The enchanting VanDusen Festival of Lights (FOL) is set to sparkle for another holiday season. And tickets are selling fast.
More than a million lights will light up six hectares (15 acres) of VanDusen Botanical Garden until January 5 (closed December 25), 4 to 9:30pm.
Vancouver's premier holiday event
“Running for 35 years, VanDusen Festival of Lights is Vancouver’s premier and longest running holiday event. We really appreciate all the work that staff and volunteers put into FOL. The Garden looks like something out of a fairy tale and it’s the perfect way to ring in the holiday season.” said Vancouver Park Board Chair Stuart Mackinnon.
FOL is partnering with Make-A-Wish Foundation for the 19th consecutive year. Eight-year-old Cameron from Surrey was selected as the honorary Make-A-Wish child to officially flick the switch and light up VanDusen Garden.
Wish granted for Cameron
"Cameron's battle with a brain tumour has been a difficult time in his life. Through his granted wish to visit Walt Disney World in Florida, Cameron, his brother and parents were able to experience some real joy away from doctors, hospitals and medical appointments,” said Ross Hetherington, CEO, Make-A-Wish BC & Yukon.
Cameron’s mother Shannon Bulger said: "We loved every second of every day and while we came back exhausted, we made so many awesome family memories and felt so very blessed by the experience. It was magical and so special."
Donations in the Garden’s candle grotto and sales of glow star necklaces have raised more than $523,000 for Make-A-Wish since 2001. Last year, $48,434 was raised – enough to grant the wishes of four children living with life-threatening medical conditions.
FOL includes the Dancing Lights show on Livingstone Lake, fireside lounge, Make-A-Wish candle grotto, selfies with Santa, and beautifully lit carousel.
New this year
New this year is the chocolate fondue tent, hummingbird and wooden owl sculptures, and a pop-up Portobello West Winter Wonderland Market from December 16 to 23. The fireside lounge has been expanded in a new location close to the Rose Garden. All FOL activities are included with admission.
Visitors can get a free photo with Santa November 30 to December 24 and enjoy live musical performances in Santa’s Lodge on select nights. A wide selection of food trucks, including Japadog, Cin City Donuts, TLC Grilled Cheese & Poutine, Reel Mac and Cheese, Chickpea, and Potato Tornado, along with Shaughnessy Restaurant and Truffles Café, will be on site.
Free ticket to Festivale Tropicale
All FOL visitors will receive a free ticket to Festivale Tropicale, the Bloedel Conservatory’s unique tropically-themed indoor holiday event, which runs December 7 to January 5 (closed December 25). Find more information
VanDusen Botanical Garden, located in the heart of Vancouver, spans across 22 hectares (55 acres) with more than 7,500 unique species and varieties of plants arranged in 50 distinct collections. The Garden is jointly operated by the Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver Botanical Gardens Association.