Smithers Art Gallery’s annual arts and crafts fair, Wintergold, is running this Friday to Saturday at the Central Park building. SAG is also hosting their 10th annual One of a Kind Artisan Christmas Market starting Nov. 26. (Trevor Hewitt photo)

Art Gallery decks the halls with annual craft fair fundraiser

The 40th Annual Wintergold runs Nov. 22 - 23 at the Central Park Building

The Smithers Art Gallery (SAG) is decking the halls with local artisans.

The SAG’s annual arts and crafts fair, Wintergold, is running this Friday to Saturday at the Central Park building in Smithers.

The fair runs from 5-9 p.m. on Nov. 22 and from 10-4 p.m. on Nov. 23 at 1425 Main Street.

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This year’s event has already sold out, with a number of returning vendors as well as some that are brand new to the fair.

There is a two dollar admission charge which acts as a fundraiser for SAG.

The purpose of the craft fair is a win-win-win: it gives the public a chance to support local artisans, offers a venue for those artisans to sell their work and acts as a fundraiser for the SAG through raising funds to help support its continued operation.

“At the gallery, our mission is to create community through art, and all profits from these two events go back into providing visual arts programming for our community and also provide opportunities for local artists to grow their audience by participating in our year-round gallery shop and exhibiting in our space,” reads a press release from SAG.

This is the 41st year for Wintergold, which claims to be the longest continually operating craft fair in the valley.

Marg McDonald, a long-time organizer of the fair offered some history.

“The fair was started by the Smithers Pottery Club in the Central Park Building,” she wrote. “At that time there were very active clubs including spinners and weavers, potters, musicians, dancers.” The building was alive with many creative activities.

“Wintergold was a showcase for building residents including the Art Gallery, which, at that time, held their own sales event on the same two days.

“The next evolution was the Smithers Arts Council took on the sponsorship of Wintergold and the admission collected went to a bursary for an arts or a performing arts student. They managed it for quite a few years.

“Then the sponsorship came full circle back to the Smithers Art Gallery.”

If you’re away this weekend, don’t despair because you still have a chance to get in on the holiday fun.

READ MORE: Concept design for new $15.87-million library/art gallery

SAG is also hosting their 10th annual One of a Kind Artisan Christmas Market Nov. 26-Dec 21.

The market features a wide range of artists and artisans from across the region with a number of unique, one-of-a-kind products to help you find that truly unique gift for your loved one.

If you’re worried about shopping with your kids, they have you covered there as well, with a space for kids to write a letter and draw a photo to send over to Santa and his elves.

Kids can take their letters to the post office and send them away to get a letter back from the jolly old elf himself.

Additionally, the market will be offering free Christmas-centric crafts every Saturday for its duration.

The market will be open Tuesday to Saturday From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Central Park Building.

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