Among the host of returning markets and events this year, following the lift of COVID-19 restrictions, is the Vintage and Vines market, this year held at the Klaiber Historical Barn.
“We are the only market of its kind in Wheatland County. We are an authentic vintage and artisan market, all of our vendors either make and create their own stuff or sell vintage antiques and collectibles,” said organizer Celeste Pirie.
“As a maker myself, travelling to other communities and participating in their markets and realizing there was nothing in Wheatland County like this, so just to fill that gap and be able to do a market close to home.”
The event, as well as hosting a venue for local makers to sell their wares, lends itself to raising money through admission sales for the Wheatland & Area Hospice Society.
Pirie added after the event outgrew the Rocking R Guest Ranch venue after its first year and the Strathmore and District Agricultural Society grounds in its third year. The decision was made to move it to the historical barn.
“Beyond the character, [the barn] lends itself to this occasion so beautifully. It’s just a lovely spot and … we are very happy to raise money for the hospice society,” she said.
Pirie explained the idea to raise money for the Wheatland & Area Hospice Society has been implemented since the market’s first year. The idea came about after a friend had lost a family member to ALS.
“A very dear friend of mine, the year the market was launched, had lost her father-in-law to ALS and she was telling me just how very important hospice care is and needed in our county.”
The event began in 2017 and has been operating annually since, breaking only due to public health restrictions onset by COVID-19.
Candace Wiley-Toews’ was among nearly three dozen booths at the market for visitors to check out. She had a booth established, as well as having helped to put the market together this year.
“I enjoy working with the different vendors and seeing their products and just getting excited to show off their wares through the market,” she said.
“I think we have a great group of vendors and food trucks … people not being able to make the market after we booked them, that’s been a challenge … and COVID-19 has been a challenge with its ever-changing rules.”
Wiley-Toews explained some of the vendors who had set up shop were repeat vendors who have had a booth at nearly every previous iteration of the market.
Similarly, she herself had previously been strictly a vendor before working with Pirie to put this year’s market together.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times