Castlegar Community Complex hosted the 10th Annual Kootenay Columbia Christmas Craft Fair on the weekend and craftsman and hobbyists from across the Kootenay region set up shop.
The event showcased a large variety of goods ranging from homemade soaps to custom knit hats to wooden toys and ornaments.
In total, 54 vendors took part in the show.
Be it gifts for friends, or something for yourself, this year’s craft fair was sure to have something for everyone no matter what their taste.
Although, what was perhaps the greatest aspect of the fair could not be purchased at all.
The people behind the crafts were every bit as interesting and unique as the products themselves.
Every table approached brought up a new story and a chance to connect with a member of the community.
Terry Weiss, owner of Doodlebug Chocolates was eager to share her success story with those willing to listen.
“Fourteen years ago I lost my job in the oil fields,” Weiss said, “and when I came home, I needed to make myself a job I could depend on.”
Through hard work and determination she has managed to open up 14 stores, create 26 different varieties of chocolates and is proud to now be able to bring her passion to the Kootenays through fairs such as this one.
Across the room — surrounded by wooden toys and birch decorations — Iris Graham and Terry Dods spent their day entertaining children and adults alike.
The two retirees’ booth consisted of small cars, large animals and everything in between, all skillfully crafted from wood by Dods himself.
“It’s all done as a hobby,” Graham said, “as long as you cover your cost it’s fun. We like the fairs because anything else might get too big and it just would not be as fun anymore.”
Next door to these hobbyists, craft veterans Shawn Melenka and Bob Warning manned their homemade soap and glass works stand.
This couple has been attending the fair for more than 15 years, while it was still the Blueberry Craft Fair and still love it every year.
“You get to know all the crafters and it’s a really neat fair,” Melenka said.
“Bottom line is life is fun, and if I’m not having fun I’m not doing it,” she added, “and this fair is so much fun.”