Christmas Tree Lighting and Open House
In an annual ceremony to kick-off holiday lighting throughout Winnipeg’s downtown, Mayor Brian Bowman and family, joined by the Winnipeg Children’s Choir, citizen tree-donor Boris Todoruk, Salvation Army and the Winnipeg Fire Department Retirees hosted the lighting of the City Hall Christmas Tree followed by a Holiday Open House inside City Hall.
While the tradition of donating new, unwrapped toys to support the Salvation Army/Winnipeg Fire Department Retirees “Toy Mountain” campaign continued as part of the tree-lighting ceremony, this year marks the first time in recent history that the doors to City Hall and the Mayor’s Office have been opened up to the public for a celebration of holiday cheer in Winnipeg.
“The tree-lighting ceremony and support for Toy Mountain are honoured traditions at City Hall and I am excited to introduce a new tradition for Winnipeggers that will not only kick off the holiday season, but also launch the spirit of community and collaboration at City Hall and across Winnipeg,” said Mayor Brian Bowman. “In addition to opening up City Hall, I’m inviting Winnipeggers to tweet us photos supporting Toy Mountain and spreading holiday cheer for so many children on Christmas morning in Winnipeg.”
The Toy Mountain campaign was launched by retired and current firefighters in support of the Salvation Army. All fire stations in Winnipeg, as well as the Training Academy on McPhillips and the Fire Prevention Branch on St. Mary’s Road, will be collecting toys for children aged newborn to 14 years until December 19th.
This year’s tree comes from Mr. Boris Todoruk’s yard at 625 Springfield Road. The 12-metre-high (40 foot) tree is a Colorado blue spruce, cylindrical in form, and has a full canopy all the way to the ground. The tree is estimated to be about 50 years old.
The tree arrived at City Hall by flat-bed truck on November 9th and a crew from the City’s Urban Forestry Branch has spent several days in aerial buckets decorating the tree with over 9,000 multi-coloured LED lights.
Mayor Bowman invites Winnipeggers to tweet their Toy Mountain donation photos to @bowman4WPG using the hashtag #WPGcheer.