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Festival of Trees kicks off this week

November 22, 2006

Source: Malaspina University College

If flying to Paris isn’t in your budget this Christmas, maybe a trip to the Malaspina University-College Foundation’s 12th Annual Festival of Trees is.

This year’s theme is Christmas in Paris and all the glitter, glamour and romance associated with the theme is reflected in more than half the 60 designer trees on display, said Susie Caswell manager of special events for the Foundation.

"Every year I notice the quality of the tree-decorating becomes more and more interesting," said Caswell.

"This year we only have a few traditional style trees. Many of the designers like to decorate outside the box and it shows in submissions like the upside down tree, the white, red and black trees, and in the creative ornaments. Visitors will get some great ideas seeing something so different."

In addition to an inspiring theme, each of the events is also "changed up,"said Caswell.

This year’s Festival Family Days, Nov. 25 and Dec. 2, will feature an origami making activity for the kids, a teddy bear clinic and great local entertainment. The Festival Lunch, Nov. 29, features a three course meal.

JBD Design Group took on the task of transforming the upper cafeteria into a European wonderland. They’ve placed more emphasis on the trees this year, said Caswell. One of the most outstanding focal points is their use of the large windows that overlook the Nanaimo harbour.

"At night when the lights are turned on, it sparkles and looks like a forest of trees," said Caswell.

The festivities get going this weekend with the Festival Family Days, Nov. 25, from noon to 5 p.m. and the Festival Public Day, Nov. 26, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation to both events.

Next week starts off with the Festival Lunch, Nov. 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., followed by another Festival Family Day on Dec. 2, and a Festival Seniors’ Day Dec. 3. Both the family and seniors’ days run from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is by donation.

The Festival wraps up with the Festival Cocktail Party, Dec. 8, from 4 to 7 p.m.

The Festival of Trees attracts more than 3,000 visitors annually to Malaspina’s Nanaimo campus. Funds raised are used for student scholarships, awards and bursaries managed by the Malaspina University-College Foundation.

All Festival of Trees events take place at Malaspina University-College’s Nanaimo Campus, 900-Fifth Street in Building 300. Parking is free at all Festival events. For more information call 740-6258.


For more information contact: Toni O'Keeffe, Director of Communications & Public Relations. Phone (250) 740-6341; FAX (250) 740-6474; E-mail



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