According to city staff, the first-ever Surrey International Lantern Festival was originally scheduled to open at the end of September. (Canada Chuansheng Media / Facebook)

Cloverdale lantern festival still closed two months after scheduled ‘grand opening’

Event experiences delays as organizer struggles to meet City of Surrey building, electrical codes

Nearly two months after Cloverdale’s Art of Lights festival was expected to have its grand opening, the gates are still closed.

Billing itself as the first-annual Vancouver International Lantern Festival, the event promised vendors, food trucks, special live performances and “lanterns, like you’ve never seen before.

After an initial delay, the grand opening was scheduled for Oct. 12. It was then delayed to Oct. 31. It has since been closed without a definitive new date for opening. A statement on the festival website simply states “it will take some time.”

Canada Chuansheng Media, the event organizer, has been issuing updates on the struggle to meet city standards since the first delay was announced in late October. At first, they cited heavy rain as the reason for cancellations of their Halloween party. On Oct. 31, they began to post about how they needed to wait for approval on building and electrical permits from the City of Surrey.

On Nov. 21, a statement published to the Canada Chuansheng Media Facebook page said that the construction crew has “made big electrical changes more than three times to meet the city hall’s requirements,” and that every time they believe they have completed the stipulations, more are added.

“But no matter how many times we have to change, we’ll change accordingly to make our event happen for everyone!” it reads.

Meanwhile, city staff say that they have been meeting with festival organizers since early June to try and help them navigate the permit process smoothly.

According to community enhancement manager Yalda Asadian, the organizer had originally planned to open the event on Sept. 28 to run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until Jan. 6, 2019.

In an emailed statement Asadian said, “City staff have been meeting regularly with the organizers since early June to assist with the logistics of the event.”

“Currently, the organizers have not fulfilled all the requirements needed from Buildings and Electrical Division,” she said. “The final approval for the event is contingent on the organizers receiving the appropriate permits from our Planning Department.”

Canada Chuansheng Media did not immediately return a request for comment.

Although the ticket purchasing site for the event states the festival will be open on Friday, Nov. 30, the Reporter was unable to confirm that date with the organizer.

The event has closed down Bill Reid Millennium Park in Cloverdale since September, and the large displays of giant Christmas trees, jack o’lanterns, dinosaurs and a 40-foot temple drew quite a bit of excitement from passerby at first. But for weeks now, local residents who pre-purchased tickets for the event as early as October have been expressing their frustration online.

In a Facebook post, Angela Lord said she has not asked for a refund for her tickets yet, as she tries her best to support events in Cloverdale. “They obviously put a lot of work, energy, time, and resources into this event. I feel bad for them because they are going to have huge losses due to all of these delays,” she wrote.

Other social media commenters weighed the pros and cons of asking for a refund as well. Writer Julia SchellMar said she had purchased tickets and had delayed starting the refund process. “But I think I will soon,” she said. “Whatever permits/approvals they are still needing may take months more. My kids drive past it and ask me when they’re taking it down since it’s ‘broken.’”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleCloverdale Fairgrounds

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Wally Oppal says policing ‘too important’ to be left to the police

Oppal was keynote speaker at a Surrey Board of Trade “Hot Topic Dialogue” breakfast event Wednesday

White Rock man says landlord ‘threatened’ tenants for seeking cash after no heat over Christmas

Porte Realty VP says original notice was harsh and quickly replaced

Surrey man charged with murder in West Kelowna tries to change guilty plea

Following an shocking guilty plea on Feb. 25, Tejwant Danjou applied to retract that plea on Feb. 26

17 medals for Delta athletes at 2020 BC Winter Games

More than 1,000 athletes from across the province competed in Fort St. John Feb. 20-23

Surrey skater speeds his way to four golds, a silver at BC Winter Games

‘I just really enjoy going fast on the ice,’ says Barnett Liu, 14

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Alberta tourist dies after plunge from 70-metre cliff in Stanley Park

The 26-year-old hopped a fence at Prospect Point on fell to a walkway below, police said

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

New Westminster woman’s ‘out of character’ disappearance probed by police

She left without telling anyone, prompting investigation by Major Crimes Unit, police say

EDITORIAL: Fraser Health needs to be transparent to fight coronavirus panic

Fraser Health and other authorities are not helping by being vague in recent communications

Most Read