Festival of Trees invites Albertans to Share the Joy this holiday season

Funds from hybrid celebration to support people with end-stage kidney disease


Edmonton, AB – November 2, 2021 – The University Hospital Foundation’s 2021 Festival of Trees is inviting Albertans to Share the Joy and connect with the spirit of the season safely as it moves the organization’s flagship fundraiser outdoors and online.

“We made the difficult decision to cancel all in-person events at the Edmonton Convention Centre,” says Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President and CEO of the University Hospital Foundation. “We are taking great care in planning a variety of fun, inclusive experiences for everyone. Even if we are socially distant or enjoying the festivities in our own homes, it is important that we take the opportunity to laugh and play and add joy back into the holidays.”

The 2021 Festival of Trees

Presented by Landmark Homes, the funds raised through the 2021 Festival of Trees will make life better for people living with end-stage kidney disease.

“We want to lift up Albertans living with this devastating disease by giving them the resources they need to have the best quality of life possible,” says Dr. Abbott.

Running from November 2 until December 23, the Festival of Trees offers numerous ways to kick off the holiday season in style:

  • Gifts of Gratitude was created for our front-line workers who have persevered in the face of unprecedented challenges, and gives community members a unique way to show their appreciation. Each Gift of Gratitude will feature gift cards for meals, experiences, coffee and other locally-sourced items.
  • Festival in a Box, presented by Cantiro Homes, offers an exclusive collection of carefully curated activities and treats with themes for date night, children and families. Each box will heighten the enjoyment of the festive season.
  • Santa’s Breakfast, outdoors for the first time, gives families and cohorts the chance to enjoy a pancake breakfast in an individually heated, private dome at the beautiful University of Alberta Botanic Garden. Santa and Mrs. Claus will make a special appearance to deliver activities and elevate the magical experience.
  • Decorated and Delivered, presented by Canadian Tire, allows supporters to purchase a tree or holiday décor item that would normally be displayed at the Edmonton Convention Centre during the Festival. Perfect for the office or home, your tree will be decorated and delivered to your door at the end of November and picked up early in the new year.
  • Online Auction, presented by SMS Equipment and Stuart Olson, helps shoppers find the perfect gift for a loved one between November 16 and December 5.
  • 50/50 Draw, presented by Canadian Tire, gives Albertans an opportunity to win big with a maximum jackpot of $1.5 million and three early-bird prizes. Tickets will be available online to the public from November 23 to December 23.
  • And much, much more.


“There is truly something for everyone at this year’s Festival of Trees”

~ Dr. Jodi L. Abbott, President and CEO of the University Hospital Foundation.


Supporting Albertans with end-stage Kidney Disease

Proceeds from the 2021 Festival will help expand West Edmonton Kidney Care, a University of Alberta Hospital Community Facility. This facility will offer a Home Therapy Clinic and training centre, which will help hundreds of Albertans with end-stage kidney disease move to home dialysis. Since kidney disease is incurable, if a patient is not eligible for a kidney transplant, some form of dialysis is the only treatment option.

“The quality of life of many patients on hemodialysis is very poor,” says Dr. Kailash Jindal, Medical Director of the Alberta Kidney Care – North program. “Knowing that they have to go somewhere three times a week and spend four or five hours on the dialysis machine, the rate of depression is high. It has a significant impact on their quality of life.”

Taryn Gantar is one of 1,500 Albertans receiving treatment for end-stage kidney disease. With her kidneys functioning at just three per cent without dialysis, she requires the treatment to live.

“I can’t control the fact I have end-stage kidney disease, but I’m empowered by having the freedom to choose when I dialyze. Often, I start treatment at 3:30 a.m. so that I can sleep before taking on motherhood, full-time work and volunteer opportunities – the things that enrich my life and make me feel normal. I couldn’t have this quality of life without home-based dialysis.”

Supporting the 2021 Festival of Trees will help patients like Taryn by adding dialysis training and education programs to West Edmonton Kidney Care.

“The expansion will further the goal of moving 40 per cent of our patients to home dialysis by 2025,” says Dr. Jindal.

For more information and event updates visit festivaloftrees.ca.


University Hospital Foundation

The University Hospital Foundation (UHF) raises funds to advance patient care, research and innovation at the University of Alberta Hospital, the Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute and the Kaye Edmonton Clinic, as well as research at the University of Alberta and care in the community through Alberta Health Services (AHS). As agents of hope, we boldly seek solutions to seemingly insurmountable challenges, matching the determination and purpose-driven intensity of the healthcare teams we support. Using innovative approaches to philanthropy, including new partnerships and bold ideas to bring the right people, resources and solutions together, we are improving health, reducing the devastating impact of disease and addressing the inequitable health challenges faced by members of diverse cultures. For more information visit GivetoUHF.ca

Share this article

  • For Media inquiries, contact:
  • Laurel Gregory
  • ZGM PR
  • laurel.gregory@zgm.ca

Together We Can
Transform Health

Ways to Give