The Power of Light on a Cold Winter's Night
We visit an illuminated night walk in Calgary and think how much better winter would be with more colour
If you’ve been outside lately in Alberta, you know the recent cold seemed to have an extra bite. That wind was brisk!
Annalise bundled up on Saturday night with her family and visited a series of light installations at Alexandria Park, in the southwest Calgary community of Currie.
It’s amazing how much brightness, calm and warmth a little bit of colour and light can add to a walk on a chilly winter’s night.
Branded as Light the Night, the installations are sandwiched between large homes in a dark part of Alexandria Park known as The Woodlands.
The free exhibit has been on since January and runs until this Saturday, March 18. (So go visit one night this week if you live in Calgary! All the info you need is on their website.)
There’s even a $10 walking tour on Saturday night that combines an after-hours tour of the Military Museums with a walk through the Light The Night display, along with a warm drink.
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There are seven distinct installations as part of the illuminated night walk, including Story of the Thunder Pipe which uses Blackfoot pictographs on lanterns to teach the story of the Thunder Pipe, and MoondropsXO, which features teardrop shaped lanterns (see above) that create a cool polka-dot effect on the white snow.
Propellard's lanterns (see above) showcase different colours that are reminiscent of the movement of windmills, while the Topaz Path Lanterns (see below) transform a nighttime walk into bursts of dancing colour.
Created by Dylan Toymaker and Adrian Stimson, in addition to simply brightening up what would otherwise be a dark path, some of the exhibits teach those who visit about Blackfoot history and the Currie neighbourhood’s military roots.
While it doesn’t take long to complete, the walk was enjoyable and had us reflecting on the magic that something as simple as light can bring to our long, dark winters.
“Winter is in desperate need of more simple, cheerful things like this!” we thought.
Annalise’s very bundled up one-year-old enjoyed waddling around in the light (and staying up past his bedtime) while her dog enjoyed the change of scenery (and new smells).
At its core, the night walk is a really simple experience. It’s lights in a park in the middle of Calgary.
It was refreshing to see (a few) other Calgarians outside, in the dark, in -15 C weather, taking it all in. The fresh snow made for an effective canvas and the bright colours truly were magical.
It’s amazing what a little light can do to a cold winter’s night.
As the days (slowly but surely) become longer and Sunday’s change of the clocks gives us more evening sunlight, we’ll soon be saying goodbye to another winter. We’re hoping to see more exhibits like this next year — anything that gets people outside in winter!
P.S. Some Parks Canada summer camping reservations opened yesterday, with staggered booking dates depending on location. We’re hoping the new platform for reservations is better than previous years (see below). If you’ve given Parks’ new reservation system a try, please let us know what you think!