Tag Archives: Robi Smith

A River of Light, captured in photos


A huge Thank You to everyone who made lanterns, helped create the magical installation in the woods, and experienced a River of Light in 2017!
















Thank you to this summer’s joyful lantern-makers:

  • Deni, Ann, Lois, Leanne, Zoe, Felix, Owen, Jackson, Sophie, Erica, Lynn, Madison, Sophia, Cathie, Erin, Val and all the families who came and made lanterns together (and anyone else I’ve forgotten)

A heartful thanks to the crew of volunteers who helped set up and tear down the installation over the two Friday evenings:

  • Lois, Cathie, Erin, Ann, Tammy (and friend)

A special thank you to Kat Wahamaa, Tony Rees, Chris Horne, Jack Emberly, Herb W Bryce and Gerry Sharpe for bringing the river to life through music and spoken word on Friday, Sept 29.

An extra thank you to Lois Wittenberg for taking and sharing these fabulous photos that capture the spirit of the night:



And finally, thank you to the more than 100 people who made your way down to Davidson’s Pool in Crosses Cabins Park over the two Friday evenings to enjoy the River of Light and celebrate this special place we share with the salmon, crayfish, herons, eagles, ducks, and dragonflies.


Maple Ridge Culture Walk: Exploring our nature

On Sunday, June 4 from 1 – 4 pm, join me and fellow City of Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Kat Wahamaa in creating a nature mandala in near Cliff Falls in Kanaka Creek Regional Park.


Kat and I will have all the materials on hand, from rocks and leaves to colourful wildflowers. We’ll be inviting passers-by to help us place the materials to form a large circular mandala. We’ll be improvising, so bring your sense of play and imagination!

The ephemeral artwork is part of the City of Maple Ridge’s Culture Walk: Exploring our Nature event, which links art, culture and nature at the following sites: Kanaka Creek Regional Park (at both the Cliff Falls trails and at the waterfront), the Maple Ridge Museum, Haney House, and the Bell Irving Fish Hatchery. A free shuttle bus will connect the parks, the museum and Haney House.

Schedule for the day and locations

251 Street at 116 Avenue

1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Nature Mandala with Artists-in-Residence Robi Smith and Kat Wahamaa ● Launch of new history geocaches developed by Maple Ridge Heritage Commission

23272 River Road (off Lougheed Hwy at Tamarack Lane)
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Launch of new history geocaches developed by Maple Ridge Heritage Commission
1:00 & 2:30 pm ● Culture walking tours with Fern Gabriel from the Kwantlen First Nation (approx. 1 hour each; meet at River Road parking lot)
1:30 & 2:45 pm ● Nature walking tours with David Cook from Nature Vancouver (approx. 1 hour each; meet at River Road parking lot)

22520 116 Avenue
1:00 – 4:00pm ● Exhibits and tours including Canada 150 colouring craft
● Dewdney Alouette Railway display
● Shuttle bus stop is at the entrance of the museum driveway on 116 Avenue

11612 224 Street
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Visit the historic home of the Haney family
● Exhibits and tours

11450 256 Street
1:00 – 4:00 pm ● Learn about the local environment and find out about the work done by KEEPS
● This location is not a shuttle bus stop but can be accessed by vehicle or on foot via trail
from Cliff Park

A River of Light begins…


photo: Keith Jardine

Many thanks to everyone who made Saturday evening’s A River of Light so spectacular, from the dozens of people who made the lanterns this summer, to the volunteers who set up and took down the installation to the nearly 100 people who came to wander through the trees and exclaim over how beautiful and magical the lanterns looked in candlelight.


photo: Liliana Rincon Tami

We will be lighting the lanterns again next Friday (Sept 30) and Saturday (Oct 1) from 6 – 9 pm. On Saturday afternoon from 2 – 4 pm, all are invited to drop by the studio to make a glass jar lantern to light your path as you take in the lanterns in the evening.


photo: Keith Jardine

For more information or if you have any questions, please email robi@ robismith.com


photo: Keith Jardine



photo: Liliana Rincon Tami

A River of Light: Community Lantern Installation

Experience a magical evening walk through a river of lighted lanterns among the trees adjacent to Davidson’s Pool in Crosses Cabins Park (map).


Over the past three months, more than 50 community members have been working with Maple Ridge Artist-in-Residence Robi Smith to create the lanterns in the shapes of salmon, stars, dragonflies, butterflies and more. The lanterns are made from simple materials such as bamboo, chicken wire, glass jars, tissue paper and glue.


All are welcome to view the lanterns over the BC Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends (weather permitting):

  • Fri Sept 23: 6 – 9 pm
  • Sat Sept 24: 6 – 9 pm
  • Fri Sept 30: 6 – 9 pm
  • Sat Oct 1: From 2  – 4 pm, drop by the studio to make a glass jar lantern to carry in the evening; lanterns lit from 6 – 9 pm

The lanterns will illuminate a path among the trees and on the rocks between Davidson’s Pool and the Artist-in-Residence studio.


Here’s to a magical River of Light!

Note: Limited parking available at Cross’ Cabins Park (small parking lot for Davidson’s Pool). Street parking along 236th Street or 130th Avenue. Carpool or walk if possible! map

RSVP / share this event on Facebook

Getting ready for A River of Light

September is here, which means the River of Light lantern installation is coming up in just a few short weeks!

This year’s installation will reflect the joy of many hands working together. Over July and August, nearly 50 people dropped by the studio for workshops to help make and repair lanterns, and many people came back more than once. I’m thoroughly enjoying meeting everyone and watching the beautiful lanterns take shape.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be offering free drop-in workshops on Thursday evenings and Sunday afternoons. There’s still time to make a lantern from scratch, or to finish a lantern you started in the summer, or just to come and help repair some of the older lanterns. We can keep it simple or make it as complex as you’d like!

September drop-in workshops 

  • Sept 8 (Thurs): 6 – 8 pm
  • Sept 11 (Sun): 2 – 4 pm
  • Sept 15 (Thurs): 6 – 8 pm
  • Sept 18 (Sun): 2 – 4 pm
  • Oct 1 (Sat): 2 – 4 pm

All workshops are free and take place at the Artist-in-Residence studio (23740 Fern Crescent). All ages and skill levels welcome. Children under 12, please bring an adult along. RSVPs appreciated to robi@robismith.com or through the Community Art and Nature Meet-up Group.

Make your own lantern at home

If you aren’t able to come to any of the workshops, but would still like to make your own lantern to add to the installation, please do! My main inspiration for the lanterns comes from celebration artist Paula Jardine (who I’m so lucky to call sister-in-law!). Paula welcomes you to use the easy to follow lantern-making instructions on her website.

Volunteers for installing, lighting and stewarding the lanterns

The lanterns will be lit over the BC Rivers Day and Culture Days weekends, September 23/24 and Sept 30/Oct 1, starting at 6 pm (to 9 pm) adjacent to Davidson’s Pool. I’m looking for a few volunteers to help install and light the lanterns each day and then be on hand to make sure the candles stay lit and fire safe. If you are interested in helping out, let me know. Shifts can be anywhere from  one to 4 hours. I’ll provide tea and snacks!

If you have any questions, or would like to join in any of the workshops, please let me know by email at robi@robismith.com. You can also RSVP through the Community Art and Nature Meet-up Group. Feel free to share with others who may be interested.

Here’s to creating a magical River of Light together!

A River of Light: Help Create a Community Lantern Installation

This summer, join me in creating a magical lantern installation in the park next to Davidson’s Pool.


Throughout the summer, I’ll be hosting free workshops at the studio where you’ll learn how to make handmade lanterns that reflect different elements of the river ecosystem. We’ll make the lanterns out of simple materials such as chicken wire, bamboo, glass jars, aluminum cans and tissue paper.


In late September, we’ll install lanterns among the trees adjacent to Davidson’s Pool and float them on the water. At dusk, we’ll light the candles inside the lanterns to create a river of light meandering through the trees and sparkling on the water.

For more information on upcoming workshops, click here.

To watch a video of last year’s lantern-making workshops and installation, click here.

Art Studio Tour: May 9 & 10

I love studio tours—going on them is an endless source of inspiration, and being on them as an artist is always fun and full of surprises (because you just never know who’s going to show up).


Over the Mother’s Day weekend, I’m super excited to be part of the Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows Art Studio Tour. Over the winter and spring I’ve settled in to my new studio space, and now I’m doing the fun work of rearranging my work on the walls, finishing up new pieces, and creating some added treats for those who make the trek to my place (think treasure hunt!).  I’ll also have cards, art journals and small gift items for sale.

The studio tour is a great time to meet me, ask questions and learn more about my upcoming programs. For instance, this summer I’ll be running two summer art and nature camps for kids out of my studio, offered as a joint program through the ACT and Parks and Leisure Services. I’ll also be offering lantern making workshops and working with community members to create a lantern-based installation along the river. Join me!

My studio is located at 23740 Fern Crescent Road, on the same property as the Maple Ridge Lapidary Club, also open on the tour. Parking is available at the Lapidary Club (top of the driveway) as well as in Cross’s Cabins Park (see map here).