Free to the public, Lights On Stratford will light up this winter starting December 15th, 2023 through to January 13th, 2024, Thursdays – Sundays from 5:00pm-10:00pm.
First launched in 2020 during the pandemic, the award-winning Lights On Stratford annual winter festival, brought to you by Destination Stratford, will once again transform Stratford’s heritage downtown core and park system with luminous art and interactive light installations.
The Lights On Stratford 2023/24 theme is EMERGENCE – Emergence is a noun that goes back to the Latin root emergere, meaning “bring to light.” Just as something comes to light or shows up where there was darkness or nothing before, an emergence happens.
Announcing “Dandelion” Light Art Installation in Market Square this Winter!
“Dandelion” was launched to acclaim earlier this year at Vivid Sydney, one of the world’s preeminent light festivals. It is now journeying over 15,000 kms from Australia to Canada for its North American premiere at Lights On Stratford.
“I’m thrilled to be returning for our second year at Lights On Stratford and to introduce ‘Dandelion’ for its North American debut. Originally commissioned for Vivid Sydney with an astounding 3.5 million visitors in front of the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge, our studio, Amigo & Amigo, has been fortunate to see our work travel across North America, Asia, and the Middle East,” said Simone Chua, Director of Amigo & Amigo.
Inspired by the wind-swept petals (pappus) of the dandelion, an international symbol of playfulness, and in some cultures even believed to have medicinal properties, audience members are transported by the interactive Dandelion into the world of the fanciful and hopeful. Every 10 minutes, Dandelion boasts its natural talents to the audience, by spilling out into an eclectic and modern sound and light animation, inspired by wind, and the natural properties of the dandelion. Make a wish, take a deep breath, and come watch Dandelion blow!
Thank you Downtown Stratford BIA for being the Gold Sponsor of Dandelion and Market Square this winter.
Tom Patterson Island will once again be out of this world with the introduction of Lunar Lamp Posts and welcoming back the Solar System.
Space exploration will be a lot closer to home this winter. As one of the most popular light installations ever hosted at Lights On Stratford, we are excited to bring back the sun and planets to Tom Patterson Island, but this time we’re adding the spectacular Lunar Lamp Posts interactive light display, coming all the way from Australia.
With the overhead and bridge lighting added to the mix, these elements will all combine to create SPACE ISLAND. We can’t wait to welcome all travellers on the interstellar journey!
We are proud to announce that our interactive LightWall installation on the west façade of 70 Ontario Street will remain in place throughout the year. It is comprised of a series of 25’ tall LED pixel banners that project out from the heritage building with a stunning display of colour and movement, but also incorporates the ability for people to speak into the flower talk-tube sculpture to impact the light display in real-time. Now open year-round from 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Thank you to co-operators for being the Gold Sponsor for LightWall.
As in previous years, storefronts and locations throughout the City will be lit up with unique light displays and experiences, including HEART at the bandshell and the Perth County Courthouse Tower of Light.
PERTH COUNTY COURTHOUSE TOWER OF LIGHT
NEW! LIGHTS ON STRATFORD SKATE DATES
Whether as a couple, family, with friends, or skating solo, come join the fun at our free public skating sessions under the lights! Bring your ice skates and glide under the lights at William Allman Memorial Arena, located along the Light Trail and widely considered one of the finest old arenas in Canada! Maximum capacity permitted on the ice is 170 people. First come first serve. Dates and times:
- Friday Dec 15 3pm – 5pm (sponsored by Magest)
- Friday Dec 22 3pm – 7pm (sponsored by Magest)
- Saturday Dec 23 3pm – 5pm
- Thursday Dec 28 6:30pm – 8:30pm
- Saturday Dec 30 4pm – 6pm
- Thursday Jan 4 6:30pm – 8:30pm
- Friday Jan 12 3pm – 5pm
- Saturday Jan 13 3pm – 6pm
FREE HOP-ON-HOP-OFF SHUTTLE BUSES
Building on the success of last year’s shuttle bus, we’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering up with Stratford Transit to double the FREE hop-on-hop-off shuttle buses. These accessible (and heated!) shuttle buses are roving light displays that start at 5:00pm from the Downie Street Transit Terminal to main Lights on Stratford locations including Market Square (DANDELION), Tom Patterson Island (SPACE ISLAND), Veterans Drive Bandshell (HEART), Veterans Drive by York Street LIGHTWALL, and return. Shuttle service every 15 minutes between 5:00pm until 9:30pm (last bus leaves the terminal at 9:00pm). NOTE: No bus service on December 24th or 31st.
VISITOR WELCOME CENTRE
Lights On Stratford is brought to you by Destination Stratford, and our visitor welcome centre at 47 Downie St. across from City Hall will be open throughout the lights festival. Pop by to warm up, check out our office light displays, pick up maps, ask our staff any questions and use the accessible washroom.
WELLSPRING CANCER SUPPORT CENTRE
Lights On Stratford is about making our community better, and each year we focus our fundraising efforts on a local charitable organization. This year we are proud to benefit the local Wellspring Cancer Support Centre and help support the incredibly meaningful work being done there for our community.
Festival patrons are encouraged to consider donating at any of the tap-to-pay stations located at each of the main Lights On Stratford locations. The first 200 donations of $10 or more made at the Destination Stratford office will receive a Rhéo Thompson Candies Chocolate Mint Smoothie!
Stratford is home to some of the world’s best artists, lighting designers, props builders and creative minds. Lights On Stratford harnesses this precious resource of local talent, crafting a truly unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
Come see Stratford in a different light!
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