Denise and Jim Madeiros have opened up their Christmas miniature village this year for people to visit. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Denise and Jim Madeiros have opened up their Christmas miniature village this year for people to visit. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Courtenay couple opens up Christmas mini village to raise donations

Jim and Denise Madeiros have been collecting pieces for more than 25 years

For the last 25 years or so, Denise and Jim Madeiros have assembled an ever-growing collection of miniatures to put together a village with a seasonal touch.

They have painted most of the buildings, or have their kids or grandkids paint some. Friends have also contributed to the assemblage.

“We started with about six buildings that we painted ourselves, and every year we added a few more, and a few more,” says Denise. “It just grew and grew.”

It’s grown over the years to the point where it takes about 100 hours to put together and another 50 hours to take it down.

This year, for the first time, they are opening up the display, Christmas on Cascara, to the wider community.

They started small by hand-painting ceramic buildings. For Denise, it was a blue farmhouse, and it remains her favourite. Jim, who is retired Coast Guard, likes the marina they have assembled. He’s even fashioned wood from an old lobster trap into a dock, and they have added personal touches to each of the boats.

“All the boats we’ve named after the grand-kids,” says Jim.

That’s just a small part of the display, which includes street after street of shops and homes, along with other features like a ski hill, and one of the most popular features – the model train that travels through part of the display.

“The kids love the train,” Jim says.

There are many buildings with flashing lights, or pieces like Ferris wheels or carousel that play Christmas tunes.

“You always see something different every time you look at it,” Denise says.

Jim always makes it a bit of hide-and-seek for the kids too, with the first one to spot a polar bear winning a candy cane.

Many of the buildings they have fashioned after local landmarks or buildings belonging to people they know.

“There’s lots of local homes,” says Jim.

The couple has paid a lot of attention to the fine points, as a closer inspection of some of the buildings shows. For example, if you look through the window inside a pool hall, you’ll see someone in a Santa suit at a pool table.

The reason they opened up their display to the public this year is they now have more space to share the experience with children in the community. They have even had some school groups come by for a look.

READ MORE: ‘Pop-up’ Christmas Craft Fair at Tsolum school

They are also raising funds. Admission is by donation, with all proceeds going to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, the Canucks Autism Network or the Comox Valley Food Bank. They will also take food donations.

The display is open 4 to 7 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Dec. 22. The location is 2860 Cascara Cres. in Courtenay. For more information, call 250-897-5643 or 250-218-7177.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The couple has been collecting pieces for more than 25 years. Photo by Mike Chouinard

The couple has been collecting pieces for more than 25 years. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Just Posted

A man sustained burns to his body near this spot around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday, April 13 in Courtenay. The fire was left of the pathway. The Station youth housing facility and city public works yard are to the right of the trail. Photo by Terry Farrell
Emergency personnel respond to man on fire in wooded area of Courtenay

A man was badly burned in the early morning hours Tuesday in… Continue reading

This 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 was stolen from Black Creek Motors at approximately 2 a.m. Sunday, April 11. Photos via blackcreekmotors.com
VIDEO: Thieves steal truck from Black Creek car lot by towing it away

Have you seen a 2013 Dodge Ram 1500 in your neighbourhood in… Continue reading

Teresa Hedley and a copy of her book, “What’s Not Allowed? A Family Journey with Autism.” Photo supplied
Comox Library recognizes Autism Awareness Month with presentation by local author

April is World Autism Awareness Month, an annual opportunity to increase understanding… Continue reading

Comox council will further look at a troublesome traffic area in the Point Holmes area of the town. Photo submitted
Comox council to look at speed calming measures at Point Holmes

“…We are waiting for a problem to happen if we don’t act.”

A 41-person air task force, including 12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron at 19 Wing Comox, seized more than $3 million CND worth of cocaine as part of Op Caribbe. Photo by Canadian Armed Forces Operations/Facebook
19 Wing Comox crew involved in three-tonne cocaine seizure worth more than $293 million

12 members from 407 Long Range Patrol Squadron involved in Op Caribbe

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has restricted indoor dining at all restaurants in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 indoor dining, drinking ban extending into May

Restaurant association says patio rules to be clarified

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Two men were seen removing red dresses alongside the Island Highway in Oyster Bay. (Submitted photo)
Two men filmed removing red dresses from trees on highway near Ladysmith

Activists hung the dresses to raise awareness for Vancouver Island’s Murdered/Missing Women & Girls

Comox Lake is the drinking water source for the CVRD. Photo supplied
Comox Valley Water Treatment Project nears completion

The Comox Valley Water Treatment Project is more than 85 per cent… Continue reading

B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
Tougher COVID-19 restrictions in B.C., including travel, still ‘on the table’: Horgan

John Horgan says travel restrictions will be discussed Wednesday by the provincial cabinet

RCMP on scene yesterday at the altercation at the trailer park. (Submitted photo)
Violent altercation at Port Hardy trailer park sends one to hospital

Police say man confronted another over airsoft shooting, then was attacked with a weapon

Comox council approved a change in fees for using the Comox Municipal Marina, extending the collection of fees from March 1 to Oct. 31 each year. Black Press file photo
Fee changes, increased costs coming to Comox Municipal Marina

The town will be extending the collection of fees from March 1 to Oct. 31

John Albert Buchanan was found guilty of manslaughter in the 2017 death of Richard Sitar. Pictured here, Buchanan walking to the court in Nanaimo last year. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Six years including time served for Nanaimo man in bludgeoning death

John Albert Buchanan sentenced in B.C. Supreme Court in Nanaimo for death of Richard Sitar

Protesters occupied a road leading to Fairy Creek Watershed near Port Renfrew. (Submitted photo)
B.C. First Nation says logging activist interference not welcome at Fairy Creek

Vancouver Island’s Pacheedaht concerned about increasing polarization over forestry activities

Most Read