Illuminares plans to return to nature
Despite better-than-anticipated attendance figures for the July 30 Illuminares event that took place, for the first time, at Canada Place, the lantern festival will be back in a park next year.
“We have decided that we will not be returning to Canada Place, because as great as it was and as important as it was to be there, we do feel like it would be best returning to a park setting,” said Laura Grieco, managing director of Public Dreams, which produces Illuminares, adding she estimates this year’s event drew more than 15,000. “We were thinking [we would get] 8,000 to 10,000 [at Canada Place], and it was more than we had expected, definitely. But for us the measure of success, in a lot of ways, is not about the numbers.”
Community engagement this year was down, said Grieco: “Before, at Trout Lake, you might have had 80 percent of the excitement of the event actually created by the community themselves. I would say 80 percent of the programming at Illuminares this year was created by us, and 20 percent was maybe brought by the public, if that.”¦We got a lot of people who came with no lantern in hand, saying, ”˜Where’s the lanterns?’ And it’s about what people bring. About them bringing the lantern, about them sharing their expression and their art. We’re not a performance, we’re not about putting on a big show for other people for free.”
Grieco said new settings being considered include Queen Elizabeth Park and Van Dusen Botanical Garden. A return to Trout Lake hasn’t been ruled out, said Grieco, though such an undertaking would involve “a big fundraising push”, she said.