Published on June 24, 2022

Illuminate: Enlighten the Night Shines Once Again on August 27th!

A multi-disciplinary art adventure hosted along the paths that circle Kingswood Park, Illuminate: Enlighten the Night holds an extremely rare distinction—it was one of the only events in our City that safely and successfully ran in both 2020 and 2021 in its original outdoor format.  

“I think it means, really, that we're resilient, passionate about art and youth, and youth art,” shares Amplify Advisory Committee Member, Kierra Leung, reflecting on the group’s pandemic programming. “In that haze of COVID, we were all just wanting something to work, something to turn out, while being as safe as possible.” 

Amplify Committee Member Ash Halinda posing in front of the Illuminate 2020 photo booth

Organized by the Amplify Committee and set below the sinking sun of late summer, Illuminate is a showcase of young musicians, visual artists and writers in our community, ranging in age from Grade seven to 21. Featuring a photo exhibit nestled into the trees, chalk art along the trails, musicians performing from the gazebo and rock garden, poets in a pastoral setting and a high energy art battle, Illuminate shines a light on the budding creatives in St. Albert.  

As such, in the darkest days of the pandemic, the Amplify Committee was eager to give young artists something to look forward to, a reason to continue to practice and a chance to grow, in a time where we all seemed to stagnate.    

“I remember we sanitized literally everything that was possible, like the ground at some points,” Leung says with a laugh. “We did our best, we tried our best, and we were successful. And I feel like if we can do that—if we can throw on an event of that size and have nobody get sick and still have fun—we can really do anything. “ 

Now Leung is looking forward to the “magic” her teammates will create in 2022, which will the be 5th edition of the event. While the Amplify program is often fixated on arts development, under the unique circumstances of the past few years, the Committee’s focus has shifted slightly for this particular evening.  

Photos hanging from the trees  Trail at dusk.

“Our goals are just to have fun safely, and to bring back the fun, because we haven't had that, really, for about three years,” says Leung. “Our goal is always is just to have fun and empower our artists.” 

The Committee is extending the event’s hours this year, starting at 5:30 p.m. and running until 10 p.m. Additionally, they are encouraging event-goers to bring lawn chairs, picnic blankets and snacks in order to take in the full line-up of games, activities, music and art they have organized. Extra layers are also encouraged to help enjoy the setting-sun and the twinkly lights that appear post-dusk, which give the event its name.  

Artist creating a piece in the art battle.  Musician playing piano and singing under the gazebo in the park.

Leung has a particular affection of the surprise element of the event. Since it’s hosted along the Red Willow Trails, some attendees stumble upon the music, art and poetry while walking their dog or going for a bike ride.  

“It’s so cool to see our artists and the chalk [art] confuse people,” she explains. “Then confused people ask us, ‘what's this?’ Then explaining it to them, and getting to show off our artists. To be, like, ‘look at them. I'm proud of them.’ 

Last edited: July 12, 2022