Canuck Place in Abbotsford is all lit up for the season

Children's hospice held Lighting of the House celebration on Wednesday

Fraser Valley Canuck Place child Nicolas (centre) attended the Canuck Place Lighting of the House event in Abbotsford to help illuminate the grounds and participate in festive activities involving music

Canuck Place Children’s Hospice in Abbotsford kicked off the holiday season on Wednesday with its third annual Lighting of the House event.

The event, sponsored in part by Chances Abbotsford and Cottonwood Mall, was a celebration of the community of caring supporters in the Fraser Valley who contribute to the funding of pediatric palliative care for children and families across B.C.

Margaret McNeil, Canuck Place CEO, said the event is a “special tradition celebrating the support of the local community.”

“These lights represent giving light and hope to over 670 children and families on the Canuck Place program, with over 40 per cent residing in the Fraser Valley,” she said.

“As the province’s recognized pediatric palliative care provider we care for children with life-threatening illnesses made possible in part by our valued donors in the Fraser Valley who attended to show their support for Canuck Place families.”

The evening featured a performance by the ASIA (Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts) Sumas jazz band and choir and festive activities, including a visit from Santa courtesy of Twins Cancer Fundraising.

The event also featured a special ceremony where Fraser Valley Canuck Place child Nicolas, along with his family, flipped the switch to illuminate the house and grounds.

For Nicolas’ mother Petra Fellinger, this memorable event reminds her of how Canuck Place has made an impact in their lives.

“Canuck Place is truly magical. From the minute we arrive, we are surrounded by amazing staff, volunteers and clinical team members,” she said.

“The respite support provided allows us to be together as a family without the interruptions of everyday life and also take a little time for ourselves while the kids enjoy all the amenities at this wonderful place. We are so grateful for their support.”

Canuck Place has also launched its online Light a Life campaign, running until Dec. 31 at canuckplace.org, to invite the public to contribute to Canuck Place care.