The River Market is at it again - coming up with unique and creative ways to support local artists and engage the community.
The market recently launched the Artisan Fair - a year-round marketplace and studio for artists, designers and crafters to work, sell and teach their crafts.
Currently, there are three resident artisans: Sandie Bell of Tiddlywinks, who designs and hand-sews toys; Jolene Des Roches of The Soap Box, who makes soaps using all natural ingredients; and a collective of local potters - sponsored by Community Living Society - called Pottery Works.
"We are looking for more artisans in all contemporary media including jewelers, seamstresses, paper artists, weavers and photographers to grow with us," Leslie Shieh, the Artisan Fair's coordinator, said in a press release.
A mini-craft fair will be held every Saturday with the addition of guest artisans. The craft fairs are great places for customers to meet artisans, like glassmakers, who usually work in private studios, as well as new crafters who bring fresh energy to traditional crafts, the release says.
The Artisan Fair also offers a place to learn and engage in craft activities, such as button making, knitting and screen-printing. There are workbenches for classes, workshops and gatherings like knitting circles.
"Our goal is to create a place where artisans can share their love of making and build their independent craft business. This was the common thread when we interviewed artisans during the application process," Shieh said in the release.
Another aspect of the event is to have it be a New Westminster souvenir shop. For visitors, this souvenir shop will offer quality, handmade gifts that commemorate their time and experience in our city, the release states. This last component is still a work in progress, it says, adding that plans are underway to engage local artists to make and capture New Westminster through various art media.