This lit-up bicycle is part of a massive display of art and light at the Tofino Botanical Gardens this month. (Photo - Andrew Bailey)

Winter Lights shine in Tofino

“The light and art through the gardens exist in this very magical, twinkling, holiday fairyland.”

A celebration of light and art has come alive at the Tofino Botanical Gardens.

This year’s second annual Winter Lights display was unveiled at the Gardens last week with thousands of lights dispersed amongst artwork welcoming locals and visitors to a vibrant evening stroll.

“All of the light and art through the gardens exist in this very magical, twinkling, holiday fairyland,” said Winter Lights coordinator Anne Weeks. “It’s a really nice way to warm up December…It’s such a cosy feeling. It really kind of gets you in that holiday mood. When I saw it all lit up, I got really stoked about it.”

During the Winter Lights celebration, the Garden’s Darwin’s Cafe will be offering up an impressive roster of entertainment, including the Tofino and Ucluelet Adult Choir.

“I’m really excited about the musical guests. We’ve got some really high calibre performers coming in,” Weeks said. “That venue is super-intimate. It’s not a large space in there, so it’s a great chance to see some of these live acts in a cozy, intimate setting.”

She added Wednesdays will be filled with activities for kids, including story time, where local “celebrities” will read holiday classics as well as puppet shows and arts and crafts.

This is Weeks first year as the coordinator of the event and she said she was delighted to get on board after enjoying the celebration as a spectator last year.

“I took my kids a few times last year and we just had such a great time…I’m very honoured to be on board because I think it’s a really special event we’ve got going on in the wintertime,” she said. “It really just kind of takes your breath away when you’re out there and you see all the lights and you’re strolling around.”

The experience is open until Dec. 31 and will wrap up with a family-friendly New Year’s Eve celebration that will include face-painting and balloon art before families head over to Cox Bay where Tofino will ring in 2018 with a fireworks display.

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