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The Runner | stɑlə̓w̓ Christmas Craft Market returns to hybrid hosting this year

Atheana Picha promoting jewellery and artwork. (Abby Luciano)

From Bangin’ Bannock fried bread, to paintings and soaps, the annual stɑlə̓w̓ Christmas Craft Market returned just about and in-person this year to accommodate buyers throughout the pandemic. 

Since 2018, the Museum of Surrey and non-profit group stɑlə̓w̓ Arts & Cultural Society have collaborated available on the market to showcase Indigenous artists in the neighborhood. Non-Indigenous distributors are inspired to take part as properly and pay a $25 desk payment with proceeds supporting the stɑlə̓w̓ Arts & Cultural Society’s programming.

This year marks the primary time that the market was hosted as a hybrid expertise on-line in-person. Last year it was fully on-line due to British Columbia’s pandemic restrictions.

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Sandra Borger, the curator of applications with the City of Surrey and one of many organizers for the occasion, says the turnout of the in-person market on Nov. 20 was nice, with over 400 individuals attending. She expects the digital truthful to have the identical stage of turnout, if no more.

“I’m really glad that things [worked] out in person, and I think that the online [format] will continue. If it’s anything like last year, it’ll go really well,” she says.

“It’s really nice to see people coming together, especially during COVID when sometimes people aren’t able to do things like that. It’s all about community building.”

In addition to Borger, Phyllis Atkins was additionally one of many organizers of the occasion, and she or he says her favorite a part of the market is seeing the expertise that distributors share with others.

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“It’s really important to support local artists, especially Indigenous artists,” says Atkins.

“Everyone has their own gifts, and this is a perfect time to share and highlight that beauty of making stuff.”

Atkins can also be promoting paintings on the market, together with Let’s Count to the Moon, a kids’s e book she created together with her sister exhibiting the 13 phases of the moon and the way to depend in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, the Kwantlen First Nation language. She says all of the proceeds from the e book return to language revitalization.

“That’s probably one of my favourite things about this craft fair because I get to talk about the book more, and people are coming over and buying it. Once they hear what it’s supporting, they want to purchase it.”

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To get extra artists concerned available in the market, Atkins reached out to Atheana Picha, an interdisciplinary Coast Salish artist from the Kwantlen First Nation who focuses on varied artwork kinds akin to portray, ceramics, weaving, carving, and extra.

“I feel very comfortable here and supported by the staff here,” says Picha. 

“It’s nice being around other Indigenous people as well who are so dedicated to what they do, so I feel less out of place here. Some other craft fairs can make me feel sort of othered in a way, but this one I feel really comfortable at.”

View Atkins, Picha, and different distributors on the market on the Museum of Surrey’s website

“Art is a great way to bridge cultures,” says Picha. “It’s a way for people to learn more about the history here.”

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