Craft sales crackle last Saturday in WC

WEST CARLETON – Clearly there’s no such thing as too many craft sales in West Carleton.

Last weekend may just have been peak Christmas craft sale in the Ottawa Valley. In West Carleton alone there were three massive events (preceded by two the week before, and the other) last Saturday (Nov. 16), in Fitzroy Harbour, Carp and Dunrobin. Not to mention events held outside of the area in Almonte, Renfrew and Ottawa proper.

West Carleton Online hit all three, and from the looks and sounds of things, a great time was had by all.

Harbouring good will

FITZROY HARBOUR – Heading to the Harbour was our first stop – West Carleton Online had a couple of cousins, eight and nine-years-old, on hand to act as secret shoppers.

Things were hopping at the Fitzroy Harbour Community Centre with 46 vendors filling both upstairs and downstairs.

“It’s been great,” organizer Kelly Roper told West Carleton Online. “Steady all the way through.”

Roper has been organizing the event for about the last five years with Vivian Proulx and Lynne Barr.

The money the Fitzroy Harbour Annual Christmas Craft Sale raises in the renting of tables, goes to the Fitzroy Harbour Community Association. All the vendors also donate an item from their booth which goes in to a draw.

“We have raffles every 10 minutes,” Roper said. “We got so many donations.”

Roper said the early buzz was West Carleton Online can expect to see a lot of similar faces as it begins its coverage of the West Carleton Christmas market circuit.

“A lot of people who have come said they were going to do the whole circuit,” Roper said.

Carp’s sweet swags

Jess and Sarah Murphy-Burke and mom Brenday Burke were bundled up and selling Christmas swags in Carp. Photo by Jake Davies
Jess and Sarah Murphy-Burke and mom Brenda Burke were bundled up and selling Christmas swags in Carp. Photo by Jake Davies

CARP – This year’s West Carleton Food Access Centre’s (WCFAC) annual Christmas Craft Sale was its biggest yet. West Carleton Online headed there straight from the Harbour.

It’s a big fundraiser for the local food bank. Before you even get in the front door vendors are making big bucks for the volunteer organization.

Brenda Burke and her daughters Jess and Sarah Murphy-Burke were selling handmade, outdoor Christmas swags. One hundred per cent of the sales went to the WCFAC.

“We spent a day in the bush at Pam Ross’ farm,” Brenda said of the process of selecting the perfect greenery. “And then 10 of us were in the barn making them.”

They women started the day with 50 swags and at 1 p.m. were down to their final seven. West Carleton Online witnessed one buyer purchasing four, and then rounding up her donation by $20.

“People have been very kind,” Brenda said.

Inside WCFAC volunteer organizer Karin Smith said the last time she checked in, the sale had more than 1,000 visitors. There were 27 vendors.

“It’s our best one yet,” Smith told West Carleton Online of the fifth annual event. “Visitors are making the rounds. The response has been amazing.”

And the money started rolling in the day before (Nov. 15).

“Yesterday we had a gentlemen come by while we were setting up and drop off a cheque for $2,000,” Smith said. “I burst in to tears.”

The sale also has a Secret Santa workshop where young children could go and shop for their parents. The WCFAC Angel Tree was also being picked apart.

“Our angel tree is doing well,” WCFAC volunteer organizer Pam Ross said.

Light up Christmas

Light Up Dunrobin craft sale organizer Kelly Grieg was happy with the inaugural event. Photo by Jake Davies
Light Up Dunrobin craft sale organizer Kelly Grieg was happy with the inaugural event. Photo by Jake Davies

DUNROBIN – Light Up Dunrobin held its first ever Christmas craft sale in the luxury of the Eagle Creek Golf Club clubhouse.

“It was good for our first one,” organizer Kelly Greig told West Carleton Online. “I think generally people were happy with it. We had a good, steady flow.”

It was the last stop on the tour and West Carleton Online arrived about 15 minutes before the event closed.

The event had signs posted to tell visitors about, and provide directions to, the WCFAC sale. Light Up Dunrobin was also collecting donations for the food bank. Table rental proceeds would be used to support Light Up Dunrobin community programming.

The event also had a draw for vendor-donated items. Raffle ticket purchasers received 25 stubs they could distribute amongst the items they hoped to win. If one so desired, they could put all 25 stubs in one jar to increase their odds of winning.

In total, 26 vendors were on hand.

“It’s a beautiful location,” Greig said. “Lots of parking. All on one level.”

And vendors provided baking for hungry guests.

“I’ll do it again,” Grieg said about a possible second annual event. “Live and learn. You have to start somewhere and for a start, it went very well.”

From left, a family of artists in Dunrobin, Liam (ink drawings), Anna (photography), and Dianne Bramble (painting) pose for a photo at the end of the day. Photo by Jake Davies