Skip to content

Shine Bright brings light, entertainment and family fun to New West

“It seems there are lights everywhere."

New West residents are invited to enjoy the glow of holiday lights and lots of festive activities with Shine Bright 2021.

This year’s Shine Bright New West includes light displays, at-home activities, outdoor activities and on-stage productions at various locations throughout the city. Running until Feb. 1, 2022, the event’s concept is to offer the community a variety of opportunities to celebrate and enjoy the winter holiday season.

“By partnering with over 12 community organizations, Shine Bright New West is truly a community event with the goal of offering a wide variety of opportunities so that there is something for everyone,” said Lisa Kemp, the city’s program coordinator of special events. “We encourage the community to try something new, explore their community and to support local businesses this holiday season.”

If you’ve meandered through Queen’s Park, uptown, downtown or other neighbourhoods recently, chances are you’ve noticed the lights adorning trees, structures and buildings.

“It seems there are lights everywhere.  We have built on the success from last year, and Shine Bright New West is back bigger and brighter.  We are excited to be offering a variety of new light displays and a wide array of activities that will span over two full months,” Kemp said. “We will also be including activities that highlight a variety of different cultural celebrations including Christmas, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice and Lunar New Year.”

Some of the lighting featured during this year's event includes Winter wonderland at Westminster Pier Park (to Dec. 31). Capture the Light, a photo-based show highlighting photography that reflects a range of creative expression, runs at Anvil Centre until Jan. 3.

Reasons for the Seasons features three magical, interactive creatures created by artist Nickie Lewis – Lex the Love Monster at Sapperton Plaza, Ulysses the Penguin at the uptown branch of the New Westminster Public Library and Gili the holiday Llama at the Queen’s Park Farm.

An interactive map on the city’s website will guide folks to displays from Queensborough to Sapperton. Residents and businesses are invited to enter their festive light display into the Shine Bright light contest, with community members choosing the winners.

In addition to lights, an assortment of free at-home activities are being offered through Shine Bright, including a colouring contest.

Holiday Hellos, taking place until Dec. 12, gives kids (and other folks, too)  a chance to create non-religious cards, letters and pictures that will be delivered to members of the library’s home library service and other isolated community members. Details can be found at nwpl.ca/kids.

Families can also register to pick up a holiday-themed celebration kit that includes activities they can do at home. People must register to pick up the kits at Centennial Community Centre on Wednesday, Dec. 15 and at Queensborough Community Centre on Thursday, Dec. 16.

In January, families can pick up a free Lunar New Year-themed celebration kit that includes activities and family-oriented crafts. Registration is required to pick up the kits at Centennial Community Centre and Queensborough Community Centre on Jan. 24 and 25.

Other outdoor Shine Bright events include the New West Farmers Market’s second annual Holiday Food and Craft Market at city hall on Dec. 11 and 12 and the Shine Bright Winter Solstice party, featuring music and lights at the Queen’s Park bandshell, on Tuesday, Dec. 21. (registration is required).

Uptown Live Christmas includes lights displays on Sixth Street outside of Westminster Centre and local music performances. Running until Dec. 19, it takes place on Fridays from 5 to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon to 4 p.m.

Shine Bright Downtown, running until Feb. 1, 2022, includes several colourful light installations. The Downtown New Westminster Business Improvement Area is also hosting Shine Bright Downtown Shop Nights on Thursday, Dec. 9, 16 and 23 from 5 to 8 p.m., which will include professional photo booth at the River Market, hot chocolate at The Refill Stop, and Royal City Sound DJs at Found Boutique. Prizes are up for grabs in an Instagram contest.

Although no Christmas tree lighting event is taking place at Hyack Square this year, Shine Bright community Christmas trees are now lit up outside Centennial Community Centre, Century House and Queensborough Community Centre; indoor trees are located at New Westminster City Hall and the main branch of the New Westminster Public Library. 

A variety of on-stage performances are also being presented as part of Shine Bright New West, including Thursday Tunes, which will see local musicians take to the stage at various locations in the city on Dec. 9, 16, 23 and 30 and Jan. 27.

Community members are also invited to take in Will Jams Holiday Concert (Dec. 12 at Anvil Centre), Shine Bright New West Anvil Centre (Dec. 16 to 30), and assorted events at Massey Theatre

For details about all of these and other Shine Bright New West events, and the map of light displays throughout the city, go to www.newwestcity.ca

Follow Theresa McManus on Twitter @TheresaMcManus
Email tmcmanus@newwestrecord.ca