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VIDEO: Out of the Darkness Lantern Procession shines light on salmon

Runaway Moon Theatre holds month of lantern workshops to help Shuswap through winter doldrums
One of two giant salmon lanterns in Runaway Moon Theatre’s Out of the Darkness Lantern Procession by the Shuswap River in Enderby on Feb. 20 were built at Kingfisher Centre and papered at local schools. (Meghan Budd image)

Beautifully bright-coloured and illuminated salmon of all sizes could be seen alongside the Shuswap River during the darkness of Feb. 20.

Salmon lanterns, with an estimated 400 or so accompanying people, were part of the ‘Out of the Darkness’ Lantern Procession in Enderby spawned by Runaway Moon Theatre.

The event was a celebration of the lifecycle of the salmon and, as explained by Runaway Moon, was a new evolution of the Floating Lantern Celebration. Although the floating version often took place in September, it was made impractical by changes in climate.

The celebration on the Sunday of the Family Day weekend was the culmination of a month of free ‘Lighten Up!’ workshops scheduled to help people through the doldrums. Students and other community members gathered in Enderby, Grindrod, Armstrong, Kingfisher Hall and Salmon Arm to create hundreds of lanterns they were able to keep following the procession.

Two giant Kakasu7 (salmon in the Splatsin language) in the performance were built at Kingfisher Centre and papered at local schools.

The celebratory evening included music and a shadow play, as well as costumed predator species such as birds and frogs, plus birdsong and musical highlights, along the River Walk. Little surprises during the evening included roasted potatoes wrapped in tinfoil to warm hands and, later, stomachs.

The project was led by Cathy Stubington, artistic director of Runaway Moon Theatre, guest artist Meghan Budd (openarted) and stage manager Cara Nunn, with Carolyn Uher from the theatre’s partner organization, Kingfisher Interpretive Centre. Long-time Runaway Moon collaborator Murray MacDonald created and led the soundscape.

Runaway Moon expressed appreciation for the Enderby and District Arts Council, the Armstrong Seniors Centre, the Armstrong Spallumcheen Chamber of Commerce, the Salmon Arm Arts Centre, the Kingfisher Community Hall, the Kingfisher Interpretive Centre and the Province of BC “for their support and, in some cases, their hospitality in hosting our workshops.”

Read more: Strange blue visitors make a Splash in Salmon Arm Bay

Read more: Use creativity and colour in North Okanagan, Shuswap to make lantern tribute to salmon
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Martha Wickett

About the Author: Martha Wickett

came to Salmon Arm in May of 2004 to work at the Observer. I was looking for a change from the hustle and bustle of the Lower Mainland, where I had spent more than a decade working in community newspapers.
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