Two young women smile at a Christmas Glow event.
Photo provided by Christmas Glow

Two young women smile as they pose in the photo area at a Christmas Glow event.

This year, every Christmas Glow event across three countries will collect donations to support the work of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC).

Created by a British Columbia family looking to provide a fun kid-friendly event during the Christmas season, Christmas Glow offers a breathtaking light show, live music and a Christmas market with local vendors and artisans. It’s also a way to support local and international charities.

The event creates a space for people to come together, and that creates an opportunity for us to make a positive impact in the world."

- Daryl Driegen

“The event creates a space for people to come together, and that creates an opportunity for us to make a positive impact in the world,” says Daryl Driegen, director of operations for the events.

Each Christmas Glow will be a bit different, depending on which city you attend in, says Driegen. But there’s one thing you can expect to be present at every Christmas Glow you attend: photos with Santa Claus.

Selfies with Santa are free, but donations to MCC are encouraged. Photo provided by Christmas Glow.“People these days love taking selfies with Santa,” says Driegen. "Even at the malls, you see tons of people lined up and there's usually a ridiculous price to do it, and I've always disliked that. Our Santa photo area in each venue has no cost.”

Instead, anyone who wants to pose with jolly old Saint Nicholas is encouraged to leave a donation. These donations will support the work of MCC, with a portion also going to local charities in each host city.

In 2018, more than 300,000 people attended across the three events in Canada. This year, says Driegen, they’re aiming to see 750,000 across 10 shows—seven in Canada, three in the U.S. and one in Denmark.

With events in Abbotsford, Edmonton, Halifax, Ottawa, Saskatoon, Toronto and Vancouver, thousands of Canadians will have the chance to check out one of these luminous wonderlands.

“Generosity and supporting causes we believe in are a major part of our family,” says Driegen. “That's why it was important for us to include that as an element in Christmas Glow.”

MCC is grateful for the generous spirit of Christmas Glow’s organizers this Christmas season.