Another successful year of bright lights is nearing an end at Midland's Sainte-Marie among the Hurons.
Since 2000, both Sainte-Marie as well as Martyrs' Shrine, located across the street, have offered to the public "First Light" – a series of magical evenings guided by candlelight, which features a host of family activities, music, artisans, ice sculpting, fireworks and more.
The concept of First Light first originated with an idea from a previous General Manager of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, who wanted to give the community a non-traditional event.
"The concept of creating an evening event built around candlelight emanated from their Moon of Wintertime program and to teach the ideas of the Huron Christmas Carol and the Indigenous story created about the crèche," said Allex Laurin, Marketing & Communications Manager at Martyrs' Shrine.
Rated a "Top 100 Event" in Ontario for nine consecutive years now, First Light is a candlelight event, open to everyone, that showcases Ontario's history and culture, thus creating important family traditions.
Since its inception, First Light has grown to become Sainte-Marie among the Hurons' signature event for the year, allowing them to accommodate over 15,000 visitors annually in the nine nights that the program is offered.
The program has a deep spiritual meaning to it.
"For people of faith, the opportunity to link this event to the light of the earth, and Christmas through an expanded visit that includes Martyrs' Shrine, offers them a chance to deepen their faith spirit alongside St. Jean de Brébeuf and his companions," Laurin said.
Families can enjoy a Christmas craft and photos with St. Nicholas in the home of the Relics, and know that the martyrs are present to support them and their family through the Christmas season as they deepen their relationship with Jesus. A glimpse inside the church of St. Joseph highlights the true meaning of Christmas with a nativity front-and-centre.
This year's presentation of "First Light" ran November 30, December 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9.
For more information on all other programs offered at Sainte-Marie among the Hurons, visit www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca.