This year, Redbrick’s Festival of Trees theme is Women and Girls in STEM. You can vote for the Redbrick tree and donate to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation here.
Our team kicked off this holiday season with an evening spent decorating a tree and supporting an amazing cause. See all the trees in the Bay Centre (spot the Redbrick tree on the second floor!) from November 17th – January 3rd, 2023. Or, visit any of the other festival locations throughout BC.
Festival of Trees brings together local businesses and organizations in support of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Each sponsor makes a donation and decorates a tree to display for the holiday season.
Over 70 one-of-a-kind trees line the walkways inside The Bay Centre in downtown Victoria for community members to enjoy and vote on their favorites. This year, funds raised will go towards diabetes care for kids all over BC.
In BC alone, there are over 2,500 children and youth living with diabetes. By voting on a tree, you’re donating money that will ensure better health outcomes for those kids and fund research into transformative new care.
Celebrating Women and Girls in STEM
For this year’s theme, we wanted to highlight the amazing work of one of our partners, INSPIRE. This five-year program at the University of Victoria engages science and engineering students from underrepresented groups, including individuals of marginalized genders, Indigenous peoples, members of racialized minorities, people with disabilities, and LGBTQ2S+ individuals.
Redbrick’s 2022 Festival of Trees entry is an extension of our work with INSPIRE. Our theme is “Women & Girls in STEM” and represents the importance of diversity and inclusion in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Although more than half of all post-secondary graduates in Canada are women, they only make up 19% of engineering and technology graduates. Indigenous peoples are even further underrepresented as less than 2% of people working in STEM occupations are Indigenous.
This is just a glimpse into the representation challenges within Canada’s STEM fields. In reality, these numbers are the product of complex, systemic barriers that make it infinitely harder for those who are marginalized to pursue STEM education and be recognized in their field.
Redbrick is proud to partner with a program like INSPIRE that’s committed to carving out pathways and increasing support for underrepresented individuals entering STEM fields.
While we had a blast planning and decorating for The Festival of Trees, we wanted this year’s theme to make a real impact on all the kids that would see our tree.
On the Redbrick tree, in between some hot-pink fairy lights and glitter ornaments, you’ll find Doctor Barbies, Astronaut Barbies, and even Computer Programmer Barbies.
They might just be Barbies—but they’re also a celebration of increasing representation and part of a larger mission to make STEM fields feel accessible to all kids from an early age. Kids have the power to change the world, and we hope our tree reminds kids (and adults!) that they can be anything they want to be.
Our tree will be on display in the Bay Centre in downtown Victoria until January 3rd, 2023 when the display ends and voting closes. After we take down our tree, all Barbies will be donated to the Victoria Women in Need Community Cooperative.
Please consider making a direct donation to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation this season or donating when you vote for the Redbrick tree. Voting closes on January 3rd, 2023.