Marketing local art 

Weekly evening market to offer up range of arts, crafts and food wares

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What: Twilight Market

When: Fridays, 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Where: Westin

Cost: Free

Tess Klein's gaze is normally locked onto whatever intricate project the jeweller is in the midst of creating. But these days, her focus has been on creating a new event for the community of crafters and artisans that call Whistler home.

Klein is the woman behind the meticulously crocheted pieces that adorn the necks, fingers and wrists of many visitors and locals. She has been lovingly crafting her jewelry for almost 13 years, and has lived in the Sea to Sky region since 1995. In that time, she has witnessed the evolution and gradual growth of the local arts scene.

"It's very transient, but there are a lot of people that have been here for a while now that are kind of established," she reflected. "It's great to see because, really, the community does have a lot of artists, and it also has a lot of artists that are actually not part of the farmers market and the other markets, which is kind of sad."

With her latest project, the new Twilight Market, which will run every Friday this summer from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Westin Resort, Klein hopes to provide a venue for the artists that haven't managed to find a place for their work yet.

"It costs money to do the markets and it's tougher to sell something like a painting than, of course, jewellery," she said.

This new local market focuses on artisan wares, rather than produce. Many of the vendors from the Sunday market will be sharing space with local artisans at the Westin market.

Jewellery by Klein, Caroline Miller and Linda Davies will be for sale alongside handcrafted hats, felted and tie-died clothing, wooden bowls, and a few food offerings like kettle corn, lemonade and maple syrup. Products from Pure Breads and North Arm Farm will also be available.

This isn't the first time Klein has tried to get a market going in Whistler, but it's the first time she's managed to find a way around all of the bureaucratic red tape.

"I've been trying it for years," she said with a laugh. "I got shot down by the muni and they don't want anything in town to sell. I think it's probably because the retail stores pay their - whatever - but it's sad, because I think its something that the tourists really like... I think it's a charm that Whistler lacks."

But a partnership with the Westin meant that Klein didn't have to worry about paperwork. The hotel was actually eager to put the outside plaza area to good use this summer and generously offered up the front foyer to Klein and the rest of the artists at an affordable rate. Because of that, Klein is able to charge just $45 for a table if artists sign up for the entire summer, or $50 for one time only. There are still a few spots available, so if anyone is interested, contact Klein at info@tessklein.ca .

"It's a nonprofit for me; I don't make any money doing the market, it's just to cover the costs of advertising (and using the space)."

Klein also hopes to reach residents by holding the market on Friday evenings, rather than weekends, pointing out that many Whistlerites are active on the weekends and are unable to attend the Whistler Farmers Market in the upper village on Sunday afternoons.

"I know a lot of people that work and can't go to the market," she said.

"It's tough, but we finally got this market going, and I think it's going to be something that Whistler needs to have."

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