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Lumiere’s Illuminating History & Vision

As its 2020, it is no surprised that Lumiere looks a little different this year. Prior to this year, Lumiere was poised to see massive growth and the addition of new sites, more creative art works and an increase in overall production. Although 2020’s event is more subdued, the magic, beauty and feeling of community is still here with us as we gather to enjoy the art, while apart. Read on to discover how Lumiere grew from a spark, to an event that lights up the city.

History + Vision:
Lumiere was born initially out of the need for more excitement, beauty and overall street activity in Vancouver during the rainy months of fall and winter. This vision of the local tourism industry then made its way into the West End Community Planning process via WEBIA’s 2013 West End Decorative Lighting Vision.

The initial vision in 2013 was simply to utilize decorative lighting as a tool to make the commercial streets more attractive in the late fall and winter and marry the lighting to an event, to showcase the lighting art and generate demand for businesses downtown during tourism’s slow season. Lumiere actually wasn’t even named yet!

In 2014, the name Lumiere was born, along with the official Lumiere Society! The vision shifted to supporting local artistic lighting pieces, supported by overall decorative lighting in downtown Vancouver. This shift towards local artistic pieces was heavily inspired by St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation’s iconic Lights of Hope.

2015 was another big year for Lumiere, as Vancouver City Engineering completed our brand new linear lighting project along three blocks of Davie Village. MK Illumination also brought the now infamous light feature – Luna – to English Bay.

By 2016, the vison expanded once again to add an element of ‘community connection’, including creating new fun events, bringing in local musicians and performers, and ensuring local businesses became more involved with Lumeire. This was helped along with the addition of a new site at (then) brand-new Jim Deva Plaza in Davie Village. Our tagline became: ‘Where Light, Art and Community Connect.’, and we think that this year specifically, the tagline is even more timely than ever before.

From 2017 – 2019, Lumiere experienced massive growth, expanding to 4 sites across downtown Vancouver, including at Vancouver At Gallery Plaza, and consistently increasing event production standards year over year. English Bay’s site grew to incorporate 4 large pieces, including the addition of the 27 foot tall ‘Davie’ Bear in 2019. Although 2020 looks different this year, we are pleased to still be able to provide a pared down event that will provide light, joy and a little bit of sparkle to the difficult times we are currently living in. As for 2021, we hope to return to a normal event portfolio and once again light up Vancouver.

Glowing Teamwork:
Over the years dozens of individuals and organizations have been part of the team supporting and shaping this initiative. These include the City of Vancouver, Tourism Vancouver, Vancouver Pride Society, Downtown Vancouver BIA, Yaletown BIA, VHDA, MK Illumination, Vancouver Trolley, EOS Light Media, and so many more. This year we are fortunate to have the support of the following partners:

Global BC
West End BIA
Government of Canada
City of Vancouver – Local Government
Wesgroup Properties
MK Illumination Canada
DLA Piper
Stanley Park Brewing
RAW Design
The World Famous CFOX
Rock 101
Pacific Northern Developments Inc.