This year with craft fair season well underway, the lakecity is invited once more to support the students of Cataline Elementary at the annual Cataline Christmas Craft Fair.
This event takes place on the same weekend as the Medieval Market and other craft fairs on Nov. 23 and Nov. 24 for what many people use as a chance to knock out the majority of their Christmas shopping in one go. A modest mid-sized market, the Cataline Christmas Craft Fair is a longtime favourite thanks to its lack of an entrance fee and easy to navigate space.
The event is being organized this year by returning organizer Robin Ford, though this year will also mark her second at last time at the helm. Ford’s son, Cassius, will be graduating from Cataline and moving on to Columneetza which means she’ll be moving on with him. Volunteering is something she’s always enjoyed a lot and wherever she can she tries to get involved with events, activities and groups that benefit her son and other children.
“I’m sad, I had a lot of fun with this craft fair even though I’ve only been doing it now for the second year. The vendors that we have are fantastic, they’re a lot of fun and the weekend is just usually a nice high energy lot of fun,” Ford said.
There’s always a dire need for volunteers, Ford said, and she encourages other parents to step up and volunteer to help organize the market in the future or join the Cataline PAC. As she sees it, a lot of the programs and systems are already built, so new prospective volunteers won’t have to “reinvent the wheel”. Any looking to join the PAC or organize the craft fair can do so, Ford said, via Facebook or e-mail CatalinePac@hotmail.com.
The craft fair was originally proposed by the PAC “many moons ago” to help generate some revenue for the school itself. Ford explained that the PAC funds quite a lot of programs and services for the school itself over the years including swimming lessons, busing routes and in recent years have been trying to fund the construction of new playground equipment. She said they chose the weekend of the Medieval Market as they reckoned that if they would come out for that they’d be interested in swinging by their own little market to.
They never have a set amount for money they hope to raise, Ford said, but they’d always like to see a lot. Thus far they’ve been able to raise $10,000 for the playground equipment so she thinks “the more the merrier” is always good. Playground equipment is very expensive, she said, so the PAC will doing everything they can to raise money in the next few years.
There’s no fee to enter the craft fair, however, they do have a raffle each year for door prizes and run the concession which brings them in a tidy sum of money.
This year they have 29 vendors setting up shop in the Cataline gymnasium, many of them returning vendors along with a few new ones. Ford said these new vendors include the BCSPCA, the Canadian Cancer Society, Rustic Wood Creations and Sweet Legs Leggings.
“A lot of our vendors have been coming for many years but what’s kind of exciting about them is they always seem to bring new pieces to their tables even with their items, the staples, that have been there for years past,” Ford said. “The vendors are so chipper and cheerful and we have a lot of fun. Everybody’s having a good time at the market and that’s what draws me to it.”
The craft fair takes place on Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Nov. 24 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Ford said and all are welcome and encouraged to come out and support the students.