If you passed by the set-up for the Vancouver Christmas Tree Lighting outside the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) over the last few days and did a double take on the tree being installed, as it seems to be larger and taller than before… well, you’re onto something.
Local developer Amacon, the organizer of the event and installation, told Daily Hive this year’s tree, including the 5-ft-tall star, is 80-ft-tall – a significant size difference when compared to the previous tree, which was 50-ft-tall.
It is now the largest purpose-fabricated artificial Christmas Tree in BC, taller than any other tree located in a public space or shopping centre. And it is even taller than this year’s 75-ft-tall Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Thousands of lights will illuminate the tree during the nighttime hours.
A crew of 11 people spent the last few days setting up the new tree, which required a crane to lift the steel exoskeleton structure in place.
The new official tree coincides with the start of the tradition’s second decade, as the event will be marking its 11th anniversary this year. The old tree, used during the installation’s first decade, has been retired.
As well, the new tree is made possible by the large size of its location this year; the installation has returned to its original site at the VAG’s West Georgia Street plaza, which reopened earlier this year after an extensive retrofit. Over the last few years while construction occurred, the tree spent several years at Jack Poole Plaza and briefly relocated to Robson Square last year.
The Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time this year during a community celebration tonight between 5 and 7 pm. There will be free hot chocolate and cookies, food trucks, and kid-friendly activities such as photos with Santa, face painting, and gingerbread decorating.
The giant tree will remain in place through the Christmas season.