Inspiration and Planning
The Winter Arts Festival, held from February 16-19 in Downtown Victoria, served as the catalyst for organizing a communal lantern-making workshop. The festival’s theme of Light and Language deeply resonated with me, inspiring a desire to contribute to the festival’s vision of transforming the city into a space of appreciation and shared light during the darkest month of the year. The workshop coincided with the bi-week of the Chinese New Year celebration and the Spring Lantern Festival, further enriching the event with cultural significance. Additionally, I aimed to extend the reach of lantern-making beyond the previous year’s BC Culture Days activities.

Participants and Community Building
The drop-in workshop saw the participation of both local and out-of-town Winter Arts Festival attendees, as well as new artist friends I made through the festival and my existing artistic connections. There were 10 people at peak time. The workshop served as a platform to bring people together, fostering a sense of community and connection in the neighborhood. Attendees had the opportunity to engage in meaningful conversations while creating lanterns, building relationships, and strengthening ties within the community.

Sustaining Connections
Moving forward, I hope to maintain and strengthen the connections formed during the workshop by utilizing NeighbourSpace as a hub for future events and workshops. This space can continue to serve as a gathering place for creative endeavors, providing opportunities for collaboration, knowledge-sharing, and community engagement.

Highlights of the Project
1. Witnessing a wide range of creativity and skill among the workshop participants, which created an atmosphere of inspiration and learning.
2. Observing how the workshop provided a relaxing and enjoyable experience for attendees, as they bonded over crafting and shared conversations.
3. Encountering unexpected troubleshooting moments during the workshop, which fostered problem-solving skills and encouraged a collaborative spirit among participants.

Through this lantern-making workshop, we were able to contribute to the Winter Arts Festival’s vision while building connections within the community. By continuing to foster these relationships and utilizing NeighbourSpace as a creative hub, we can sustain the impact and create further opportunities for artistic collaboration and community engagement.

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