Saturday, May 21 2022

The Lunar New Year is right around the corner, and Richmond’s Gateway Theater is celebrating with an all-new, immersive experience.

Into the Light (在燈光之中) takes place for just three days, February 18-20, and is an all-ages event created by Hong Kong-born, Vancouver-based multidisciplinary artist Stephanie Won and award-winning Richmond artist Marina Szijarto.

“We wanted to explore why we still celebrate and participate in these customs today and highlight the mythology behind the rituals, amplify Richmond’s community and emphasize unity,” said Jasmine Chen, Artistic Producer and Gateway Theater community in a statement. “In the light offers a unique way to engage and learn Chinese cultural traditions for everyone, regardless of cultural background.

Gateway Theater’s Into the Light (Sarah Rice/Submitted)

Visitors from In the light will enter the ancient story of the sea monster Nian (年). According to legend, Nian came out of hiding on the eve of the Lunar New Year and terrorized the villages for food. The villagers worked together to ward off the beast as well as the darkness with lanterns, loud noises and bright light.

Audiences will be guided through the immersive experience by illuminated lanterns and bursts of sound, color and light, courtesy of Vanka Salim’s lighting arrangement and Sapphire Haze’s soundscape composition. Along the way, they’ll learn how certain Lunar New Year rituals became traditions still celebrated today.

Bridge Theater

Gateway Theater’s Into the Light (Sarah Rice/Submitted)

After completing the Tale of Nian adventure, visitors can craft paper lanterns in The Village, located inside the Gateway Theater lobby, and add them to the community display. Everyone is then encouraged to visit the Sanctuary and post their wishes for a prosperous New Year.

Paper lantern kits can also be taken home to be assembled, as hanging one is believed to bring good luck around the house.

In the light adheres to COVID safety guidelines and is primarily a contactless experience with timed entry, limiting the number of customers inside. A limited number of tickets per time slot are available.

As required by the Provincial Health Order, guests aged 12 and over must present proof of full vaccinations along with photo ID upon entry to the venue. Masks must also be worn at all times, unless patrons are under the age of five or have a physical or medical condition that prevents them from wearing a mask.

Bridge Theater

Gateway Theater’s Into the Light (Sarah Rice/Submitted)

In the light

When: February 18 to 20, 2022
Time: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Friday), 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. (Saturday and Sunday)
Or: Gateway Theater – 6500 Gilbert Road, Richmond
Tickets: $18 to $28, purchase in line

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