The Advocate Forest of Trees is the centerpiece for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s signature fundraising event.

DARTMOUTH: Trees adorned with Dr. Robert Strang’s famous ties, StFX pride, DIY Mom’s mid-century modern stylings, and Old Fashioned Christmas décor by Parkland at the Gardens seniors are just some of the creations on display for all to enjoy at the Festival of Trees presented by RBC over the course of three weeks in November.

The Advocate Forest of Trees is the centerpiece for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia’s signature fundraising event.

This year, Advocate Media presents the “Shine On” tree. Nova Scotians understand the art of living beautifully, and even in the darkest days, found a way to shine on, to share light and sparkle, even if it hurt. The Advocate Media “Shine On” Christmas tree symbolizes the strength and resiliency demonstrated in the past year. Despite the appearance of fragility, blown glass can be resilient and strong. This beautiful tree is adorned with two complete collections of NovaScotian Crystal holiday ornaments representing the special bubble in Atlantic Canada. Twenty-two of the 42 blown crystals are etched with a heart that resonates with the love and memory of the beautiful lives lost on a very tragic day in April. The year 2020 will be remembered for many reasons but the most brilliant will be for the ways Nova Scotians were “Nova Scotia Strong” and continue to “Shine On.”

Contributed photos
This year, Advocate Media presents the “Shine On” tree.

“It’s been said more times than we can count that 2020 has been a challenging year,” said Advocate Media’s editorial director Crystal Murray. “We have been faced with some of our toughest moments as a province. We have learned that good mental well-being is not always about being happy but how we manage the tough moments. Our resiliency has been tested many times on the past year and because of this, now more than ever, we need to make mental health a priority in our health care system. As a company we hope that our partnership with The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia will help create a greater awareness of this need in communities all over the province. The Advocate Forest of Trees is physically located in Halifax but its meaning extends to all Nova Scotians. We are proud of the many staff whose hard work and dedication during the pandemic have made it possible for Advocate to continue to support this very important fundraising event this year.”

Branching out for its 29th year, the charity is offering a COVID-safe version featuring all the elements of previous gatherings. Beginning tomorrow (November 14), the Advocate Forest of Trees will be welcoming guests to The Doyle at 1511 Queen Street, near the corner of Spring Garden Road. Getting back to its roots, the forest will be open to the public seven days a week Monday-Saturday 4-8 p.m., and Sunday 4–6 p.m. Admission is free and donations are warmly welcomed.

“Advocate is happy to be back as the sponsor of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia Forest of Trees,” Murray said. “Like everything this year, the Forest is a little different but I don’t think it has ever looked more beautiful and inviting. This is the first time in many years that the trees can be viewed and experienced by the public with the new venue at The Doyle on Spring Garden Road.”

The featured trees will be up for bid at the foundation’s on-line auction beginning November 21 at: fotauction.ca. Mental health supporters will also find the popular cake and wreath auctions from past events, plus dozens of exciting auction items including local getaways, experiences, and gift cards. This technology is sponsored by St. John Ambulance providers of Mental Health and Wellness in the Workplace training.

November 21 also marks the launch of the inaugural Shannex Resto Festo – a celebration of the incredible restaurant scene. More than 30 participating eateries are donating a portion of one day’s proceeds to mental health from November 21–28. Nova Scotians are invited to show their support to the local hospitality industry while creating a conversation about mental health over an incredible meal. Plan a night out by viewing the Shannex Resto Festo schedule at: mentalhealthns.ca/resto-festo.

#FOT2020 culminates with Steele Auto Group’s “Steele the Spotlight for Mental Health featuring Chantal Kreviazuk,” an on-line concert streaming live Saturday November 28 at 7 p.m. The broadcast will be hosted by Nancy Regan and rounded out with inspiring stories from Nova Scotians who’ve been touched by the foundation’s important work. Tickets begin at just $35 with gourmet food and wine delivery packages available featuring Kitchen Door Catering, Boxed Bites and Bishop’s Cellar paired wine.

Join the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia as it provides hope for all, especially those living with mental illness and addiction. With growing demand for mental health funding, support is needed now, more than ever. Learn more and get tickets at: mentalhealthns.ca/festival-of-trees.