Festival Sale fosters global community

A world of gifts now available for shoppers in 100 Mile House

A variety of handcrafted gifts made by people in developing countries from around the world

A variety of handcrafted gifts made by people in developing countries from around the world

Starting today, Nov. 20, 100 Mile House and area residents can make a purchase that has an impact around the world.

A variety of handcrafted gifts, as well as fair trade food products, are available at the Thousand Villages Festival Sale, which goes Nov. 20-23 at the Marmot Ridge Golf Course on Exeter Road in 100 Mile House.

The goods – such as pottery, home décor, jewellery, ornaments, musical instruments, textiles, toys and coffee and chocolate – are made by artisans from developing countries all over the world.

Organizer Laura Baerg says the event is about celebrating different cultures and making a difference.

“The emphasis is on the importance of fair trade and the opportunity to make that decision when you’re buying a Christmas gift,” Baerg says. “The stuff that’s sold does provide things like housing, health care, education, food and water – really specific things for the artisans around the world that create these things.”

Ten Thousand Villages is a non-profit, fair trade organization and proceeds go directly to the artisans who crafted the goods.

“For every item you purchase you can find out who makes them, whether it’s a small co-op somewhere or a women’s group from India. They all use sustainable materials too. It’s a lot of recycled products that are used.”

The Festival Sale has been coming to 100 Mile House for several years now. It’s Baerg’s second time organizing the event. She says she has always loved the Ten Thousand Villages organization and knows the difference the organization makes.

When the local event looked like it was going to be cancelled last year, she jumped in at the last minute to make it happen.

Happily, she says, it went really well.

“There were amazing volunteers last year and already this year we have volunteers on board.”

“People look forward to it because it’s all so unique,” she adds. “People do their Christmas shopping there. It’s a really great chance to find some incredible products and to know their purchase is making a difference.”