Bizarre Bazaar shows local style 

There numerous funky art projects and food on offer at this year’s Bizarre-come support the fundraiser!

What: Bizarre Bazaar

When: Saturday, Nov. 24, 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m.

From curved twig furniture to shimmering iridescent raku vases, this year’s Bizarre Bazaar runs the gamut of gift-giving ideas.

Go wild with alpaca fibre sweaters from the valley’s own llama herd, or update your reading room with a cross-thatched twig chair. The annual Christmas fair, sponsored by the Whistler Community Arts Council, showcases the art and crafts of 150 groups at the day long event. Detailed table displays will fill two floors of the Whistler Conference Centre on Nov. 24.

"This is my second year organizing Bizarre Bazaar, and I’ve been receiving a few calls every week (since August) asking for information about the fair, or requests from interested artists," says Donna Savage.

The fair’s continued growth attests to its popularity among locals and weekend visitors. It’s part of the arts council’s vision to support both local artists and arts events in the Whistler community. All items are hand made by artisans, providing Christmas shoppers with an alternative to the wrapped and ready fare of department store fare.

Handcrafted jewelry, tree trimming ornaments, and local potters’ charms are some of the items on offer. You might spot metal lawn sprinklers made in the shape of birds, or turquoise-green handmade soap smelling of lavender. Necklaces feature precious metals and bead design, whose patterns range from flower link chains to inch-wide neck chokers with medieval stylings.

In a Like Water For Chocolate mood? Sumptuous food and vinaigrette dressings are offered by groups like the Whistler Museum and Archives Society, who package their gourmet salad dressings as a fund-raiser.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a little jolly old Saint Nick, so wood carvings of Pere Noel, finished in bright shades of pink and red, could make an eco-friendly centerpiece for this year’s dinner. And nothing spells cozy like handmade fleece throws for your cabin couch. A variety of tree decorations, round out the selection, from silver bells to gilded wreaths; angelic sprites to candycaned surprises.

Applications to show at the craft fair are vetted by a jury of three local artists, who narrow the field from a pool of over 300 artists. Applicants are judged on the quality of their work and the type of product, so a variety of different media are on offer. Locals are given preference over out of town merchants, who might be just travelling the craft fair circuit.

Locals also receive first application mail outs for the annual Christmas fair.

Proceeds from the Bizarre Bazaar are used by the Whistler Arts Council to provide college bursaries and local grants, to groups like the Whistler Children’s Choir, the Children’s Arts Festival, and the Whistler Photography Society.

Entrance to the Bizarre Bazaar is by donation.

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