The Saskatchewan Craft Council is one of several organizations that’s eligible to seek funding from Creative Saskatchewan to help advance the economic interests of its members. And through better marketing and promotion there undoubtedly is a commercial upside for crafters, although obvious challenges exist. One relates to the ability of crafters to make enough product to attend festivals such as Bazaart and the other craft shows that are held in the province, plus also perhaps provide stock for gift shops and whatnot to provide regular income throughout the year.
In an interview I did a couple of years ago with a SCC spokesperson she said they were encouraging their members to depart from the traditional model of craft production through the use of apprentices and other production techniques to build up inventory. It’s a fine line, I imagine, as you don’t want to detract from the uniqueness of craft by ramping up production too much. Still, I know from past contact with craft artists how intense the work is for them in the weeks leading up to a major show like Bazaart to ensure they have a good selection of craft objects on hand for people to buy.
Now in its 41st year, Bazaart is the premiere craft show in Saskatchewan (that’s a picture from the 2013 show above). The 2014 version of Bazaart goes Saturday (June 21) at the MacKenzie Art Gallery between 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission $5, with children 12 and under admitted free.