Winter light show illuminates Kingston

Experience the magic of winter with Lumina Borealis at Fort Henry.
via Unsplash

Winter can be a gloomy time for most, especially with second semester picking up, but Lumina Borealis is dedicated to reigniting the winter spirit.

Located at the historic Fort Henry, Lumina Borealis is a winter-themed night walk that paints the 19th-century brick walls into an enchanted and magical forest, using decorative lights and sound.  


Let childhood memories guide you through Iceberg Alley! ❄️

A photo posted by Lumina Borealis (@luminaborealis) on Jan 29, 2017 at 11:18am PST

“Find your path into another world, across a frozen landscape: once you unlock the magic of Lumina Borealis, winter will never be the same,” the exhibit boasts.

I went with my housemates last week to experience it for myself. We were picked up by shuttle at City Hall and taken over to Fort Henry. As we got off the bus, we were met with a stunning view of Kingston on the water, and, of course, Queen’s.

In the Welcome Centre, fire pillars and heating stands not only kept us warm, but created a comfortable and homey environment. When it was our ticket time, we entered into the magic.

As we walked along the perimetre of the fort, we encountered beautiful glaciers and ran into a number of woodland creatures. Certain aspects were very interactive, including one section that lit up when we sang into microphones and another where lights reacted to our body-heat, shining brightly as we walked by.


As winter reveals itself, we wish you and your family a magical and wonderful Christmas! #LuminaBorealis

A photo posted by Lumina Borealis (@luminaborealis) on Dec 25, 2016 at 9:31am PST

As we made our way from section to section, beautiful poetry welcomed us to the next part of our journey, words just as beautiful as the sights and sounds around us. The soundscape was equally mystifying, with music that can only be described as soothing classical tunes amidst the forest.

After making our way once around, we were invited into the fort for the grand finale. My friends and I were told that by singing into the microphones and throwing balls at the instruments displayed on screen, we added to the winter spirit. Once the winter spirit meter reached the top, the final show began.

It was suddenly dark and out of nowhere lights, sounds and sensations illuminated the once-pitch black room. It encompassed everything we’d experienced thus far. All of the animals made their final appearance and the event mascot, the moose, gave the final goodbye as snow was blown over the audience.

While the light show projected winter scenes, I had a warm feeling all the way through — a sense of nostalgia in rekindling the love of winter and snow I had when I was young. And despite the fact that I was in an environment built by hand, I felt a real connection back to nature.

I left with an incredible appreciation for the experience of a Canadian winter — despite the unconventional Arctic tundra I was leaving.   

The exhibit is open until February 4. 


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