Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire opens Friday

The Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire is the first major craft fair of the season in the Comox Valley.

THIS LEAPING DOLPHIN was photographed by Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire guest artist Steve Williamson.

The Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire is the first major craft fair of the season in the Comox Valley.

This successful event in its 18th year has become a tradition in the Valley as shoppers have the opportunity to do their Christmas shopping early in a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere filled with the sights and smells of Christmas. The Faire offers two floors of outstanding arts and crafts.

This year’s featured artist is award-winning wildlife photographer Steve Williamson. Living in the Comox Valley, he spends a lot of his time working along the B.C. coast and when possible works with conservation charities in the Great Bear Rainforest and with the eco-tourism industry.

In July, 2011, his book Encounters!: The Wonders of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest was officially launched. It is a 100-page hardback book featuring some of the greatest shots he’s taken along the B.C. Coast.

In extracts from his journal and more than 130 colour photographs, readers have the chance to get a close-up look at hard-to-reach coastal areas of our province. His book can be ordered online at www.stevewphotography.ca.

Or, pick up your copy by stopping by at the Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire this weekend, where Williamson will sign copies of his book.

You can see more at www.stevewphotography.ca.

Organizers have lined up an exceptional variety of quality, handcrafted gifts made by over 60 well-known artists and crafters. As well as many sought-after favourite crafters and artisans who have been with the show in previous years, shoppers will discover 21 newcomers this year.

For that nature lover on your list, be sure to check out the fine selection of Comox Valley scenery photography, cards, and calendars from award-winning photographers. There will be artists with their artwork, mixed media, and one-of-a-kind art cards.

Also expect to see a great variety of wood including, intarsia, turned wooden bowls, burls, candlesticks, and wooden ornaments. The show will feature a range of different beauty and bath products, soaps, lotions and organic essential oils, bath minerals and gifts of relaxation.

There will be beeswax candles and honey, hand-dipped candles, stained glass, hand painted glass, and glass jewelry, decorative and functional pottery, metal art, woven baskets, as well as exquisite quilted items from the Schoolhouse Quilters Guild.

Bloomfield Flats, last year’s featured artist, will be there with their handmade cedar furniture.

And whether you are shopping for children or an avid toy collector, look forward to the Faire’s selection of novelty toy art, Santas, one is six feet tall, and teddy bears.

There will be a beautiful selection of handcrafted jewelry, sterling silver and other precious metals, opals, pearls, crystals and lampwork beads. For the avid cook, there will be cranberry preserves produced locally, flavoured vinegars, jams, jellies, gourmet specialty foods and hand-made chocolates.

Daily prizes are two $50 gift certificates from the Atlas Café in Courtenay and the third daily prize is a $50 gift certificate from the Best Western Plus. In addition to these daily prizes, you have a chance to win one of three $100 Quality Foods gift certificates. Draw tickets are free with admission.

The Faire opens this Friday from 3 to 8 p.m, continuing Saturday from 10 to 5 and Sunday from 10 to 4. Admission is $2; children get in free.

The Florence Filberg Centre is wheelchair accessible and there is free parking. For more information, contact the Faire organizer at 250-339-9891, e-mail dickens.faire@gmail.com or visit  www.dickenschristmascraftfair.com.

— Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire

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