There were crowds of enthusiastic Bella Coola residents who poured into Lobelco Hall for the annual Arts and Crafts Fair when the doors opened at 5:00 pm on Saturday November 23. Everyone had different strategies – some did a quick survey of what was available, others lingered at their favourite tables. For some like myself it was the food tables that drew me: fresh baked home made pies, bread, cookies of all kinds, chocolate, and loaves.
I saw a crowd around one of the jewelry tables who referred to themselves as a ‘gaggle of women’, obviously enjoying trying on different necklaces and bangles. Helga Kaiser once again had a wonderful display of stained glass lamps and other items, and there were a group of painters who had some fine pieces of work for sale. Ron Harrison went to great lengths explaining to me how to play the Norwegian betting game of ‘viking ships’ and showing me the game board he had crafted. Doug Walker and Diane Skelly had the most amazing display of bird houses and feeders that Doug had built.
Pauline Russell and the Tutt ‘girls’ (happy birthday) almost single handedly produced a lasagna supper with buns and salad. By the end of the evening there were only two pieces of lasagna left with all the salad and buns gone. I can testify to the quality of the veggie lasagna. This is a lot of work for those involved – including the servers and cleaning up crew, but it also brings in significant revenue for the Arts Council and allows us to finance various arts related activities in the community.
Over the two days of the fair 398 people came through the doors. As in past years we had door prizes. This year one of Helga’s stained glass pieces was given to Jeff Kloss, and Joan Saugstad received a beautiful ceramic serving plate made by Ernest Hall. We also recognized Ron Harrison for his display and his many years of participation in the Arts and Crafts Fair, and a second prize went to Doug Walker and Diane Skelly for their attractive and interesting display.
We were fortunate to have Santa make and appearance on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately he was quite busy and and had to leave after he had seen all the children who were there, so children who came later in the afternoon missed him. We will try to see if we can improve this next year, but a big thanks to Santa for making the effort to come to Bella Coola.
A big thank you to Sheila Wilson who took a lead role in organizing the Fair, and of course to the many other people who helped. By the looks of people’s faces I think the event was enjoyed, and vendors sold over $12000 worth of arts and crafts. We hope to see you all again next year.