Because of COVID-19, doing Christmas traditions and having family and friends over can be more difficult, but that does not mean that there are no events to go to.
In fact, the City of Cambridge has come up with events that not only keep people safe, but remind them that it is the most wonderful time of the year.
Throughout Galt, Preston, and Hespeler, there are twenty winter illuminations. Most are outdoor, but there are some indoor pieces– such as Meander, a moving sculpture accompanied by a light show– which is located inside the Tapestry Hall (74 Grand Ave. South).
For those rockin’ around for Christmas trees, they can find a variety of attractions around Galt. There is the Queen’s Square Christmas tree, which is front and centre on the Centennial Fountain. There is also the tree at the Historic City Hall (46 Dickson St.) called The Dancing Tree. The tree can respond with sound, and with a clap of one’s hands or a musical tune, the lights will change.
If one is looking for a more traditional light show, then they can go to Preston’s Central Park, where there are multiple light displays, and every half an hour the music is changed, keeping the experience jolly and bright. There is also an outdoor skating rink.
Some of the light illuminations are set-up by the corporations surrounding it, but there are lots installed by various artists; groups or solo.
In Hespeler, a piece called Visual Fabrics was created by Gareth Carr, a Cambridge-born freelance film and TV set Builder. He previously worked the tech behind Unsilent Night.
In Galt, there is the Spirit of the Season, installed by Trevor Waurechen, an artist and former commercial illustrator based in Kitchener-Waterloo. He previously worked as a cartoonist and printmaker, but now dedicates his time to light and technology-based installation.
That is merely the latter, the former is Aura, an illumination created by the F_RMlab. It is a student-led piece composed of graduate and undergraduate students at the University of Waterloo, School of Architecture. It was a community piece, which volunteers could help set up the advanced computational design tools on November 20.
Winter illuminations will be going on from November 23 to January 2, 2021. For those interested, there is an interactive map to each of the locations.
Taking place beside winter illuminations is the award-winning Cambridge Christmas Market, which is running from November 23 to December 23 and is completely online. This is where local artisans, crafters and makers sell products related to Christmas, winter, or anything in general. There are an assortment of products– from ornaments to doll dresses to books. This is a great way to support local businesses and raise the Christmas spirit.