With the City itself as a dramatic stage, Lights On Stratford winter festival of lights will transform the downtown core with luminous art and interactive light installations. Through the use of light and projections, City Hall and the new Tom Patterson Theatre will be dramatically brought to life. An interactive light exhibition will partner downtown storefronts in a coordinated streetside experience. These exhibits along with the creation of the Shakespearean Garden of a Thousand Lights and the illumination of Tom Patterson Island will bring light and joy to the winter streets of Stratford, Ontario.
Stratford is home to some of the world’s best artists, lighting designers, props builders and creative minds. Lights On Stratford harnesses this precious resource of local talent to craft a truly unique experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
Prepare to be dazzled.
Free to the public and designed to be safely enjoyed with physical distancing, Lights On Stratford will light up this Winter, starting mid-November 2020 and running through mid-February 2021. Come see Stratford in a different light!
- Market Square – Located at the heart of the City and this festival, Market Square will host a gallery of #MadeInStratford outdoor light art installations. The historic City Hall will come alive with projections and unique light features. And for early risers, watch the giant sun rise up City Hall to meet the dawn.
- Shakespearean Gardens – In one of Stratford’s prettiest and most treasured gardens, prepare for an interactive light transformation. Filled with a field of tiny white lights, watch in delight as they follow your movement through the winter garden pathways with colour and sound. As you make your way to the old Dufton Woollen Mill chimney turned bird tower, your presence will be welcomed with a dazzling flash of colour.
- Tom Patterson Theatre – The new Tom Patterson Theatre is an architectural jewel surrounded by an undulating glass and bronze curtain. The light that emanates from within has a story to tell. Projected on the lobby’s interior walls but visible from the grounds and river path will be a lighting experience that honours the Stratford Festival.
- Tom Patterson Island – There’s something special about islands that draw people to them. And with beacons of dramatic light art sculpture, Tom Patterson Island will be sure to attract even more.
- Storefront light displays – Stratford’s historic downtown with its amazing variety of unique shops and restaurants will be all the more remarkable this winter with coordinated light art displays that meander across multiple storefront windows.
- Follow the Snowflake Stars – The Lights On Stratford experience is best enjoyed on foot. Simply follow the lighted snowflake stars on the light posts to discover the different locations throughout the City.
Update on Dec 23:
BAD NEWS: We’re pressing the pause button for the City Hall Projections during the Provincewide shutdown period. Shakespearean Gardens will now be postponed until the shutdown ends. This is NOT the right time to visit Stratford.
GOOD NEWS: As a symbol of hope for our community during this shutdown period, we are keeping the Lights On for the remaining self-guided displays. Tuesdays-Sundays 6pm-9pm including Tom Patterson Island, Tom Patterson Theatre, Market Square Sculptures, Downtown Storefronts & Shareable Moments. All displays will be up for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day!
FANTASTIC NEWS: Lights On Stratford will be extended until the end of February!
Who is it for?
WHEN & WHERE
Date: November 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021
November 19 – Launch of Market Square light sculpture installations | Tuesday to Sunday — 6:00 PM to 09:00 PM
November 26 – Launch of Tom Patterson Theatre light experience | Tuesday to Sunday — 6:00 PM to 09:00 PM
December 1 – Launch of Storefront light displays | Tuesday to Sunday — 6:00 PM to 09:00 PM
December 10 – Tom Patterson Island light installations | Tuesday to Sunday — 6:00 PM to 09:00 PM
December 17 – Launch of City Hall projections (Paused)
January 8 – Launch of Shakespearean Gardens of a Thousand Lights | Tuesday to Sunday — 6:00 PM to 09:00 PM (postponed)
February 14 – Final day! (extended to Feb 28)
Light displays will not be operating on December 24th, 25th or January 1st. City Hall evening projections launches December 17th and is extended to 6 days a week (Tuesday – Sunday from 6:00pm – 9:00pm)
City Hall pre-dawn sunrise projections launches December 18th from Friday – Sunday at 7:00am – 7:30am
Venue & Address
Shakespearean Gardens of a Thousand Lights is not an accessible site (stairs, steps and uneven paths), but the light display is also visible from TJ Dolan Drive and from the far side of Huron Street at the base of Ontario Street.