The Festival of Trees will have two venues this year. Sponsors decorate trees during last year's event.

The Festival of Trees will have two venues this year. Sponsors decorate trees during last year's event.

Sponsor a Christmas Tree, help a child

Annual Festival of Trees has a new second venue at Prestige

Sounds simple, and it is — and the chance to do it is during the Sooke Festival of Trees which is entering its third consecutive year said organizer Emma Irwin, who is also the chairwoman of Sooke Community for Kids.

The volunteer-run festival utilizing donated materials — which also happens in Vancouver, Victoria, Port Alberni, Osoyoos and Kelowna —  is to support BC Children’s Hospital, which Irwin called an “incredible facility” that has treated her own daughter as well as many other kids in Sooke, she said.

Local businesses, organizations and even families can sponsor a provided faux Christmas tree (or use their own fire-compliant artificial tree) that they decorate themselves and will be put on display during the holiday season. “It’s a great team building and business promoting event, said Irwin.

A new addition to this year’s event is a second venue at the Prestige Oceanfront Resort, to accommodate increased interest.

“We’re sort of outgrowing SEAPARC, we always had more sponsors than we could fit. Once the Prestige was built, it seemed like a natural gravitation to go to the hotel.”

Still, Irwin called the leisure complex a great community centre and said they wanted to include both. There are two tiers of pricing — sponsoring a tree for display at SEAPARC is $250, and for the higher-traffic Prestige, $500.

On Nov. 9, there will be a tree trimming night at both places where sponsors bring their own decorations and put forth their best creativity to produce a dazzling exhibit. In the interests of being green, and out of respect for the hosts, the only requirement is for lighting used to be of the energy-saving LED variety as opposed to traditional incandescent bulbs.

As part of the night’s activities, there will be festive sweet treats and hot drinks served while a Sooke “celebrity” jury consisting of familiar faces in the community award prizes to their favorite entries. Sponsors are encouraged to bribe their jury panel with things like donations to sweeten their chances.

Afterwards, pictures will be taken and put up on the BCCH website where the public can vote for their favorite tree. Alternatively, donation and voting boxes will be set up in front of each tree where people can drop in their ballot. Judging will take place in January.

“I’m really excited about it, I think it’ll really kick off Christmas in Sooke in a big way.”

Last year, the festival raised just over $3,000 — a lot of success coming from third level sponsoring by getting friends and families involved as well. This year their goal is $10,000, with all proceeds going to BCCH.

To learn more or register, visit the BC Children’s Hospital website at secure.bcchf.ca and click on events.

Just Posted

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Sooke Fire Rescue firefighters evacuate an injured hiker on Mount Manuel Quimper in March 2021. Sooke will soon be moving to a new fire dispatch service. (Facebook – Sooke Fire Rescue)
Proposed fire dispatch deal could save Sooke thousands of dollars

New dispatch needed after Langford drops out of CRD service

Al Kowalko drives Sooke School District’s first electric bus that began operation in May. The board decided on June 15 that all future buses will be electric, asking the province for more funding to support the program. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
Sooke school board agrees to make all future buses electric

Board to ask province to increase funding to cover the extra up front cost

Brian Korzenowski rides with Athena, left, and Venus who are safely strapped in and goggled up with the wind in their fur. (Zoe Ducklow - Sooke News Mirror)
Double-dog motorcycle sidecar brings smiles to Sooke Road commuters

Athena and Venus are all teeth and smiles from their Harley-Davidson sidecar

Wanted man Michael Bruce was arrested Wednesday in Langford. (Black Press Media file photo)
West Shore RCMP find wanted man hiding under mattress

Michael Bruce had multiple warrants out for his arrest in Sooke and the West Shore

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

BC Ferries’ newest Island Class vessel is experiencing an issue with one of its thrusters off the Algerian coast. Photo courtesy patbaywebcam.com.
BC Ferries newest vessel having mechanical issues in Mediterranean

Island 4 will be repaired in Spain before crossing Atlantic

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August 2019 about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
Elections BC approves petition application for referendum on Surrey policing transition

Application was filed under Recall and Initiative Act by the widow of a Surrey murder victim

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko, a Vancouver lawyer, has been suspended from practice for two months after admitting that his firm mismanaged $44,353.19 in client trust funds. (Acumen Law)
High-profile B.C. lawyer suspended over $44K in mismanaged client trust funds

Queen’s counsel Paul Doroshenko admits he failed to supervise his staff and find or report the shortages

House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-S.C., center left, reaches over to Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., joined by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., center, and members of the Congressional Black Caucus as they celebrate the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act that creates a new federal holiday to commemorate June 19, 1865, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to enslaved Black people after the Civil War, at the Capitol in Washington, Thursday, June 17, 2021. It’s the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was created in 1983. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Biden to sign bill making Juneteenth a federal holiday

New American stat marks the nation’s end of slavery

Kimberly Bussiere and other laid-off employees of Casino Nanaimo have launched a class-action lawsuit against the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
B.C. casino workers laid off during pandemic launch class-action lawsuit

Notice of civil claim filed in Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo against Great Canadian Gaming

Most Read