Christmas in Nanaimo: Festival of Trees now downtown

One of central Vancouver Island’s favorite holiday traditions, the Festival of Trees, truly captures the holiday spirit.

Alisara Rose Barclay

One of central Vancouver Island’s favorite holiday traditions, the Festival of Trees, truly captures the holiday spirit.

The 17th annual fundraiser for Vancouver Island University student scholarships, awards and bursaries has moved from the school’s cafeteria to larger quarters at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.

Visitors can immerse themselves in the magic as the Dodd Narrows Room hallway comes alive with festive trees and decorations that will delight people of all ages.

Everyone can enjoy the spectacular live entertainment, holiday treats and children’s activities.

And if you’re tired of that scraggly Charlie Brown tree in your house, or are looking for a spectacular Christmas tree for the office,  the Festival of Trees, has the perfect solution.

Amber Harris, and her team at JBD Design, has created a limited number of professionally-decorated trees available for purchase on a first-come first-served basis.

“Every year Amber and her team go beyond expectations to create spectacular designer trees and this year is no exception” said Jason Nelson, festival chairman.

The festival is also launching a new program this year where people can create a festive spirit for their favourite charity by purchasing a tree for donation.

The Festival of Trees reception takes place Thursday (Nov 24) from 4-6 p.m., and  the gala dinner, dance and auction commemorating VIU’s 75th anniversary is Friday (Nov. 25) at 6 p.m.

The festival’s public days are Saturday and Sunday (Nov. 26-27) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The trees are on display Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until Dec. 2, except for Nov. 24-25.

For more information, please go to

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