Northern Lights is a summer tradition on Parliament Hill. A light show depicting the history of the country in five themes is projected onto Centre Block. For all the time I've lived in this city, I've never attended, but this past September, I attended on the last two nights of the event, September 15th and 16th. The photos date back to the first night, and I took a video of the finale on the second night. By September, it's dark by nine, which is when things get underway; at the height of summer, the show starts at ten o'clock. Narration alternates between English and French, as do the quotations throughout the show. I'll have more of this over the next two days. This might be the last time for this program for awhile; Centre Block is due to be under renovation work for some time, but looking at the West Block, it might well be possible that it can be projected onto that.
The show begins with Centre Block first lit up as a prologue, then its predecessor, the original Centre Block, super-imposed against it. The fire of 1916 is shown bringing down the entire structure, along with the closing of doors by a fast thinking clerk, which saved the Library of Parliament from the flames.
The prologue complete, the first theme begins: the Foundation of the Nation. The First Peoples of the continent and the arrival of Europeans are featured.
The second theme is Strength in Partnership. It commences with a conversation in French and English between John A. Macdonald and George-Etienne Cartier, their faces and silhouettes projected onto the stone of Centre Block as the two discuss the challenges of forging a nation out of the British colonies, and the history of collaboration and cooperation of those who have come before.