Creative Pictou County hosting inaugural Artisan Fair

NEW GLASGOW — Fall is arriving in a unique way along the East River.

Creative Pictou County is hosting the first ever Sale Along the River: An Artisan Fair on Sunday, October 1 featuring the creative talents of more than 25 artisan vendors who will be providing live demonstrations of their work. Sample the wares of local food truck vendors – artists in themselves – as you walk along the river and enjoy local entertainment by artists of another genre.

It’s all in an effort to shine a light on the artisan community and introduce the community to their talents.

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Creative Pictou County has been officially formed for about three and a half years, says Willa Kray, group secretary. Prior to that, there was a steering committee that received a government grant to perform a needs assessment. Executive committee members are Doug Mann as chairman, Jake Chisholm as chairman of communications and events, Laura Richey is sponsor chair, and Kray as secretary.

“We are looking for more board members,” Kray invites.

“I got the idea because they have an event in Barrie, Ont., along the bay when thousands of people attend,” Kray says. Kempenfest is always held on the August long weekend. “I just got the idea for here to have it along the river. So it’s mimicking Kempenfest, in a way.”

In describing what the public can expect with Sale Along the River: An Artisan Fair, Jake Chisholm says for anyone familiar with Art at Night or Windfall or Antigonight Art After Dark, the concept is similar. “Except it’s more of a market – a vendor’s market of different creative mediums.” The person behind the table will have created what’s on it.

“There will be items from painting to photography,” Chisholm says and Kray adds, “There’s knitting, there’s someone with a loom.”

And the entire event will be what Chisholm and Kray call interactive: visitors will see the artists at work in their medium.

“I’m hoping to get a caricature artist as well,” Kray smiles.

There will also be 50/50 draws throughout the day where the lucky winners will use their winnings to purchase from the vendors.

Also during the event, which runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. during Culture Days, will be the unveiling of a metalwork sculpture by Todd Vassallo and Carolyn Bedford. This will take place at 2 p.m. in front of Glasgow Square, right along the river. It will be a new landmark, they explain. “It’s intriguing,” Chisholm smiles.

Anyone who would like to volunteer is welcome and vendors interested in participating can contact creativepictoucounty@gmail.com, post a message on the group’s Facebook page or drop by Glasgow Square and talk to Chisholm. “We are still looking for vendors,” Kray says.

“It’s just a fun family day and it’s interesting,” encourages Chisholm. “The day is going to change as it goes via music and the unveiling and the live demonstrations. There’s something to see that’s new all day long. It’s always refreshing itself.”

“It’s unique,” adds Kray.

Laura Richey, sponsor chair says, “We are always looking for sponsors. We want to try to engage as many people from the business community into the arts community as well. And that’s how I got involved in it because I’m not an artist.

Richey, an esthetician, says, “I figured there has to be ways I can support the arts whether it’s showing up to shows and events or … With my job I know so many people, so there’s connections and pathways that way. So that’s how I got involved, in trying to connect business people who want to take part in the arts in different ways, but don’t necessarily know how to do that.”

She notes, “We’re always looking for more sponsors, we’re always looking for people that want to take their own interests in the arts and use that as the basis for creative ideas and creative projects that we would never have thought of. We’re always looking for people to connect with us.”

Richey says the group is currently trying to identify projects, then identify partners or sponsors they can connect with the projects.

The group says by hosting the event on a Sunday it pleases the business owners in that they are able to participate and enjoy the festival because downtown shops are not open on Sundays. “They are happy they can either attend or be a part of it,” Richey says. “And we didn’t want to conflict with the farmer’s market.”


Creative Pictou County is getting ready to host Sale Along the River: An Artisan Fair, on Sunday at Glasgow Square. Executive board members are putting the finishing touches on the inaugural event. From the left are: Willa Kray, Jake Chisholm and Laura Richey. (Jardine photo)

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Jackie is a Pictou County native and proud graduate of St. Francis Xavier University. She is a writer, editor and fledgling home cook. She has been in the newspaper business for almost three decades and jokes that she started when she was in her teens! She enjoys traveling, socializing and volunteering in her community.