Local families the big winners in CMHC's charity gingerbread house
competition for Habitat for Humanity, NCR

OTTAWA, Dec. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - The competition was spirited, friendly and all for a good cause today as teams from across the region squared off at the Rideau Centre in Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation's (CMHC) eighth annual gingerbread house build in support of Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region (NCR).

Several prizes were awarded, but the main winners will be local families whose dreams of homeownership will move closer to reality because of the event.

"Habitat for Humanity is a great organization that does amazing work here in Ottawa, across Canada and around the world," said Ed Komarnicki, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and to the Minister of Labour. "I am delighted that CMHC is working with the local organization again this year to help raise money to build homes for families in the National Capital Region."

In the competition's professional category, local restaurants, bakeries and culinary schools competed to design and decorate gingerbread houses that evoke the holiday spirit. The top prize of $1,000 went to a stunning creation made by Fairmont Château Laurier. The second place prize of $500 was awarded to Cité collégiale, and third place went to Decadent Cakes with a $250 prize.

New to this year's competition was an amateur category, which saw teams of families, friends and other 'rookies' compete to come up with the most tantalizing creation. The first prize of $500 went to Intempo Design Studio; second prize ($250) was awarded to Design First Interiors; and third prize ($100) went to Erskine Dredge & Associates Architects Inc.

A highlight of the annual event is the media competition, in which local media personalities compete against each other - and against the clock - in a live gingerbread house build. This year, teams from Virgin Radio, the Ottawa Citizen, the Ottawa Sun, 24 Hours Ottawa, A-Channel and CJOH CTV-Ottawa participated, and were presented with a certificate of appreciation by MP Komarnicki.

"CMHC has a special relationship with Habitat for Humanity, and we are pleased to be supporting them with today's event," said Karen Kinsley, President and CEO of CMHC. "This is a time of year when Canadians are looking to share their good fortune with others. Proceeds from CMHC's gingerbread house competition will enable Habitat for Humanity to continue building safe and affordable homes for low-income working families in the National Capital Region."

"Habitat for Humanity NCR is proud to partner with CMHC again this year for another excellent community event," said Donna Hicks, Habitat NCR's CEO. "Everyone is a winner in this event, especially the local families who will be helped by your generosity."

The gingerbread homes will be on display at the Rideau Centre in the West Bay Bridge (near Grand & Toy) all weekend. Visitors are invited to tour the gingerbread village and bid on their favourite homes in a silent auction. All proceeds from the silent auction will go to support the home building programs of Habitat for Humanity NCR.

Habitat for Humanity NCR's mission is to mobilize volunteers and community partners in building affordable housing and promoting home ownership as a means to breaking the cycle of poverty. Habitat has built 35 homes in the National Capital Region since 1993.

CMHC has been Canada's national housing agency for more than 60 years. CMHC is committed to helping Canadians access a wide choice of quality, environmentally sustainable, affordable homes, while making vibrant, healthy communities and cities a reality across the country.

SOURCE Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

For further information: For further information: Inquiries: Kate Munroe, Media Relations, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation, Tel.: (613) 748-4618, kmunroe@cmhc-schl.gc.ca; Donna Hicks, CEO, Habitat for Humanity, NCR, Tel.: (613) 749-9950, Ext. 222, Donna@habitatncr.com


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