DATES: December 8 – 18, 2016 | 5 PM to 9 PM NIGHTLY
TICKETS: Adults: $7.50 | Children: $5.00
LOCATION: The Edmonton Valley Zoo

Edmonton, the most northern city in North America with a population of over one million, is a world-renowned winter metropolis with the proud title of Festival City. People are eager to enjoy activities in their fine city year-round. Our annual Festival of Light celebration is our way of spreading that light and illuminating the spirit of Edmonton. This years theme is “Renewable Energy.”

Each December, the Festival of Light, hosted by the Valley Zoo Development Society, stages a spectacular exhibition of artistic light installations within the unique setting of the Edmonton Valley Zoo. The festival’s vision is to celebrate light, artistry, imagination and the strong spirit of our community in the winter. We would like to invite you to join us for the 4th Annual Festival of Light December 8 – 18, 2016.

This years special event evenings include: Date Night in the Igloo, VIP Night and a special Media Night (Media Night not open to general public.) Check back often as we will be adding event calendars, ticketing and more as the year progresses!





ENTRY DEADLINE: August 1, 2016

We are currently seeking organizations or individuals (local artists, architects, designers) with a passion for the arts and the environment to share their vision with the local community. This year we are opening the floor to anyone with an artistic vision, who is interesting in designing an exhibit for the up and coming festival. The theme of the competition is “Alternative Energy”. This theme allows our artists to show their creative side with few restrictions, so individuals or teams are able to work with different light materials, ice sculptures or any other creative ideas to come up with a winter light themed exhibit. Keep in mind, many of these exhibits will also include the stars of the Edmonton Valley Zoo themselves, the animals!

Below is a series of questions we will need you to answer in order for this to be the best Festival of Light yet! Also a few things to keep in mind are:

  • Chosen projects will be provided with a budget of $3,500.00. You’re use of the funds is discretionary as long as the project approved is the project built.
  • Power will be provided by the Edmonton Valley Zoo, you just need to ensure the exhibit is maintained, keep in mind our harsh winter conditions. Your project must include power needs and specifications…keeping mind alternative energy sources are the preferred manner. We require our artists to use timers to minimize the power used during the 10 day festival period.
  • Be creative: anything goes here with materials, this can be ice, lights, anything! Just let us know what we can help provide to you!
  • It is a city wide festival, so people from all over Edmonton will be able to view your submission, so it is a great way to gain awareness about your work.
  • This is fun! So keep it light-hearted and enjoyable! We want energetic people with a love of the arts to share in this experience.

Click here to see a site layout plan, and start dreaming and planning your submission today.
Download your application by clicking the “Artist Application” above, then fax, email, or mail it to the address shown.

For more information, or to ask specific questions email FOL_Competition@buildingourzoo.com.



1. Do the applicants for this call/competition have to be from Edmonton and area?
No. Although we are going to reserve spots for local artists, we encourage anyone interested to submit a piece as long as the distance doesn’t hinder their installation. We have had submissions from China, France, and Victoria, BC.
2. If I am not from Edmonton, can I include my travel and stay in my budget for funding?
3. In the application packages, there are a couple of maps. Which map should I use as indication of where the sites are going to be?
Please use the map within the ‘Site Layout Package’, it contains pictures of all the sites and is downloadable on our website. The maps in the application package: one is simply a layout; the other is the Festival of Light package from the previous year.
4. When is the deadline?
August 1st- we initially set a deadline of July 1st, but upon reflection, we changed this date to August 1st to give participants more time.
5. Do I need to submit a budget?
Yes, although we will be funding participants with $3,500, we want to hold you accountable so you end up spending what you had stated within your submission.
6. Do I need to submit a CV/Resume with my submission?
No, that is not necessary. You are only required to submit your rendering and your statement which includes logistics and your budget.
7. How many pieces can I submit?
You can submit as many pieces/displays as you want, but we are only going to select ten. In theory, everyone has a possibility of having all ten pieces and all of its subsequent funding going to them.
8. What do you mean when you want artists to include alternative energy in their project?
Our theme this year is alternative energy, so we want participants to be environmentally conscious when developing their piece so as not to be wasteful. The theme is fairly ambiguous, but it also gives participants a large amount of room to play with ideas. If you are unsure what to do, simply Google-ing ‘Alternative Energy’ can give a place to start.



The main objective of this festival is to drive new traffic to the Edmonton Valley Zoo and to draw community awareness to the fact that the Edmonton Valley Zoo is a year-round facility currently undergoing a major transformation. As well, we want to share the art of local community groups, schools, and organizations in a unique way. We hope to provide another way for Edmontonians to enjoy their winter city. The Festival of Light, in partnership with the City of Edmonton, has complete ownership of all its programs and assets, which can be customized to leverage niche partner brand.

Partnering with the Festival of Light provides opportunity for:

  • Brand recognition with a loyal, family-centric audience.
  • Regional exposure with an expected 30,000 on-site visitors and up to 1 million regional imprints via television, radio, and internet coverage.
  • Generating goodwill and support for the communities in Edmonton.
  • Promoting winter city initiatives, family-centric values and development for the Capital Region.

The Festival of Light has multiple levels of Sponsorship; each level is customizable to our Partner’s goals and objectives.
2016 Sponsorship Opportunities are now available! Click on the link above to find the Sponsorship Package that’s right for you and your company. Thank you in advance for your support!



Each and every event sponsored by the Valley Zoo Development Society is successful thanks to the dozens of local community volunteers that donate their time. Festival of Light volunteer opportunities range from helping string lights in October/ November, to organizing children’s events, to handing out hot chocolate.

Volunteer positions for the 2016 FOL Planning Committee are currently available. Follow the link above to apply.