Lights of Hope is a holiday tradition that delights thousands of visitors each year while raising money to support exceptional patient and residential care across British Columbia. The attraction is a joyful fusion of twinkling stars and thousands of lights that adorn the current St. Paul’s Hospital façade downtown along Burrard Street.
Since it launched in 1998, Lights of Hope has raised more than $47 million to fund critical health-care programs and services. This year’s fundraising goal is $3.6 million.
“The Lights of Hope campaign is special because it kicks off the holiday season,” says Cecilia Tupper, chief development officer with St. Paul’s Foundation. “Each year our display incorporates stars that represent patients and health-care heroes and the community coming together to create a magical moment that gives light and hope to patients across the province.”
Visitors can get up close to the five-story display, take holiday photos and see the stars lit up with names of loved ones honored in memory alongside generous donors who support the campaign. A large digital screen showcases health-care heroes and patients who’ve received live-changing care at St. Paul’s Hospital.
“People come to us at their most challenging times,” says Tupper, “and we want to make sure that we’re offering the best compassionate care. Lights of Hope helps us do that by supporting the greatest-need funds that allow the hospital to have urgently funded equipment and innovative new research.”
Over at the new St. Paul’s Hospital construction site, the PCL team has flipped the switch on a holiday display of its own. It’s a 1,500 square foot structure decorated with 60 bright, colorful stars and a 12-foot light-swirled tree with a Lights of Hope topper. Look up and you’ll see a 20-foot campaign sign with a donation link and the site’s four cranes lit up in holiday hues.
Along with the site décor, PCL is participating as a Lights of Hope silver-level sponsor.
“It's not every day that we get to work with holiday lights,” says Greg Hamilton, superintendent on the new St. Paul’s Hospital project. “Our crews enjoyed the lighter side of it. When you can participate in spreading joy and excitement to others in the community, that's one of the greatest things.”
He says there’s a strong sense of pride and purpose building a health-care facility, and that no matter where the company builds, PCL is always looking for ways to support the community.
The enthusiasm of PCL employees shines bright on the construction site throughout the year.
“I had a chance to visit the new St. Paul’s Hospital site in the summer,” remembers Tupper. “The most heartwarming thing that came across to me and to my colleagues was that every person we talked to was proudly wearing their PCL logo and so thrilled to be part of creating a legacy for this province.”
The new St. Paul’s Hospital is the biggest health-care project now under construction in Canada. When it’s completed, not only will it provide an innovative approach to patient-centered care — it will also reveal an exciting modern canvas for the Lights of Hope campaign.
“We’re incredibly proud and grateful to PCL for its support,” says Tupper. “It's been a tremendous journey, and we have lots to work on together in the future. We’re so glad to have PCL building our new health campus.”
Until the new hospital opens, Hamilton says PCL is happy to create visibility for the Lights of Hope campaign so patients continue to get the best care.
“We're here to shine the light and support the cause.”