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The Winter Solstice Approaches: GLOW 2019 Reflections

The Winter Solstice of 2019 is just around the corner, falling on December 21st, the shortest day of the year marks the expanding of daylight in this cold winter climate and bring to life the many festivals Edmontonians embrace to thrive through the cold. That means we can start to see the glimpse of an end to the blanket of white that encapsulates our city over the winter, before we know it, we will be celebrating the Spring Equinox! The progression of winter marks festivities that celebrate the cyclical nature of the seasons, embracing the climate through art and play is something some Edmonton residents do well and wholeheartedly.

The central neighbourhoods of Edmonton have been alive and thriving with culture since before the buildings that now mark its centrality existed. Community groups like CreArt and Quarters Arts Society, honour and up lift the capacity of these inner city neighbourhoods by generating opportunities for citizen-led and community-driven projects. Projects like GLOW Festival, a Community Arts Lantern Parade of illuminated paper lanterns, carried by crowds of artists and friends who collectively find their way through the community every year to celebrate the spring solstice.

The magic of this event isn’t captured by its name alone, so we've created a video to help capture its cosmic energy. That's right, this year’s theme was outer space and the energy to create lanterns was spread all over the place, from the Nook Cafe, Boyle Street Community Services and the Parkdale Cromdale Community League, where Quarters Arts joined its energetic endeavours with CreArt Society. At the community league we watched residents design and give life to giant birds, spaceships, rockets, alien beings and the stars, with some lanterns going as far in depth as a black hole. These lantern making sessions are meaningful opportunities to connect residents to art making and play opportunities and to connect them with other members of their community.

Perhaps the most out-of-this-world thing about the whole project is how it brings diverse communities together, as well as provide the materials, guidance and support for people to manifest these otherworldly artworks. What better way to celebrate the Spring Solstice than some newly realized potential and a revitalized sense of community. Keep tuned into our blog for future events and recaps, follow us on Instagram @creartedmonton or on Facebook @creart.edmonton but most importantly, get involved in your community! Click the link to see what GLOW is all about, stay tuned to here about Lantern Making Workshops for GLOW Festival, a Community Arts Lantern Parade 2020! Upcoming Lantern Making workshops for the 2020 festival can be found on Facebook under Quarters Arts!

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