers along the seawall as well as through historic Yaletown to converge in David Lam Park where they are welcomed with a spectacular fire performance by Fire Tribe.

Once again the Roundhouse hosts a stunning array of indoor festivities! Join the Opening Welcome by Master of Solstice Ceremonies Ari Lazer and get introduced to all the performers.

Due to renovations in the Roundhouse gymnasium there will be no Labyrinth there this year.


  • Leg-In-Boot Square
  • Granville Island Triangle Square
  • H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

Starting with a big drum jam in Leg-in-Boot Square, the crowd splits in two with one group heading east to Creekside and the other heading West to Granville Island. Expect fond farewells and just a touch of chaos!

The 3 processions converge on Granville Island and are greeted by the traditional torch-lit Song Of Welcome by The Vancouver Morris Men.

7:30 – 9:30pm

Warm up inside with the jazzy genius of Djangoesque or dance wildly with the unpredictable and energetic Carnival Band. You definitely will not want to miss the beautiful dancing and singing of Indian Time Drum Group featuring two generations of jingle dancers from the Prince family. Enjoy the inventive storytelling of Mind Of A Snail Puppet Co. featuring shadowy puppets and visual delights and be sure to keep your eyes, ears and hearts open for the offerings of roving Mistress of Ceremonies and Ritual Historian Shauna Born as she shares her vast knowledge of solstice tales and traditions – just look for the lady in the top hat!

PERFORMANCE WORKS,1218 Cartwright St.
7:30 – 8:30pm

Community Dance
Heat up solstice with the incredible energy of Jacky Essombe as she leads you in sun-inspired African dance!

8:30 – 9:30pm
Drum Circle
Bring your drum or jump in and borrow one – this huge drum jam hosted by Ron Stelting & Friends will feature some of the city’s wildest rhythm-makers!

Note: Secrets are continually being revealed… please check back for updates.

Strathcona Community Centre

Join a lively lantern procession led by the drums of Russell Shumsky & Friends through the streets of Strathcona for a magical evening at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden and Park.

6:00 – 10:00pm

Celebrate the Chinese winter solstice, dong zhi, which marks the rebirth of the yang qualities of light and energy. This year the Garden comes alive as never before!

Move to the samba rhythms of Drum Syndicate, enjoy a choral performance by The Real Treble Makers and raise your spirits in the Winter Solstice Music Ceilidh featuring Toddish McWong and the Black Bear Rebels & Friends.

Enjoy the beautiful heron and koi lanterns created by artist Joey Mallett, the whimsical tea set lanterns of Carmen Rosen, and the ginko and red maple tree lanterns hand-crafted by Garden volunteers. The floating installation “Heaven and Earth” by artist HyungMin Yoon, inspired by a 6th century BC Taoist saying, poetically rearranges itself with the movement of the breeze.

Add your own dash of colour to the 3rd Annual Community Lantern hosted by the Community Arts Council or join artist Haruko Okana and contribute to the community lantern shrine “The Lightness of Hope”.

View a collection of stunning antique lanterns in the Scholar’s Study while enjoying the Pandora Benevolent Society’s “Replay Your Tea With Me”, which marries the traditional performance art of Chinese Gong Fu Tea ceremony with video processing, enhancing interpersonal connections and expanding the Sacred Space cultivated over the preparation of a cup of tea.

Treat yourself to fresh warm buns baked by Bonchaz right in the Hall Of One Hundred Rivers.


Leg-In-Boot Square

Come celebrate the 18th Annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival and the first year at Creekside!

Starting with a big drum jam in Leg-in-Boot Square, the crowd splits in two as one group heads West to Granville Island and the other heads East to Creekside. Expect fond farewells and just a touch of chaos!

Led by the drums of Lyle Povah the crowd is greeted with an exciting seaside fire performance by M. Pyress Flame & Friends.

7:00 – 10:00pm

Warm up with hot chocolate and get serenaded by the saxophone of Shane Krause as larger than life stilt-walker Lindsey Longlegs welcomes you to the solstice celebration. Be sure to sign up to walk the meditative path of the Labyrinth of Light and be enveloped in the crystal bowl tones of musician Lori Bella (see below for labyrinth details).

Head upstairs and join The Legion of Flying Monkeys Horn Orchestra as they play amazing hand-crafted instruments created from giant plants by Mr. Fire-Man – you can dance and sing along! Be sure to stop into the quieter room down the hall where the Lost And Found Puppet Company tells stories of wintery mystery through the magic of shadow puppets.

LABYRINTH OF LIGHT 6:00pm – 11:00pm

The labyrinth has long been used for meditation, prayer and sites of ritual in various cultures around the world. Created with over 700 pure beeswax candles, the winter solstice labyrinth invites you to warm yourself in a self-guided ceremony intended to help release old attachments and envision new possibilities as the

darkest night of the year births a new season.

DH Vancouver StaffDH Vancouver Staff
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