Highlights from the 2016 event. This year’s Fernie Festival of Lights will take place on November 10 at Station Square. Photos courtesy of The Arts Station

Biennial festival to light up Fernie

Interactive installations created by local artists are set to brighten a biennial celebration of light in Fernie.

Formerly known as the Lantern Festival, the Fernie Festival of Lights will take place at Station Square outside The Arts Station on November 10 from 6 p.m.

For the first time, the event will feature commissioned pieces by local artists, including performance art, after the Fernie and District Arts Council secured a grant from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.

“It’s part of our mandate at the arts council to pay artists for their time,” said Executive Director Louise Ferguson.

“We want to support local artists in their work and we also want those local artists to be able to share their work, so this is one of those opportunities.”

Over the coming days, commissioned artists will lead workshops at The Arts Station, where residents can contribute to installations or make their own creation for the festival parade.

This year’s parade theme is “Fernie and the community”.

“It’s everything that makes Fernie great,” said Ferguson.

“The whole purpose of the festival is to engage the community in arts and culture, and give them an opportunity to participate.

“In the lead up to the festival, we have community workshops, some of those are artist led… and some of them are free builds, so you can just come and be creative if you already have a creative streak.”

On November 10, lantern pick up is at 6 p.m. with the parade to start at 6:30 p.m.

The Festival of Lights will also feature live music and free hot chocolate provided by Starbucks, with the Fernie Legion to serve hot adult beverages. It will finish with fireworks by Big Bang Fireworks.

Participating artists are:

– Elk Valley Hospice. The hospice’s installation “Memory Lane” is a collaborative effort between local Fernie artists, including Kyle Hamilton, Stephanie Rogers, Pat Moore, Laura Nelson and Elk Valley Hospice volunteers. Visit facebook.com/Elkvalleyhospice.

– Latin Vibes’ installation “Noche de Luces” is a performance piece that highlights the importance of the Latin community within Fernie. It is a celebration of cultural diversity and community inclusivity. Visit Facebook.com/Latinvibesfernie.

– Brina Schenk and Michelle Galway from Annex Suspended. Each piece of this installation represents a way we interact with the people we meet in our community. “Fernie Languages” is a representation of how we share, connect and support those in our community. Visit Annexsuspended.com.

– Nicholas Marks. This installation will feature a series of geometric representations of the natural wildlife we encounter here in Fernie, as well as the wildfires that are a part of our everyday lives. Marks hopes to bring awareness to these creatures that we share the Valley with and highlight our responsibility for their habitat and protection.

– Erika and Brock Hornquist of Wild Wolves Design will provide a diverse set of visuals to create a holistic representation of what is Fernie. Visit Facebook.com/wildwolvesdesign.

– Heart and Soul Collective and the Unicorn Squad will wow with a performance piece led by artistic director Alana Minifie-Rybar. Visit Heartandsoulcollective.org.

Upcoming workshops:

November 7 – free Latin dance workshop with Adriana from Latin Vibes from 7-9 p.m. at The Arts Station.

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