The annual Christmas Craft Market is returning to Chilliwack mid-November with more artisans than ever before.
Now in its 45th year, the cherished Fraser Valley holiday tradition will unfold Nov. 15 to 17, just past the Floral Art Club entrance display at Chilliwack Heritage Park.
According to Jennifer Hickey, Christmas Craft Market coordinator, more than 180 artisans from all over British Columbia will be in attendance, offering opportunities for inspired gift-giving.
More than 50 of the artisans will be new to the market this year, Hickey added. Their 100-per-cent hand-made products will include edible treats, woodwork, essential oils, baby and child products, pet treats, visual art and more.
The food artisans will range from sweet to savoury, including hot sauce, mustard, vegan cheese and hummus, as well as Christmas cake, fudge, chocolate, truffles, cookies, honey and maple candy.
For gift seekers 19 and over, organic cider from the first stand-alone cidery in the Similkameen Valley, Twisted Hills Craft Cider, will be on offer for the first time. Returning artisan Ripples Winery has also expanded into distilling and will be showcasing new, locally produced spirits from New Wave Distilling, including foraged and locally sourced products from the Fraser Valley.
“We have a great tradition in our community of showcasing artisans from around the province,” Hickey said. “Shoppers can meet the artisans and talk to them about their creative process, how they source their materials and their recipes.”
Winter wonderland shoppers can also learn a thing or two amid the Christmas decor, since the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild Society as well as Choi’s Pottery will be demonstrating how they make their handcrafted products.
“Spinners will be on their looms and wheels, encouraging people to find out about their process,” Hickey said. “And Steve Choi from Choi’s Pottery will have his pottery wheel going.”
In addition, local performing arts groups such as the Chilliwack Players Guild will provide entertainment and photo opportunities with roaming A Christmas Carol characters.
Hickey said last year the wide aisles of the market welcomed more than 9,400 shoppers and their many purchases.
The market is the largest, most festive fundraiser for the Chilliwack Community Arts Council, which proudly organizes and hosts the event with the support of sponsors, such as Baker Newby LLP. and Envision Financial.
All proceeds are used for community events and arts initiatives as well as three annual art scholarships supporting the career development of local students.
“By shopping at the Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market you are not only supporting local artists, but helping our arts community thrive,” Hickey said.
Chilliwack Heritage Park is conveniently located at 44140 Luckakuck Way, off Highway 1.
The affordable admission fee is $5 per person, cash only, with free admission for kids ages 10 and under.
Hassle-free parking with dedicated volunteers from the Valley Huskers Football Club is by optional donation, with proceeds supporting the local community youth sports team.