A Campbellton couple has been recognized for making their street a brighter place — with both their attitudes and the thousands of lights adorning their home.
Bruce and Linda Phillips were selected by the Campbellton Neighbourhood Association (CNA) to be the latest recipient of the organization’s Neighbour Appreciation Award. This honour is given to people in Campbellton who have gone above and beyond to make the area a better place to work, live, or play.
It is hard to miss the Phillips’ home — as it is covered with lights of all colours, figures of Santa and reindeer, and even has speakers playing Christmas music.
The Phillips have lived in Campbellton for five years, after relocating to Campbell River from Kelowna. They have been decorating their house for 20 years, which started as a humble display but grows larger each year.
“We started with one set, then it was two, then it was 20, and then it was 40,” said Bruce, who won awards in Kelowna for his lighting seven years straight.
Decorating is more of a challenge in Campbell River, because lights tend to degrade faster here due to humidity, said Bruce. He spends between $600 and $800 on lights every year — with 27 sets rusting out since last year.
When the couple moved to Campbellton, Bruce noticed neighbouring light displays were a bit sparse.
“I looked out the window and just one guy had a half set going up,” he said. “I thought, ‘well, that’s no good.’”
But since Bruce started his local installation, an increasing number of neighbours have been putting up lights as well.
“It’s slowly more and more people every year,” he said.
The couple’s work also has not gone unnoticed by passersby — with many stopping to snap a photo, and some even leaving tokens of appreciation.
“People stop by, and they all enjoy it,” he said. “That’s more of it for me.”
The Phillips’ are being recognized not only for their display, but also because of their willingness to help their neighbours, said Kim Barry, CNA project coordinator.
“Their Christmas decorations for a number of years have caught everybody’s attention, and it keeps expanding and expanding” said Barry. “But they also helped their neighbour in an emergency situation, and that’s pretty special too.”