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Festival of Trees is back at Science North

Science centre, Sudbury Charities Foundation continue partnership with Festival of Lights and Trees
Lindsay Donnelly, left, manager of development at Science North, and Ashley Larose, director of development at Science North, show off one of the 17 Christmas trees up for auction in the return of the Festival of Trees. This particular tree was donated by Science North’s board of directors. (Arron Pickard/

After a 20-plus-year hiatus, Science North and the Sudbury Charities Foundation are bringing back a holiday tradition in the form of the Festival of Trees.

For more than 20 years, Science North and Sudbury Charities Foundation have partnered to deliver the spectacular Festival of Lights, which launched Nov. 22 and is available for viewing daily.

The trees have been decked out with all the holiday glamour, and many of the trees have gift cards or other items — one tree had bottles of wine underneath — that will go to the winning bidders.

In this unusual year, these two charities have deepened their engagement to bring back a classic holiday tradition, the Festival of Trees, said a news release.

The festival will kick off the holiday season with a renewed version in the style of a virtual silent auction taking place now until Dec. 6. This year's event features 17 trees donated by local businesses and organizations with the goal of raising $20,000 to support initiatives at Science North and other groups supported by the Sudbury Charities Foundation.

Claude Charbonneau, president of the Sudbury Charities Foundation Board, said the Festival of Trees is a great opportunity for the community to come together and give back in a safe, meaningful way. 

“Many have been affected by this pandemic, so to see businesses and community members still rallying together to support underprivileged families during the holiday season means the world to our recipients,” Charbonneau said. 

Described as elegant, whimsical, magical, and glitzy, there will be trees for everyone, said Science North. 

Visit to view the full collection of trees and bid on your favourite. The auction closes on Dec. 6 at 5 p.m.

If your bid wins, a member of the Science North team will contact you directly to proceed with payment and pick-up options.

“Science North is thrilled to partner with the Sudbury Charities Foundation to make the season even brighter,” said Guy Labine, CEO of Science North, who added the last eight months have been a time of unprecedented change and challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“At the same time, we have also seen innovation, creativity and adaptability as our community has come together to weather these times,” Labine said. “As a registered charity, Science North relies on generous support from our community to meet its mission. The Festival of Trees is a great opportunity to work with a great partner to support both of our missions for the benefit of those we serve.”

The trees will be on display in Science North’s lobby. Visitors can view the display of trees outdoors through the lobby windows or inside during Science North’s operating hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.