Festive homes tour returns to New Westminster

The Homes for the Holidays tour is set to add some sparkle to the holiday season in New West.

After a one-year hiatus, the tour is returning to New Westminster. Six houses will be decked out for the holidays as part of this year’s tour, which is on Sunday, Dec. 8 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m.

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“You may visit a house by day, but its true spirit is best seen – illuminated by lamplight and Christmas splendour – at night,” said Catherine Hutson, whose home is featured on the tour and who is a former director with the heath care society. “All proceeds go to the QPCC Volunteer Health Care Society that help funds the program and niceties of life that benefit the residents. Those things that make residents smile.”

Homes for the Holidays is a major fundraiser for the Queen’s Park Care Centre Volunteer Society, which raises money to provide services and items that enhance the lives of people in care at the centre.

Homes for the Holidays Gail and Steve North
Gail and Steve North are among the residents opening their doors to visitors as part of this year's Home of the Holidays tour. the Dec. 8 event is a fundraiser for the Queen's Park Healthcare Volunteer Society, which raises money to provide services and items for the folks at Queen's Park Care Centre. - Jennifer Gauthier

Steve and Gail North are once again opening their doors to tourgoers, having taken part in previous heritage and holiday homes tours. With 12.3-foot ceilings, one of the highlights of their holiday home is a 10- or 11-foot tall live tree.

“People like to do things at Christmas. People like to do things feel festive, make them think festive,” Gail said. “Some years we do more than others, but obviously for the years we are on the tour, you bring up all the boxes instead of just some of them. You go full bore for folks. It’s a good thing. People start to think and feel the Christmas spirit when they do things like that. We’re all for it.”

Homes on the tour will have a variety of décor styles, including a 1912 house filled with quirky and whimsical items, a Victorian home in the Brow of the Hill, Irving House and a 1937 Cape Cod homes that’s making it first appearance on a homes’ tour.

Tourgoers can also show their tour ticket at Quintessential, the gift shop at Queen’s Park Care Centre, to get 15 per cent off seasonal items.

Tickets are $25 and available online at www.newwestheritage.org or at Royal City Colours, 700 12th St. The New Westminster Heritage Preservation Society helps provide direction regarding homes on the tour and ticket sales, but all proceeds go to the Queen’s Park Care Centre Volunteer Society.

Christmas shopping

Craft sales and teas are a longstanding tradition in the Christmas season. Here are some of the upcoming events you may want to check out:

* Saturday, Nov. 23: Herbert Spencer Christmas Craft Fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 605 Second St. Features 60 artisans and vendors and Candy Cane Lane filled with kid crafters, as well as lunch and sweet treats in the Bistro, a 50/50 and a raffle draw. You can also take a festive selfie or family photo in front of a holiday-themed backdrop.

* Saturday, Dec. 7: Knox Church Christmas sale, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 403 East Columbia St. Vendors will be selling crafts and products for gift giving. Santa will be attending. It also includes a Cookie Walk, where participants choose homemade cookies to buy and take home.


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