By Melinda Mckinnon –
The voice of the Town Crier carries over the assembled crowd, who shuffle their feet trying to dispel the seasonal chill from their bones. As the Crier unfurls his scroll, his voice can be heard announcing, “Hear ye, hear ye… come one, come all… to the now open Medieval Market.” The townsfolk who have gathered shift in anticipation. Some are at the market to find the perfect Christmas gift for a special someone. Others are looking for a special something for themselves, the ultimate self-indulgence. Still others are at the market simply because it is tradition and a time to meet with friends and family. Some townsfolk simply attend the market to browse the wares and to experience the atmosphere of wandering minstrels and period appropriate clothing. This year’s market includes music on two stages during both market days and along with other local talent features: Carmen and Dena, Big Lake Symphony Orchestra, Troy Forcier, Brandon and Dena, Quintet Plus, and the Lake Secondary Bands. Still more townsfolk come to support the school and the numerous school groups and students who benefit from the market. As in past years, all the proceeds are reinvested into School District #27 students, clubs, and projects.
Although “buying local” is touted all year, this adage has never been as important as it is this year. During the unprecedented wildfire season of 2017, the ties that bind the people of the Cariboo became abundantly clear. It was a season of neighbour helping neighbour, employees helping employers, and more importantly, community helping community. The Medieval Market of 2017 provides the unique opportunity to allow these bonds to continue by supporting the hardworking and local artisans of the Cariboo, thereby further supporting the idea of Cariboo Strong.
From clothing to cedar boughs, decorations and delicacies, edibles and eclectics, and tables and toques, there is truly something for everyone at the Medieval Market. Not only is there a huge array of available items, but the items are the true definitions of craftsmanship and artistic expression. Most vendors that are present at the market originate from the Cariboo and are offering a selection and quality of goods that is unparalleled—especially since an estimated 90 vendors are expected to attend this year’s market.
Among the crowd favourites and returning artisans, this year’s Medieval Market boasts an amazing assortment of new vendors and wares including: Kelly Alphenaar – beaded diffuser bracelets; Laura Ejack – designer handbags, capes, and scarves; Sandra Fardal – steampunk and Victorian style jewelry; Carlos and Nicolas Gonzalez – Aji Pasta sauce and relishes; Heather Inglis/Darlene Quesnel – recycled furniture items, chalk pant, and baskets; Nick Lewis – Foundry Metalwork and Design; Shelia Munro – Dropping Form Designs; Daniel Pfister – Pfister Art; Lisa Pugh – Hotel from Hell: the 108 Murders novel; Rayla Reid/Doreen Rondquist – Recycling Grannies; Grace Reimer – homespun chiengora hats, scarves, and dog jackets; Barbara Robin – I Should have Married a Cowboy novel; Eric Seemann – ES Wildlife Photo Images; Corina Holzapfel – affirmation bracelets and malas; Kayla Starkenburg – Sweet Dreams Décor; Christine Turcotte – Willow Tree Pottery.
Market dates are November 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday admission is $5 while Sunday admission is $3. Children under 12 are free. The admission ticket will not only enable you to have unlimited access to the market, but will also enter your name into a draw for over 80 door prizes provided by the vendors. New this year, will be a courtesy coat and baggage check in the library so that you can have your hands free to shop more efficiently.
As the Town Crier states, “come one come all” and immerse yourself in a truly Cariboo experience that has benefits both immediate and long-lasting and that this year especially, supports our homegrown talent.