Jude Somers won the 2020 People’s Choice Award for her creation The Santa Train, during Habitat for Humanity’s 12th annual Gingerbread Showcase. (Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)

Jude Somers won the 2020 People’s Choice Award for her creation The Santa Train, during Habitat for Humanity’s 12th annual Gingerbread Showcase. (Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)

Winners of Victoria’s 12th annual Gingerbread Showcase announced

More than $35,000 raised between Nov. 21 and Jan. 3

After more than a month of displaying the drool-worthy creations, Habitat for Humanity Victoria has announced the winners of the 12th annual Gingerbread Showcase.

Baked to the theme of Coastal Living, the record 33 submissions included seaside cottages, lighthouses, marine life and ships. Adhering to COVID-19 restrictions, viewers were able to admire the displays through the windows of 10 businesses across Victoria and Sidney and make their votes and donations online.

Almost Home by Selena Oliveira. (Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)

More than 500 people submitted votes for the People’s Choice Award in what Kelly King, director of giving at Habitat for Humanity Victoria, described as “a very close race.” In the end, the winner was Jude Somers who is known as a previous contestant on the Great Canadian Baking Show. Her creation, The Santa Train, represents the E&N Railway of the 1920s and is inspired by the idea of bringing friends and family together.

Somers said it took her more than 200 hours to complete and that the most challenging part was building a tunnel that wouldn’t cave-in on itself. She added that all the details on the steam engine were “quite tricky to create and assemble.”

RELATED: Winners of 2019 Habitat for Humanity Victoria’s Gingerbread Showcase announced

Professional judges also voted on five different awards:

– Best first impression: Almost Home by Selena Oliveira

– Best use of skill and technique: We wish you a Beachy Christmas! by Jen Dumont

– Best interpretation of the theme: At Home on the Ocean by Sheena Wells

– Most creative and original: On the Back Deck by Jesika Edison

At Home on the Ocean by Sheena Wells. (Courtesy of Habitat for Humanity)

– Most diverse use of ingredients: Embracing Nature by Parkwood PUGS

“This year brought so many challenges, but our bakers have taken it in stride and created the most delightful display. The skill and thought behind each piece has been truly inspirational,” Yolanda Meijer, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Victoria, said.

In total, the Nov. 21 to Jan. 3 event raised more than $35,000 for Habitat for Humanity’s housing project in North Saanich. Bakerview Place will include 10 affordable houses upon completion.

All of the 2020 Gingerbread Showcase creations can be viewed at habitatvictoria.com.

RELATED: Habitat for Humanity opens doors for Central Saanich family


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