Thousands attend annual Christmas arts and craft show

By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – For 34 years, mixing arts and crafts has been a real draw for holiday shoppers looking to get an early start.

The 2013 Heritage Valley Christmas Arts and Craft Show and Sale showcased over 100 artists and artisans during a two-day event at the Civic Complex.

“This in an important event because everything here is homemade,” said Bertha Poitras, Heritage Valley Christmas president and event organizer.

1,400 spectators, shoppers and browsers visited the event during its first day (Nov. 2). The free event welcomed donations towards the Cornwall Community Hospital Auxiliary.

“We're here to help people get a head start on Christmas shopping with the added bonus of a grand selection of artists who only sell handmade items,” said Poitras.

Amongst the large group of crafters was butterfly artist David Marenger. He's not a household name, but his story has been told on television screens across the world. Quebec-born Marenger, 32, was diagnosed with terminal cancer at the age of six. He then traveled to Mexico with entomologist, George Broussard to find a specific butterfly as his dying wish. The 2004 Canadian film, The Blue Butterfly, stars American actor William Hurt.

“My inspiration is nature,” he said.

Renee Picard-Campeau made her first trip to the long-running event to shop and find creative inspiration.

“I wanted to get some fresh ideas for Christmas shopping,” she said. “I'm a crafty person, so it's nice seeing what other people can do.”

Bob Humble, 81, and his wife Shirley have been participating at the Heritage Valley Christmas Arts and Craft Show for over ten years. Humble has specialized in granite work for over five decades.

Over the years he's noticed that certain items are hot and then, just like that, they're not. This fall, the Humbles are involved in five arts and crafts shows.

“Talking to all the people is half the fun,” said Humble, owner of Tile Expressions Etc.

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