The Charles Dickens Christmas Craft Faire is the first major craft fair in the Comox Valley and this year it is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The Faire 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.
To celebrate the Faire’s 20th anniversary, the organizers are offering free cupcakes to shoppers on Saturday afternoon starting at 1pm in the Evergreen Seniors Lounge on the lower level. Cupcakes will be provided by Quality Foods. At that time, there will also be a presentation of the gift basket from Hot Chocolates and Cake Bread Artisan Bakery to the winner of the on line contest sponsored by The Record newspaper.
This year, organizers have lined up an exceptional variety of quality, handcrafted gifts made by over 60 well-known artists and crafters. The Faire is certain to have something for everyone. 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 and mixed media.
Also expect to see a great variety of wood including, intarsia, and wooden pet dining tables. 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 functional and decorative pottery, beeswax candles, stained glass, fused and kiln formed glass, hand painted glass, and glass jewellery, hand-painted cards, soapstone sculptures, Native ceramics, leather-bound journals, pressed seaweed pictures, unique Christmas ornaments, as well as exquisite quilted items from the Schoolhouse Quilters Guild, and weavers and spinners from the group “Eclectic Fibers”.
And whether you are shopping for children or an avid toy collector, look forward to the Faire’s selection of novelty toy art, puppets, Santas, and teddy bears. Returning this year is the ever popular Looney-Bin Toys, handmade wooden toys for children. We know you can never go wrong with something practical, and so, the Faire will feature a wide range of handcrafted apparel, woven and felted, clothing for children and adults and a great selection of home décor items like and pewter bowls, table runners, aprons, tea cosies, and baby items. There will be an author of both childrens’ books and adult adventure stories. And for your doggie companion, you can find handmade dog coats, dog accessories, and handmade dog biscuits.
There will be a beautiful selection of handcrafted jewellery, sterling silver and other precious metals, pearls, crystals and lampwork beads. For the avid cook, there will be cranberry preserves produced locally, artisan breads and balsamic and flavoured vinegars, jams, jellies, teas, gourmet specialty foods, smoked salmon, as well as hand-made fudge.
This year’s Featured Artist is Gwen Monnet. Born on Vancouver Island, and after spending 2 decades away in Europe, she is happy to be back in the Comox Valley. Her paintings for children spawned from characters she was developing for a children’s book. Current projects include illustrating a children’s book for Canadian author H. Kellerhals and various freelance design projects. She likes to paint images that children can make up their own story to: images that spark the imagination. Most of all she has a lot of fun creating them and loves to see the look on children’s faces when they get their very own original painting. All of her works are acrylic on canvas. The images flow around the edges so that framing is not necessary. This also makes a very light and safe wall hanging for a childs’ room (and easy to mail!)
At the Faire this year, YANA (You Are Not Alone) will be there on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with their Christmas crackers for sale. Sales of these Christmas crackers is now a Comox Valley tradition and has proven to be a popular fundraiser, selling out each year well before the holidays begin. To get your Christmas crackers, and your chance to win prizes, you will find the YANA volunteers in the Evergreen Seniors’ Lounge. Also this year, the Comox Valley Therapeutic Society will also be fundraising with their program called ‘Hay for Horses’. They can be found Saturday and Sunday in the lobby on the lower level.
The Daily Draw Prizes offered at the Faire are a $50 gift certificate from the Atlas Cafe in Courtenay, two sets of two tickets to the Co-Val Choristers performance of “Christmas on Harmston Avenue” and the third Daily prize is a $50 gift certificate from the Sid Williams Theatre. In addition to these Daily prizes, you have a chance to win one of five $100 Quality Foods gift cards. Draw tickets are free with admission.
The Faire opens Friday, Nov. 7, 3-8pm; Saturday, Nov.8, 10am to 5pm and Sunday, Nov. 9, 10am to 4pm. Admission is $3, children free. Concession is in the Evergreen Seniors Lounge on the lower level. ATM machine on site. For more information, contact the organizer at HYPERLINK “mailto:email@example.com” firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website HYPERLINK “http://www.dickenschristmascraftfair.com” www.dickenschristmascraftfair.com.