Quality art and crafts from our Northern Region can be found at the biggest event of its kind at the Valhalla Inn this Saturday and Sunday. This is an artist run event with a jury process to ensure quality work is up for sale, which results in a continuing high turnout of local art fans and tourists, and many happy artists.
Every year in November about seventy-five artists are corralled into one of the classiest spaces available for hosting large events, the Valhalla, which has a long history of being of great benefit to the city. Local artists also benefit greatly from this event not only because it takes place in an awesome location, but also because local artists typically sell their work in smaller venues throughout the city as there isn’t one big venue that is as accommodating.
How to access the public is an ongoing conversation that artists have. Thunder Bay is a city without a major center that everyone can agree upon, although of late, great steps have been taken by the city to further identify a North core and South core with beautification projects. But for now, as much as this city has all sorts of benefits over bigger cities for its lack of traffic and easy access to nature, and more benefits of smaller communities with better shopping and services, the cultural realm where its citizens can interact more easily with local creative individuals is still wanting.
Artist groups sometimes shift locations from one venue to another, like the Lakehead Visual Artists. Individual artists will rent an empty space or a room at a community centre as Peggy Moran did last Sunday when she showed her explosive works at the Oliver Road Community Centre. The Walkabout group invites the public out to their homes. And there are sundry artsy venues, including the second floor of the Country Market, galleries and picture frame shops spread throughout the city that showcase artists work.
Many of the artists featured in Artisans Northwest also sell their work at the Fireweed, The Craft Collective, Authentique, Silk and Cedar, Gallery 33, the Baggage Building Arts Centre and other locations. You can find individual artists, and information about where they sell their work from a list provided by Artisans Northwest at: www.artisansnorthwest.ca/artisans.In terms of variety of quality handmade wares, you can’t do better than attend this event. With about three thousand people passing through on each day many are returning customers looking either to buy something similar that they bought the year before or they are searching for something new. Every year a few new artists are added to the rosters. Jury selection is done a few times throughout the year in a search for new artists. Admission is free. Saturday November 15, from 10am to 6pm and Sunday November 16, from 10am to 4pm.