Every year for the last 15 years, Geoff Cram prepares a gingerbread house to display at Ladysmith’s Old Town Bakery.
He’s tried a variety of different houses over the years, like Dr. Seuss themed house, an ugly Christmas sweater factory, a train, and more traditional European themed houses. This year, Cram wanted to do something Canadian.
“I started trying to think of what Canadian architecture looked like, and there isn’t really a defining style from coast to coast. Everything is quite different. So, then I thought I would go more local. I was trying to think of something B.C. wise, and I started thinking of my childhood, then I decided to keep it super local between Cowichan Valley and Ucluelet,” Cram said.
The gingerbread house features a Coast Salish big house, a mountain shaped like a bird, and a moon based on work by Comox artist, Andy Everson. Cram drew inspiration for the mountain from a peak on the way to Tofino that — to him — always looked like a bird taking off in flight. There are also gingerbread stars, and gingerbread people in Cowichan sweaters suspended from the ceiling.
On Nov. 20, Old Town Bakery posted photos of the gingerbread house on their Facebook Page. It has since garnered over 1,200 likes, 188 comments, and 1,600 shares. Social media commenters are thrilled with the art, calling it ‘beautiful’, ‘amazing’, and ‘incredible’.
Cram consulted with one of his employees, who is Coast Salish. She asked her family what would be appropriate for the piece. Cram was unsure of elements, like putting Christmas lights on the big house.
The gingerbread house will be on display for the next two months. Cram looks forward to hearing more from the community about the creation.
“I’m happy for people to come in and see it. We’d love to hear their responses, feedback, and suggestions for next year,” Cram said.