Each year, in Whitehorse, the Northern Fibres Guild invites the world to one of the Yukon‘s most exclusive sales events—Cranberry Fair. On November 25, the Cranberry Fair will again showcase the Yukon‘s finest skills and talents in handmade arts and crafts. On this day, artists and crafters convene from all over the Yukon to present their unique, diverse and high-quality artistry and craftsmanship to a broad variety of enthusiastic fair-goers.

More than 2,000 visitors are expected to gather to experience the Yukon’s outstanding arts and crafts culture while being given the opportunity to meet, talk and get to know over 40 of the Yukon’s artists and crafters.

High-quality mandate

While this fair was developed from a home-run craft sale, more than 40 years ago, into a well-known and greatly embraced community event, the Northern Fibres Guild founder (and host of the Cranberry Fair) has set a high-value goal for its presentation.

To safeguard excellence and quality at the fair, four key criteria have to be met by all sale items: quality, originality, creativity and diversity.

To achieve this goal, participants need to apply for the fair. Applications are submitted to a jury process, often taking up to 2-3 hours, where a group of three people, with recognized artistic backgrounds and knowledge, evaluate applications and select participants for the upcoming fair. To ensure fair and diverse selections, jury representatives are new each year.

Jury selection

Applications can be made from June 1 to July 31. The jury session takes place the first week of August, giving potential participants nearly four months to prepare for the fair. Detailed information and application forms are available through the fair’s website, www.cranberryfair.com, by emailing the coordinator, Elisabeth Weigand, at: cranberryfair@live.com or by picking up forms at the Itsy-Bitsy Yarn Store in Horwoods Mall.

The coordinator offers to meet with each new applicant and provide a one-hour consultation to help them understand the process and gather required items for their submission. Please feel free to email Elisabeth Weigand (cranberryfair@live.com) to arrange a meeting.

The 2017 Jury selection in process

Combined focus on Yukon First Nations arts and crafts

Outgrowing its venue steadily over the past years, the Cranberry Fair finally discovered its finest place, the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre. For four years, the fair has showcased its sales and presenters in the Longhouse, the centre’s largest room.

It is also here—a place where indigenous history, tradition and culture is celebrated—that the Guild very fittingly works to present the outstanding skillfulness and expertise of Yukon First Nations arts and crafts.

Working together with the Cultural Centre and the Yukon First Nations Culture and Tourism Association, the Guild aims at increasing the participation and representation of Indigenous artists at the November Cranberry Fair, thus providing visitors with an even richer cultural event.

One step towards this is the election of a Yukon First Nations representative in the 2018 Jury.

Enhanced exhibition space

Responding to an ever-increasing resonance to the fair, the Northern Fibres Guild decided, in 2018, to further expand their exhibition space and has added the Elders Lounge to the Longhouse for this year’s fair. With these enhancements, we hope that we are even better prepared to appropriately present all of our artists’ skills and talents on November 25.

The fair coordinator, Elisabeth Weigand, is excited to receive your application until July 31st – online, via email or dropped of the yarn store. And we are also looking forward to meeting you at the Cranberry Fair.

The author, Elisabeth Weigand is the November 2018 Cranberry Fair Coordinator.
Cranberry Fair is hosted by the Northern Fibres Guild.

The Yukon’s exclusive arts and crafts