Is there a major way to support local artisans at Christmas time?
The Vernon Community Arts Centre’s 16th Artsolutely Artisan Sale and Fundraiser is well underway and buzzing with excitement. Record numbers of people from around the Okanagan have been flocking down to the arts centre since it started on Nov. 26.
“The vibe is always positive at Artsolutely, and these last two years have really shown us how many people are embracing the handmade movement and the importance of shopping local,” says Sheri Kunzli, marketing coordinator for the Arts Council of the North Okanagan. “People are looking for reasons to smile, to give back, to feel good, to make meaningful connections, and to reduce stress – and they are looking to the arts for all of it.”
Each December, the arts centre in Polson Park transforms its artist studios and classrooms into a holiday artisan market like no other.
A feast for the eyes is served around every corner, the gentle aroma of Christmas lingers in the air, and local musicians pop in to add a touch more holiday magic. Artsolutely features thousands of handcrafted pieces by 34 local artisans, including functional pottery, ceramic art, metal and wood sculptures, fine art prints and paintings, glass art, fibre arts, jewellery, natural products and more.
Artsolutely is the only holiday sale that runs seven days a week for a month, with new work arriving daily. For some artists, this is the only show they participate in all year, so you won’t find their work anywhere else.
“Another fun fact is that there is no tax at the till,” said Kunzli. “As a fundraiser, artists take care of this at their end and we’re able to offer another perk to local shoppers. Daily door prizes of are also part of the package so get your name in the draw box for your chance to win.”
Artists donate a percentage of their sales back to the arts centre which goes into community outreach initiatives and much needed studio upgrades.
“Last year we were able to purchase a new kiln for our clay studio, which is used by hundreds of students and local potters throughout the year,” said Kunzli. “In fact, some of the work you’ll find at Artsolutely is made right here in the centre.”
Artsolutely is located inside the Vernon Community Arts Centre, at the entrance to Polson Park. Open daily: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Christmas Eve hours are 9 a.m. to 1 pm.
Learn more at vernonarts.ca and you can follow Artsolutely and the Vernon Community Arts Centre on Facebook and Instagram.
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