Decades of Festive Spirit and Healthcare Impact: The Festival of Trees Legacy

One of Edmonton’s longest-running festivals, the Festival of Trees has been a key fundraiser for the University Hospital Foundation (UHF) since 1985. Over the years, and thanks to the tireless work of volunteers, the event has evolved and changed in response to the changing landscape of philanthropic fundraising. At its heart, it retains the things that have made it amazing from the start — family, friends and fun. In its 38-year history, the Festival has gone from 15 trees set up in the University of Alberta Hospital lobby to a full-blown holiday mainstay and a major fundraiser for the University Hospital Foundation. 

Check out some of Festival of Tree’s recent history and the fantastic causes you helped us support:  

Previous causes supported by the Festival of Trees included bringing Canada’s first Stroke Ambulance to Edmonton; adding Gamma Knife, the most advanced form of noninvasive brain surgery, to the Brain Centre at the University of Alberta Hospital; expanding the Cardiovascular Intensive Care Unit at the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute; and giving trauma and complex surgery teams the specialized equipment and technology they need to save more lives. 

Lastly and most recently, the 2023 Festival of Trees, presented by Landmark Homes, reached its $2.4 million goal, all thanks to the thousands of Edmontonians who supported the Festival. The UHF sought to raise funds to support not one but two areas of innovation at the University of Alberta Hospital. The new, state-of-the-art Simulation (SIM) Lab will allow healthcare teams to practice, refine and practice again, every step of every procedure and interaction under every condition. The Fourth Floor Atrium remodel will create an inclusive space of peace and comfort for patients, family members, staff and physicians, allowing them to step away from the high-intensity hospital environment. 

The UHF couldn’t be more proud of the Festival of Trees, the joy it brings to Albertans and the good it does for patients who come from all over the world to be treated at the University of Alberta Hospital.  

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