Artisans show wares

NANAIMO - Holiday markets offer a wide variety of activities during the upcoming weekend.

Claudia Pontifex models a gown created by Janine Wood of Solera Designs. Wood will display her wares during the Kris Kringle Craft Market.

The magical wonderland of Christmas comes to Nanaimo for four days during the annual Kris Kringle Craft Market.

For many, it’s an event people look forward to every year, said Veronica von Conruhds, senior elf for the Kris Kringle Craft Market.

“It really gives them that warm, fuzzy experience about Christmas,” she said. “It’s about leaving your worries at the door and entering the Christmas experience. The Grinches are left outside.”

The goal of the organizer is to have people leave happier than when they arrived. The market features the wares of more than 150 artisans and daily roving entertainers Kris Kringle, Karole Kringle, The Merry Minstrel and more. There is face painting, gingerbread cookie decorating and free carriage rides.

“It’s like putting on Christmas for 12,000 people,” said von Conruhds. “The elves have worked hard all year.”

The market has partnered with the Salvation Army. People can donate food, clothing or money to the charity. Partial proceeds from photos with Kris Kringle also go to the organization.

The market’s man cave offers samples of the Longwood Brewery and Arbutus Distillery’s wares.

Nanaimo vendor Janine Wood, owner of Solera Designs and Solwood Essentials, is launching her new holiday season clothing line during the market, which she calls Medieval Gypsy Wear. She works with seamstress Kim Hasanen.

“My designs are things I would like to wear. I like to be comfortable,” said Wood. “Everything is handmade.”

Wood said she uses simple designs inspired by flamenco and the medieval renaissance.

Another vendor, Karel Bossi, owner of Beaver House Fudge, has been attending the market as a vendor for the past 12 years.

She said it’s a “lovely event.”

“She (von Conruhds) uses us as little elves to decorate the building,” said Bossi. “She brings the people out.”

Bossi, a vendor who works on her business full time, said the market is a great opportunity to sell her wares.

The Kris Kringle Craft Market is Thursday (Nov. 26) to Sunday (Nov. 29) at Beban Park. Admission is $10 a day/ $8 seniors and students or people can buy a four day pass for $15. Children under 12 years old, accompanied by an adult, are free. For more information please go to

The German Cultural Centre, located at 71 Caledonia Ave., hosts its 14th annual Christmas Fair Friday to Saturday (Nov. 27-28). Friday the fair is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday it runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It features stained glass, carved and pysanka eggs, traditional Swiss and German baking, quilted items and more. Admission is free.

This Saturday there are several craft markets.

Departure Bay Elementary, located at 3004 Departure Bay Rd., hosts its third annual Holiday Market, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Fairview Community School also hosts it Christmas Craft Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Money raised goes toward the school’s PAC programs.

The One Stop Christmas Shop: Craft Market runs at Wellington Hall, located at 3922 Corunna Ave., noon to 5 p.m.

Clay Tree Society, located at 838 Old Victoria Rd., hosts its Second Annual Christmas Craft Fair, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Nanoose Place, located at 2925 Northwest Bay, hosts it Christmas craft fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.





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