‘It’s a nice opportunity for visitors to experience our culture’

Kwantlen First Nations holiday craft fair held at cultural centre on Sunday

Though several different Christmas markets occurred in Fort Langley over the weekend, it was the Kwantlen Craft Fair that offered up a completely different holiday celebration void of Santas, reindeer, and Jingle Bells.

Held at the Kwantlen First Nation Cultural Centre on McMillan Island from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., roughly 15 vendors came to sell a variety of different gifts – most of it artwork and hand crafts.

Tumia Knott, the event’s organizer, said this was the fifth annual market, and provided shoppers with a different selection they may not otherwise get at other events.

“It’s an opportunity for artists to come and share their pieces with other local artists,” Knott said. “It’s also a nice opportunity for visitors to experience our culture.”

Una-Ann, a Tahltan/Tlingit artist, agreed – describing the Kwantlen Craft Fair as a positive time to “showcase and socialize.”

Incorporating traditional designs of feathers and wolf prints into acrylic decor and fabrics, Una-Ann was joined by jewelers, basket weavers, fabric designers, and even authors of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm language book, Let’s Count the Moon.

READ MORE: Teaching Langley how to count the moon

Knott also pointed to the market’s location as one of the biggest draws of the day.

“Besides the bead work and art, people come to enjoy our building,” she said.

Built of western red cedar in 2013, the rustic cultural centre includes a longhouse, artifact repository, conference, and catering facility.

The longhouse was the hub of the craft fair activities, with a fire warming guests and vendors from a central wood burning stove.

Non-Kwantlen vendors from Langley were also present, selling jelly’s and jewelry.

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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