Annual Festival of Trees finds new home at Nanaimo North Town Centre

NANAIMO – Proceeds from annual fundraiser will go toward B.C. Children's Hospital.

Lesley Lawrence decorates the OmTown Yoga Christmas tree at Nanaimo North Town Centre Thursday as part of the 2014 Festival of the Trees. The event sees organizations decorating trees and people voting and making a $2 donation

Lesley Lawrence decorates the OmTown Yoga Christmas tree at Nanaimo North Town Centre Thursday as part of the 2014 Festival of the Trees. The event sees organizations decorating trees and people voting and making a $2 donation

Despite a switch of organizers and venues, the Festival of the Trees is still a go for 2014.

Previous incarnations have seen trees displayed at Vancouver Island Conference Centre, benefitting Vancouver Island University, but 2014 festival trees can be viewed at Nanaimo North Town Centre. Proceeds for this year’s event will benefit B.C. Children’s Hospital, said Andrea van Rossum, committee co-chairwoman for Nanaimo Community for Kids, which is in support of the B.C. Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The university approached the committee stating it was no longer holding the event, as it was focusing on other fundraising efforts, according to van Rossum. She said the format varies from last year.

Every tree is sponsored by a local group or company, who decorated the trees that will be on display until Jan. 4. For every $2 donation, the public can vote for their favourite, said van Rossum.

Awards will be handed out for the best of the 21 trees on display.

While B.C. Children’s Hospital is located in Vancouver, van Rossum said it’s important to note that children in Nanaimo and on the Island, benefit from its research and treatment.

“There’s almost 600 families in Nanaimo that visit the hospital three times a year or more, and that isn’t counting the kids that have graduated from children’s and are now healthy adults,” van Rossum said. “Although the hospital is in Vancouver, it’s definitely a local fundraiser and we’re supporting our local families.”

For more information, please call van Rossum at 250-714-1625, e-mail cfknanaimo@gmail.com or visit www.bcchf.ca/events/event-calendar/festival-of-trees/nanaimo.