‘The beauty of Winter Wanderland is that anyone with a window can participate,’ said Darcy Topinka. (Photo courtesy Anne Milroy)

‘The beauty of Winter Wanderland is that anyone with a window can participate,’ said Darcy Topinka. (Photo courtesy Anne Milroy)

James Bay Winter Wanderland looks to 2022 after Victoria event cancelled

Organizers hoped to make the event more accessible and further reaching this year

Organizers of the James Bay Window Wanderland hoped their fourth annual event would be the largest one yet. But as the pandemic drags on, the event had to be cancelled.

Samantha Bartlett, one of the event’s organizers, said they had hoped to make the Window Wanderland more accessible and further reaching this year, but COVID-19 derailed those plans.

Bartlett said the enthusiasm for growing the event will likely carry over into planning next year’s event.

“Unfortunately a lot of planning and ideas went into it this year in order to make this on the biggest one yet,” Bartlett said. “Everyone will be very excited to do it for next year.”

Staff at the James Bay Community School Centre – where Bartlett is the recreation program coordinator – still decorated their office window, even though there’s no official event. Bartlett said she thinks some in the community will also decorate on their own accord.

Window Wanderland events originated in Europe, but Victoria was the first to host the public art project in North America.

READ MORE: Victoria hosts North America’s first Window Wanderland event

Bartlett said the event tries to bring neighbours together in a creative way, while also injecting some joy into the “dark and boring” month of February.

“The push was always; you don’t have to be an artist to participate, just find your creativity in some way,” she said, adding that people without street-facing windows would decorate a car or balcony.

“People got really into it in different creative ways, so that was always fun to see.”


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