Carol Wright

Upcoming Juan de Fuca craft fair as homegrown as it could be

Seniors Centre gets jump on the region’s busy Christmas market season

With Halloween done and Christmas the next major shopping holiday looming, residents will soon start looking for ways to find those unique, often handmade gifts.

Craft fairs spring up around the region to meet demand, but one of the first on the calendar is always the one put on by members of the Juan de Fuca 55-Plus Seniors Centre. This weekend (Nov. 5 and 6) marks the 28th annual fundraiser sale for the Colwood-based organization.

“We want to be one of the first on the block, plus the weather’s better for people getting out and about,” says craft fair committee chair Carol Wright.

Shoppers will find items created by members of the various craft groups that are active at the centre, such as woodworking, ceramics, lapidary artwork (polished stones and gems), knitting and sewing, quilting, the bake table and more. A dozen or so private vendors, who are also centre members, will be selling their own creations.

Enthusiasm for this event, which expanded to two days from one back in the early 2000s, has grown over the years, despite a brief slowdown in 2008 during the economic recession, Wright says.

“The tables went on sale at 8:30 one day and they were all sold by 8:40,” she says of this year’s demand for the private vendor spots. Also encouraging, she says, is the fact many of those tables were snapped up by new centre members.

As this is a major fundraiser for the centre, the balance of the 25-plus tables will be stocked and staffed by member craft groups raising money for the facility’s operations, while private vendors sell their goods for personal benefit. A strict set of vendor guidelines includes a key rule that all items on sale be made by the members.

One exception to the member-made rule at the Juan de Fuca Craft Fair is the popular Loonie Bin sale, where every item sells for $1. People donate new or gently used items to the bin in the centre lobby through the year – “that tie you don’t like or the toys your kids don’t want to play with anymore,” Wright says. A crew of “elves” were slated to start wrapping the items last weekend to be ready for the fair.

“I’ve been told there’s a local business that buys 20 or more of these items for their office gift exchange,” says centre publicity spokesperson Evelyn Schumacher.

Adds Wright: “If you want the Loonie Bin, Saturday is the day to come.”

Organizers are expecting a good turnout for this year’s fair. Wright and her fellow volunteers did some advance marketing in late August and early September, dropping in to area seniors residential facilities to help arrange bus trips down to the Juan de Fuca Centre for residents.

While personal and household gift items will be popular, food, as with most celebrations relating to Christmas, is a staple of this annual event.

Not only will the kitchen be open to purchase meals, snacks and beverages during the fair, the bake sale table is “huge,” Wright says. “I don’t know how many hundred people are baking this week getting ready for the fair.”

Stop by the Juan de Fuca 55-Plus Seniors Centre at Westshore Parks and Recreation, 1767 Island Hwy., this Saturday or Sunday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the centre and its activities, visit


Just Posted

Access: A day in the life using a wheelchair in Victoria

Black Press Media teamed up with the Victoria Disability Resource Centre to learn about barriers

Popular food truck to open restaurant on Oak Bay Avenue

Dead Beetz Burgers adds brick-and-mortar restaurant

18-year-old man stabbed near Langford bus exchange

The West Shore RCMP is looking for witnesses to the Oct. 11 incident

CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

District launches public engagement campaign for waste reduction strategies

Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin receives first poppy in Legion-led ceremony

The ceremony is one of the first steps to kick off the 2019 poppy campaign

VIDEO: Explosion, fire sends woman running from Saanich home

Heavy smoke in the area, crews on scene

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read