Annual Christmas Arts and Craft Fair goes virtual this year
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
Sioux Lookout’s Annual Christmas Arts and Craft Fair, a long-standing staple of the holiday season in Sioux Lookout, is moving online.
The event celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2012. This will be the seventh year the event has been organized by the Friends of Cedar Bay, who are partnering with the Sioux Lookout Chamber of Commerce this year.
Friends of Cedar Bay (FCB) Chairperson Joyce Timpson said, “We are anxious to keep the momentum going to assist local artisans and crafters with their work, and to make their beautiful wares available to the public.”
Timpson mentioned that it wouldn’t be safe to have 36 vendors and almost 1000 people visit the fair in-person within the six hours the event normally runs for. She added, “We are hoping that because of the flexibility of an online event, more vendors can reach more people. We put thought into creating a platform that can be accessed by anyone, whether they have Facebook or not, and we’re happy to have the Chamber of Commerce partner with us to make it happen! We are helping the less tech-savvy vendors with their posts and are happy to assist out-of-towners as well.”
Timpson shared that there are numerous dedicated volunteers who wouldn’t hear of cancelling the fair altogether, and they worked hard to work out a safe alternative. She added that, so far, everything is coming together well. Their greatest challenge is to ensure that the crafts are sold safely using social distancing, wearing of masks, hand hygiene etc. “To make sure all goodies are not only delicious but safe, all food vendors must have a certificate issued from the NWHU (Northwestern Health Unit). In this way, we meet the required regulations and can take comfort knowing that the seller’s kitchen has passed inspection!”
Vendor applications are now being accepted and Timpson said they look forward to making this an adaptive event. Vendors looking for further details can email Timpson at [email protected] or message the @FriendsOfCedarBay Facebook page for registration information.
FCB shared on Oct. 30 that a Facebook page has been created for the event, Sioux Lookout Christmas Arts and Craft Fair (@SLKTOnlineCraftFair), and that items for sale will be posted to the page from December 5-6, noting that people are to contact vendors directly for purchases and inquires.
“We were inspired by the Blueberry Festival Committee in how they were able to put together an enjoyable Festival. We hope to be back to normal for the 2021 fair, but if not, we will have an even better virtual event next year,” Timpson concluded.