Local chefs have created all kinds of examples of Canadian culture under the theme Celebrate Canada! for this year’s Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread Showcase, on display daily at the Parkside Hotel and Spa. The event is one of a number of seasonal fundraisers happening in the city this month. Victoria News files

Have some fun in Victoria this month while supporting worthwhile charities

Family friendly events get people into the spirit of the season and of giving

Holiday themed charitable activities are well underway around Victoria and Esquimalt, so we at the Victoria News wanted to give you, our readers, a broad list to choose from when thinking of events to take in this month.

Hotel Grand Pacific (463 Belleville St.) – From now until Dec. 23 the hotel is raising money for the Children’s Health Foundation of Vancouver Island as part of A Not so Silent Night. Families are invited to enjoy cocoa and cookies by donation in the Pacific Restaurant from 2 to 4 p.m. daily (with carol singing on the weekends), colour a picture and snap a photo at the Woodland Wonderland display – then share it on social media using the #IslandKidsFirst hashtag, and take part in a Pancakes & Pajamas breakfast with Santa on Dec. 10 from 10 a.m. to noon (tickets available at the hotel or online).

Hillside Shopping Centre (Shelbourne Street/Hillside Avenue) – Once again Hillside is hosting the annual Celebrate a Life campaign for Victoria Hospice. Visitors are invited to share their memories of loved ones by creating a personalized tribute to hang on the tree. Donations are also accepted on site for Hospice, which provides compassionate end-of-life care for patients and their families. You can also make an online tribute or donation to Hospice at celebratealifevictoria.ca.

The Bay Centre (Douglas and Fort street) – The 26th annual Festival of Trees, a fundraiser for the BC Childrens Hospital, is on now on the second and third levels at the downtown mall. It features 80 Christmas trees decorated with all manner of ornaments by local companies, non-profits and community groups. Vote for your favourite tree with a donation to Excellence in Child Health Fund, which supports programs and services offered by BC Childrens Hospital, its research institute and Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children.

Parkside Hotel and Spa (810 Humboldt St.) – Some amazing creations are on display now through Jan. 2 at the Parkside, the new host for Habitat for Humanity’s ninth annual Gingerbread Showcase. With a theme of Celebrating Canada! this exhibit of baked architecture and astounding creativity by local chefs appeals to all ages and is a fundraiser aiding Habitat’s affordable home ownership programs. View them between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. daily.


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