As Luminara fades, ICA hosts Culture of Light Celebration

As Luminara fades to black due to budget issues, the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria is hosting a culture of light celebration. Take a peek:

Please join us to learn about our recent workshop series on traditions of light from around the world. We will be serving delicious Indian food and chai!

This is an opportunity to see some of the work we’re doing to break down barriers between cultures and find the common theme of light that is central to celebrations around the world.

Co-presented by ICA and the Cook Street Village Activity Centre, and funded by Embrace BC, this series of six workshops was designed to provide a fun and open atmosphere for participants to learn about traditions from around the world. Including visual arts, dance, storytelling, puppetry, music and food, these workshops gave participants an opportunity to have a hands-on experience of a world tradition of light, presented by cultural experts from the Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Indonesian, Thai and Salish communities.

Join us at:
Cook Street Village Activity Centre
380 Cook Street
Wednesday March 23, 4 – 6pm
Talk and slide show 4:30 – 4:45pm

This project was made possible through funding from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia.

Read the full press release (PDF) for more details

It is sad to Luminara go the way of FolkFest, victims of of their own success (my brother put it). I was lucky to work on the 2009 and 2010 Luminara and, although the hours were grueling and long, it was probably amongst the best experiences of my life. Maybe that talk of restoring gaming grants might allow something new to flourish.

Long time, no post

Life has a been a little busy for me recently, but I have been taking just a few photos since then:

Off the Grid Art Crawl

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Hiroshima/Nagasaki Memorial

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Johnson St. Festival

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AIBC Art Deco/Moderne Walking Tour

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Franklin Common Block Party

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and photos from the Luminara studio

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Reimagining the Light: Luminara in the future

Ideas from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA
Ideas from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA

With Luminara 2010 not happening in July, Luminara host organization the Inter-Cultural Association, have organized a series visioning sessions to gather ideas for the future, of which the first was held a few Saturday’s ago. Attended by about twenty people, there was a good mix of volunteers, staff and representatives of various community groups and organizations such a the City of Victoria, the Downtown Victoria Business Association and the James Bay Community Project. Many other organization sent their regrets as they were unable to attend.

Why is the ICA re-imagining Luminara? It simply grew too big, much like the 2008 Illuminares festival in Vancouver or the formerly ICA-run Folk Fest here in Victoria. With the 2009 budget around $160,000 plus five months of time by five staff paid through the federal government’s Job Creation Partnerships program, Luminara was not inexpensive. What prompted the crisis this year was the funding needed either outright disappeared or was pushed back into the fall, making it hard to run a summer festival.

Cube from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA
Cube from board at Luminara visioning. Image Credit: ICA

The idea of the day’s activities was to drill down to the core of what makes Luminara and it quickly became clear that creativity and community pervaded nearly every single suggestion or idea that people came up with. Many organizations were suggested as potential partners, from the municipal governments to local community associations to schools to service clubs, some of whom have already expressed interest in being involved.

As Karin Scarth, the Festival Director noted at the beginning, this is merely the first of many sessions and there were a lot of interested parties who couldn’t be there. You can follow the Luminara 2010 visioning page, the conversation on Facebook or email Karin directly to get on the update list. It should be an exciting few months.

Volunteer this summer

If you are looking for something interesting to do this summer, why not volunteer? There are a lot of places that you can do it, but here are a couple that might strike your fancy:

GVCCs whale. Image Credit John Luton
GVCC's whale. Photo:John Luton

July 1st – Canada Day Picnic on the Gorge Waterway Park with the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition – 10:00am – 4:00pm

The GVCC is looking for people to help at their mobile information booth, otherwise known as “the whale”, probably because it handles something like one. At least 4 volunteers are needed, although the more the merrier.

July 4th – MEC BikeFest in Market Square with the GVCC – 10:00pm – 3:00pm

As with the Canada Day event, they are looking for people to help out at with “the whale”. This is MEC’s first event of its type and is designed to attract the bicycling members of MEC. This is a great opportunity to connect with this potential membership base. At least 4 volunteers are needed, although the more the merrier.

If you are interested in helping out with either of these events, contact Darren Marr at by Saturday the 28th.

Labryinth at 2008 Luminara Photo:Brian Burger
Labryinth at 2008 Luminara Photo:Brian Burger

July 25thLuminara in Beacon Hill Park

The Luminara people are looking for more volunteers to help out with setting up and taking down the lanterns as well as other work. If you can’t volunteer on the 25th, there might be spot still available in the days before. Contact Audrey Deutschmann at or 250.388.4728 ext. 130.

August 2ndSelf-Transcendence Triathlon and Duathlon in Elk Lake Park

They are looking for people to marshall foot and bike races. You need to be there by 7am, so this is one for early birds. Email or call 250.592.6211 for more information.

If these events don’t do it for you, Volunteer Victoria’s Volunteer Database is the clearinghouse for all sorts of interesting volunteer jobs, both this summer and ongoing. Have fun and happy volunteering!