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Craft sale offers opportunities for all

Hundreds of Christmas shoppers stopped by during the annual Christmas Craft Sale to see what the town's creative locals and visiting vendors had to offer.

This year’s show, which took place at the St. Paul Recreation Centre on Dec. 7, had a large variety of products, ranging from handmade jewelry, knitwear, pottery and, glass and vinyl pieces.

One collection of colourful birdhouses and Christmas décor was a stand-out. The items were made by a group of individuals who are part of a program created by the St. Paul Community Learning Association, in partnership with the Mannawanis Friendship Centre. The program provides an opportunity for individuals to create and feel empowered in life, while also learning life skills.

“Birdhouses are fun, and they learn how to build, learn numeracy to learn to measure, how sales work and build their writing skills,” says Judy Pasquayak, a program facilitator.

The program was created specifically for people who need a program for self-growth. Individuals who have been taking part are eager to learn.

“Through this activity, they have learned some self-empowerment, interpersonal skills and how to create teamwork, help each other,” says Pasquayak. “The best part is they were able to participate every day, on a daily basis.”

On Saturday, Darren Hunter and Howard McDliery represented their collaborative creation at the sale.

“This is a great opportunity for people in the life skills program who come to the friendship centre to share their talents, and to be here today allows the larger community to see that they have the skills and abilities too,” says the Community Learning Association’s Program Coordinator Tanya Fontaine. “People are making an effort to create positive changes in their life.”


Also back at the craft sale for their third year were sisters Paige and Caydence Bohn.

This year the girls showed-off their bright unicorn-themed Christmas ornaments.

Unicorns are mystical, says 11-year-old Caydence, who created the ornaments with help from her sister and mother.

“And, they look really bright for the tree,” chimed in Paige. “We like creating things and it’s a lot of family time and it’s really fun.”

A range of other vendors included Amy Mercer of A Maker’s Hearts who showcased her yarn and felt works, and recycling glass experts Linda Robinson and her colleague Diana Barton were back with their Christmas and garden décor.

The annual craft sale is hosted by the St. Paul Visual Arts.

Rushanthi Kesunathan

About the Author: Rushanthi Kesunathan

Rushanthi Kesunathan joined the St. Paul Journal in 2019. She writes general news and features. She is a Tamil-Canadian from Markham, Ont. who has also written for the Globe & Mail and the Toronto Star.
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