Festival of Lights @ VanDusen
When Louise XIV walked through the Versailles gardens, his staff were on the ready. Turn on the this fountain then that as he strolls by. Give those pipes and pumps a break when the Sun King is out of sight.
But, the intricate gardens of André Le Nôtre were to be enjoyed beyond the light of day. Trees and topiary were illuminated at night with pots of fire, candle chandeliers and fireworks. Giant installations – fiery dragons, stars, mythological figures, glowing suns – would be announced by cannons and set afloat on the canal.
Who knows what Louis would have dreamed up if he had had 2021 garden technology – LED lights, tree speakers, holographic laser projections! XIV’s spirit lingers in the night-lit gardens that gleam today. He would find one fine descendant in the Festival of Lights at VanDusen Gardens.
This 2021 holiday evening garden exhibit features more than one million lights over 15 acres. “Almost overnight, we switch into bulbs that don’t get planted in the ground, but get planted up into trees,” said Garden Superintendent James Warkentin. “The gardeners who work at VanDusen year-round are the main crew that install the light show.”
It is the gardeners and a great crowd of volunteers who take VanDusen from January design to December launch.
VanDusen’s 2021 Festival of Lights is scheduled to run until January 3rd. Capacity is limited and tickets are are only sold in advance. Bring on the lights! And while you are there, make sure to visit the Scottish Shelter, where you can light a candle and donate to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Header Photo: Paul JS
Photo #2: Anton Scherbakov