Luminara began in 2000, when the City of Victoria asked the Inter-Cultural Association of Greater Victoria (ICA), to produce a community celebration in Victoria.
Luminara has elements of both worldwide celebrations of light and local community connections. It is a celebration of light that has taken root here in Victoria, like other traditions that have come here from around the world, and become part of our local identity.
In 2010, Luminara developed into a community event in three different neighbourhoods, James Bay, Fairfield and North Park. In 2011, we partnered Intrepid Theatre, Saanich Parks and Recreation and the Esquimalt Lantern Festival to continue our community illumination.
We are continuing to change in 2012, as we look for ways to create financially sustainable and community based celebration arts. Check our Luminara page for updates.
If you'd like to find out how you can be involved, be included on our update list or have a comment to contribute, please contact Karin Scarth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-388-4728 ext 129.
Recent Press Releases
March 24, 2011
Intercultural Arts Update
ICA has announced that the Luminara Festival will not be held this year. For news on what will be happening this year, please see our news page.
After 11 years of producing the popular downtown lantern festival, along with 34 years presenting the ten-day multicultural arts festival, FolkFest, ICA is heading in a new and more sustainable direction. The essence of the Luminara tradition - gathering and sharing the light from all parts of the world to illuminate the commonality and diversity among cultures - continues to guide and inspire our approach to creative community celebration.
Over the last five years, ICA has seen huge changes in its arts programming, from the end of FolkFest in 2006, to the much reduced version of Luminara in 2010 as a result of profound funding cuts. The vision that guided our new direction for Luminara continues to evolve, with a focus on encouraging and sustaining relationships between diverse community groups and creating a welcoming and vibrant city. We have been meeting with a community arts advisory committee over the last few months to help determine the most beneficial creative direction and set a new course for our arts programming.
As ICA approaches its 40th anniversary this December, we look back to our beginnings as a community cultural festival, FolkFest. The first FolkFest took place in the Crystal Garden in 1971, organized by local ethnic groups in Victoria to promote understanding and tolerance through the sharing of culture. As ICA took on the role of immigrant and refugee service provider in the late seventies, our arts festivals continued to be an important element of our role in the community. FolkFest continued to grow and respond to increased audiences and expectations which ultimately became too much for the organization to sustain.
It has been very difficult for us to let go of our large public festivals. We know that many people in Victoria feel this loss as much as we do, and we hope that the community will help us build new forms of sustainable community celebration. While Luminara 2010 was a step in a new direction, with smaller neighbourhood celebrations and artistic residencies, even the reduced scale of the celebration was financially unsustainable. We are excited about the potential of artist in residence programs and partnership opportunities that are opening up with this change in direction.
At ICA, we see our creative role as a cultural connector, collaborating with and linking diverse professional and community arts groups and individuals in Greater Victoria. We are committed to finding new voices and supporting cultural exchange through workshops, celebrations and community development. Our continuing commitment to Victoria is to encourage community-focused artistic innovation and collaboration among diverse cultures to enrich the international spectrum of artistic expression in Greater Victoria.
Please email us at email@example.com and let us know your thoughts.