Spirit of the Season Festival Guelph raises $29,000 for Home for Good Campaign

GUELPH – The inaugural Spirit of the Season festival illuminated downtown Guelph, infusing it with joy and radiance over a two-day celebration orchestrated by The Guelph Community Foundation and the Downtown Guelph Business Association (DGBA). 

The festival garnered funds to support the Home for Good Campaign, dedicated to financing permanent supportive housing initiatives in Guelph.

The Home for Good Campaign is a co-operative fundraising campaign between The Guelph Community Foundation and United Way of Guelph Wellington Dufferin along with the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination.

The DGBA transformed St. George’s Square into a festive haven, adorned with glowing huts that beckoned shoppers into the night to explore creative offerings from 18 local vendors. Festival goers were dazzled on the Friday evening with a circus performance by NorthFire Circus and a sighting of Santa.

Chair of the DGBA board Chuck Nash, said “Spirit of the Season proved to be an exhilarating and joyous occasion, and we were thrilled to witness our community savoring the vibrant offerings that the downtown has to provide. There was palpable enthusiasm from the crowds, especially on parade day, and lively engagement from attendees underscored the significance of fostering a sense of unity and celebration within our community.”

The Guelph Community Foundation Indoor Market showcased many local not-for-profit organizations and their fundraising initiatives as well as other local vendors selling delicious treats and handcrafts.

While warming up indoors, market visitors were engaged with crafts and musical performances from local Indigenous storytellers and drummers, Guelph Multicultural Festival dancers, local choral groups and more. 

In its first year as a night parade, over 10,000 spectators took in the Guelph Community Santa Parade and a tree lighting. 

In support of the festival, the city had selected the Home for Good Campaign as the charitable partner at the lighting and just over $1,000 in community donations were collected by volunteers.