Lethbridge’s Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden calls 2020 Winter Lights Festival very successful


The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Lethbridge hosted opera night on Friday evening as its fourth annual Winter Lights Festival winds down.

Attendees were able to enjoy some local talent as two women from the Little Lethbridge Opera Company sang in the garden every half hour.

Next weekend will be the last weekend of the season and festival organizers say 2020 has been one of their best years as they have seen more guests at the garden.

They say they are on track to exceeding the 2018/2019 attendance numbers. In December of 2018, and January of 2019, the festival saw about 15,000 guests come through the garden.

READ MORE: Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden hopes to make Winter Lights Festival a global attraction

Melanie Berdusco, the garden’s marketing manager, says one of the reasons why they have had such a good year is because of the weather, which she says has been fairly good for the majority of the fetival’s run. She says the festival has only had to close down a couple of nights due to bad weather.

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Berdusco says the garden has also offered different programming this year, including Friday’s opera night, a tea workshop, Sake tasting, horse and wagon rides and storytelling.

She says the two opera singers who sang on Friday night, Lisa Mulgrew and Megan Wittig, have been coming out fairly often on the weekends to sing five-minute sets for their guests every half hour from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

“[They] sing beautiful opera selections for all of our guests and it’s such a unique experience, because where else are you going to find opera here in Lethbridge?” Berdusco asked.

“A lot of people might not have heard opera before, or had the chance to experience that, so we’re really excited to be able to offer that to our guests this year.”

Berdusco says the garden appreciates all of the support they’ve received from the community which has allowed them to grow.

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