Festival of Trees shares the spirit of the season with BC’s children
For many, the Christmas season truly begins when the Festival of Trees fills downtown Victoria’s Bay Centre.
Not only for the beautiful lights and creative decorating ideas, but with the knowledge that with this much-loved event comes invaluable support for BC’s children.
An annual fundraiser for BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the 28th annual Festival of Trees runs Nov. 21 to Jan. 6 – community tradition that transforms the Bay Centre into a lush forest of beautifully decorated trees.
ALL funds raised support the care undertaken at BC Children’s Hospital, and here in Victoria, sponsors and donors last year raised an amazing $186,000 for paediatric care. With that success and the knowledge of the work that needs to be done to support local children, organizers raised the bar this year to $200,000.
Proceeds support operational funds for the hospital – for research and equipment, for example – along with a state-of-the-art new ECG machine that will allow diagnosis and treatment at a much earlier stage, explains the Foundation’s Shaun Cerisano. And that’s vital for the thousands of children who pass through the hospital’s heart centre – 10,000 children each year.
“We are the only paediatric hospital for BC and Yukon and have the largest catchment in all North America,” Cerisano says. In addition, “67 per cent of patients come from outside Greater Vancouver.”
Combined, last year’s Festivals of Trees in Victoria, Vancouver and communities around the province raised $387,659 to provide BC children with the best health care possible.
Join the festivities!
With only 100 trees available for sponsorship, 2019 packages are available now! Beyond the knowledge that you’re doing a great thing for BC children, the event also offers valuable opportunities for sponsors, Cerisano says.
A recent Highlights West survey of British Columbians found BC Children’s Hospital is the province’s No. 1 recognized brand; joining the Festival of Trees connects you with that brand.
You choose how to connect your brand with your tree – many use a variety of innovative ideas and creative decorations to share their business or organization with festival-goers – 650,000 people who walk through the Bay Centre during the six-week festival.
You’ll get that six weeks of exposure for as little as $1,000, depending on the sponsorship package; $2,000 and $3,000 silver and gold sponsorships are also available. (And new for 2019 is a dedicated section for Gold-level sponsors!)
Many sponsors use their festival participation as a favourite team-building opportunity. The Deck the Halls Ball is in the evening Nov. 20, when everyone gathers to decorate their pre-lit trees, supplied by the Foundation. You bring the spirit and your decorations!
A variety of prizes are up for grabs. For a donation to the Foundation, Festival-goers can vote for their favourite, with the winners earning the coveted People’s Choice Awards. The Spirit of Giving Awards go to those who raise the most through their fundraising page. At the Deck the Halls event, a panel of judges will select the Judge’s Choice Awards, and this year’s Chip-in Child, Remy, will choose his favourite!