For eighteen years, the Dundarave Festival of Lights has made a brave attempt at gathering school choirs, youth bands and adult orchestras to meet the worst winter weather with song. We've been signing in the rain, even when the rain's come at us horizontally from the North Pacific on the teeth of an icey December wind.
This changes now, as the Festival enters its nineteenth year. The weather might still be frightful -- never any guarantees there -- but the Festival now has the funding it needs, thanks to a grant from the Department of Canadian Heritage, to create intimate, temporary performance spaces on Dundarave Beach that will keep our audiences and performers secure and dry against even the worst winter weather. This means that groups that are changing our experience of community, like the North Shore's very own Burstin with Broadway, can find their footing on a dry stage. It means they, along with school bands and choirs, Morris dancers and mariachi bands, folk singers and community orchestras can look to the Festival for funding, new dollars in a tough economy. We are making steady progress in raising the money necessary to end homelessness in our community, but we can now do this beautifully by building our community through West Vancouver's principal celebration of the arts at Christmas. The Festival's grant will allow us to celebrate the diversity, talent and joy of music in our community in ways we've never been able to do before, outdoors in (as the carol has it) the bleak midwinter: Earth may stand like iron, water may be like stone but we can this Christmas let the sunshine in.
The Festival's performance program will take us through four Saturdays leading to Christmas, starting with the Dundarave Christmas Fair at Dundarave Beach on November 27th and culminating with our Christmas Wassail and (legendary) Bonfire Night, December 18th. Stay tuned to www.dundaravefestival.com for the full performance schedule.
The Dundarave Festival Society
We are a circle of friends working in the Dundarave Festival of Lights Society to bring to life the promise of Christmas in our community, a season of life, passion and purpose that leaves no one in the cold. This is community-driven social change, in the true spirit of Christmas and the best spirit of our community.