One of the works from Light Nelson 2014, illuminated sheep by Fleur Stewart of Nelson.

Light Nelson back again next year


Light Nelson, the city’s winter light festival, is back in business and looking to be better and brighter than before from July 8-12 next year.

After huge growth in its second year last year, the event took a break to regroup and increase its funding base.

“We really were overwhelmed with the huge success of the event last year,” says Light Nelson Trust Chair Brian Riley. “The positive side was having the ‘runs on the board’ to secure funding from the Nelson City Council and the Canterbury Community Trust.
“There’s no doubt now about Light Nelson’s ability to draw the community together and about its potential to bring in visitors as a winter windfall for the hospitality and retail sectors.”

In July next year, Light Nelson will still be based at the Queen’s Gardens, but will cater to the crowds by extending more into the NMIT campus and the immediate surrounds.

Brian says the additional funding allowed the event to expand the event, to bring in some guest artists and to put in the infrastructure to make Light Nelson a safer more user-friendly event for participants.

“Right now we’re putting the word out to artists that we’re back in business and looking for light installations,” Riley said. “We want to allow time for community groups to get their thoughts together and for working artists to schedule this event into their calendars.”

Brain says the Light Nelson selection panel would be looking for works that bring together technology, art, science and fantasy to ‘illuminate the darkness of winter’.

“We want to see installations that offer a multi-sensory experience celebrating light – there might be music, sound or movement incorporated into the concept. We’ll also be looking for concepts that use new technology, are environmentally sustainable and convey essential qualities of light rather than just being a lit form. We also want to encourage performance, collaborative projects and works that involve community development and have something to say.”

The selected artists will be responsible for construction and installation of the artworks. Light Nelson can provide advice regarding compliance where required and assistance through The Light Nelson Artists’ Collective.
All applications must be in by 5pm, November 30 this year. More information at