Friday, July 19, 2024

10-year-old Ukrainian refugee flips the switch to light up Butchart Gardens for the holidays (PHOTOS/VIDEO)


The lights are on at the Butchart Gardens and it couldn’t have been done without the help of Nasar Dranytsia, a 10-year-old Ukrainian refugee living in Victoria. 

Nasar and his mother are living in the Kiwanis Village in Victoria while his father and 19-year-old brother remain in Ukraine fighting for their homeland.

(Seanna Wainman/Victoria Buzz)

The Butchart Gardens needed someone worthy of the honour of flipping the switch to light up the gardens this past Thursday, and Nasar was the perfect candidate.

He got the prestigious role because another Ukrainian newcomer to Canada living at the Kiwanis Village is a worker at the gardens and she recommended Nasar.

Nasar got the job and he couldn’t have been happier. 

The only thing brighter than the lights that lit up the Butchart Gardens last week was the look on young Nasar’s face as the lights turned on. 

(Seanna Wainman/Victoria Buzz)

Each year on December 1st, Butchart Gardens holds a ceremony where the big red switch to turn on the entire gardens’ holiday display is flipped, officially kicking off the season. 

With the switch now flipped, Victorians can visit one of the city’s most iconic attraction litght up for the holidays, and experience a number of winter activities from December to early January, including:

  • Carousel rides
  • Tens of thousands of Christmas lights
  • The 12 days of Christmas display throughout The Gardens
  • Seasonal tea at The Dining Room Restaurant, and a special seasonal dinner menu
  • Casual, festive fare at The Blue Poppy Restaurant
  • Every evening the festive brass and traditional carollers will fill the crisp night air, alongside hot chocolate and gingerbread to warm you up at the Gardens’ Coffee Shop

Butchart Gardens Lights Display

  • When: December 1st to January 6th, 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily
  • Where: The Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Avenue
Curtis Blandy

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