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)

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

Laura Barnes is to feature some of her artwork at Gallery at Central Plaza next month. (Contributed photo)
New artist showcase coming to White Rock gallery

Laura Barnes work, mixing brights and darks, to be displayed in February

Surrey Community Cat Foundation received funding to assist with medical procedures. (File photo)
SurreyCats receives grant to assist with spay/neuter costs

PetSmart Charities of Canada donates $5,000

White Rock Public Library (File photo)
Surrey, White Rock literacy leaders kick off Family Literacy Week

Literacy events to take place Jan. 24 to 31

Beds are set up at the emergency response centre at the North Surrey Recreation Centre. (Contributed file photo)
26 people test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey emergency shelter

Centre located at North Surrey Recreation Centre

Surrey firefighters respond to a townhouse fire Sunday morning. (Shane MacKichan photos)
Firefighters respond to townhouse fire in Surrey

Fire ‘knocked down quickly’: witness

Terrance Josephson of the Princeton Posse, at left, and Tyson Conroy of the Summerland Steam clash during a Junior B hockey game at the Summerland Arena in the early spring of 2020. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: How much do you know about hockey?

Test your knowledge of Canada’s national winter sport

A woman injects herself with crack cocaine at a supervised consumption site Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Drug users at greater risk of dying as services scale back in second wave of COVID-19

It pins the blame largely on a lack of supports, a corrupted drug supply

Wet’suwet’en supporters and Coastal GasLink opponents continue to protest outside the B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘We’re still in it’: Wet’suwet’en push forward on rights recognition

The 670-km Coastal GasLink pipeline was approved by B.C. and 20 elected First Nations councils on its path

Jennifer Cochrane, a Public Health Nurse with Prairie Mountain Health in Virden, administers the COVID-19 vaccine to Robert Farquhar with Westman Regional Laboratory, during the first day of immunizations at the Brandon COVID-19 vaccination supersite in Brandon, Man., on Monday, January 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Tim Smith - POOL
Top doctor urges Canadians to keep up with COVID measures, even as vaccines roll out

More than 776,606 vaccines have been administered so far

From the left: Midway RCMP Csts. Jonathan Stermscheg and Chris Hansen, Public Servant Leanne Mclaren and Cpl. Phil Peters. Pictured in the front are Mclaren’s dog, Lincoln and Peters’ dog, Angel. Photo courtesy of BC RCMP
B.C. Mounties commended for bringing firewood to elderly woman

Cpl. Phil Peters said he and detachment members acted after the woman’s husband went to hospital

Dr. Jerome Leis and Dr. Lynfa Stroud are pictured at Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto on Thursday, January 21, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
‘It wasn’t called COVID at the time:’ One year since Canada’s first COVID-19 case

The 56-year-old man was admitted to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre

An Uber driver’s vehicle is seen after the company launched service, in Vancouver, Friday, Jan. 24, 2020. Several taxi companies have lost a court bid to run Uber and Lyft off the road in British Columbia. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Taxi companies lose court bid to quash Uber, Lyft approvals in British Columbia

Uber said in a statement that the ruling of the justice is clear and speaks for itself

sd
VIDEO: Mission drag racer scores 1st career win, sets world record, makes history in 2020

Justin Bond, founder and owner of JBS Equipment Mission, has break-out year

Most Read