The power of Believing – Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia celebrates success of 24th annual Compass Group Canada Festival of Trees

November 20th and 21st marked the 24th annual Compass Group Canada Festival of Trees in support of the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. A tribute to the classic holiday book and film, The Polar Express, Festival of Trees highlighted the innocence of Christmas from a child’s perspective to create a hopeful and festive atmosphere for the Shannex Holiday Luncheon and the RBC Black Tie Gala. “Believe” was a key theme for both events.

The World Trade and Convention Centre hosted 660 guests for Friday’s Luncheon, and 675 for Saturday evening’s Gala. The events were made possible by the support of committees led by Miriam Regan (Luncheon), Liza MacDonald (Gala), Graham Langill (Sales) and Penny Sears (Tear-Down), and over 40 volunteers at each event.

Shannex has been the Luncheon Sponsor for seven years, delighting guests with their first taste of the holiday season. Each year, Shannex partners with clients of Kings Regional Rehabilitation Centre to create ornaments for guests. The 2015 ornament was a wooden train, hand-painted with the word “Believe.”

Guests truly believed in the power of Luncheon this year, bidding on over forty cakes and fifty wreaths to raise over $6,500 from these two auctions alone. The 12 Days of Christmas Raffle was another crowd favourite, featuring 12 unique prizes for lucky winners – the top being $2,500. Entertainment was provided by the Sacred Heart School of Halifax Elementary Choir.

This year was RBC’s first sponsoring the Black Tie Gala event, and it was a great success. Alyssa Howard, committee member and trained Soprano, performed the Josh Groban song “Believe,” written for the Polar Express movie, to kick off the event. Daniel Matto provided dinner entertainment, and the event closed out with a dance party with The Mellotones.

Gala featured a silent auction, live auction, and three big-ticket raffles: Santa Steele, for a 2015 Lincoln MKC; Touch of Gold, for a men’s Rolex Datejust 2; and Christmas Cash, for $5,000 cash donated by Tim and Bernie Moore. The raffles raised over $35,000, inclusive of the Christmas Cash prize being generously donated back. The Forest of Trees was a sparkling backdrop for both events, featuring 25 corporate and individual contributions.

The Foundation also launched a new partnership with Brigadoon Village at the Black Tie Gala. “Camp BELIEVE” aims to send children whose families are impacted by mental illness to a one-week camp to connect with other children experiencing similar challenges, and supportive resources. The Foundation is continuing to raise funds for this initiative. To support Camp BELIEVE, visit and select "Camp Believe" from the drop-down menu.

The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia would like to extend gratitude to its Festival Event Sponsors: Compass Group Canada, Shannex, and RBC; Media Sponsor, CTV; Branding Sponsor, Revolve; and A/V Sponsor, Sound Systems Plus. A full list of sponsors, partners, donors and volunteers can be found online at

Funds raised at the Festival of Trees support mental health programs and services across Nova Scotia.


About the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia
The Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia is a registered charity dedicated to improving the lives of Nova Scotians living with mental illness and their loved ones, and increasing access to mental health education and awareness for all Nova Scotians. We raise funds for vital programs and services that help make this possible, province-wide.



Colleen Fraser, Communications Coordinator
Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia
T: (902) 464-3210
Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia
Suite 1120, 300 Pleasant Street
Dartmouth, NS   B2Y 3Z9