Festival of Trees co-ordinator Brenda Brown puts the finishing touches of the Sooke Harbourside Lions Christmas tree. This year 10 trees grace the SEAPARC Leisure Complex hallways, and a few more scattered throughout the community. The festival runs through December. (Kevin Laird – Sooke News Mirror)

Festival of Trees co-ordinator Brenda Brown puts the finishing touches of the Sooke Harbourside Lions Christmas tree. This year 10 trees grace the SEAPARC Leisure Complex hallways, and a few more scattered throughout the community. The festival runs through December. (Kevin Laird – Sooke News Mirror)

Imagination and Christmas spirit combine at Sooke Festival of Trees

Sooke’s festival part of a larger fund raising effort for Children’s Hospital

The Sooke Festival of Trees is back at SEAPARC Leisure Complex and the bright lights and cheery decorations are enough to make even the most Grinch-like among us smile.

“Having the trees up here at SEAPARC makes such a difference. It puts everyone in a Christmas spirit and it’s especially wonderful that it’s all being done for a really great cause,” Colleen Hoglund, SEAPARC program services manager, said.

It’s the 11th year the Sooke festival has participated as a supporting event of a larger effort that raises money for the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

Based in Victoria at the Bay Centre, the Festival of Trees has welcomed Sooke, Nanaimo, Whistler and Kelowna into the fold to run their own Christmas Tree events.

RELATED: 2018 event a success

The concept is simple.

Businesses and organizations in the community pay a flat rate to participate and are given a tree to decorate in whatever style they choose.

“We always have very beautiful and very imaginative trees,” Hoglund said.

“For example, this year the Rotary Club decorated their tree with a variety of socks, all of which they’ll donate to the less fortunate after Christmas.”

In addition to the funds raised through the original tree donation, people coming to see the trees are given the chance to vote for their favourite tree and make a donation along with their ballot.

It’s a system that raised more than $3,000 last year in Sooke.

Across the province, a total of $387,659 was raised to help provide kids with the best health care available.

RELATED: Victoria’s event

This year’s Festival of Trees is organized by the Sooke Harbourside Lions Club.

“We were excited when SEAPARC approached us to help out and we jumped at the chance,” Brenda Brown, the event co-ordinator, said.

“I mean, we get to work with folks to celebrate Christmas and at the same time we’re helping to raise money for this fantastic cause. What could be better?”

In addition to the SEAPARC display of trees, the Lions have approached local businesses to place special trees at their place of business.

“There’s only so much room at SEAPARC, so we went to businesses and asked them to place trees and become part of the festival,” Brown said.

“When you go to SEAPARC, we’ll let you know which businesses are participating and you can visit them as well before you decide on the best tree.”

The Festival of Trees runs until Jan. 6.



mailto:tim.collins@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

(Victoria Cool Aid Society/Facebook)
Victoria food drive aims to feed those also struggling with housing

Quadra Village furniture store hosting drive-thru event Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

A sketch of the multi-use path that will connect Lagoon Beach and Royal Beach in Colwood. (Sketch courtesy of the City of Colwood)
Concepts for Colwood beach connector coming to council June 21

Major infrastructure project includes gathering places, public amenities and pathways

Victoria police are asking for witnesses who might have information about this tricycle that was stolen in downtown Victoria on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Police seek witnesses after downtown Victoria company’s tricycle stolen

The three-wheeler was taken from the 2100-block of Store Street on Thursday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Most Read