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Our Community: GVPL looks for local authors, Gingerbread Showcase results

The Greater Victoria Public Library is accepting applications for its annual Emerging Local Authors Collection; the annual holiday gingerbreak showcase raises $74,000 for Habitat for Humanity
With more than 10,000 votes, Jesika Edison's 'Christmas Magic at Hogwarts Hall' was the clear winner of the coveted People’s Choice Award at the recent Gingerbread Showcase, an annual holiday fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity. The holiday event, with featured bakers crafting edible creations on the theme of 'magic' this year, raised more than $73,750. Photo submitted by Habitat for Humanity.

Gingerbread Showcase raises almost $74,000

This year’s Gingerbread Showcase, an annual holiday fundraiser for Habitat for Humanity, raised more than $73,750.

The theme for bakers was “magical.” As in previous years, visitors were asked to vote for their favourite entries for the coveted People’s Choice Award.

More than 10,000 votes were tallied, with the 2022 award going to Jesika ­Edison for her creation Christmas Magic at Hogwarts Hall.

Professional judges chose winners in five categories:

• Best first impression — Pegacorn by Selena Olivera

• Best use of skill and technique — Music Hall Magic by Jude Somers

• Best interpretation of the theme — Christmas Magic at Hogwarts Hall by Jesika Edison

• Most creative and original — Gnome Sweet Gnome by Veronica and Alyssa Norman

• Most diverse use of ingredients — In a Land Far, Far Away by Salma Naili, Simone Scrivener and Joanna Wiseman

“We are delighted with the results of this year’s Gingerbread Showcase,” said Scott Dutchak, CEO of Habitat for Humanity Victoria. “Thank you to all of our bakers, supporters and volunteers for their ongoing support. Their ­dedication is vital to the success of our beloved ­Gingerbread Showcase.”

Proceeds from the event will help build a stronger future for Victoria ­families in need of a safe, decent place to live, the group said. The fundraiser was a partnership with Revera Living.

GVPL looking for local authors

The Greater Victoria Public Library is expanding its annual Emerging Local Authors Collection, with applications for inclusion being accepted until Jan. 31.

The collection includes self-published, independent and small-press books written by local authors and published between 2012 and 2021. There are 1,073 titles and more than 750 authors in the collection, ranging in age from six to 90-plus.

Print books from the collection are showcased at the Central Branch and can be placed on hold for pickup at any branch. Ebooks are made available through BiblioBoard, a digital platform for self-published content.

The 2022 collection includes more than 125 authors and illustrators and more than 200 titles that cover various topics and genres.

Authors and illustrators interested in applying must live on southern ­Vancouver Island or have resided here during the publication of their book to qualify. The book must be published between 2013 and 2022. For a complete list of ­criteria and to apply, go to the GVPL website.

“The Emerging Local Authors ­Collection supports and celebrates Greater Victoria’s rich writing culture,” said Jennifer Rowan, public services librarian. “We aim to both highlight the creativity and talent of our community’s writers and artists and to promote books that might not be available through ­traditional channels.”

Fruits of labour

In anticipation of the growing season, LifeCycles will be hosting three fruit-tree-centred workshops to help gardeners get the best from their fruit trees.

The first of the year is the Winter Pruning Workshop, with local pruning expert Tim Fryatt at Welland Orchard, Jan. 28.

Learn the basics of pruning — with a live demonstration on a fruit tree — or sharpen your pruning skills. Discover how to select the proper tools, how to use and care for the tools and how and when to prune your trees and vines.

The workshop will include an ­opportunity to ask Fryatt tree-related questions.

Next up is the Pest Management ­Workshop, which takes place Feb. 26, followed by the Dormant Grafting ­Workshop, Mar. 26.

Workshops are $33.28 each. They all run 10 a.m. to noon at the Welland ­Community Orchard, 1215 Stancil Lane. Dress for the weather, as the workshop will be held outdoors.

Dementia journey

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, and the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is inviting Greater Victoria residents to flip the script on the stigma associated with dementia through a series of virtual workshops, webinars and a virtual panel.

The month-long campaign will ­highlight people on the dementia journey who continue to find moments of joy, peace and happiness.

One in two British Columbians believe that a dementia diagnosis means the end of a meaningful life, says the society, when the reality is that people living with the condition can still live a full life.

Throughout the month, the Alzheimer Society of B.C. is offering opportunities to learn about dementia and participate in conversations that matter to people affected by dementia — whether they are living with the disease or caregiving for someone who is.

The society connects people affected by dementia to support and education at any point in the disease through its First Link referral program.

Ask a health-care provider for a ­referral or call the First Link Dementia Helpline at 1-800-936-6033.

Museum helps out

The Maritime Museum of British Columbia is working with the Victoria ­Foundation to provide a limited ­number of free programs for schools and ­organizations that work with underserved or marginalized communities.

The free programming is contingent on staffing capacity and funding, the museum says.

Schools and organizations can use a new bursary form to let the museum know of their needs.