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This seniors’ residence is busier than Santa’s workshop!

Merry and bright: They’ve reimagined traditions for a holiday season unlike any other
Berwick by the Sea raised $2000 for the Campbell River Food Bank this year!

When the weather outside is frightful, the best place to be is the Berwick bubble.

Christmas at Berwick by the Sea is always a magical time.

In the entryway, elves hoist one of four Christmas trees, and all six floors of the community are covered in twinkling lights and tinsel. Residents coordinate with the community to support local charities, and the five Red Seal chefs in the kitchen prepare a delicious selection of holiday treats.

Large gatherings and cross-country travel may be off the schedule this year, but the spirit of the season is still flourishing at Berwick.

“Our residents have traditionally hosted an Annual Knitters Craft and Bake Sale in November, with all proceeds donated to our local Campbell River Food Bank. This event would bring residents, staff, family and friends into our Berwick community to share in the bounty of all their hard work over the last twelve months. This year, the sale was open only to residents and staff and they still managed to almost double last year’s sales, bringing in $2000,” says Community Relations Manager, Dianne Robb.

Friends, family and neighbours connected to the campaign by purchasing ‘Berwick Bark’ handmade with love and care by

Red Seal Chef Cindy Block.

“We’d like to thank all of our amazing residents, staff and the community for their support of this fundraising initiative, as we came together to make a meaningful contribution to families in need this holiday season,” Robb says.

Home for the holidays at Berwick

There’s always a range of active living programs on the go at Berwick by the Sea, and over the holidays residents have been having fun getting festive!

“At Berwick we engage the community around the pillars of wellness: physical, intellectual, social, emotional, vocational and spiritual,” Robb says.

  • Hands-on creative crafting: Residents gathered for an afternoon making intricate holiday greeting cards — not only did they connect with friends and neighbours while creating the cards, but they’ll strengthen social bonds when they mail off their warm holiday wishes.
  • Hot cocoa Christmas: Berwick staff put together a Hot Chocolate Pop-up, serving afternoon cocoa with customized toppings! Later, crafty residents made beautiful Christmas ball ornaments for the tree, filled with everything you need for a hot mug of cocoa — including the marshmallows!
  • Holiday Light Display Tours: Residents have enjoyed Holiday Light Display Tours on the Berwick Bus. The bus is decorated with Christmas lights inside and out to add to the fun! “We are sure getting a lot of attention when we go out! We head out twice a week to tour the city looking for the amazing light shows.”
  • Holiday Happy Hours: Residents are enjoying being entertained by many local musicians (from behind plexiglass) at Berwick’s Holiday Happy Hours, featuring a variety of seasonal beverages at each performance. Residents sing along with local pianists by the fireplace, while enjoying hot cocoa and a festive treat!
  • Festive Musical Events: Residents have been enjoying special showings in the Berwick Theatre, including the Campbell River Annual (Virtual) Christmas Truck Parade. There’s also a local virtual Christmas program, Hug in a Box, supporting the Campbell River Community Foundation, starring one of Berwick’s Active Living Coordinators: Jacquelyn Block. The Music on Sunday Series live-streams concerts from new Canadian artists or groups. “Since we’re not able to go to live concerts or theatre productions, we bring it into our Berwick Theatre for the residents to enjoy!”

Berwick by the Sea is a retirement community that provides meals, housekeeping and engaging programs for Independent Living and Enhanced Living Services. Contact Gareth Wood for more information by calling 250-850-1353 or emailing And don’t forget to follow Berwick by the Sea on Facebook and Instagram!

The Berwick Bus gets a lot of attention when residents go out to view the holiday lights.
Holiday sing-alongs at Berwick by the Sea are a treat with live music and hot chocolate!

About the Author: Black Press Media Staff

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