When Vancouver man Jason Brawn decided to string Christmas lights on trees on the North Shore mountains, he originally thought it’d just be a bit of festive fun to spread joy over the holidays.
But, after seeing the smiles on the faces of passersby checking out his latest light display, he’s decided to keep decorating trees throughout the year.
Brawn selects a tree, often just over five-metres tall, with epic city views in the background and then uses a customized telescoping pole to string 90 metres of lights around it, offering a little temporary magic and amazing photo opportunities.
So far, he's been choosing trees on Mount Seymour, but he’s also looking to check out the trees on Hollyburn Mountain soon.
“There will be many more of these trees to come,” he said, adding that he's now naming the decorated trees Bob, after Bob Ross – an American painter.
“I thought I'd do one a couple of times a year, but seeing the smiles it's brought folks, how much that's lifted my own spirits, and how much I think we all need a bit of unexpected joy these days, I've been motivated to do them more often.”
His latest tree was lit up on Thursday (Jan. 14) at Brockton Point on Mount Seymour. The tree before that was illuminated on Christmas Eve.
“I've chosen that spot lately for a couple reasons – I can ski to and from that spot, which makes coming down with a 25 kilogram pack much more pleasant, and there's a lot of traffic there so people can easily come by for a selfie,” said Brawn.
The search for the 'perfect tree' continues
While the photo from his last endeavour is no doubt impressive and shows Vancouver’s bright city lights and a decorated tree standing tall, it’s still not quite Brawn’s “perfect tree” for his “dream image.”
“The dream tree that I want will let me get a good distance from it so that I can use a long zoom lens – so I can compress distance,” said Brawn. “What I want to do is have the city in the background with this great big tree and then have some people around it for scale.”
He’ll be back on the North Shore mountains over the next week (possibly Thursday or Friday) scoping out trees when the weather permits.
“I'm not 100 per cent certain where I'll put this one – I've a few spots in mind – possibly up higher on the summit ridge below first peak where it's visible from Brockton [on Mount Seymour],” he said.
“I'd also like to do one over at Cypress.”
For Brawn, it’s all about sharing a little happiness during the coronavirus pandemic. He hopes his glowing trees will continue to put smiles on faces.
Elisia Seeber is the North Shore News’ Indigenous and civic affairs reporter. This reporting beat is made possible by the Local Journalism Initiative.