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2020 Festival of Trees - It's all new!

Festival of Trees presented by Syncrude has been a signature fundraising event for the Northern Lights Health Foundation for 30 years. This seasonal event is beloved by community members and serves as the Foundations largest source of unrestricted funding for our Greatest Needs Fund which supports healthcare projects, programs, equipment and services.

So would COVID restrictions, social distancing, an economic depression, and recovery from an environmental disaster in our community stop us from holding Festival of trees? No way!

However, for these various reasons, we will be offering Festival of Trees very differently this year.  To start - there will be no major gatherings - this means the Ladies Holiday Luncheon, the Santa's Workshop, the Ugly Christmas Sweater Party, Christmas Fun with Santa, the Daddy Daughter Sugar Plum Fairy Ball, and the Festival of trees Gala will not be offered. We'll bring these events back when we can safely gather and socialize again.

This year we have big changes to announce to ensure social distancing and health guidelines are maintained. This year’s Festival of Trees will be a 15 day Winter Wonderland designed for families, friends, couples, and co-workers to wander through and bid electronically on silent auction items, and enjoy photo booths and raffles. The Festival of Trees Gala will be a virtual event – beamed into your home with interactive festivities.

  • New Location – North Terminal Fort McMurray International Airport (a huge thank you to the Airport Authority for donating this amazing space for our festivities)
  • Trees and silent auction will be displayed in a Winter Wonderland setting
  • Winter Wonderland will run from Nov. 14 – 28th to allow as many guests through as possible in small numbers at a time
  • Winter Wonderland will be a ticketed venue – guests will pre-book and pay for time slots
  • All silent auction items including trees will be available through online bidding to maintain a low contact environment
  • The Festival of Trees Gala Tree Auction will be a Live Virtual Online Event
  • To make the Live Online Gala interactive and successful, we will limit the number of Live Auction trees to a maximum of 15 pre-selected trees. These trees will be auctioned off at the Virtual Online Gala on Saturday Nov. 21st.  Prior to the Virtual Online Gala, these trees will be in the silent auction. During the live auction, bidding on these pre-selected trees will start at the value generated by the silent auction. Cut off to bid through silent auction on these 15 trees is November 20th at 9:00 pm.
  • All trees will be part of the silent auction which runs from November 14-28th; however as noted above, the 15 live auction trees will be awarded based on the live auction bid results.

It is vitally important to the Health Foundation and our sponsors and donors that Festival of Trees is offered in a beautiful and safe manner. Opening the Winter Wonderland over 15 days means more community members can bring their families into a low contact, capacity controlled, and health conscious display area and enjoy the Christmas atmosphere.

Low contact, capacity controlled means that we are adhering strictly to Alberta Health Services protocols to avoid the spread of COVID-19. We are limiting capacity in the Winter Wonderland space to a maximum of 50 people (scaleable if regulations change). Admission to Winter Wonderland will be through pre-booked passes. Guests are encouraged to dress in their Christmas finery for photos and make this a memorable seasonal event. Gifts and photo included in ticket price.

More details on sponsorship can be found in the Festival of Trees Sponsorship Guide here:

More details on submitting a tree to the live and/or silent auction can be found in the Tree Submission Package here:

Further details on the Virtual Online Gala and the Winter Wonderland hours of operation and purchasing passes will be released in the coming weeks.

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