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St. Paul’s Lights of Hope Celebration

St. Paul's Lights of Hope

Vancouver’s St. Paul’s Foundation celebrates the 26th anniversary of its annual Lights of Hope hospital fundraising event over the Christmas season in 2023.


Vancouver’s Lights of Hope Christmas Lights

If you’ve ever driven down Burrard Street at night between mid-November and the beginning of January you’ve no doubt noticed the amazing Christmas lights on St. Paul’s Hospital. A Vancouver landmark during the winter holiday season, the front of the giant brick building’s exterior is lit up with illuminated stars from top to bottom.

One evening in mid-November the hospital gets lit up and celebrates the launch of the annual event with fireworks and live entertainment in most years (although there weren’t any fireworks in 2022 and it’s unclear if the fireworks happen in 2023).

In 2023, launch night is on Thursday, November 23rd, and the lights will stay on until January 5th, 2024. At the event on the 23rd there are photo opportunities with Santa, craft activities and free hot chocolate.

The venue for the launch celebrations is outdoors at St. Paul’s Hospital which is located at 1081 Burrard Street.


St. Paul's Lights of Hope
St. Paul’s on Burrard Street at Night


Lights of Hope Launch Night

In recent years the launch night for the Lights of Hope has been on a Thursday evening in mid-November. In 2023 it takes place on Thursday, November 23rd. On that day, beginning at around 6:00 pm, St. Paul’s Hospital is lit up with Christmas illuminations.

The launch event usually runs from around 6:00 pm or 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm with the lights going on and fireworks (if they happen) taking off at about 6:30 pm or slightly thereafter. There are food trucks, a few speeches, the recognition of major donors and performances by area choirs.

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Lights of Hope was a virtual event in 2020. In 2021 the opening ceremony happened once again as a virtual event (but the lights were up for people to see in-person over the following number of weeks).

For the most up-to-date information about the event, click Lights of Hope Community Celebration.


Best Christmas Activities


St. Paul’s Christmas Lights

If you look closely at the lights on the hospital during the Christmas season you’ll notice numerous star decorations and the names of people and corporations. That’s because the Lights of Hope is a major fundraising event for the St. Paul’s Foundation which raises money for major purchases for the hospital.

Donors buy “stars” on the building which make up the decorations on the hospital. The cost of each star ranges from about $1,000 to $50,000, and the larger the donation, the bigger the star.

For $1,000, donors become a “Friend” of the hospital and get their names listed in the building’s courtyard. “Partners” donate $2,500 and get their names on a shared star in the hospital’s archway, and $5,000 “Bronze” donors get individual stars that are three-feet in size.

“Silver” donors get a four-foot star for contributing $10,000, “Gold” sponsors get a six-foot star in exchange for $25,000, and “Platinum” donors get their names and logos in massive 15-foot stars for contributions of $50,000 or more. Major donors in these categories generally comprise large corporations, media organizations and affluent local families.

In 2023, folks have the opportunity to donate by purchasing a star for their home from St. Paul’s Hope At Home website.

Over the course of a typical year the St. Paul’s Foundation raises between about $20 million and $30 million, with a significant portion of that coming from the Lights of Hope campaign.


About the Lights of Hope Lights

The Lights of Hope fundraising event has been lighting up St. Paul’s Hospital and Vancouver’s Burrard Street and Helmcken intersection since 1998.

The annual event usually takes 150 volunteers about a month-and-a-half to set up. The display includes over 100,000 light bulbs and hundreds of illuminated donor stars.

The lights and star decorations are illuminated each year from mid-November until around the first week of January.

To donate to the Lights of Hope campaign, click St. Paul’s Donations.


St. Pauls Hospital Nativity
St. Paul’s Nativity Scene from Previous Years


About St. Paul’s Hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital is an acute care hospital built in 1912 and located at 1081 Burrard Street in downtown Vancouver. Founded originally in 1894 by the Sisters of Providence, it’s a Roman Catholic faith-based health care provider that serves patients of all economic and faith backgrounds.

Today St. Paul’s has over 400 beds and provides health care services to over 380,000 patients per year. The hospital is also a world-class teaching and research facility.

To learn more about the hospital’s history, click Story of Providence Health Care.


Other Information

For more information about the Lights of Hope Celebration, see the St. Paul’s Foundation website.

To donate to the Lights of Hope, click St. Paul’s Donations.

For information about other things to do over the Christmas season check out any of the following: