A huge balloon person created by Ballooniverse welcomed visitors to Arts Alive’s Salt Lane activities last year.

Art, entertainment, food spice up Salt Lane

A balloon artist, recently reunited with Arts Alive, is bringing new fun to a popular street festival.

When Arts Alive organizer Teri James was casting about for someone to create balloon arches that could mark the entrances to the annual street festival, she landed on Kelly Langner’s doorstep.

That was roughly a decade ago, when James visited Balloonery, a North Vancouver store where Langner was working.

“Because I lived in Langley and commuted to North Van, we took the job,” Langner explained.

“Holy cow – one of the hottest Arts Alives ever. [Teri] gave me a bottle of water so I didn’t pass out,” she said, recounting her first memorable encounter with Arts Alive.

Then, years later, when Langner and Ann Marie Yanko opened up a business called Ballooniverse on Salt Lane in downtown Langley a little more than a year ago, Langner met up with James – again.

“What a small world,” she said, shocked that they both remembered each other and immediately reunited around plans for Arts Alive.

Not surprisingly, Langner has found herself playing a much larger role than ever before in the event – offering to organize all the fun and merriment she could possibly tuck into Salt Lane.

Salt Lane is a small section of road sandwiched between the one-way strip of Fraser Highway and 56th Avenue – and Langner is anxious to draw Arts Alive visitors off the main drag to explore the little businesses and happenings hidden away on Salt Lane.

“We really want people to know what’s down there. We’ve had some different people come and go, but there is a great opportunity to have a little storefront to promote yourself. There are people who have been there for years, a few new ones – us included – and there are a few spots that need filling. It’s a wonderful little community and we all try to help each other there,” Langner said.

With that in mind, for Arts Alive they are organizing a few special features exclusive to Salt Lane, including a pair of 45-minute shows with magician Matthew Johnson (on stage at 11 a.m. and another at 3 p.m.), and performances through the day by a band called West of Memphis.

“For Arts Alive this year, we have an amazing magician, Matthew Johnson – someone I have know for at least 20 years. He was an up-and-coming magician when I first met him working at the Balloonery – and now he has just come full bloom,” Langner elaborated.

“He’s English, he has an amazing dry sense of humour, and he’s been on Penn and Teller’s show in Vegas, where magicians compete for the best show using the props they give them. He is currently learning Houdini’s water tricks and has been training constantly!” she gushed.

“We also have a great band, West of Memphis – Joe and his peeps. He is very involved in entertainment for this area and they like to help out with local venues and bring attention to them. They play cover songs, their own songs, country, pop, just a little bit of everything. I think people will really enjoy them.”

In addition to the featured entertainment on Salt Lane, the decked out roadway – tucked away near the midway point of the street festival – will spotlight the offerings of several of its merchants.

That includes glass blowers, jewellers, and other artists – naturally balloons – a few food venues, collectibles and toys, and gently used clothing and a coat maker, Langner said.


Just Posted

COMMUTER ALERT: Serious pedestrian crash closes Pacific Highway

Traffic along 176th Street, 4th to 8th Avenue, is blocked while Mounties continue to investigate.

Giants owner Ron Toigo to get BC Sports Hall of Fame W.A.C. Bennett Award

Head of Langley-based hockey team to be honoured at May induction gala

UPDATED: Touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield

A veteran hopes the writers of a note know how much he was touched by their kind words. They do.

VIDEO: Young Langley boy uses his grief to help other kids suffering loss

Thursday Langley Hospice hosts its Paint the Town Blue campaign to spotlight child bereavement.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Baloney Meter: Will tougher penalties for gang members make Canada safer?

Since 2013, gang-related homicides in Canada’s largest cities have almost doubled

Early data suggests no spike in pot-impaired driving after legalization: police

Some departments said it’s too early to provide data, others said initial numbers suggest stoned driving isn’t on the rise

Protesters confront Environment Minister in B.C.

Protesters wanting more for killer whales confront Catherine McKenna

Humans reshaping evolutionary history of species around the globe: paper

University of British Columbia researcher had the paper published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society

Toronto ‘carding’ activist Desmond Cole stopped by police in Vancouver

Cole says his experience reveals what daily life is like for black and Indigenous residents

Tubing, skating, light display part of new winter festival in Vancouver

Set to open Nov. 23, the six-week festival will take over Vancouver’s Concord Pacific Centre

Commercial trucks banned from left lane of Coquihalla

B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation has introduced a new program that hopes to prevent accidents and closures on the Coquihalla Highway.

B.C. on track to record same number of overdose deaths as last year

128 people died of overdoses in September, bringing the total to more than 1,100 so far in 2018

Most Read