The season of giving arrived early this past weekend with local crafters combining efforts to raise funds for IncrEDIBLE Trail.
Over 20 vendors at Mistletoe Market donated 10 per cent of their sales, $1,800 total and counting, including market entrance fees toward the organization’s community garden in the Gulch.
For the first time, the annual Christmas market was spread over two days — a nighttime slot Saturday and a morning to afternoon shop on Sunday — to ensure everyone had a chance to check out some local talent.
Baked treats, clothing, pottery, glassware, winter wear, jewelry, and soaps were just a few items that were picked up, according to organizer Rachel Jansen.
Her message continues to be shop local all while raising funds for groups and organizations that benefit the area.
“Mistletoe Market has made it easy to accomplish both of these goals since the first event in 2008,” she said. “Shoppers are able to give back to the community, support local artisans and vendors and cross items off of their holiday shopping lists all at the same time.”
The market started as an idea to increase customers between local crafters. The first year it was held at the Warfield Hall, before moving downtown to open up space to more vendors. The spring addition, Blooming Creative, has also been a success story, says Jansen.
“As organizers, we are so pleased to say that in the years of organizing both the Mistletoe Market and Blooming Creative events that we have been able to offer a venue to support such a wonderful and diverse group of local artisans and vendors in their business success,” continued Jansen, “while at the same time also supporting the donation of nearly $20,000 back to local organizations.”
Both craft fairs choose one non-profit organization to support, helping out various organizations in the past like the KBRH Health Foundation, Sanctuary, the Stroke Recovery Association of BC’s Trail branch, Special Olympics, La Nina Extreme Weather Shelter, the Gordie Steep Memorial Sick Children’s Fund, Kootenay Animal Assistance Program, Greater Trail Hospice Society and the BC Professional Fire Fighting Burn Fund.
IncrEDIBLE Trail is a volunteer organization that fosters growing locally and sharing the wealth with a green route that showcases the many business-sponsored planters that line the streets of downtown Trail.
The group is also digging its effort into a community garden, with a vision of growing this green space with funds from this charity event.
“We pick a local charity or group every year, and they’ve (IncrEDIBLE Trail) been doing some really fantastic things in the community and so we wanted to support them,” said Jansen. “That whole movement of growing your community while shopping locally, we just thought that was a nice tie-in because they’re trying to grow things in the community.”