Salish Sea Festival – A Week of Lanterns

Comox Valley Arts is really excited to announce our participation in this new island-wide event! 

Started in Sidney, at ArtSea Community Arts Council, a number of years ago and in response to our current global situation they have reached out to do some larger community-building.

This event will take place August 15-22, 2021 – and will be comprised of both virtual and real world activities.

The Salish Sea Lantern Festival is an annual celebration of art, culture, and light that is spearheaded by ArtSea Community Arts Council. The festival is in its 7th year, and although the public evening gatherings and processions will be postponed until 2022, we are excited to present the Week of Lanterns Festival during one week in August.

We can’t wait to see your amazing lantern-building prowess and displays set up across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.

Remember to light up your lanterns each night!

What’s happening in the Comox Valley:

  • Lantern-making at EarthClub Factory Guesthouse & Bistro on Denman – Thursday Aug 12, 1pm
  • Lantern-making station at “Chalk the Block” – Downtown Courtenay Saturday August 14, 11-3pm.
  • Lantern-making at Lewis Park on the outdoor stage – Monday August 16 [1pm & 530pm]  & Tuesday August 17 [10am] – pre-registration required.
  • Lantern-making at Lewis Park Salish Building – Tuesday August 17 at Noon – pre-registration required.
  • Lantern-making station at Comox Valley Art Gallery “Make Art Wednesday”, August 18, 1-7pm
  • Lantern-making at Cumberland Village Square (Dunsmuir Ave beside the bakery) with Wendi Gilson – August 18, 3-6pm
  • Display your lanterns for your neighbours, take photos and tag us on social media @comoxvalleyarts 
  • Submit your location to the island-wide lantern map (click here)
  • Online lantern making workshop via ArtSea in Sidney (sold out) 
  • Jellyfish Lantern Kits ($10) available while supplies last at Courtenay Museum, Comox Valley Art Gallery, Denman Island Guesthouse & Bistro (Earth Club Factory). 

Want to help?

Connect with us! We’d love your help in co-creating a community celebration of lights and creativity! 

Can you organize your neighbours or your work team or your class? Lead a workshop? Create kits? Hang lanterns? Shout out loud to help us get the word out? 

Let’s work together.

Email [email protected] if you’d like to help!

Follow us on facebook

Stay up to date with our activities and ways you can join in!

Special thanks to:

What do I need to make a lantern? 

There are loads of different styles, and MOST can be made from upcycled or very inexpensive materials. 

  • tissue paper or paper napkins
  • white glue mixed with water (about the consistency of cream)
  • bamboo skewers or bamboo strips (depending how big you want to go!) 
  • balloon(s), paper bags, 2l pop bottles – these are for other styles – no bamboo necessary
  • hot glue gun (for the bamboo frames) 
  • Paint or markers or inks
  • yarn, fabric strips, ribbon, dried plant matter, sparkles
  • led lights (solar or battery powered)
  • dowel, stick, branch, whatever to hang or stand your lantern on
  • IMAGINATION! 

If you tune into our Facebook event page, folks with lantern-making experience and ideas are sharing other inspirations there! 

And check out the videos below for more! 

lantern parades around the world

Upcycle some plastic bottles (super easy for small folk)

Willow/bamboo & tissue lanterns

Official Press Release from @Artsea

A Community Festival of Art, Culture, and Light

ArtSea is excited to present the 2021 Salish Sea Week of Lanterns Festival, an annual celebration of art, culture, and light. Thanks to the ongoing support from the province of BC, Saanich Peninsula municipalities, and our local community partners, the festival is in the 7th year, and although the evening gathering will be postponed until 2022, we are thrilled to invite the community to illuminate their hand-crafted lanterns and put them on display from August 15th-21st

Building on the success and community engagement of the 2020 Week of Lanterns Festival, this year you can expect to enjoy lantern displays across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, supported by our partner arts councils: Salt Spring Arts Council, Arts Council of Ladysmith and District, The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum, Comox Valley Arts Council, and Gabriola Island Arts Council.

How can you participate?  This summer you are invited to get creative and construct a lantern, or ten! If you have limited time or creativity, pick up a jelly-fish lantern kit at local retail locations for $10 (cash only, all materials included). Families and beginners can create together with free online tutorials that show how to create a simple paper-bag or papier-mâché lantern. Those looking for a challenge can signup for an online workshop that will help you create an intricate fish or star lantern ($25, materials included). And, of course, we look forward to seeing the unique and extraordinary lantern designs by local artists and artisans! 

During the Week of August 15th-21st, 2021 light up your lanterns (with battery-operated lights) and put them on display for the community to enjoy! Invite your neighbours to light up your street, or challenge your community to create the best display (there are prizes for the top three displays on the Saanich Peninsula). Submit photos and the location of your displays to be added to the interactive map so that the community can tour the displays (in-person), or enjoy the displays online. Looking for inspiration? Visit the lantern displays created by lantern expert and Artistic Director, Jennifer Witvliet at the Pier Hotel, Garden Court (by Sidney Home Hardware), and throughout the main street in Sidney by the Sea.

To enjoy images and updates, follow ArtSea on social media @ArtSeaCommunityArtsCouncil

Follow Comox Valley Arts @ComoxValleyArts

For more information and for online resources such as the interactive map, online tutorials, and locations to purchase a jellyfish lantern kit, visit artsea.ca.