First artisan fair draws crowd

The first of a possibly annual art show, exhibit and extravaganza took place Sunday near Glasgow Square.

Sale Along the River: An Artisan Fair featured a wide range of locally created artworks and was organized by the newly relaunched Creative Pictou County.

Willa Kray, secretary with Creative Pictou County, spearheaded Sale Along the River. She said the idea was inspirited by a similar, long running event in Ontario.

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“I got the idea from an event in Ontario, in Barrie, called Kempenfest,” she said. “It’s along the Kempenfelt Bay and it’s two or three miles long and attracts thousands and thousands of people every year. It just came to me one day, ‘why don’t we have one here and call it Sale Along the River?’”

Although Glasgow Square seemed like the obvious choice for such an event — given its gazebo and ample space, the west side of the river was actually considered in the early stages, perhaps at Rotary Park. However, the change in venue appeared to work out just fine.

“I’m really, really pleased,” Kray said. “We’re really pleased with the turnout. We had 24 vendors, two had to back out, so we had 22, which I’m really thrilled about for a first year.”

Kray said vendors from the New Glasgow Farmers Market were invited to take part, as were members of Creative Pictou County, while others were made aware of the plans through posters, social media, traditional media, and word of mouth among the artistic community.

Kray said she would welcome the idea of Sale Along the River becoming a regular, yearly fixture.

“I’d love to do it, yes. I’d love to do it every year. And it fell in really nice with Culture Days,” she said.

While a treat for the eyes regardless — the day featured everything from painted works, to on sight pottery, jewelry, live music and henna tattooing — it was also capped by the unveiling of a new art piece by Todd Vassallo and Carolyn Bedford.

Kray explained that with the relaunch of CPC and this being a first time event, the group thought it would be a fun idea to cap the event with something big. While the Town was on board with the idea of a large installation, they were not made privy to the exact details. What the piece would actually be, Kray said, was known only to the CPC board.

Creative Pictou County, Kray said, is hoping to hold more events throughout the year, possibly on a monthly basis, which will incorporate or showcase creative sectors like film and music in addition to the more hands on traditional mediums.


Artist Jenn Hickey shows one of her acrylic paintings, a piece titled “Georgia”. She was a vendor at the Sale Along the River An Artisan Fair held Sunday in New Glasgow. (Cameron photo)

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Aaron Cameron
Aaron Cameron has been a staff reporter with the Advocate since 2011. Aaron Cameron does not "do" bios due to an overwhelming fear of writing in the third person