Saturday, November 21, 2015

A Light in the Darkness

There’s a lot of darkness in the world these days.

But last week, in our little corner of the world, in a small town on a beautiful island in Lake Ontario, we did our part to banish some of that darkness.

Photo by Eve Harvey
We gathered in a park, friends, neighbours and strangers alike. Adults, kids, grandmas and dads showed up carrying lanterns they’d made with their own two hands. Some of them wore costumes; almost all of them wore smiles.

Photo by Danny Sheppard
This was our third annual Firelight Lantern Festival, and it was glorious.

Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Photo by Vanessa Pandos
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Music from The Shuffle Demons helped us dance down Main Street as we made our way to The Crystal Palace.

Photo by Johnny Lam
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Photo by Bay Woodyard
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
There was music and dancing, shadow puppetry and laughter and silliness...

Photo by Marc Keelan-Bishop
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
Photo by Fouad Elgindy
Photo by Ramesh Pooran
...And there were wishes for peace.

Photo by Eve Harvey
Our warmest thanks to all the artists and volunteers who worked so hard to make the festival such a success, and to our sponsors: The Ontario Arts Council, The County of Prince Edward, Gilbert & Lighthall, and The County of Prince Edward Public Library.

But most of all, thanks to each and every one of you who attended the festival and helped us light up the night at a time when we all needed to push back at that darkness.

Keep your creative fires burning bright, and see you next year!


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

So you want to come to the Firelight Lantern Festival...

So you want to come to the 3rd annual Firelight Lantern Festival? Great idea!

Leanne Shea Rhem and Zac Kenny, photo by Emily Mountney-Lessard, The Intelligencer
Here’s everything you need to know:

WHO should come?
Easy answer: You! There is something for everyone. Adults & kiddies alike, all are welcome.

WHAT on earth will we be doing?
  • Parading down Main Street Picton with our lanterns 
  • Seeing fantastic live music from the ShuffleDemons (jazz/funk = awesome)
  • Watching a shadow puppetry show 
  • Dancing to music by DJ Ombudsman
  • Kids activities in the Pink Palace
  • Delectable treats from The Lunchbox
  • And enjoying a veritable feast for the senses!
Photo: Ramesh Pooran

WHEN is this fabulous event?

Saturday November 14, 2015. Gather at Benson Park between 6 & 6:30. In case of bad weather you can go straight to the Crystal Palace at 7 PM.


After meeting at Picton's Benson Park, we’ll be parading to the Crystal Palace, the biggest lantern of them all.

Here’s a handy map:




How much does this cost?
The parade is free; entrance to the Crystal Palace is $5 for adults, $3 for children, or Pay-What-You-Can. You can pre-pay your admission at Benson Park and skip the line-up at the Crystal Palace. Just look for one of our volunteers.

No lantern? No problem!
We'll have lots of lovely lanterns for sale for $10 each.

How do I light up my lantern?
Our volunteers at Benson Park will be handing out LED tealights and sticks to carry your lantern in the parade. No live flame, please!

What should I wear?
Dress warmly, and if you want, wear a costume! Whatever makes you feel good.

Still have questions? Contact Susanne at 613-922-5288

See you there!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

2015 Lantern-Making Workshops

Update: *Our lantern-making workshops for 2015 are now over... Thanks to all 146 of you who came out!*

Make your own lantern at one of our drop-in community workshops. Cost is $10 per lantern or pay-what-you can. All are welcome! Materials & instruction provided.

Sat. Oct 3             Wellington Library, 10 - 3

Tues. Oct 6          Picton Library, 3 - 6

Sat. Oct. 24         Spark Box Studio, 1 – 4.  
                           Create beautiful lanterns by collaging collagraph prints of botanical material         printed on rice paper. 

Wed. Oct. 28      AcousticGrill, Picton, Comix Jam! 7 PM onwards. 
                          For those who like to draw; collaborate on comics-inspired lanterns.

Sun. Nov. 1         BaxterArts Centre, Bloomfield, 12 - 5

Tues. Nov. 3       Milford Town Hall, 5 - 8. *FREE*! Sponsored by Milford Rec. Committee

Wed. Nov. 4       Picton Town Hall – with free meal from Food Not Bombs! 5:30 - 8

Sat. Nov. 7         Athol Recreation Centre, Cherry Valley, 12 - 4.

                           Pay-What-You-Can, sponsored by the Athol Rec. Committee

Sun. Nov. 8         BaxterArts Centre, Bloomfield, 12 - 5

Tues. Nov. 10     Picton Town Hall, 9 – 4 

Sat. Nov. 14       The Firelight Lantern Festival!

  • 6 PM - Gather at Benson Park, Picton. Bring your lanterns! Costumes encouraged! You can pre-pay your admission to Crystal Palace, and get a carrying stick and LED tea light for your lantern (Bad weather? Go straight to Crystal Palace at 7 PM)
  • 6:30 – Community Parade leaves for Crystal Palace
  • 7 PM – Arrive at Crystal Palace. Musical guests: The Shuffle Demons!
  • Admission: $5 adults, $3 children *or* Pay-What-You-Can (cash only, exact change makes you awesome)

We hope you can join us! For more information, or to inquire about hosting your own lantern-making workshop, contact Krista at krista(at), 613.471.1322.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Festival Round-Up

Something extraordinary happened in Picton one cold and windy night last November. Hundreds of people, young and old and in-between, emerged from the darkness to parade through our small town. 

Photo: Emily Mountney-Lessard/The Intelligencer
They proudly held aloft lanterns they'd made with their own hands at one of our workshops over the previous month. Some revelers were draped in twinkling lights; others were dressed like Spider-Man or walking on stilts. 

Photo: Emily Mountney-Lessard/The Intelligencer
Following behind a giant puppet, we paraded down Main Street, smiling at familiar faces and in sheer amazement of each other.

Photo: Phil Norton
We arrived at the Crystal Palace, the architectural jewel of our town; she was lit up and shining bright, like the biggest lantern of them all.

Photo: Ramesh Pooran
Making our way inside, the crowd discovered the building transformed into a magical wonderland; a flock of white birds was frozen mid-flight overhead, a wide-eyed owl hung above the stage; a giant pink tent lit with black lights welcomed kids with colouring and crafts. We admired each others' costumes and lanterns.

Photo: Ramesh Pooran
And then the performances began. Our local rock stars D’Ari Lisle and Mel Larkin took the stage first with their sweet and groovy sounds. We were so proud to showcase such amazing homegrown talent.

Photo - Michael Lindon
Next up was a reprise of our shadow puppetry play inspired by a local legend, The Monster of Lake on the Mountain.

Photo: Marc Keelan-Bishop
Finally, The Lemon Bucket Orkestra took the stage and proceeded to blow everyone away with their sheer awesomeness. They describe themselves as a “Balkan-Klezmer-Gypsy-Party-Punk-Super Band,” and they won the audience over immediately. 

Photo: Michael Lindon
What made their performance so special was they included all of us in it, leading us through energetic folk dances and a having us all sing along.

Photo: Ramesh Pooran
I am not exaggerating when I say this was one of the best nights of my life.

Photo: Emily Mountney-Lessard/The Intelligencer
Thank you to all who helped make our second festival happen; such a spectacular evening is only possible with the hearts and hands of many.

The next Firelight Lantern Festival will take place November 14, 2015. If you want to get involved or keep informed about workshops, you can subscribe to this blog, join our Facebook page, or email me at krista(at)