Similar to Deep Freeze, IllumiNITE is another grassroots, community-led festival that celebrates winter (in this case, its darkness), and provides a great opportunity for people to engage with art outdoors.
Last weekend, the festival took over the pocket park on 104 Street, lining the paths with fourteen different light sculptures.
Like last year, it was wonderful to see the creativity and imagination from the different artists. The life-sized Street Brite by Chris van der Hoek and Bobby Harris was a fun example of interactive art – kids and adults alike were having a blast playing with the display.
I also appreciated the installations that took the park itself into consideration, whether that meant a projection and enhancement of a pine tree, or the use of trees as a structural element.
Untitled by Laurissa Kalinowsky and team
Lighting was used in different ways too – I loved the eye-catching Morse code display, as well as the ethereal piece strung up on the hill.
Though we didn’t partake, bannock making was in full swing as well! Fires and food are always a good cold weather combination.
A pop-up shop was also set up in former 29 Armstrong space, and after the fact, we heard that there was an ice bar outside of Cask & Barrel. It wasn’t evident on the street that there was anything south of Jasper Avenue, so a minor improvement for next year would be to include a small map on the program. But otherwise, another fantastic event by the organizing committee – bravo on a second successful year!