For the first time the Winter Wonderland Craft Sale was held in Wakaw in the curling rink and for the organizers the success of the sales are not only shown by the number of purchases clients make but also by how much of a donation the event can leave behind in the community. Amy Peacock, a co-organizer, said she started in her hometown of Hague eight years ago. She wanted to hold an event where the vendors who take time out of their weekends to attend could be certain of a decent amount of traffic. Most of the vendors who sell the different marketed products are young mom’s, she said, trying to make some extra money or seniors trying to do the same thing and it is discouraging for them to take the time to go out to sales that have been poorly advertised so people don’t come out. Aside from trying to make the market attractive to vendors, she said that she also decided early on to give back to the community. In the early days, Amy said that she would give a free table to a local group to sell from, but as the sale grew and expanded outside of Hague, she and her co-organizer Darlene knew they could do something more and so they began collecting at the door for local charities.
In 2019, 306 Events held their first Winter Wonderland in Warman and through the pandemic they were able to continue operating by moving into the main gym in the Warman Legends Centre where they were able to distance themselves from each other. This year the event was the biggest craft sale in the province with 200 vendors and 2300 people coming through the door. At the end of the day, they had collected $1200 and 700 pounds of food for those in need.
The 306 Events team started planning and organizing the Wakaw sale at the end of April and have been securing vendors ever since. They open it up to local vendors first and then allow others to book tables. With the success of their markets in Hague and Warman it isn’t hard to understand how they were able to book all their tables. Amy and Darlene realize how important it is to promote small businesses in this post pandemic time and really want every vendor to have a successful sale and of course they also want to collect as many donations as they can for the Lions. Amy said that they focus on rural food banks because they realize that there are people who experience hunger in every community not just the cities, but it is the cities who people think of first. Small food banks like the one operated by the Lions, need peoples support as well and this is something they can do to help out.
Some of the more notable direct sales brands that were present included Tiber River, Color Street, Scentsy, Thirty-One, Norwex, Partylite, Epicure, and Modere. Other vendors included She’s Got Leggz, The Homestead Cannery, Avery’s Things & Stuff, Diannes Quilting, Grandma’s Cedar Chest, Upcycled Energy Aromatherapy, Play to Learn Sensory Bins, Trim the Tree with CJ (Christmas tree ornaments), Risawn Creations, Special Treats 4 Special Feets, Yollande’s Glass, Allan’s Woodworking, Sassy Plants YXE, The Craft Shack, Dar’s Goodies, 4 Kidz by Kidz, A Pirate’s Life Crafts
The Concession was operated by the Wakaw Lions Club with admission to the sale by donation of a non-perishable food item or cash, all of which went to the Wakaw Lions Food Bank. After the doors closed the Wakaw Lions received over three boxes full of non-perishable food items and cash donations totaling $694.50.
Carol Baldwin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Wakaw Recorder