The Yukon is known for its craft fairs. From Dawson to Faro to Teslin, each community has its own craft niche. But when you get to Whitehorse, the niche transforms into something almost limitless called Spruce Bog.
Entering its 39th year, Spruce Bog continues to grow. With its humble beginning at F.H. Collins, before moving to the spacious Canada Games Centre, Spruce Bog has definitely made a name for itself.
The craft fair, held on November 15 at the Canada Games Centre, proudly boasts Yukon-made products, while also including vendors from our little sister, Atlin, B.C.
The variety of items available is vast, including homemade candies, jams, gluten-free goods, dog biscuits, stained glass windows, woodcarvings, and more.
So how do you plan the Yukon’s biggest craft show?
Organizer and Yukon Craft Society member Pam Charman, has been the head of Spruce Bog for 22 years. Here’s how Spruce Bog goes from an idea to a real life festivity.
Stage One: The Summoning.
While most people spend their summers enjoying the many outdoor activities Yukon offers, Charman can be found contacting potential vendors for Spruce Bog. Whether it is through email, phone calls, or snail mail, the troops get summoned.
“ We have new vendors every year, or repeat vendors who make new products. It’s important that Spruce Bog has a fresh look each year,” Charman says.
Once a short list of vendors is made, more detailed planning can begin.
Stage Two: The Sit Down
The registration and business meeting occurs in September to go over the details.
“ During this meeting we discuss floor plans, name signs, advertising; and then we take a look at our vendor wait list,” says Charman.
It’s not surprising that craft vendors eagerly vie to get a spot at Spruce Bog. And Charman always does her best to accommodate everyone.
The comfort and layout of the vendors is very important. Charman makes sure if people have allergies, they are placed far away from anything that would cause a flare-up.
“ We don’t want all the same category of vendors in the same place either. It’s important for me to have an even spread so that there is a nice flow.”
Stage Three: The Launch
For Charman, the launch would not be complete if she was not involved —150 pecan logs have been prepared from her kitchen. And like a true boss she keeps it in the family as well.
“ My son has created some unique jams with alcohol content,” she says. “Last year he did screwdriver marmalade, and this year he is planning strawberry margarita jam.”
Each Spruce Bog can be quite tiring but Charman believes the craft show really benefits Yukoners.
“ Sometimes it’s nice to take a break from supporting large corporations, and support local artisans. It also helps to keep the local economy going too.”
Spruce Bog runs from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Canada Games Centre. With a 10:15 opening for seniors and those with mobility issues.