Christmas Arts and Craft Fair returning to Recreation Centre
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
Good news for local crafters and artisans, and the patrons who support them. After the pandemic’s restrictions forced the Christmas Arts and Craft Fair to move online last year, it is ready to make a comeback to an in-person event again this year. The Craft Fair will be returning to the Recreation Centre Gymnasium on Saturday, December 4.
As Joyce Timpson, Vice-Chair of the Friends of Cedar Bay Board and Fair organizer explained, “Our Board has struggled for a year with how to hold a safe Christmas Fair, which has been a popular Sioux Lookout tradition for decades. In 2020, with the help of the Chamber of Commerce, we created a Facebook page and crafts were sold virtually, but generally people want to see their arts and crafts in person. Virtual is just not the same. With more people being vaccinated and practising precautions coupled with the recently lifted restrictions, we determined it was safe to go ahead. The proceeds from the Fair have gone to the ProKids program of the Recreation Centre, to events at Cedar Bay, and to help pay for improvements to Cedar Bay such as the new latrine in the parking lot, electrification of the pavilion and equipment for the Cozy Cabin. We are happy to be back, but most of all happy that the pandemic is coming under our control so we can return to some semblance of normal life. We thank the vendors who have been patient as we considered our options, the Municipality for assisting us to make it possible, but most of all we thank the people of Sioux Lookout and Hudson whose vigilance in beating the pandemic have made it possible for the Fair to go ahead.”
Municipality of Sioux Lookout CAO Michelle Larose added, “The Municipality is pleased to be working with the Friends of Cedar Bay to work through the logistics of having the Christmas Craft Fair in the gymnasium at the Recreation Centre. We want to ensure that the legislated requirements are being respected in regards to COVID-19 as well as protecting the health and safety of the public to be able to enjoy the Christmas season and attend the Fair.”
With certain restrictions still in place things will look a bit different this year. Some public health and safety stipulations will include (but not be limited to) these precautions: Anyone 12 and over must show proof of double vaccination, with the most recent shot being at least 14 days prior to the event on Dec. 4, (unless medically exempt). Everyone in the gym must wear a mask, with hand sanitizer being available at all vendor tables for customers and vendors alike. As of the time this article went to print, approximately 80 patrons at a time will be able to be in the gym. The first hour will be reserved for admission of seniors and the vulnerable. The possibility of loosening or tightening restrictions means the actual format of this year’s fair remains in flux and will probably remain that way until closer to the day of the event. As such, exact information on vendor numbers, layout, or potential capacity limits will be announced as they become available closer to the date.
Admission this year will be a toonie for anyone over the age of 12. Exact change is preferred to help minimize the need to handle cash.
More information on this year’s Christmas Arts and Craft Fair will be made available though the group’s Facebook page as the date of the event approaches.