White Rock Pier arch lights alternate into a rainbow Monday evening. (Aaron Hinks photo)

‘Tacky’ White Rock Pier lights spark criticism

Alternating colours most evenings, lightshow must stop, says resident

A White Rock resident says the “tacky” lightshow displayed on the city’s iconic pier is a distraction and doesn’t do the city any favours.

Buena Vista Avenue resident Len Doray, who contacted Peace Arch News this month, also brought his concerns to the city and Coun. David Chesney. Both indicated to him that the issue is being looked into, he said.

City of White Rock CAO Guillermo Ferrero told PAN in a statement Tuesday that the city is “looking at changes to the system of managing the Pier lighting, including colours, brightness and other factors.”

The city implemented colour-changing lights on the pier’s arches at end of July in 2018.

At the time, a former city communications manager told PAN the “feature is here to stay.”

While the lights do coincide with special events, such as turning into a rainbow during Pride, Doray has taken issue with the lights alternating colours on an average night.

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Every night, Doray says, the lights change from “multi-coloured haphazard flashing displays to extremely bright cool white arches better suited to an airport hangar than an oceanfront pier.”

“Last night was a perfect example,” Doray said Monday morning.

“It was a beautiful night, we were out on our deck enjoying the moon coming up, reflecting off the water. And then, all of a sudden, the lights start flashing red and white very brightly, and then the rainbow coloured flashing.

“It’s the brightest thing. It just clashes with the whole idea of having an ocean view.”

In his quest to find answers about the display, Doray said he found a document from the company that made the lights.

The document indicated the company was happy with how the warm light of the arches matches the warm light of the post lamps and maintains a heritage feeling.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he said.

Chesney, who brought up the issue at a council meeting, said the city’s IT department indicated to him that the city may be able to “tone them down.”

“A couple other people over the past month or two have mentioned that they find it kind of distracting,” Chesney said.

Chesney said the lights are coloured to reflect special events or raise awareness, but he wasn’t aware that the pier lights alternate colours every evening.

“If they are changing, dissolving from one colour to another, which becomes a little bit more troublesome. I’ll definitely bring it up if they haven’t done something with it by the week today, when we have our next council (meeting),” Chesney said.

Doray said he has no issue with the lights being used to celebrate special occasions such as Pride Week, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, “but not every night, and certainly not all night.”


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