After brief pause, Luminaria continues until end of year

Luminaria sprites
After a three-day pause to maximize safety measures, Luminaria will continue to offer an outdoor stroll through illuminated garden paths, Dec. 11-31.


December 10, 2020

After a three-day pause to maximize safety measures, the University of Alberta Botanic Garden will resume operations of the popular Luminaria experience as planned, from Dec. 11 through to the end of the month.

Following the Dec. 8 announcement of new restrictions from Alberta Health Services, the Garden immediately stopped operations until it could receive clarification on what the new rules meant.

“We’re very pleased that Luminaria can continue as planned for the rest of December,” said Carl Charest, interim executive director. “Luminaria is a peaceful, outdoor, uncrowded stroll through a beautiful illuminated Garden, and fills a need that people have to celebrate the holiday season, especially in a challenging year.”

The Garden cancelled and refunded tickets for Dec. 8, 9 and 10, in order to consult with health officials, and ensure that safety measures exceeded requirements. When Luminaria starts up again on Dec. 11, guests can expect some new safety protocols:

  • Mandatory mask requirement, outside and in all indoor spaces like washrooms. All guests will be required to wear a mask, with no exceptions. 
  • The concession will be closed.
  • As it is considered a gathering, the popular Indigenous Dark Skies Storytelling program will be cancelled during Luminaria.

The Garden has been extremely diligent about public safety since the beginning of the pandemic, said Charest. Every detail of Luminaria has been considered with safety in mind, with constant communication and consultation with health officials.

During Luminaria, with an extended run through the entire month of December, guests can stroll through candle-lit pathways and illuminated displays, at a much lower capacity than previous years, resulting in a small number of people spread out over a large area. 

“Being outside, taking in light and beauty in a stroll through the Garden, is restorative for the spirit,” said Charest. “It’s been a tough year, and we’re happy we can continue to fill that need for the community.” 

Advance reservations are required for Luminaria, which runs every night until December 31 (except Dec. 25). This popular annual event, a holiday tradition for many people, routinely sells out, so early purchase is recommended.

For Luminaria or ticket information: | 780-492-3138 

Media contact:
Kerry Mulholland | Communications Coordinator | 780-492-3303