Community

Competitive tree decorating: An inside look

On Friday, Nov. 25, CBC Montreal competes against eight other teams for the title of "favourite holiday tree" in a charity event benefiting West Island Community Shares.

"It's not about throwing it all on there and hoping for the best. There's skill involved."

On Friday, November 25th, CBC Montreal competes against 8 other teams for the title of "Favourite holiday tree" in a charity event benefiting West Island Community Shares.

On Friday, Nov. 25, CBC Montreal competes against eight other teams for the title of "favourite holiday tree" in a charity event benefiting West Island Community Shares.

The event takes place from 4 to 6 p.m.at Plaza Pointe-Claire and and kicks off the charity's "Light Up Our Community" campaign. 

This is CBC Montreal's first time competing in a tree decorating contest, but the team has been training for weeks and feels both mentally and physically prepared for what will undoubtedly be a high-pressure event.

Some CBC-themed ornaments that will be on display at tomorrow's tree decorating challenge. (Andrea Stanford/CBC)

After doing extensive research on various (and often conflicting) tree decorating strategies, team leader Julie Melanson has finally settled on a vision for what she wants the CBC tree to look like. 

"It's not about throwing it all on there and hoping for the best. There's skill involved," she said.

"We chose our decorations to reflect a broad range of CBC programs. From Daniel Tiger to David Suzuki, we have something to please everyone."

For Sonali Karnick, host of All in a Weekend and Our Montreal, participating in the contest will be an exercise in not letting the stress of decorating a seven-foot tall tree in 90 minutes get to her head.

"It's glitter or die for me," she said.

"This is no namby-pamby tree contest. Sure, some of my methods may be illegal in the eyes of the World Anti-Tree-Decorating Doping Agency, but I'm willing to take the risk."

Serious business: Sonali Karnick and Julie Melanson, two members of CBC Montreal's decorating team, use the "tiny tree" method of training to establish both style and positioning of ornaments. (Andrea Stanford/CBC)

While the team does realize that this is an event for charity, knowing that the "favourite holiday tree" title is within their reach is what keeps them going through all the late night and early morning practices.

"We've trained hard for this. We're ready. Now we just have to do it," Melanson said.

The event is open to the public and completely free. More information is available here.

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