What: Bizarre Bazaar
When: Friday, Nov. 28 (3 p.m. to 8 p.m.) & Saturday,
Nov. 29 (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
Where: Telus Whistler Conference Centre
The Telus Conference Centre will be transformed into a
veritable winter wonderland this weekend, as artisans from throughout the Sea
to Sky region and further abroad gather to sell their wares to the Christmas
Traci Despatis is the events manager for Whistler Arts
Council and organizer of the 20
annual Bizarre Bazaar. The event
offers up two days filled with shopping, music, local artwork, and socializing
for tourists and locals alike.
“I believe it started off at Myrtle Philip, and now we’ve
grown it big enough that we have over 100 vendors. We still try and maintain at
least 65 per cent local – that would be Sea to Sky, most of that being
Whistler, though,” she explained.
This year, yet again, the bazaar offers up an impressive roster
of new and returning artists from throughout the province that specialize in
everything from jewelry, ceramics and fine art to clothing, glass and much
Some of the well-known local returning artists are Vincent
Massey, sisters Angela and Lara Cooney of Clothes Minded Apparel & Design,
and Cori Ross.
Not just any hobby crafter can get a booth at the bazaar,
either, as there’s a pretty rigorous jury process. This year alone, they
interviewed over 120 applicants for 100 booths, with almost 10 artisans being
approved for two spots.
“We also try and not to have two much of any given category,
so we kind of cap it off at certain numbers, depending on the number of
applications we receive,” she explained, “…We never want too much jewelry, we
never want too much clothing, so we always try and have a really good balance.”
But there are also a few opportunities for emerging artisans
to apply for a spot at the bazaar, and receive financial assistance to help pay
for their booth.
Meg Gallup, the mastermind and talent behind Gallup Pottery,
has been creating her practical and artful pieces for almost 33 years now. Her
mugs are coveted treasures found within cupboards throughout the region.
“They’re almost everywhere these days, as far as being in people’s homes,”
Though the long-time local normally sells her useable,
artistic wares from her home, she’s also participated in the annual holiday
artisan event for 11 years running.
“The Bazaar has definitely been an institution, and its such
a great event,” Gallup said, adding that it’s a great social event for artists
who are busy and scattered throughout the region.
The two-day event seems to continue to grow, each and every
year, with new artisans eager to come on board.
“The quality keeps getting better and better and higher and
higher,” Despatis said, “This year, we’ve got quite a few newer local artists
that are showing, so that’s pretty exciting.”
One of the new additions to the Bizarre Bazaar roster is
Earthbound Treasures, elaborate macramé necklaces made of stones from South
WAC has also extended their Whistler Street Entertainment
series into the event, incorporating the brother and sister musical duo of
Rachel and Jesse Thom (also known as Mitten Strings), vocalists Dani Quayle,
Alice Newton and Trish Jamieson, and the Whistler Singers to enthrall shoppers
who’ve gathered to tick a few gifts off their shopping list.
“We’ll basically have, in Village Square, music and face
painting and balloon twisting entertainment outdoors, and we’ll also have those
people going indoors to entertain the Bizarre Bazaar crowd as well,” Despatis
said, “We’ll have roving entertainment as well, so not only will we have Cary
(Campbell) Lopes and some of her roving elves and inukshuk going around, but
we’ll also have our festival patrol, which is Michele Bush.”
And Alta Lake School will once again run their café in the
foyer of the Conference Centre, selling fresh sandwiches, delicious baked
goodies, and drinks alongside the arts and crafts zone to occupy kids as their
parents shop at the Bazaar.
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