Sidney Nativity Exhibit now in its 10th year

Popular exhibit features nativity figurines in wood, clay and even chocolate.

Barb Watters

There are close to 800 figurines, statues, carvings and sculptures on display in Sidney — and they all depict the Nativity scene, celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ.

It’s a collection of Nativity figurines that comes from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints from the Saanich Peninsula and Greater Victoria.

Organizer Barb Watters admits, however, that almost half of them are from her own collection.

Running from this Saturday, Nov. 26 to Dec. 5, the 10th annual Nativity Exhibit features the much-loved figurines and exhibits from around the world and even from here in our back yard.

Watters and her daughter Murrae Wilson, pointed out a variety of the collectables, from those brought back to Canada from Mongolia, Uganda and Ghana, to a set donated to them from an elderly German couple. That one, she said, was purchased by the couple more than 50 years ago in Germany and brought with them when they came to Canada. It’s a collection of familiar Hummel figurines.

Another item, about 25 years old, is a rendering of the scene in chocolate. It’s now kept under glass.

Watters became a collector herself around 14 years ago. She said her son was living in Houston, Texas at the time and was helping set up a Nativity display at a church there. Watters thought she’d like to try something similar on the Peninsula.

So, she managed to find three sets and put them up. It was a small start.

Yet the next year she had five sets and it grew to the larger exhibit that she puts on today. So, she said she doesn’t really count those first four years.

After a decade, the Nativity Exhibit has grown in popularity. Watters said last year the church in Sidney saw 1,200 people come through the doors. That included 12 bus tour groups.

This year, they’ve already booked 25 bus groups from the Peninsula, Oak Bay and even Sooke. People will get to see the exhibits, wall hangings, artwork, a ‘white room’ and ‘west coast whimsical room’ for the lighter side of Nativity exhibits.

The show is free and is open daily from 2 to 9 p.m.

To find out more, and for directions to the exhibit, visit sidneynativityexhibit.ca.

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