A few hundred intrepid crafters of all ages came together at the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Centre to celebrate the festive season and take part in the annual Earth Friendly Holiday Event.
Every year the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS) invites residents of all ages out for two days of sustainable arts and crafts with a holiday theme. Event-goers make wreaths from pine clippings and old tire rims, snowmen from clay, birdhouses and other creative crafts made with environmentally conscious materials, either recycled or from nature.
CCCS coordinator Amber Gregg helped organize the event and said this year marked the ninth time they’ve put on this event. She said they started it as a way to bring people together to make natural art for the holiday season while reminding people they don’t have to consume and buy lots of presents to make the holidays warm and wonderful.
Thanks to the work of the CCCS staff and other volunteers, along with generous donations from the community, this event practically runs itself Gregg said. So long as they have fresh pine boughs, dry grass, pine cones and other assorted materials, people are able to simply show up and use their imaginations to create whatever they want.
Gregg guesses at least 100 people came in to make wreaths Friday night, and another 100 to craft, although she doesn’t know exactly how many people showed up, as plans to keep count were quickly abandoned when a rush of people came early on to grab one of the 75 tire rims available to make the popular wreaths.
“It’s so great, we had so much good feedback just about the event and the community it brings together,” Gregg said. “It just brings together a lot of people who all have the same idea of what Christmas and the holidays are about.”
Gregg said they also collected just over $200 in donations for the food bank, St. Vincent de Paul and Pregnancy Outreach in addition to non-perishable food items.
She hopes this event ultimately helps more people realize all the ways they can be festive and creative this holiday season while being sustainable and spending time with their loved ones. Gregg’s conservation tip for the holiday season is to use some old newspapers to wrap your presents this year.