Mobile Concessions – Sept 30

The Festival of Lights will be looking for interested food vendors/concessions for the 30th Annual Ladysmith Festival of Lights on Thursday, November 30th, 2017.

We will entertain proposals from bonafide
concessions that have V.I. Health certificates as well
as appropriate insurance and Food Safe. We have
several spots available.

Deadline: September 30th

Interested vendors and/groups will need to email
proof of insurance, copy of health certificate(s), menu
to be served as well as Food Safe information to
get in touch BEFORE September 30th.

The FOL committee will review all applicants, but
only selected concessions will be contacted. All
applications will be kept on file for future Light Ups.
Selected concessions must agree to abide by the rules
and decisions of the Festival committee.

Spotlight on… Bill Fitzpatrick, Master of Festival of Lights

Born: July 23rd, 1938
Passing: June 20th, 2017

By Lynne Delucia

Bill Fitzpatrick

The idea of a Festival of Lights took root after a Chamber of Commerce meeting held at the Omega Restaurant in 1986. A few diehards remained (Bill Fitzpatrick being one of them) and began to discuss, with disgust, the state of Ladysmith’s downtown decorations for the Christmas season. Those old ratty candy canes just had to go.

Bill quite naturally fell into the leadership role to get the lights twinkling. He had contacts with a number of talented, professional people and his friend Gary Turner stepped into the picture with suggestions on how to illuminate the downtown core with the best visual effect, but at the least cost. Aside from ordering new wreaths for our heritage lamp standards, Bill rallied, cajoled, smiled and used every whim imaginable to encourage the downtown business/building owners to participate.  He wanted each building to use one colour of light ( i.e: building 1: red lights, building 2: green lights, etc.), interspersed with clear twinkle lights.

The theme worked – twinkle lights made our community decorations unique and more importantly ALIVE.

And so it began…

Kick off, year one, 1987, of Festival of Lights was a success, despite a wet blustery night.

Bill  gathered and directed  a crew of volunteers to provide a fun, inexpensive family event on the last Thursday night of November. Free hot chocolate and popcorn, Christmas carols, and the first countdown to turn on the lights, were enjoyed by a few hundred people. Sweet talker Bill even invited a RCMP member, in red serge no less, to assist in the formalities.

Bill had a vision to light up Ladysmith for Christmas. It was a dream but I don’t think any of us, including Bill, who started on this adventure, anticipated the phenomenal growth and attendance by thousands and thousands of visitors. It has been exciting and fun. But it also means year round hard work to maintain the fund raising, explore new ideas, prepare for installations and of course the take down.

And guess what, I most emphatically believe Bill would agree it was all worth it.

Bill Fitzpatrick

Thank you, Bill!

New Board for 2017

At the annual general meeting, held on Thursday, March 16th, the members present elected a new Executive Board so help with direction for Festival’s 30th year.

Duck Paterson
President Duck Paterson
  • Elected as president was Duck Paterson,  who has been a member of Festival for almost 27 years.
  • Alex Cook was elected as Vice-President
  • Linda Edwards as chosen as Secretary
  • Tammy Leslie was re-elected as treasurer… that is one of the hazards of being a volunteer and a Chartered Professional Accountant

Directors elected for the following year are

  • John Lees
  • Robin and Gerda Francis
  • Greg Edwards
  • Deb Drysdale
  • Jean Watt
  • Jim Hall

Take Down – Thanks!

Their investment of time pays off huge for the community each holiday season, attracting thousands to the seaside town to spend money that keeps businesses going. The growth of volunteerism there, is bucking the trend seen in other parts of Canada.

Since moving to Ladysmith seven years ago Robin Francis has become wrapped up in the town’s signature event.

Robin Francis

“I love it. I love it,” says the Ladysmith man. “It just goes you a really good feeling here (patting his chest) being a part of it and it’s such a wonderful town.

This take down day marks the end of the Ladysmith Festival of Lights that brought an estimated 15,000 tourists to the town this past holiday season,

“It’s amazing. It’s magical,” says Ladysmith resident Maggie Mycroft. “There’s every different kind of lights you could possibly imagine.”

“And anybody living here sees what this is doing for the town of Ladysmith,” says Francis.

The economic generator is entirely volunteer run.

Watch the video and read the full story on Chek TV »

Ladysmith BC