The Turner’s Christmas Craft Sale- Nov. 2010

Looking for thoughtful gifts that support the local economy? Look no further than the huge Christmas Craft sale at the Coliseum this coming weekend.

The 23 annual show has become a tradition in Moncton, “And we are once again on the same weekend as the Moncton Santa Claus parade on Saturday night” says Greg Turner, who with his wife Claudette, is a major event organizer in Maritimes, “We draw a tremendous amount of people from all three provinces” says Turner, saying that Moncton is already a ‘shopping mecca’ before the added draw of the Santa Claus parade and the Christmas Show at the coliseum.

During the show the coliseum, which has 2000 parking spots for easy access, is transformed into an old fashioned market with the Christmas theme. Specialty food booths offer tastes of their wares, while three different groups of wandering musicians create a cheery atmosphere. The Salvation Army Orchestra will be playing on Friday, and throughout the weekend the Spinney Brothers from Annapolis Nova Scotia, will be playing acoustically, as well as Pan Flute group from Peru.

The show has tremendous variety, with everything from your classic Christmas treats, crafts and decorations to paintings and antiques.

 A new exhibitor, Alphabet Photography, from Niagara Falls, Ontario is bringing an original artwork concept. Their artwork, which can be seen at alphabetphotography.com, is the result of photographing objects that look like letters of alphabet and forming words out of the images.  Miriam Laundry says that she and her business partner Jennifer Blakeley sell a lot of motivational words like Love, Family or Smile. When the business started about five years ago her partner Jennifer was mostly taking photos around Niagara where she lived, but this year, “she traveled to Europe and got the Eiffel Tower, which is the perfect A, and visited some American monuments in Chicago and New York also”.

Turner says that art is a growing category for the Christmas show with more and more artists displaying their work as well as demonstrating how they do create their work. Marc Little is a Moncton artist who has worked for the last 15 years as a caricaturist. In fact, for many years he worked as a caricaturist at the Christmas Show. “I have done 1000’s of caricatures” says Marc, who has a large booth at the entrance of the show this year. But this year Little is bringing original oil paintings to the show; portraits, landscapes, wild life scenery and coastal scenes.

Little, who works full time in his marketing job in marketing at Coop Atlantic when not painting, will be giving away a limited edition print at the show, as well as demonstrating his painting technique. And if you buy one of his paintings at the show, he has free delivery in South Eastern New Brunswick.

When you buy a painting or piece of art at the show you are purchasing a “one of a kind original gift”, says Turner, “As well as supporting an artist”. 

If you are walking through the rows of exhibiters you might recognize the unique hats and scarves made out of grey wool socks called “Pook Toques”  from the popular CBC show, Dragon’s Den.  Pook Toques are from  St Mary’s Ontario, just a stone’s throw from Stratford Ontario,  Justin Bieber’s stomping grounds. In fact, according to their website, Justin Bieber loves his own Pook Toque!

Turner is also proud of a new artist to the show, Katy Karnes, that some Monctonians may recognize as having the same name as Catherine Karnes Munn, famous for her paintings of Victorian houses.  Catherine Karnes Munn launched her career at the first Turner’s Christmas Craft show 23 years ago. “That was the first show she ever did and she went on to become a very popular artist” says Turner, “And at this show this year, it is kind of neat, her niece, Katy Karnes, is going to do her first show of paintings”.  

Reached at her home looking after a rambunctious grandchild, Catherine, who participated in the show for 6-7 years, “at the beginning of her career”, and who is now am internationally acclaimed artist, is very proud of her niece.  Catherine taught all the little children in her family how to paint during painting classes at the cottage in the summer.

Catherine encouraged Katy to bring her art out to the Maritimes, “And the first little show was a show in Woodstock, and she was nervous about going in so I said I’ll go in with you, so we both had booths, and she was swamped, she sold everything. They loved her stuff’.

Katy’s work is very different from Catherine’s work, which is more about historical homes and the history of the Maritimes, Katy has “a different flare, she does a lot of different flowers and fiddle heads, and fish in an acrylic paint that build up into an almost 3-D effect”.

  “We have a number of artists, some of them have been with us for a while and some of them are brand new this year” says Turner, saying that Cheol Hwang, a well-known Moncton artist, originally from South Korea, who does surprisingly realistic oil paintings of his subjects, and has had a feature written about him in the Life section of Times and Transcript, will be at the show demonstrating his work.  “You’d think it was a photograph, you’d absolutely think it was a photograph. And he is getting more and more into local scenes like the Rocks in Albert County”.

Another unexpected cache of creative Christmas gifts can be found in the antiques areas of the show. “The antique jeweler is hot right now”, says Turner, “I just booked two more dealers tonight, from Halifax and Bridgewater. We have about 25 dealers from the three Maritime provinces for antiques”. Turner says that some people may come to the show just to see the ‘plate guy’,  Robert Mac Neil from Wilmot, Nova Scotia with Past China Patterns, “I  mean for anybody who has ever missing a plate in a set of dishes, Robert has probably got it”.

 The Christmas Show marks the beginning of the holiday season, and Turner says that in the last few days more and more exhibitors are making dramatic last minute additions. “It is actually out of control right now, a lot of people were waiting to see about the economy and the weather and now there are a lot of last minute entries”! With music and treats, chocolate and fruit, and crafters and artists plying their trade, it is a fun place to be because, as Turner says, “People are just in a good mood!”

SIDEBAR:

What : Turner’s Christmas at the Coliseum  – Crafts, Specialty Foods, Antiques and Art!

When: November 26, 27 and 28th

400 Exhibitors, 30,000 in attendance, 2000 vehicle parking

Hours:

Friday:  2 pm – 10 pm

Saturday: 10 am – 9 pm

Sunday:  10 am – 5 pm

Tickets: Adults: $7.00, Children, seniors and Military: $6.00, Children under 12 are free.

Buy tickets on-line or call

506-386-1200 or 1-866-855-4197

www.christmas-at-the-coliseum.com

Greg and Claudette Turner – organizers

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