The Runner | Stɑlə̓w̓ Christmas Craft Market Returns To Hybrid Hosting This Year

Atheana Picha PC Abby LucianoAtheana Picha promoting jewellery and artwork. (Abby Luciano)

From Bangin’ Bannock fried bread, to paintings and soaps, the annual stɑlə̓w̓ Christmas Craft Market returned just about and in-person this year to accommodate buyers through the pandemic. 

Since 2018, the Museum of Surrey and non-profit group stɑlə̓w̓ Arts & Cultural Society have collaborated available on the market to showcase Indigenous artists in the neighborhood. Non-Indigenous distributors are inspired to take part as nicely and pay a $25 desk charge with proceeds supporting the stɑlə̓w̓ Arts & Cultural Society’s programming.

This year marks the primary time that the market was hosted as a hybrid expertise on-line in-person. Final year it was utterly on-line due to British Columbia’s pandemic restrictions.

Sandra Borger, the curator of packages with the Metropolis of Surrey and one of many organizers for the occasion, says the turnout of the in-person market on Nov. 20 was nice, with over 400 individuals attending. She expects the digital truthful to have the identical stage of turnout, if no more.

“I’m actually glad that issues [worked] out in individual, and I feel that the web [format] will proceed. If it’s something like final year, it’ll go very well,” she says.

“It’s very nice to see individuals coming collectively, particularly throughout COVID when generally individuals aren’t in a position to do issues like that. It’s all about group constructing.”

As well as to Borger, Phyllis Atkins was additionally one of many organizers of the occasion, and she or he says her favorite a part of the market is seeing the expertise that distributors share with others.

“It’s actually essential to assist native artists, particularly Indigenous artists,” says Atkins.

“Everybody has their very own presents, and this is an ideal time to share and spotlight that magnificence of creating stuff.”

Atkins can be promoting paintings on the market, together with Let’s Rely to the Moon, a kids’s ebook she created together with her sister exhibiting the 13 phases of the moon and the way to depend in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm, the Kwantlen First Nation language. She says all of the proceeds from the ebook return to language revitalization.

“That’s most likely considered one of my favorite issues about this craft truthful as a result of I get to discuss concerning the ebook extra, and persons are coming over and shopping for it. As soon as they hear what it’s supporting, they need to buy it.”

To get extra artists concerned out there, Atkins reached out to Atheana Picha, an interdisciplinary Coast Salish artist from the Kwantlen First Nation who focuses on varied artwork kinds resembling portray, ceramics, weaving, carving, and extra.

“I really feel very snug right here and supported by the employees right here,” says Picha. 

“It’s good being round different Indigenous individuals as nicely who’re so devoted to what they do, so I really feel much less misplaced right here. Another craft gala’s could make me really feel kind of othered in a means, however this one I really feel actually snug at.”

View Atkins, Picha, and different distributors on the market on the Museum of Surrey’s website

“Artwork is a good way to bridge cultures,” says Picha. “It’s a means for individuals to study extra concerning the historical past right here.”

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