The Studio Fair Marketplace will be held at the CN Center over the weekend.
More than 100 local arts and crafts vendors will sell a wide range of goods, including knitwear, pottery, woodcarvings, Christmas decorations and photographic prints.
The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. today (Saturday) and from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow.
It takes place on the levels of the ice rink and the upper hall of the building.
Although there is no charge to enter the market, donations to the Community Arts Council and non-perishable food donations to local food banks are accepted.
In accordance with provincial health protocols, all vendors and participants must provide proof of full immunization in order to enter the site.
Prince George local Erin Stagg is a nationally award-winning Métis painter who runs Erin Stagg Fine Art, she says this event is particularly significant this year as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on small businesses.
“This year, what has been hit the hardest is everyone from the local area. Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, everything is fine. But local vendors rely on events like Studio Fair. We do Studio Fair, UNBC Art Fair and we don’t have UNBC this year, we didn’t have UNBC or Studio Fair last year, we don’t have craft fairs, we just have this . A lot of people make their living around fairs, it’s the people who are here, ”she said.
Studio Fair is not only important in generating income for local vendors, but it’s also a great way to get their name out there in the community, according to Stagg.
“Basically we have the internet, but if someone runs a Facebook page or something like that, they’ll know how fickle it is and how little reach we’re getting. So even someone who is really famous and has 10,000 people on their Facebook, they may only reach one. Someone who is small like us, I have 1,000, so I might only reach 100 people, ”she added.
Stagg says it’s not ideal to rely solely on the internet for marketing and community visibility, and explains that having the ability to interact with customers in person, especially before the Christmas season, is important for making sales.
Studio Fair Marketplace also keeps money in the community and can be a great way for residents to boost the local economy, says Stagg.
“Most of the vendors here will even spend the money on other stalls, which allows the money to flow locally. It funds daycares and schools, it helps people put food on their tables.
As a 4-year Studio Fair Marketplace veteran, she says the event is much bigger this year, especially since the venue has changed as it was previously held at the Civic Center.
Stagg is also the Community Arts Council Artist in Residence for the year, and his work can be seen on the Erin Stagg Fine Art website and on Instagram and Facebook.