By Andrea Stach
For 41 years, Artisans Northwest has been showcasing the talents of local craftspeople and artists in what is now considered to be the city’s premier arts and craft show. The Christmas Art and Fine Craft Show, held November 12 and 13 at the Valhalla Inn, is a truly unique experience. While browsing through each artist’s table, you can meet and talk to them while shopping for an extensive variety of original and quality goods that are guaranteed to be treasured by someone on your holiday gift list. As a juried show, each member has been selected by a committee to be able to participate based on the quality of their craftsmanship, originality, creativity, and artistic merit.
Beginning as the Craft Market in 1975, the show was held in the YMCA building. Giving local artists and crafters an opportunity to show and sell their creations, the show quickly grew in popularity. Over the years, the group has grown and in 1994 became Artisans Northwest. Currently, there are 97 members in this not-for-profit group that is coordinated and run by its members, all of whom are from Northwestern Ontario and travel from as far as Dryden to participate in this holiday tradition.
The 2016 Christmas show will be the group’s biggest yet, with 84 booths that will be spread out through most of the main floor of the Valhalla Inn. This year, there will be something for everyone including jewelry, photography, woodwork, stained glass, soapstone, and iron work, to name a few. Admission to the show is free but the group does a ‘silver collection’ at the door. All funds donated here are given to a local charity that has close ties to the city’s arts and culture scene, such as the Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (NOWW) and Die Active (Definitely Superior Art Gallery). There are also five door prizes, generously donated by the artisans. These talented craftspeople have something to share with people of all ages and tastes and an afternoon spent touring their work is a wonderful holiday tradition.
Plan to visit Artisans Northwest Christmas Art and Fine Craft Show Saturday, November 12 (10 am-5 pm) and Sunday, November 13 (10 am – 4 pm).