Christmas market encourages Okanagan residents to buy local this holiday season

Click to play video 'Buying local encouraged at artisan market in East Kelowna' Buying local encouraged at artisan market in East Kelowna
WATCH ABOVE: Community reporter Shay Galor visits the East Kelowna Christmas Market to check out gift-giving trends – Nov 19, 2018

‘Tis the season for craft sales, including in the Okanagan, where artisans big and small are showing off their wares to holiday shoppers.

Dozens of vendors gathered in the East Kelowna Hall on Sunday to sell their products at the East Kelowna Community Christmas Market.

Organizer Kathy Sawchuk hopes the market creates community and inspires shoppers to buy local.

“I just really believe that we should keep things local. Buy local, meet the artists behind the pieces of items that you purchase and just to enjoy the community spirit that we’ve created here in East Kelowna,” Sawchuk said.

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Several artisans at the event were embracing plant-friendly trends and creating products out of recycled materials.

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Colleen Thomas, a vendor at the market, uses second-hand sweaters to create toques.

“Instead of buying it new, it’s recycled. It is not going to the landfill, and it’s one-of-a-kind,” Thomas said.

Another vendor was selling earrings made out of vintage wallpaper and wallets made from leather jackets.

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“It’s actually the most exciting material for me to use. I find more inspiration finding a use for something that we already have,” artisan Rio Branner explained.

East Kelowna community market events help to generate revenue to support repairs of the historical 78-year-old hall in which they are held.

A second East Kelowna Community Christmas Market is scheduled for Nov. 25.