WAC sheds some light on Whistler 

Children's work illuminated alongside amateur artists at Arts Council exhibit

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People can also swing by Millennium Place and for just $2 purchase their own lantern to take home and decorate. Then, once their project is complete, they can drop it off at Millennium Place for inclusion in the show.

They're also working with Myrtle Philip and Whistler Secondary students on the project and have ordered almost 400 star and sphere-shaped lanterns, 90 of which have already been dropped off to classes at Myrtle Philip.

Visitors to the gallery will be able to vote for their favourite lanterns in the categories of student, public and artist-made, and the top of each category will win a prize from the Arts Council.

"We're just sort of thinking of different ways to make Millennium Place a little bit more of a gathering area," Mueller explained, adding that they're hoping to have a hot cocoa and coffee machine installed by the time the Festival of Lights exhibit is up as well.

The concept is also a creative way of getting into the festive season, using a powerful but unconventional artistic medium - light - to unite a community.

"There are so many different people from so many different places coming to Whistler that time of year, it's just a great way to do something that isn't Santa-based," Mueller said.

She hopes that the Festival of Lights will become an annual event for the community, with hundreds of lanterns and light sculptures illuminating Millennium Place for the month of December.

"I am talking to the RMOW about incorporating it into actually becoming a parade, eventually," she added.

And the exhibit is sustainable, too - when the lanterns come down, WAC plans to save them and reuse them at the annual Children's Art Festival instead of balloons.

People must provide their own light source (a fire-safe light bulb or LED lights), as WAC doesn't have the funding available to provide this for all of the lanterns. But they're also accepting donations of LED lights, so if any businesses are interested in supporting the event they should contact Mueller.

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