Candlelight Dinner raises awareness of energy conservation

A candlelit dinner

Dinners show how simple actions, like dimming the lights, pay off in energy savings

Sure, dining by candlelight is romantic, but restaurant owners know it's also a great way to save energy. That's why, on Wednesday, October 22, over 60 restaurants across B.C. are taking part in the 2014 Candlelight Dinner.

Held annually, the Candlelight Dinner is a one-night event where restaurants in communities across B.C. volunteer to turn down their lights and serve dinner by candlelight. The point? To demonstrate how simple actions — like dimming the lights — can make a big difference when it comes to saving energy.

The Candlelight Dinner is just one of many special events BC Hydro promotes as part of Power Smart Month, held every October. Power Smart Month — dubbed 'Offtober' in 2014 — is intended to increase awareness about the benefits and ease of using energy efficiently at a time when electricity consumption begins to increase for the winter.

For the staff at Vista 18 restaurant in Victoria, it's only natural for them to take part in the 2014 Candlelight Dinner.

"The event fits nicely into our existing environmental initiatives," says Vista 18's Chef de Cuisine, Mike Dunlop.

The 90-seat restaurant, which occupies the rooftop of the historic Chateau Victoria Hotel in the city's downtown core, is a long-running participant in the Candlelight Dinner initiative. "We're proud to take part," Dunlop says. "In fact, our staff have come to expect it."

A rare chance to talk to guests about saving energy

Dunlop expects a full house at his rooftop restaurant on October 22. "This is our fifth consecutive year taking part in the Candlelight Dinner," notes the chef. "Our staff and our guests have come to expect great things from Chateau Victoria and Vista 18 — this includes a proactive attitude towards reducing the environmental impact of the hotel and restaurant's day-to-day operations."

"A dark, candlelit dining room makes a powerful statement," he adds. "The setting gives our staff the perfect opportunity to initiate a bigger conversation with our local and international dinner guests about energy conservation in B.C. and the environmental initiatives in place at the hotel and in the restaurant. It's one of the welcome effects of the Candlelight Dinner."

With a coveted 4-key rating from the Hotel Association of Canada's Green Key Eco-Rating Program, it's clear Chateau Victoria takes the role of environmental steward seriously. The Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a graduated rating system, from 1 up to 5, designed to recognize hotels, motels and resorts that are committed to improving their environmental and fiscal performance.

Partnering with communities across the province

Each year, BC Hydro Power Smart partners with local community and business associations to bring the Candlelight Dinner to select cities and communities across B.C. This year's community partners include:

  • Fresh Outlook Foundation
  • Northern Environmental Action Team (NEAT)
  • Prince George Chamber of Commerce
  • Quesnel Downtown Association
  • Sustainable Dawson Creek
  • Tourism Dawson Creek
  • Tourism Nanaimo
  • Tourism Vancouver
  • Tourism Victoria
  • Westshore Chamber of Commerce

To find a participating restaurant near you, visit our 2014 Candlelight Dinner page or call the Power Smart Business Help Desk at 1 866 522 4713. To help promote the evening or to share your own energy conservation ideas, use the hashtag #pscandlelight on Twitter and instagram.