November’s a Fair Month at UoG

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

  • Deck the hall for Fair Novermber 06

    Deck the hall for Fair Novermber 06

Written by Gonzalo Moreno

This past weekend the University of Guelph played host to an event that has become a staple of the University Centre for over 20 years. The main courtyard and Peter Clark Hall were packed with visitors to the 84 arts and crafts stands set up for the Fair November exhibition, which took place from Thursday to Sunday.

The stands included everything from specialty food (with free samples!) to pottery, jewellery and clothing. The UC was absolutely brimming with activity even towards the end of the last day of the Fair, with students, other members of the university community, and Guelphites in general enjoying the selection of items available.

Some veterans of the exhibition had nothing but good words for Fair November. "I’ve been coming here since ’86," says Marilyn Rootham, of Guelph-based Rootham Premium Gourmet, "it's great for business." Alfie Galda, the owner of AB Originals, a knitting store which won first prize for best display in last year’s Fair November, says her designs have been on sale "since '83 or '84," and that she has had her own booth for "about 10 years." When asked about the effect on her business, she could only sum it up in one word: "excellent."

On the other side of the spectrum is a newcomer, Tracy Hanson. Her business, Tracy’s Wine Jellies, is setting up shop in Fair November for the first time this year. "All my crafts friends told me: ‘You have got to do this show.’" So she gave it a shot, and when the weekend was almost done, she echoed Rootham and Galda’s feelings: "I'm doing really well."

Galda also pointed out that Fair November afforded her some freedom as a designer: "I can sell my own designs personally, without having to go through a retailer. I like to emphasize my designs."

When asked how this year was going, Rootham looked into the cash box and said, "more or less like other years." Considering the amassed reputation of Fair November and the amount of people that were voraciously sampling her preserves (this writer happily included), that must be quite well indeed.

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