While it took us a few months to finally visit the revamped Southgate Centre, because of the convenient scheduling of Kingsway’s grand reveal, we were able to hop on a bus right after the Holiday Light Up to join the festivities at the mall.
Kingsway all decked out for the holidays
In particular, I was curious about the premiere of their Twilight Spectacular, billed as “Western Canada’s first light show” – over 100,000 LED lights synchronized to seasonal music. At 7pm, a crowd gathered at the main west entrance (next to the food court) and waited for the event to begin. Just above us, on the second level balcony, someone was delivering a speech to VIPs who were given access to a prime viewing location upstairs – it was strange that the mall authorities didn’t think the public who came out for the opening also deserved to be a part of the welcome and introduction.
After a chorus of singers opened the show, the lights dimmed. As rock versions of popular carols blared, a suspended coil-shaped Christmas tree, strings of vertical lights and star-shaped orbs flashed to the music. It’s a novel entertainment installation, but it wasn’t what I expected – perhaps if the show had been spread out over a larger area, or if animated scenes were played out somehow in lights, it would have been cooler.
The show will begin after dark and run every hour, on the hour, throughout the holiday season, so you can see it for yourself, but I’d say unless you were planning on shopping anyway, it’s not worth special trip.
At 8pm, a fashion show was hosted on a small runway that had been set-up in front of Aritzia. We didn’t have a clear view of the runway, but stayed to watch anyway, primarily to catch a glimpse of Canada’s Next Top Model runner-up Linsay Willier (I saw her back in September at Edmonton Fashion Week).
Besides highlighting fashion available at the mall itself, the show closed with a dozen dresses Kingsway commissioned from local designers on the theme of “luminance” (including one of my favourites – Kelsey McIntyre). The dresses will be available for purchase through a silent auction until November 22, with all proceeds going to WIN House.
Linsay Willier (it was hard to look directly at the runway with the glaringly bright lights positioned the way they were)
The models pose with the designers of their garment
While I think the name of the designer who created the outfit should have proceeded each walk off, all in all, it’s a win-win for both local designers and a local charity – bravo to Kingsway for an innovative promotional tie-in.
Edmontonians – we now have two sparkly new malls to spend our money in. Choose wisely.