When all in-person events were restricted due to the pandemic, event organizers across Canada had to find new ways to provide the public with entertainment, and the PNE was no exception.

The PNE WinterLights event was a 2-kilometre route enjoyed from the safety of your own vehicle, and included nine enchanted lands filled with glowing lights, special characters and festive performers. We were so grateful when they asked us to be a part of this wonderful holiday experience!

“At one point, we weren’t even sure if the event would go forward,” said Kim Vande Kuyt, the Director of Marketing at PNE. However, with their resilience, they created a unique drive-through experience to bring joy to people in a safe way. And with an enthusiastic public eager to celebrate the holidays, in true Vancouver style WinterLights sold out quickly.

As an outdoor event, WinterLights was at the mercy of Vancouver’s winter weather, which can have a mood dampening effect as we all know! Undeterred, the PNE staff danced and sang their way through each day, making sure each participant enjoyed themselves and made new holiday memories along the way. Our volunteers onsite also braved the elements and continued to collect donations through all kinds of weather. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Ultimately, almost $70,000 was collected at the event over three weeks! It would not have happened without the dedication of the PNE WinterLights’ staff and the tremendous generosity of the public, which is even more remarkable given the challenges we have all faced through the COVID-19 pandemic

“The highlight of the event was seeing the smiles on the faces of our guests as they hung out of car windows in awe of the lights and live performers. And, of course, raising all these funds for the GVFB!” Kim said.

Building partnerships with local organizations like the PNE is essential to us. The exposure the GVFB received from the PNE WinterLights event was invaluable. We hope to find more ways throughout the year where we can partner again on future events.

If you would like to host a fundraising event with us, please contact: Terra Paredes at [email protected]

If you would like to volunteer as a community events volunteer in the future, please contact: Magda Klimczak at [email protected]