Brian Austerberry won Most Unique Vendor Booth at the Winter Arts & Craft Fair (WACF) on Nov. 23 at the 100 Mile House Community Hall. It was the first time he was a vendor at WACF, according to Arts Council co-chair Barbara Hooper.
“[He] said to me ‘I have been to a lot of Fairs and this is the most professionally run one I have been to.’”
Austerberry is one of the most accomplished local visual artists, according to Hooper.
“Brian was working on his latest piece at our Fair which depicts children looking with wonder into store windows along Birch Ave. in 100 Mile House, B.C. You can see stores you will recognize in the background. I have seen Brian spontaneously call a young person over to his vendor booth and say ‘Would you like to see how I do this?’ That was one of the attributes that got him his award.”
Entertainment included Tom Fisher playing Christmas music on the accordion and the Front Porch bluegrass band.
“Both of these entertainment spots were enthusiastically enjoyed by the crowd and even instigated a spontaneous dance in front of the band between to Arts Council Board Members (who shall remain nameless).”
The quality of vendors was particularly outstanding this year, according to Hooper, with them coming from around B.C.
The fair (the group’s main fundraiser) made a profit of $3,583.92 with the proceeds going to Peter Skene Ogden scholarships for students continuing their educations in the arts as well as supporting artistic events and professional artists in the community and to support member groups.
“In other words, it all goes back into our community of 100 Mile House and area.”
Hooper thanks the Arts Council (AC) board members and their spouses, member groups, past AC board members, PSO work experience students, the 100 Mile Community Hall and Janet Lilly, who organized the synchronicity between WACF, the Santa Claus Parade.
Raes was primarily selling all kinds of chocolate as well as some pastries.
“We have an average of 35 different flavours in milk and dark chocolate. Everything is made with the Belgium Callebaut chocolate manufactures in Belgium. It contains 100 per cent of cacao butter.”
His items included caramel, mango, blueberry, cream.
His personal favourite is the buttercream truffle with rum.
It was his seventh year in attendance in a row and he said it was perfect.
Dobson was selling local honey, among other things.
“Half of our hives are out at Horse Lake and the other half go and spend the summer out in Lac la Hache. We have jams and jellies that are made with our honey, no white sugar, as well as the granola is made with honey, no white sugar. We also have cosmetic products that are all made with our local beeswax that comes from our bees.”
She says the fair was excellent this year just like last year.
Bob Beaumont and Don Munro
Beaumont and Munro were selling pepper grinders, coffee grinders, seam rippers and pens all handmade.
Beaumont says the first step is to find the wood. While showing off one pepper grinder, he says that Birch creates a nice pattern when it starts to rot.
He says making them is a passion and that the fair was going really well.
“It’s a great fair.”
Manson was selling a variety of products.
“I’ve got homemade jam. The berries are from Abbotsford. The rhubarb is from Lone Butte and there’s a bunch of sheep products.”
They started raising sheep because they like to eat them she says.
“But then all this other stuff sort of happened and it’s a nice way to get out and be a part of the community. I’m not interested in doing craft fairs too far away because then you’ve got to drive but 100 Mile and Interlakes and Lone Butte is close.”
Manson said the fair was good.
“It’s not just about selling. It’s about seeing people you haven’t seen all year and picking up ideas on different crafts. I know that sounds really hokey. It’s nice to be able to sell but if you don’t sell, I’m not at home washing the floor. I’m not out splitting firewood. I get to sit in a warm thing, listen to great music, visit with people and I don’t have to do my supper. It’s a package deal.”