The incredible outdoor light show proves that winter isn’t so bad after all
As winter progresses and the days become shorter, Illumi–A Dazzling World of Lights by Cavalia–which took place in Laval from Nov. 1 to Jan. 5, showcased winter’s beauty with millions of gorgeous lights, all while transporting visitors through different places with sight and sound.
Illumi offers much more than a dazzling, original, and seemingly endless universe of lights. The experience also includes food trucks and numerous small stores to visit, all placed at the main entrance of the course and referred to as the Christmas Market.
Illumi presents eight different worlds, beginning with The Many Colours of the Savanna, followed by Feliz Navidad, Infinite Poles, Santa’s Real Home, Dreaming of the Star, The Merry-Go-Round Square, Magic Lanterns and Frolic on the Boulevard. These different worlds are placed on a course and visitors are free to visit at their own rhythm, though the light show’s website states that it takes 90 minutes to get through them all.
When I attended with my family over the break, we spent over two hours outdoors which allowed us to disconnect from our phones and spend time together and talk. We began in the The Many Colours of the Savanna, which showcased animals composed of different coloured fairy lights; elephants, giraffes, flamingos, zebras and lions were presented beautifully. Trees were also different shades of white, purple and green. The bright adventure was accompanied by african music which seemed to melt the snow away and transport us back to summer.
Moving on to Feliz Navidad, the even brighter coloured world represented the beauty of South America, drawing inspiration from multiple hispanic cultures, from Mexico to Perù. The exhibition celebrated the multiculturalism of South America through its visuals and blend of different types of hispanic music. This world contained llamas, giant piñatas, birds, Indigenous-inspired masks, butterflies, flowers and a multitude of other tropical animals. It was a nice part of the Illumi experience as I was able to feel pride for being part of the latinx community.
Infinite Poles contained many arctic animals such as penguins, polar bears and deer, surrounded by a seemingly-endless legion of stalagmites and igloos of different sizes and colours to explore. Infinite Poles was also accompanied by a very adorable holiday world which exhibited snowmen, gifts and snowflakes among other holiday symbols.
Although Illumi is a light show throughout, a short film titled Dreaming of the Star was presented on a large screen that was solely made up of lightbulbs–four million in total. The multimedia tale told the story of two siblings who went on a quest to find the brightest star in the sky to decorate their christmas tree.
The Merry-Go-Round Square, which had a carousel composed of white cavalia horses, gave visitors a fun place to rest. Magic Lanterns was mainly composed of Asian fauna and references to samurai and geishas, as well as pandas, fish, dragons and cherry blossom trees. Frolic on the Boulevard honoured Hollywood with a bright silhouette of Marilyn Monroe as well as a clapperboard, among other pop culture references, all accompanied by popular film scores.
Though its prices and location aren’t the most accessible, Illumi filled visitors with wonder over the holidays.
Photo by Camila Caridad Rivas