Foresta Lumina

Foresta Lumina

Dispatch by Lena Desmond
Photos by Daniel Puiatti

It was like walking into A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with just a touch of the Brothers Grimm’s twisted inclinations. Located in the Eastern Townships, Foresta Lumina is Coaticook’s own enchanted forest and after walking through it, I can confidently say it’s a display of creative ingenuity manifested in a marriage of sound and light.

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The light show begins with a breakdown of the local folklore, introducing characters such as Margaret, a sort of damsel in distress who encounters both the magic and the evils of the forestlike “The Creature,” a bumbling, burly bad guy, and “The Devil,” who, with a flick of his cane and tip of his top hat, causes trouble when his marriage proposal is refused, which of course Margaret does.

As the tale progresses, we were treated to symphonies of light on the forest floor, animated portraits that sprang to life, and even a life-size hologram, all using Coaticook’s Park de la Gorge as a background.

Built to celebrate Coaticook’s 150th anniversary in 2014, this light project was designed to highlight the township’s already spectacular Park de la Gorge and its suspension bridge, the highest in North America, without significantly impacting the park’s natural resources. 

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Designed by Montreal’s Moment Factory, a company that specializes in creating multimedia experiences in public spaces, the walk through the woods led us through 200,000 tiny lightbulbs, which at times move along the forest floor in sync with music, and at others dot the side of the gorge so delicately it appears the sky has fallen; the distinction between the manmade and nature almost completely lost.

Some 2,000 people would visit Forest Lumina that night. It’s easy to see why. From the beginning to the end, we certainly left enchanted.

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