Most North Shore residents are familiar with the Festival of Lights that takes place every Christmas at Dundarave beach in West Vancouver.  A “forest” of Christmas trees are installed, decorated and illuminated by local businesses, groups and individuals.  It’s a beautiful and inspiring sight to see during what is often a gloomy time of the year, with rainy weather and early sunsets. What many people don’t know is that the funds raised from these tree sponsors donating money goes directly to the North Shore Lookout Shelter to provide emergency accommodations for any homeless people needing a place out of the rain.

West Vancouver Mayor Smith was on hand to speak at the event, as was entertainer Marcus Mosely and his Chorale. The event was hosted by Michael Markwick, an instructor at Capilano University. He and his wife Mary are the sparks behind the Festival, donating generously of their time and efforts. During his remarks, Markwick mentioned that the late November event had raised $25,000, bringing the amount raised for the Shelter to $250,000 over the last decade.

The Lookout provides housing to the shelterless and homeless; connection to services in the community; support, supervision, direction and aid to anyone whose needs are not addressed by others; and safe surroundings. For information about donating or getting involved, contact Mary Markwick, Executive Director, at: For more information about the Festival:, log on to:

By staff writer



Left: Michael Markwick   Centre: Mayor Smith   Right: Shelter manager-Baily Mumford

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