This weekend is a big one in Qualicum Beach for anyone with an interest in unique and handcrafted gift ideas. While there will be big crowds at the immense Kris Kringle Market in Parksville, the Town of Qualicum Beach will also be bustling with shoppers.
The town will be transformed into a magical Christmas village starting November 25 with several artisans selling locally-grown and crafted items at different locations.
Local artisans will showcase their art work at the second annual Winter Festival and the longest running Christmas show on Vancouver Island, The Village Christmas Arts Faire.
The Village Christmas Arts Faire is celebrating 33 years of bringing together under one roof some of the finest artisans the area has to offer.
On November 25, 26 and 27 you can feast your eyes on artwork at the Winter Festival being held at the Qualicum Beach Civic Centre and the Village Christmas Arts Faire at the Qualicum Beach Community Hall.
Local potter Dee Aguilar, who has been busy organizing both events, said she’s happy to bring al the local artisans together for a weekend.
“This is a great way to showcase some of the greater things in Qualicum Beach,” she said.
The full-time potter admitted that being responsible for this weekend’s shows is a huge job but hopefully all the hard work will be a positive thing for Qualicum Beach.
“This is about our community. We want to make it the best it can be. There are so many facets … it is pretty incredible.”
Aguilar said the events are also fundraising opportunities for a couple of community initiatives.
The local fire department will be on hand for their annual food drive at the Winter Festival at the Civic Centre and music students from Kwalicum Secondary School will also be fundraising at both venues. Aguilar said KSS music students will play and entertain, as well as sell chocolates and poinsettias for their upcoming trip to Ottawa. It costs just over $1,600 for each student to attend Musicfest and Aguilar said they want all the students involved to have that opportunity.
“This is a huge fundraiser for the music program. My kids were in the music program the year they went to Japan. Now that was a lot of money. But this is about saving the school, which has an outstanding music program.”
She said their Local Farm and Food Fair will be indoors with an exceptional variety of quality products made by local and well known food producers. Fresh seafood will be available from “Cool Wild Fish” and there will be fresh chicken and turkeys from local farmers.
“The Farmers Market is a real community event. You can’t go wrong shopping at this wonderful event,” she said.
At the Civic Centre people will also find a variety of items from local artisans like jewelry, books candles and beadwork .
The Village Christmas Arts Faire will be in its regular home at the Community Hall.
The Old School House (TOSH) will also be decked out for the season this weekend. Winter in Art begins Friday at TOSH. The fundraiser for local charities will see the gallery adorned with holiday wreaths created by various groups. They will be auctioned off with proceeds going to the Food Bank, SOS and the S.PC.A.