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Massive turnout for 'Christmas Craft Fair at the Cannery Trade Centre'

Yvonne King, owner of fabric store Black Rabbit Fabrics in the Cannery Trade Centre, took a look around at what she'd created and smiled.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who> Yvonne King

"It's been packed in here all day," she deadpanned.

We hadn’t been there all day so we couldn’t confirm, but at that moment on Saturday afternoon the joint was certainly jumping. Just walking from one end to the other seemed impossible. We'd never seen the old mall anywhere near this busy.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

Meanwhile in the parking lot and even on the street beyond, empty stalls had all but evaporated.

And much of it was King's doing.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"I was getting a little heartbroken with all the requests I was seeing for the (Salvation Army Penticton) Food Bank," she explained. "So many people are using it right now.

"So I said to my husband, 'I love my Christmas markets. What if we organized one here to raise money for the Food Bank?' We could help a good cause and we could also get people into the Cannery because a lot of people don’t know what's in here."

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

King's hubby Leith agreed, and the very first "Christmas Craft Fair at the Cannery Trade Centre" was born.

Soon, she was formulating a plan. The food bank contribution, she figured, would come from donations made at the door by shoppers. And the shoppers would donate because each of the vendors would kick in a gift or gift basket that would then be raffled off.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

It was a good plan that was made even better by King's added effort on the vendor front.

"We started a couple months ago finding vendors," she said. "It's really important to a market to get good variety, so we started advertising all over Facebook.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"Each vendor donated something, plus we went out to the community and got all these raffle baskets, so you make a donation to get some raffle tickets and enter to win a basket."

King also credits Cannery management for keeping table rentals low at $25 for both market days (Saturday and Sunday).

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

By Sunday night when we reached out to King again, she said the market had raised in excess of $2,250 for the Food Bank. Moreover, she estimated, it had attracted 1,000 unique shopping trips.

But did it help the permanent Cannery shops? We looked around while we were there and saw a lot of busy spaces, so we can only assume it didn't hurt.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>

"Absolutely, we'll do it again next year," said King.

For more info on Christmas Craft Fair at the Cannery Trade centre, go here. For more info on the Cannery Trade Centre, go here.

<who>Photo Credit: NowMedia/Gord Goble</who>



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