By Phil McLachlan
The Fernie Craft Fair was once again hailed a large success, as it showcased local hand-made goods for thousands that attended over the two days.
“I think we had really good attendance,” said Craft Fair Coordinator, Tanya Malcolm. “Both the Twilight fair and the Holiday fairs were sold-out events, which for being 100 per cent handcrafted in its first season, that’s all I can ask for.”
This is Malcolm’s fifth year coordinating the craft fair, and she is extremely happy at how many vendors and guests showed up to take part in the events. She felt that there was a lot of hype leading up to the event which is partially to thank for its success.
Fernie Craft Fairs has a contact list of over 200 vendors, which is a list that’s constantly growing due to the extensive reach of Malcolm. Vendors came from Invermere, Creston, Nelson and as far away as Revelstoke, offering a wide range of goods available in one place.
“Whenever I travel in the west and east Kootenay, I collect business cards from farmers markets or craft fairs that are happening when I travel, so that I can connect with those vendors,” said Malcolm.
This year, Malcolm made a decision to make the craft fair strictly handcrafted, as she saw many small handcrafted vendors on a waiting list last year, beaten by those selling goods for more commercial companies.
“I just thought that I would sort of shift into the alignment of the name of the event, which is a craft fair,” said Malcolm. “We’re in the first season of handcrafted events, and the feedback from the community and the vendors seems to be positive, so I think it was a good choice.”
Malcolm doesn’t forsee the format of the craft show changing too much next year, as the current format seems to be suiting the needs of the vendors and working out well so far. As the Community Centre only holds 64 tables, this restricts any room for expansion.
“I just love everything about the creativity of the vendors,” said Malcolm. “But really they do become friends and like a family to me. I do enjoy seeing friendly faces again and making sure everyone feels comfortable.”
Another craft fair is yet to come on Saturday, December 17 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. at the Fernie Community Centre.