CityWest Festival of Lights illuminates Prince Rupert

Tim Chernoff and his children, Dolly and Tommy, turn on the holiday lights around the cenotaph in front of the courthouse downtown, on Dec. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)Tim Chernoff and his children, Dolly and Tommy, turn on the holiday lights around the cenotaph in front of the courthouse downtown, on Dec. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)
Techie Skog and her children, Gavin and Raiden, take in the lights in front of the courthouse in downtown Prince Rupert. Techie has lived in Prince Rupert since 2013 and said on Dec. 4 this year’s lights are the most beautiful yet. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)Techie Skog and her children, Gavin and Raiden, take in the lights in front of the courthouse in downtown Prince Rupert. Techie has lived in Prince Rupert since 2013 and said on Dec. 4 this year’s lights are the most beautiful yet. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)
Tim Chernoff and his children, Dolly and Tommy, gaze up at the illuminated and newly decorated holiday lights around the cenotaph in front of the courthouse downtown, on Dec. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)Tim Chernoff and his children, Dolly and Tommy, gaze up at the illuminated and newly decorated holiday lights around the cenotaph in front of the courthouse downtown, on Dec. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)
Dolly and Tommy Chernoff gaze up at the illuminated and newly decorated holiday lights around the cenotaph in front of the courthouse downtown, on Dec. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)Dolly and Tommy Chernoff gaze up at the illuminated and newly decorated holiday lights around the cenotaph in front of the courthouse downtown, on Dec. 5. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)
Bev Kilbery of Prince Ruper Special Events Society presents a $12,502 cheque to Tim Chernoff under the CityWest holiday lights on Dec. 7. PRSES was assisted with a funding grant from the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)Bev Kilbery of Prince Ruper Special Events Society presents a $12,502 cheque to Tim Chernoff under the CityWest holiday lights on Dec. 7. PRSES was assisted with a funding grant from the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)
Volunteers from CityWest, Prince Rupert Special Events Society and local businesses helped fund and set up the holiday lights display. The group gathered on Dec. 7 in an unofficial opening of the lighting. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)Volunteers from CityWest, Prince Rupert Special Events Society and local businesses helped fund and set up the holiday lights display. The group gathered on Dec. 7 in an unofficial opening of the lighting. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

The switch was flipped and the lights are on in the CityWest Festival of Lights adorning the lawn of the Prince Rupert Court House.

Prince Rupert Special Events Society handed over the reins to the communications company officially on Dec. 7, when they presented a donation of $12,502 toward the holiday illuminations. The PRSES was assisted with a funding grant from the Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation.

CityWest is taking over the lead for the holiday lights display and contributed their own $15,000 to lighting up the night.

Previously reliant on volunteers to set up the annual lighting the trees surrounding the cenotaph, it took lots of hours and organization.

“It’s going to be a CityWest initiative [and] production,” Bev Killbery, Prince Rupert Special Events Society president, told The Northern View.

“The change is going to be good. It’s going to be good for CityWest, it’s good for [the Special Events Society] and it’s good for the city and the community,” Killbery said.

This year, CityWest’s staff volunteered their time and labour, to set up the display in just under a week, Tim Chernoff, CityWest volunteer, said.

“We just love helping out and love to lighten up the town,” he said.

Chernoff changed things up with the lights display this year and created light “icicles” rather than the traditional wrap-around like on a home Christmas tree. The team was inspired by the lights on 3rd Ave. set up by the City of Prince Rupert and wanted to compliment it.

CityWest will be able to change things up as they see fit and even add to it, Killbery said. The new role CityWest has in the display will not take anything away from the annual Winterfest celebrations when they return to in-person events, she said.

“We’re still going to be doing our festival park,” she said.

As soon as the pandemic passes, Rupertites can again expect the traditional festival to return to its full show with tents, hot beverages and food, music and the parade, Killbery said.


 
Norman Galimski | Journalist 
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