Five Christmas Trees, various sizes, decorated differently, white fabric on ground mimics snow

Festival of Trees Snowflake Soirée November 20

By Patricia Leboeuf

Posted on Thursday November 18, 2021

The 10th annual Festival of Trees Snowflake Soirée for Renfrew County’s Child Poverty Action Network (CPAN) will bring holiday cheer to attendees on Nov. 20.

The popular Christmas-themed event will be hosted online to comply with COVID safety regulations, but will bring the fun directly into people’s homes by streaming local music and providing fine wine and various treats. There are prizes, including a major gift donated by Goldstream Jewellers. An online auction is also held on Facebook.

The ever-popular Christmas Tree Avenue is at the West End Mall, allowing visitors to peek at Christmas trees expertly designed by Diana Oberback.

These decorations can be purchased before or after the event, though they do sell out quickly.

The gala is CPAN’s biggest fundraiser of the year, usually bringing in over $40,000 to help children in need. Last year, organizers raised about $44,000 despite that edition also being held online. The hope is that this year will see similar numbers as the need in the community continues to grow.

Events like this are CPAN’s lifeblood as it is not government-funded and relies on donations to run its life-changing programs.

Currently, about 2,590 children are living in poverty within Renfrew County. By donating to CPAN, these children can thrive regardless of their family’s income level.

The most pressing CPAN program is Operation Snowsuit. This program aims to provide outdoor winter gear in good condition to all youth in need so that they can enjoy all the seasonal activities - or wait for the school bus - without worrying about frostbite or hypothermia.

The number of requests for snowsuits keeps climbing by leaps and bounds, with hundreds of applications pouring in for snowsuits for newborns to 17-year-olds.

There were about 600 requests last year, up from 563 in 2019 and 411 in 2018.

For more information on the event or to purchase tickets, please visit