A celebration of Halloween and fall
By Naomi Ambrose, Staff Writer
Bright yellow jack-o’-lantern-esque lights brightened the ceiling on the second floor of the River Market in New Westminster on October 20. These decorations were a reminder that Halloween is near. Along with the lights, several handcrafted items also served as interesting mementos that reified the presence of the spooky season. It was time for the New Westminster Craft Fall Market!
While one vendor displayed her tiny, mustard-coloured crocheted pumpkins and her orange knitted woolen scarves, another vendor showcased a unique collection of multicoloured crocheted items that resembled sausage rolls. The Wylde Wood Collective also kept the theme of Halloween present. Melissa Mary Duncan’s collection of fairy art incorporates characters that are associated with fairy tales and Halloween. The collection of Celtic costumes by Janice Murphy was also displayed at this shop. A circular mirror next to the Wylde Wood Collective, decorated with a small black bat, was quite fitting for those who desired to examine their spooky aesthetic.
The New Westminster Craft Fall Market was a reminder to appreciate artists’ and entrepreneurs’ creativity, intricacies, and creations. This intricacy was evident with Batiqua. Batiqua uses the technique of batiking—a hand dye process that usually uses wax to prevent certain pieces from absorbing colour—to create products that include aprons, cushion covers, and wall hangings. Instead of using wax in the batiking process, Batiqua uses a mixture of porridge. I don’t know how the porridge prevents the dye from soaking in, but the end result is beautiful.
Another vendor displayed his collection of women’s handbags made from upcycled leather, as well as his walking sticks and walking canes made with sticks from the Northwest Territories.
The market also contained other items more associated with craft markets, including handcrafted jewelry and soaps. JaeNelle Busch, the co-owner of JB and Co., displayed her colourful assortment of said soaps.
Busch, a first-time participant at the market, also shared her insights about the event. “I think it’s absolutely great. It’s community [and] it’s local,” Busch told the Other Press.
Linda Chow, a jeweler and the owner of Linda Designs, said in an in-person interview with the Other Press, “I participate in New West Craft [markets] a lot because it is local, and I believe in supporting local businesses.”
Britney Bankram, an attendant, also expressed her thoughts when she told the Other Press, “I really like it. I like [the] market atmosphere.”
New West Craft is held every first and third Saturday of the month. Fall Markets will also take place on November 3 and 17. The next craft market—the Winter Night Market—is scheduled for December 1 at the River Market.