Take one park along the river, add an array of artisans, food vendors and music and you have a very pleasant way to spend part of a summer day.
From now until Sept. 30, Keystone Market will take place every Sunday except the Canada Day long weekend at Simms Millennium Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Artistic offerings include a variety of glass artists and jewelry, as well as garden trugs (shallow oblong baskets made of strips of wood, traditionally used for carrying garden flowers and produce), calligraphy cards and hand-sewn belts, aprons and reusable snack bags.
Adding to the ambience are tarot card readings, temporary body tattoos, head and face massages and vibrational energy readings.
When Leah Mouritsen moved to the Comox Valley last year and was considering ways to market her ornamental concrete bird baths, planters and hanging wall plaques, she kept being drawn to the park.
“The setting is so beautiful, everyone knows where it is and the site has high visibility, which is good from a marketing point of view,” she says. “I knew it would be a great place to spend Sundays during the summer.”
Mouritsen was also aware of the wealth of artistic talent in the Valley. She started mentioning her idea to others last Christmas and the next thing she knew, the marketing had already begun.
“The feedback was awesome,” she says. “A lot of artists were interested in a fun way to market their work locally. The idea just seemed to grow on its own.”
Mouritsen put a lot of thought and research into the name for her new venture. “The definition of keystone is a collection of associated items all held together in one place,” she explains. “That’s what I want this market to be — a place for the community to enjoy the arts in a beautiful location. My dream is to have the market grow and become an annual event.
“My husband grew up in the Valley and we knew this is where we wanted to raise our family,” adds Mouritsen. “The lifestyle, the culture and the community are amazing. I feel really fortunate ’that I have this opportunity to be involved with so many artists.”
There is still room for more artists in the park and Mouritsen would especially like to hear from food vendors and buskers interested in joining the market. She can be contacted at 250-703-3296 or email@example.com.