Fort William BIA to Run Toy Drive at Holiday Market

Story by Sidney Ulakovic, Photo courtesy of Scotia Kauppi

It’s hard to believe the holiday season is right around the corner when there’s no sign of snow and sunny skies forecasted for the next week. If you’re itching to get into the holiday spirit this weekend, look no further than the Fort William BIA’s Ho-Ho-Handmade Holiday Market happening this Friday November 24 at Victoriaville Centre mall and parkette from noon to 6 pm, where you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get a head start on checking a few items off your shopping list thanks to local vendors and a chance to make the holiday season special for everyone. 

Market-goers can expect to see all kinds of holiday characters handing out treats, Christmas carol sing-alongs, and carriage rides through the area, in addition to the opportunity to get a head start on your holiday shopping with over 18 vendors expected to be present. From crafts, to apparel, to food and baked goods, this year’s market will have many local gifts to choose from, including gift options under $5. “We want to make sure there’s gifts for people who may not be able to really afford things. Kids like to buy things to give to their parents or their siblings or their grandparents,” says Scotia Kauppi, vice chair of the board for the Fort William BIA. “[There will be] things that everyone can afford.”

With holiday magic for everyone in mind, a focus of this year’s market will continue to be on giving back to the community. The Fort William BIA, with the support of Crock-N-Dial Sandwiches, launched a toy and food drive in support of nonprofits in their district, PACE, and the Elizabeth Fry Society of Northwestern Ontario, as well as Lutheran Community Care on November 14. At Friday’s market, there will be tables and baskets set up to collect toys, non-perishable food, and cash donations that will help these organizations make a difference. The drive will continue after the market, running up until December 22. 

If you’d like to make a donation after the market, your toys, non-perishable food items, or money can be brought to the Fort William BIA office, located at 105 May Street North Suite 10, or Crock-N-Dial Sandwiches to donate to the cause.