Festival of Trees lights up Empress Hotel

Businesses and other groups get into holiday spirit for sick kids

Fiona Reine puts Superman atop the M.D. Physicians Services tree Tuesday during Festival of Trees decoration time at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

Even Scrooge would have a hard time ignoring the Christmas spirit in the Fairmont Empress Hotel this season.

It’s there that a record 78 Christmas trees are on display for the 21st annual Festival of Trees, a friendly competition to help sick kids across the province.

“It brings holiday cheer, and all of the proceeds go towards the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation,” said festival co-ordinator Debbie Preston. Similar events are being held in Vancouver, Sooke and Port Alberni.

From now until Jan. 4, the Empress will host trees decorated by businesses, schools and individuals, with several prizes up for grabs.

“Awards will be given for the three best-decorated trees, and this year we’ve introduced the spirit of giving award, which will be given to the organization or individual who donates the most to the foundation,” Preston said.

The public can also vote for their favourite tree at the Empress or online for a minimum donation of $2.

The tree with the most votes by January will get the people’s choice award.

To donate to the cause online, visit bcchf.ca and click on “Festival of Trees.”

dpalmer@vicnews.com

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