The dance of the sun and earth has inspired celebrations of the human spirit, expressed through art and music, throughout the ages. Honoring many cultural traditions, the annual Winter Solstice Lantern Festival illuminates the longest night of the year with lanterns, fire, singing, drumming, music and dancing!

This year December 21st marks not only the winter solstice but a lunar eclipse as well! Come celebrate this rare celestial alignment with a glowing constellation of lanterns shining in five Vancouver neighborhoods. These five little festivals are community-based and reflect the unique nature of each neighbourhood. Intimate and accessible, each invites your participation. Wherever you wind up, we hope you feel connected to your community and to the universal spirit of celebration!

Note: Secrets are continually being revealed … please check back for updates.
This is a free family event. Donations gratefully accepted.

EAST SIDE – Tuesday December 21, 2010
6:00 – 7:00pm
You may want to start the evening with an intimate concert in one of 3 beautiful neighbourhood homes. Each house will feature performers and have lanterns for sale so you can join the lantern procession immediately following the concert.
2256 Parker St. – Lantern making workshop + music with Savoir Faire
2162 Parker St. – Blues music with The Harpoonist and the Axe Murderer
839 Lakewood Dr. – Storytelling with Naomi Steinberg + Maggie Winston
Immediately after these house concerts follow the wild Roma-influenced music of Orkestar Slivovica as they lead you in a wonderful street procession down Parker St. straight to the Britannia courtyard for more music, hot chocolate and the on-going Labyrinth of Light.

6:00 – 10:00pm
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 M’Girl (First Nations vocals), 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.

Walk the meditative path of the Labyrinth of Light and immerse yourself in the sounds of the crystal singing bowls of Christine Paton and the didgeridoo mediation of Breathwood. 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.
Yaletown @ the Roundhouse 6:00pm – 10:00pm
East Side @ Britannia 6:00pm – 2:00am

YALETOWN– Tuesday December 21, 2010
Free music and food at the Gathering Place (609 Helmcken) from 1:00 – 5:00pm, with a procession at 5:30 to Emery Barnes Park.
Cooper’s Park
Emery Barnes Park
Vancouver Aquatic Centre
These three lantern processions are led by the drums of Fana Soro & Friends 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.

7:00 – 10:00pm
Once again the Roundhouse hosts a stunning array of indoor festivities! Join the Opening Welcome by Squamish Nation singer and drummer Cease Wyss and Master of Solstice Ceremonies Ari Lazer. Walk the meditative path of the Labyrinth of Light created by artist Gregory Byrne and be enveloped in the music of crystal bowl toner Lori Bella. Sit beneath the giant Tree of Life in the Secret Lantern Garden, enjoy the music of Voice Over Choir and Roundhouse Seniors’ Choir conducted by DB Boyko, and sing with the Singing Soul Choir.
Participate in creating ritual floor drawings from the South Asian tradition of rangoli with artist Amir Ali Alibhai or enter Skylab and learn about the celestial origins of winter solstice with astronomer Bill Burnyeat. Be transported by the ravishing beauty of Indian classical dance as performed by Shakti Dance. Open yourself to The Harmonies of Heaven and Earth, a space of magic, mystery and wonder created by The Travelling Alchemists’ Outreach Society. Be entranced by the aerial dancers of Kira Schaffer and Alison Payne, or dazzled by the Tiddley Cove Morris Dancers and be inspired by gorgeous lantern creations by artists Nels Holm, Joey Mallett and Glen Andersen.
You’ll be lured into dancing as the Russian gypsy musicians and dancers of Roma Gry take over the stage and you’ll find it impossible to resist the charms of Twisted String as they roam the halls committing their Random Acts of Violins!

GRANVILLE ISLAND – Tuesday December 21, 2010
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. The Carnival Band, the Rhythm Spirit Drummers join forces to lead everyone over to Ron Basford Park where The CinderBellas weave their fiery magic and a giant fire sculpture of the rising sun lights the darkest night.

7:30 – 9:30pm
Warm up inside with the jazzy genius of Don and Kenny Ogilvie & Friends or enjoy traditional English music and dance by The Vancouver Morris Men. You definitely will not want to miss the whimsical magic of Mind Of A Snail Puppet Co. whose visual storytelling combines originally crafted puppets, music, masked characters, recycled stuff and eclectic experimentation. 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!

SOUTHEAST FALSE CREEK – Tuesday December 21, 2010
Leg-In-Boot Square
Come celebrate the 17th 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
Experience a creative cultural mix of live music and djs, fire, stilts and dancing! With astounding celestial visions created by Rim Visuals and Vasho.ca, music to move you by Perception Sound and Heidrogen, traditional First Nations fancy dancers and singers from the Indian Time Drum Group, and stiltwalker Lindsey Longlegs. Warm yourself at the Swedish Fire or step inside to create ephemeral art from organic materials with artist Sharon Kallis. The Legion of Flying Monkeys Horn Orchestra plays amazing hand-crafted instruments created from giant plants by Mr. Fire-Man.

CHINATOWN – Tuesday December 21, 2010
Strathcona Community Centre
Join a lively lantern procession led by the drums of Bodie MacNeill & 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. See enchanting displays of hand-made lanterns by artists Joey Mallett and Carmen Rosen, with hundreds of community-built ginko tree and red maple tree lanterns and a giant Chinese Ting Lantern created by Craig Stewart. View a stunning collection of antique hand-painted lanterns in the Scholar’s Study and add your own dash of creativity to the Community Lantern presented by the Community Arts Council. Move to the samba rhythms of Drum Syndicate, enjoy a choral performance by The Real Treble Makers and have your spirits raised with the Slavic soul of Balkan and Ukrainian sextet Zeellia. Treat yourself to hot tea and fresh warm buns baked right in the Garden by Bonchaz!

DR. SUN YAT-SEN PARK 6:00 – 10:00pm
Stroll the nighttime paths of this beautiful park and be dazzled by hundreds of hand-made lanterns by amazing lantern artists Yoko Tomita, Matt Pearson and Nels Holm and let yourself be enveloped in the environmental jazz of Saul Berson and Paul Blaney.

viasecret lantern