Emily Weeks, the managing director for the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce, with the poster for Saturday’s Christmas market in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Emily Weeks, the managing director for the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce, with the poster for Saturday’s Christmas market in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Christmas Market aims to brighten spirits, shop local

Time to get into holiday mode rather than dwelling on the weather

Even for those who don’t normally think about Christmas until Santa’s coming down the chimney, this might be the perfect departure people need.

Yes, it might seem early to some or right on time for others, but in either case the Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce Christmas Market is sure to be an event to lift spirits and think about something else besides horrific weather. It takes place Saturday, Nov. 20 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Waterwheel Square in downtown Chemainus.

Numerous sponsors and supporters are on board to help make it happen.

It will be a festive occasion with hot dogs, hot chocolate, 30 great local vendors and including the St. Michael and All Angels Anglican Church hosting its annual bake sale at the market. Proceeds from all vendor stalls purchased will be going to Cowichan Neighborhood House. It’s all putting the fun in fundraiser.

Money raised from a hot dog sale provided by Paul McGregor from the Chemainus 49th Parallel Grocery and starting at 11 a.m. will be a huge boost to the Harvest House Food Bank.

“This time of the year the demand with food banks is more than ever,” stressed Chamber director Roy Summerhayes.

Chamber managing director Emily Weeks added there will also be a donation drop-off bin for the Toys, Toiletries and Toques charity. “There’s tons of different ways to raise money,” she said.

“This will be the perfect setting to encourage residents to think local, shop local in the lead-up to Christmas,” noted Summerhayes. “In doing so they will support local businesses and artisans.”

Talk of doing this market actually started long ago. It goes back to the last day of the regular Wednesday summer market, in fact.

“We were just talking to some of the stall-holders there,” said Summerhayes, who then consulted with Weeks.

“I immediately went in and spoke to Emily and said ‘any reason we can’t do this?’” pointed out Summerhayes. “She said no. I told her it was on.”

With weather weary folks, ramifications from the virus and even supply chain issues, this might be a great time for residents to make their Christmas shopping easier and think about purchasing unique local items at markets such as this one. There’s no guarantee any items ordered from afar will arrive in time for Christmas.

“It’s already affecting stores, even groceries,” said Weeks of the supply chain situation. And she made that comment before the catastrophic weekend rain storm. “Shopping local is the way to go this year. And any reason to come to town is a good one.”

“I hope it does well,” added Summerhayes. “The idea is to help locals get through this COVID thing with a market close to home.”

The bottom line is for folks to come out, have fun and support local. Late word has even been received that Santa will there, commencing at 10 a.m. on the Plows & Petticoats Carriage with Kelly-Ann Argue travelling down Chemainus Road, Oak Street and Willow street, arriving at the Waterwheel Square.

The Chamber of Commerce and Island Savings will be providing free warm drinks and holiday treats.

Weeks has also been spreading the word diligently about the event on social media.

All that’s needed now is a better response from the weatherman, for once.

“The weather looks like it’s going to cooperate with us,” said Weeks.

ChristmasMarketplace

 

Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce director Roy Summerhayes at the site that will be a hub of Christmas activity on Saturday. (Photo by Don Bodger)

Chemainus & District Chamber of Commerce director Roy Summerhayes at the site that will be a hub of Christmas activity on Saturday. (Photo by Don Bodger)