A three-decade tradition, for many Creston Valley residents the Christmas Arts & Craft Market kicks off the start of Christmas season.
For its host, the Creston Valley Arts Council, the Market is a chance to allow shoppers to connect with a creative community that seems to be growing like topsy.
“We had 70 tables available and I think we have 58 different vendors (some vendors rent more than one space to strut their stuff),” Arts Council director Anne Fetterly said last week. “And once again shoppers will have a huge range of gift items to choose from.”
“All vendors are screened to make sure their stock is hand-made in the Creston Valley,” adds Alison Szpak, who is the current Arts Council treasurer. “We are calling the market ‘A handmade holiday shopping delight!’”
Food and drink items, wearable art, jewellery, glass, photography, candles, Christmas wreaths, theatre tickets and much, much more will be available, and vendors will range from veterans to newcomers.
“The hospital tuck shop will there, and don’t they do incredible work for our community” Szpak said of the group of crafters that has raised $1,000s for Creston Valley Hospital. “And there is another group that makes amazing wreaths from golf balls, with 100 per cent of the proceeds going to the Christmas Hamper Fund.”
Christmas is a time when the community rallies to support organizations that help the less fortunate among us, and last year the market collected $1,400 in cash donations for the Food Bank, plus boxes of donated food.
“This is the only fundraiser of the year for the Arts Council,” Fetterly said.
“Everything we raise goes back into our community, which we define as Yahk to Riondel,” Szpak added.
The two volunteers (Fetterly is a fabric artist and Szpak co-owns 4 Corners Matting and Framing) emphasize that the Arts Council is an umbrella organization for arts and culture. It supports groups, individuals and organizations engaged in arts related actvitity, and defines art as including visual, performing, literary, media, culture and heritage endeavours.
The Christmas Arts & Craft Market is a one-day event, to be held this year on Saturday, November 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Creston & District Community Complex. Admission is by donation, with all proceeds designated for the Creston Food Bank.