Langley Arts Alive: Guests travelling to attend downtown festival

In its 21-year history, the downtown Langley Arts Alive festival has gone through some dramatic changes and experienced phenomenal growth.

Event organizer Teri James, executive director of the Downtown Langley Business Association, has been around through much of that evolution – at least during the past dozen-plus years.

A few days ahead of this year’s festival, she took a moment to reflect on the metamorphosis, and said most of the changes have been “incredibly positive,” and she predicts nothing but good things for the event’s future.

As any show of this magnitude continues to grow, James said people have to expect – and she hopes embrace – change.

This year, for instance, they’ve relocated the children’s venue to the old CIBC parking lot at 204th Street and done away with one of the entertainment stages – instead bringing in more buskers who will mingle and perform on the street, amid the crowd.

They’ve moved all the live bands and entertainers to a main stage in the recently revitalized McBurney Plaza.

With art and artists still being the backbone of the event, James announced that more vendors than ever before are coming. To accommodate the jump from 120 to 140 booths this year, the show has been extended past St. Andrew’s Plaza to 206th Street. It now runs the full length of the one way, James said, noting that this year there will also be more interactive booths – rather than just sellers – and more artist demonstrations.

“This little festival of ours is attracting such an array of artists,” James said, tongue-in-cheek about the “little.”

This year’s show has the traditional painters, potters, and sculptors, plus glassblowers, wood carvers, metalsmiths, musicians, quilters, authors, fabric artists, and jewelry designers, to name a few.

New this year, James said her office is fielding multiple calls from participating artists and guests alike – from the B.C. Interior and the western U.S. – asking about accommodations because they want to come to Langley to be part of this show.

“This has never happened before, not to this magnitude,” James said. “That has to help drive local tourism numbers.”

Among other changes, Soroptimists of Langley remain the only food vendor at the festival, but James said at least half a dozen of the restaurants in the vicinity have approached her this year about developing new and different ways to engage with festival goers.

“All in all, if the weather is nice – which it sounds like it is going to be –  it will be an awesome day,” she said. “See you Saturday. ”

Just Posted

White stuff coats Langley in heaviest snowfall of the season

Langley residents have a day of snow to enjoy before the rain starts again.

Upcycling: possibilities endless for Langley artists using recovered items

Past winner enjoys taking garbage, and not recycling but upcycling it into something better.

Walnut Grove liquor store move turned down by council

For the second time since December, council has voted against the plan.

UPDATE: At least two hospitalized after plane leaves runway at Abbotsford Airport

Incident occurred around noon on Friday; Transport Canada investigating

VIDEO: Langley crews prepare for salting and plowing

With heavy snow expected, crews are working 24-hours until the weather system passes.

Therapy dogs make appearance at B.C. Games

The St. John’s Ambulance therapy dog program launches a pilot project at the 2018 Kamloops B.C. Winter Games

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Notley says Alberta watching B.C. court bid closely, will get no free ride on it

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley ended the three-week ban on B.C. wine, calming the trade war

Trudeau ends troubled India trip in his comfort zone of hockey and youth

The players, 18-25, came to New Delhi from Ladakhi in northern India, as part of outreach program

OLYMPIC ROUNDUP: Kim Boutin named Canada’s flag bearer for closing ceremony

Two more medals for Canada, including the bronze in men’s hockey

Team Canada’s Dave Duncan apologizes after drunken joyride in Pyeongchang

Duncan, his wife Maja and Canadian technical coach William Raine detained by South Korean police

Heavy snowfall for Coquihalla

Kelowna - Snowfall is expected to continue on the highway until Sunday

Czechmate: Canada wins men’s Olympic hockey bronze

Vernon’s Andrew Ebbett scores twice as Canada beats Czech Republic 6-4

Most Read