Saturday, 19 October 2013

Made in Muskoka Christmas

How it all began…
Sometimes ideas have momentum of their own. 
While the idea that Huntsville lacked an annual Christmas fine craft and art show had occurred to me a few years ago, I didn’t think I would be spearheading such an event myself.  Then I learned that Kelly Holinshead was closing the Shutterbug Gallery on Main Street.  My art glass had been exhibited in the Gallery since its first year, and while I was excited that Kelly was moving on to new horizons, I had a twinge of regret to be losing my little foothold in town.  Those who have visited my studio up the Limberlost Road may guess that few customers venture out once the snow flies! 
So in November 2012, Made in Muskoka Christmas was conceived.  Once I knew the Shutterbug was moving, I began to envision a high calibre Christmas Show and Sale in a beautiful venue close to the heart of Huntsville.  I bounced the idea off an artist who I knew belonged in such a show, and was greeted with a firm YES!  I began to compile a list of potential exhibitors, selecting for quality, balance and variety.  For a seasonal touch, I invited my favorite cook to create some special edibles.  Without the eager support and work of my fellow artists and craftspeople, the event would have stayed on the drawing board.  Instead, it came to life.
The venue for Made in Muskoka Christmas presented itself as soon as I started planning.  Freshly renovated, Sutherland Hall is the perfect size, offers historical character, is accessible, and is centrally located.  Just a block from Main Street Huntsville, visitors to our show can enjoy a meal and visit the shops that give Huntsville its distinct character while they’re here.
 One aspect that was important from the start was that this event should give back to the community.  At our first planning meeting the group unanimously voted to partner with TheTable Soup Kitchen Foundation, inviting them to accept contributions for their worthy initiatives at the door. Be assured that your generosity will go a long way improving many lives in Huntsville.
Made in Muskoka Christmas presents some of Muskoka’s finest makers, and if you’ve been around Huntsville long you’ll recognize many names on our Artists Page.  Others are talented emerging artists who truly deserve the exposure.  Bringing them all together at this festive season is very exciting for me, and I’m confident we won’t disappoint shoppers looking for truly meaningful gifts in every price range.  I may have lit the spark for Made in Muskoka Christmas, but it is the enthusiasm and hard work of everyone participating that has made it a reality.
A special reception Friday December 13 will kick things off, and the cider pot will be on all weekend to make you feel welcome.  Come experience the first ever Made in Muskoka Christmas.  We hope it will be one of the cornerstones of Huntsville’s cultural calendar for years to come.

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