For the second year in a row, the Winter Arts and Craft Fair has been cancelled.
Board member and craft fair organizer Tammie Ozanne said the 100 Mile & District Arts Council decided not to hold the event – usually slated for the third weekend in November – due to a lack of volunteers. With new COVID-19 restrictions that would require more volunteers to enforce, Ozanne said the council didn’t feel they had enough staff to run the event.
“We had high hopes in June that things were returning back to normal so we were preparing our vendors but with the fourth wave and lack of volunteers, we’re just not able to do all the things the government requires us to do,” Ozanne said.
The fair, usually held at the 100 Mile Community Hall, serves as the Arts Council’s main revenue generator and provides funding for the council’s scholarships, member groups and other programs.
Ozanne said while a physical market is out of the question, she and fellow board member Melissa Hermiston are planning to organize an online Winter Arts and Craft Fair. Participation in the online fair will be free for vendors with registration open until Nov. 5.
The arts council is also planning to do an art raffle by donation in November at the 108 Mile Supermarket on Nov. 19, 26 and Dec. 3 in the afternoon. Ozanne said several pieces by Bryan Austerberry, as well as other local artists, will be up for auction.
“If we could raise $2,000 that will definitely go towards next year’s student scholarships. They’re $500 each for the visual, literary and performing arts,” Ozanne said.
The last several months have been tough on the art council, Ozanne said, and she’s hopeful more young people will become involved with the organization to secure its future.
“The more people we have the more we can do, that is the reality. If we don’t get people our future could be undecided,” Ozanne said. “100 Mile has been so wonderful but the last two years have really hurt everybody, but hopefully our community is going to bounce back at some point.”