Plans for the White Rock Festival Lights are to add to existing city tree lighting on the waterfront. Contributed photo

Plans for the White Rock Festival Lights are to add to existing city tree lighting on the waterfront. Contributed photo

Event set to light up White Rock’s Memorial Park

Inaugural Festival of Lights will launch on Dec. 6

The inaugural White Rock Festival of Lights is on track and gathering momentum for a soft launch Dec. 6, and a more formal launch on Dec. 7, with the help of the White Rock BIA and South Surrey & White Rock Chamber of Commerce.

The aim of the event is to ramp up the display of seasonal lighting in the Memorial Park area – including a 30-foot stylized ‘tree’ of lights near the Museum and Archives, lighted living trees purchased by contributing families and businesses, a “meadow” of lanterns created by elementary school children in the grassy area of the park and “seahorse” lighting displays contributed by the BIA.

In combination with city lighting on the pier and on the museum – and contributions of volunteer entertainers at the amphitheatre area of Memorial Park – it’s the hope of organizers that the month-long festival will help provide a focal point for visitors to the waterfront throughout December and early January.

And while the WRFL organizing committee – Gary Gumley, former White Rock mayor Catherine Ferguson and Jas Salh – acknowledge that the plans are not as extravagant as originally conceived, they believe that the first event will provide a good starting point that will build interest and participation in future years, boosting White Rock as a destination during the winter months.

“At some point, we want to become the Leavenworth (Wash.) of Metro Vancouver,” Gumley said. “That’s the vision.”

Helping bolster plans for the first year has been White Rock council’s endorsement of the festival, through its economic development advisory committee and Marine Drive Task Force, as well as a vote for a grant-in-aid of $5,000.

“We’re so pleased to have the mayor and council on side and so glad to have their support,” Ferguson said.

Adding to the momentum is the fact that sales of living trees have already been “brisk,” she said.

With as many as 100 trees available to the festival to position at the waterfront and decorate, Gumley said, sales will continue until all are purchased.

“At the end of the festival, the living trees will be offered to those who purchased them, and if they don’t want them they will be donated to the city,” Gumley said. “Any the city can’t use will be taken back to Chilliwack and replanted.”

Cost to the public is $200 for a family-sponsored tree, $250 for a small business and $1,000 for a corporate sponsorship. Among those who have already purchased a tree are MLAs Stephanie Cadieux and Tracy Redies.

Sources Community Resource Centres, Semiahmoo House Society and the White Rock Rotary Club are participating, Ferguson and Gumley said, and a portion of proceeds from the first year will be going to the ongoing White Rock Rotary and city project to raise funds for new equipment for White Rock Elementary and Peace Arch Elementary’s playgrounds.

DCML Chartered Accountants have also come on board as a presenting sponsor, but organizers said they are still looking for a ‘marquee’ sponsor (at the $10,000 level).

Adding to fundraising efforts for this year, Coast Capital Savings has established an account – 4059017 – for direct donations to the event.

For more information on the event visit the WRFL website at wrfl.ca

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

 

Contributed photo                                 A 30-foot tree lighting design will provide a focal point for the White Rock Festival of Lights.

Contributed photo A 30-foot tree lighting design will provide a focal point for the White Rock Festival of Lights.

Just Posted

Tanvi Pandhi, a Grade 12 student at Fleetwood Park Secondary, took part in the Surrey school district’s survey of students in grades 10 to 12, with a focus on health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo: Lauren Collins)
Surrey students voice concerns about mask wearing, distancing in schools

Surrey school district has been surveying students in grades 10 to 12

Cambridge Elementary School music teacher Darlene Lourenco is “on the mend” after contracting COVID-19. She had a two-week stay at Surrey Memorial Hospital, including in the ICU. (Photo: submitted)
Surrey music teacher at home after two-week hospital stay battling COVID-19

Meantime, Surrey Teachers’ Association sends letter with safety demands to board of education

Keir Macdonald, CEO of Phoenix Drug and Alcohol Recovery Education Society, with the “first of its kind” Adult Residential Substance Use and Supportive Recovery Facility Homelessness Count. It was done around the time of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count (March 3 to 4, 2020) to complement the count. (Photo: Amy Reid)
Surrey homeless, recovery counts show need for long-term solutions

This was the first time recovery, substance use facilities were included in the count

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Hail to the chief – an in-depth interview with Surrey Police Service’s first boss

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski will assume his historic new role on Dec. 14

Fraser Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Newton Elementary School in Surrey, according to an information bulletin Friday, Nov. 27, 2020. (Image: Google Street View)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at second Surrey elementary school

Newton Elementary closed for two weeks, set to reopen Dec. 14

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

Kevin Bieksa during his days playing with the Vancouver Canucks. (Photo: commons.wikimedia.org)
Bieksa to guest on free Canucks Alumni ‘Hot Stove’ on Zoom app

Former NHL player has become a game analyst on Sportsnet

114 Canadians were appointed Nov. 27 to the Order of Canada. (Governor General of Canada photo)
Indigenous actor, author, elder, leaders appointed to Order of Canada

Outstanding achievement, community dedication and service recognized

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
2 Lower Mainland churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Peter Wilson, left, and Micah Rankin, right, formed the Special Prosecutor team that was tasked with reviewing and litigating charges stemming from the Bountiful investigation. Trevor Crawley photo.
End of Bountiful prosecution wraps up decades of legal battles

Constitutional questions had to be settled before a polygamy prosecution could move forward

Alexandre Bissonnette, who pleaded guilty to a mass shooting at a Quebec City mosque, arrives at the courthouse in Quebec City on February 21, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mathieu Belanger - POOL
Court strikes down consecutive life sentences; mosque shooter has prison term cut

The decision was appealed by both the defence and the Crown

Gold medallists in the ice dance, free dance figure skating Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, of Canada, pose during their medals ceremony at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Charlie Riedel
Olympic champions Virtue, Moir and Tewksbury among 114 Order of Canada inductees

Moir and Virtue catapulted to national stardom with their gold-medal performances at the Winter Olympics in 2018

Most Read