Entertainment

Getting a GLOW on

GLOW is Calgary’s first interactive light festival

Amy Cameron poses for a portrait outside of Alameda, Sask. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/SAIT)

Amy Cameron poses for a portrait outside of Alameda, Sask. on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. (Photo by Dawn Gibson/SAIT)

An interactive light festival is about to brighten up the long winter nights, which have only added to the stress caused in these trying times.

GLOW will take place in multiple downtown locations in Calgary between 6:30 p.m. and 11 p.m. nightly from Feb. 17 to Feb. 20.

“We’ve been in darkness for quite a long time,” said Maggie Schofield, the executive director of the Calgary Downtown Association. “The idea of light is extremely appealing.”

This free and self-guided walking tour is also designed to help out downtown businesses and give Calgarians a mini vacation.

“Not everyone will be able to do a trip to Disneyland.”

The festival will contain 12 large art installations created by 21 artists.

All these installations are temporary, weatherproof and involve light in some way. A few are even interactive, activating when touched or moved around.

A small jury was responsible for reviewing the original 30 submissions.

They decided on which installations to create, depending on factors such as cost, size, vibrancy and technical soundness.

The artists involved also had to be credible with a solid body of work.

Schofield said trying to get property owners on board with this festival was a challenge, given how big and intrusive some of these installations could have been.

“If [property owners] haven’t seen one of these [festivals] before, they may not know what this might bring to the community.”

Many of the installations will be located at Olympic Plaza and Harley Hotchkiss Gardens, with the Westin being the official hotel partner for GLOW.

Volunteers have been tasked with directing people to the installations. 

Some of the artists will be curating their pieces, which involves talking to passers-by and demonstrating how their installations work.

Visitors can also meet the artists at the AfterGlow lounge at Contemporary Calgary from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Feb. 17 and Feb. 18.

GLOW will feature skating at Olympic Plaza and several daytime workshops. 

Attendees are advised to dress for the weather and stay visible to traffic.

As this is the festival’s first year, Schofield said the Downtown Association will debrief after it ends to determine whether or not GLOW will be an annual event.

You can follow the Calgary Downtown Association at #iamdowntown or #yycglow, or go to http://www.calgarydowntown.com/glow for more information.

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