(ANNews) – Congratulations to the IAM (Indigenous Artists Market) collective in Edmonton and to organizer / manager Lorrie Lawrence who pulled off a big hit the weekend of December 10-12.
As the host of a “very indigenous holiday market”, IAM has set up around 80 stalls selling indigenous arts and crafts which have attracted art vendors and customers from all over. On opening day alone, the market was filled with shoppers eagerly awaiting the special event. On the one hand, not only were customers accessible to a wide assortment of crafts, there was also no admission fee, as well as plenty of live entertainment from singers, drummers, dancers and even a Fashion show throughout the three days which included numerous draws for door prizes and some Christmas gift shopping in advance.
There appeared to be a delicious aura of Christmas spirit in the air despite the (necessary) COVID-19 precautions employed by staff on site. With hundreds of people stopping, entering and exiting the hall and making their way through the rows of craft stalls, the three days allowed friends and acquaintances to meet, renew friendships and / or socialize. make new ones.
Oh, another plus was the demand from visitors to offer warm clothes of gloves, scarves, socks, coats, etc. for the homeless in the city. Yours IAM!
Much of the arts and crafts available for purchase included handicrafts, such as: mittens, toques and other hand-knitted items, clothing originally designed as shirts , t-shirts, masks, etc., as well as moccasins, artwork, Native themed photography, unique jewelry, shawls, scarves, woo, stone or bone carvings and more. Indeed, there was something for everyone and everyone, regardless of age or gender, likes or dislikes. For those who weren’t there, you missed the boat – er, I mean – the show! Good luck for the future.
Performers at the event included award-winning blues singer Curt Young, traditional young drummer-singer Chubby Cree, Toronto singer Connie Le Grands, Metis Child and Family Jiggers and many more. Most of this portion of the event was moderated by Jodi Calahason-Stonechild of YTC who, for those who don’t know, was running for the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations in their last election. She didn’t win, but she is very much loved and appreciated by so many people in this western community.
The IAM Collective operates out of the downtown Farmers Market in the iconic former Army and Navy store at 10305 – 97 Street on the east side opposite the Edmonton Courthouse. The IAM Collective stands are on the second level and open to the public on Saturdays and Sundays. So, for those who missed out on the hugely successful December Hanger sales, you can still head to the 97th Street Native Market.
That said, IAM Collective and Alberta Native News take this brief opportunity to wish all of our readers a safe and happy Christmas 2021! See you again in the New Year !!