By Sports and Lifestyle Editor Cole Schisler

Last year, local home builder B.Gallant Homes organized a gingerbread house decorating event to raise money for the Salvation Army’s housing programs in Nanaimo. They raised almost $1000 dollars in 2015, and this year, they are raising the stakes with the B. Gingerbread Homes Competition.

This year, teams representing local businesses in Nanaimo will compete to see which of their gingerbread homes is the best. To view the homes, all attendees must make a cash donation, there is no minimum donation, and no maximum donation. All proceeds will go to support the housing programs of the Nanaimo Salvation Army. The winners of the competition will be announced December 15.

The gingerbread homes will be on display at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre at 101 Gordon Street in Nanaimo, on December 3 – 4, 11 – 12, and 17 – 18 from 12 – 4 pm. Along with voting for the best gingerbread house, attendees can decorate their own gingerbread houses, and take them home after the event, there will also be a colouring contest for children. All attendees who donate will be entered in a draw to win tickets for Helijet travel to Vancouver.

The VIU carpentry program has been involved building display stands for the event, and the VIU baking program has been baking cookies for the event over the past few weeks. Several corporate sponsors have also been involved with the B. Gingerbread Homes competition, such as Thrifty Foods, which donated the gingerbread for the event, the Vancouver Island Conference Centre which is hosting the event, and Ensuite, which has provided financial backing for the event.

Volunteers are needed for the event. Volunteers will work handing out candy, accepting donations, monitoring the event, and welcoming people to the event centre; volunteers must be available on Saturdays and Sundays from 12 – 4 pm. To apply for volunteer positions, email

Cole is a second-year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in creative writing, minoring in political science. He has an interest in all things exciting, mundane, or otherwise. He hopes to one day become an author, actor, comedian, editor, and rapper, while moonlighting as an astronaut.