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PHOTOS: Artist’s contest-winning ‘Beach Walk’ gingerbread village remembers nephew

An area of Central City Shopping Centre was filled with the gingerbread creations from Dec. 4-12
Carla Maskall’s “A Beach Walk” creation was the People’s Choice winner in the Gingerbread Village contest hosted by the Downtown Surrey BIA at Central City Shopping Centre. (Photo:

Some prize-winning gingerbread creations were showcased at Central City Shopping Centre this month, including one made in memory of an artist’s nephew.

More than $10,000 in cash prizes were awarded in the annual Gingerbread Village contest hosted by the Downtown Surrey Business Improvement Association (BIA).

Carla Maskall’s “A Beach Walk” creation was the $1,000 People’s Choice winner, and also topped the Adult Open category.

“When the family comes together over the holidays, one tradition we can all agree on is a walk at Surrey’s Crescent Beach or White Rock Beach to look at the ocean and the train,” says a hand-written sign in one corner of the gingerbread beach scene.

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Maskall said she made the winning gingerbread village not only because it was fun to create, she was feeling sad about her nephew Dylan, who died in an accident in Surrey four months ago.

“At the same time I noticed the contest in (the mall) and decided to enter, never expecting to win, as I am not really a baker but an artist,” Maskall told the Now-Leader.

“I planned from the very beginning to donate any prize money to Options Community Services, as their various services in Surrey helped my nephew in the past,” the artist added. “This seemed like a nice thing to do, and I have already met with them, and one idea we are looking at (is) possibly making an gazebo at one of Surrey’s homeless shelters in my nephew’s name. I understand that the outdoor shelter blew away, and the clients have no covered space to gather outside. I will keep in touch as to if this comes about or not, but I hope so.”

As for the gingerbread village she made, it’s being moved to South Surrey’s Pacifica Retirement Residence, where Maskall has taught art to seniors for eight years.

Second place in the People’s Choice contest went to ICBA, with “A Scottish Christmas” in third.

“We had over 100 votes & $1,599 was raised that will be donated to Surrey Christmas Bureau,” the BIA tweeted Dec. 14.

In other categories involving school students and local charities, five judges awarded creations based on “wow factor,” uniqueness, attention to detail, overall design, use of products and theme.

Photos of the judged category winners are posted to the BIA’s Facebook page, along with a list of all the winners.

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An area of the mall was filled with the gingerbread creations for a fifth year, from Dec. 4 to 12.

• READ MORE: Gingerbread Village contest pitches $10K prizes in Surrey mall showcase.

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Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news stories for the Surrey Now-Leader, where I've worked for more than half of my 30-plus years in the newspaper business.
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