Gettin’ Lit at the Calgary Zoo’s Illuminasia Festival
A look at what’s in store for one of Calgary’s brightest events
By Bigoa Machar
From elephants playing and flinging poop at each other to massive servings of ice cream, the Calgary Zoo is about to get another hot commodity this fall.
Illuminasia, which will take place from September 17th to November 1st, is a lantern and garden festival that will showcase art, live performances, food, and other multi-cultural experiences from China, Japan, and India. Over 180 lanterns in the shape of lions, penguins, flamingos, and pandas will be on display at the event.
“ILLUMINASIA will be a spectacular event for the zoo, for our city and for Western Canada,” says Dr. Clément Lanthier, President & CEO, Calgary Zoo. “This unique event will enable us to present a new cultural festival that will draw our local supporters, as well as many tourists visiting Calgary.”
The event, which will run from Thursday to Sunday over the course of seven weeks will be especially special, as is coincides with the 30 year anniversary of the Dorothy Harvie Gardens, which will be decorated accordingly with the event.
The first 10 days of the festival starting on the 17th will be focus on China, with 366 hand crafted lanterns in addition to the garden and cuisine representing Chinese culture. Live performances include the Jin Wo Lion Dance Team and Phoenix Artistic Troupe & Guests.
The next 10 days will be focused on Japanese culture, with the last 10 dedicated to India. This includes live performances from Sparq Productions, a Calgary-based Bollywood group.
“Sparq Productions of Calgary is honored to be presenting the entertainment portion of Experience India, during the Calgary Zoo’s Illuminasia Lantern and Garden Festival” says Tania Malpuria, director of Sparq productions. “Calgary is fortunate to have so many rich and diverse cultures in the city, and multiple opportunities to showcase the beauty of each one. Illuminasia is providing a grand opportunity to participate in the history and traditions of Asian cultures. Designed to appeal to and educate families, this is an event that Sparq’s dancers, nor Calgarians will forget.”
Tickets are still available for the event and can be purchased through the Calgary Zoo website.