British Columbia

Whale installation lights up English Bay for Lumiere Festival

A celestial-looking whale made of 6,000 twinkling bulbs has lit up English Bay just in time for the Lumiere Festival in Vancouver.

Installation made in Slovakia and has 6,000 light bulbs

This whale is one of the many lighting installations coming to the West End for the Lumière Festival in Vancouver. (West End BIA)

A celestial-looking whale made of 6,000 twinkling bulbs has lit up English Bay just in time for the Lumiere Festival in Vancouver

The artwork is one of the many lighting installations coming to the West End for the festival, which runs Dec. 11 and 12.

Stephen Mouttet helped organize the festival and was inspired by a similar festival of lights in France. 

"When I was a child, my grandmother and I used to put little candles in the windows of our apartment building and it was to thank the Virgin Mary ... to protect the city of Lyon," he told CBC.

He hopes that the Lumiere festival will encourage Vancouverites to explore their city at nighttime. 

"Christmas is a special time and when it gets dark so early in Vancouver, people tend to go straight home or to the gym," Mouttet said. "If you bring lights out in the dark months of the winter, there is something to look at and enjoy the twinkly lights in Vancouver."

Whale to be named soon

The whale installation was constructed by hand in Slovakia and then shipped to Vancouver. Mouttet says English Bay was the "perfect location" for the installation, especially since whales are regularly spotted in the area. 

The white powder-coated frame is seven-metres long by 2.5 metres high, and weighs 50 kilos. 

According to the West End BIA, the lighting is environmentally friendly due to its low energy, long-lasting bulbs and it's energy usage is only 177 watts and 36v.

The BIA is running a contest to find a fitting name fo the Lumière whale. The winning entry will be announced on Dec. 15. 


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