I don’t know that anyone mentioned it, but I believe this was the 40th annual Arts and Crafts Fair in Bella Coola. Some of those early Arts council members may be able to correct me on this, but it was definitely one of the early events that the Arts Council initiated in the 1970’s. What a lot of work over the years, and what a lot of fun. A number of people have said to me that they thought events like the A & C Fair really brought the community together.
This year was a little smaller than in other years, but sales were the best ever, at least in recent years. Over 400 people attended the event which featured the perennial Lasagna supper. Many thanks to the women who organized this and did the work in putting this popular supper on the table.
I am afraid to mention names because I will miss out some, but definitely Liz Endicott, and the ‘Tutt girls’, Wenda Silver, and I saw Pauline Enderud there helping out even though she retired from doing this some years ago. Others helped with serving and cleaning up. They also decorated the hall with lights and Christmas tree, which pleased me no end as I didn’t have to fight with that beast of a tree stored in the stage attic space.
There were many of the regular vendors including the Hospital Auxiliary with their well decorated booth, CC4Africa with lots of edible items for sale, Helga with her light show, and Denise Casperson with her baked goods and soap. Denise did very well with her sales, and in a very generous gesture turned over her income to the Hospital auxiliary.
Some of the new vendors this year were Vicki Tuck with a beautifully set up booth selling pictures burned into wood or mushrooms (yes, I said mushrooms). Wayne Padgett had his new and first book for sale describing some of his early days in the Valley – stories and poems. Veronica Andy had some amazing home knit sweaters available, other knitted items, as well as carvings by her son Brad. Lucille Thompson showed some of her many paintings and was pleased to have a number of sales. Ida Eriksen has been sewing up a storm making dresses, aprons and bags.
Other vendors included Keith and Brenda Smart (who missed last year’s fair because of the awful weather we had – remember?). Then there were Erin Chapman with her soap, Adel Robson and her pies and goodies, Wilma Hallam and her quilts, Marlene Anderson with no honey this year, but lots of other offerings, Terry Diehl and her jewelry, Doreen Desrosiers and many crafted items, Lindsey Gericke, Stephanie Severin, Barb Solhjell, Dana Chapman, Anna Ratcliff, David Stanger, and Sarah Matthews, all of whom contributed to a successful and fun fair.
I shouldn’t forget to mention that we were able to make special arrangements for Santa to visit on Sunday. He tells me he enjoyed seeing all the children at the fair and was pleased to be able to make a quick trip into Bella Coola. Thanks also to Caroline Johnson, music teacher at SAMS, who organized an impromptu choir to sing a few Christmas Carols Saturday night.
As always the Arts and Crafts Fair would not happen without long time organizers such as Sheila Wilson, the cooks, the vendors who made the effort to set up their booths and have items for sale, and of course, the many community members who came to the fair.
See you next year!