Artisan Festival developing a reputation with artists near and far

BARRY’S BAY – The Artisan Festival in Barry’s Bay is gaining popularity not only with local artists, but with those from all across Ontario and even Canada.
That is the word from South of 60 Curator and Artisan Festival organizer Anya Blake.
On July 14, tents lined the sidewalk at Railway Station Park. They contained everything from homemade kitchen utensils to pottery and everything in-between.
For more than 30 years, the festival has been a hit amongst locals and visitors alike. Blake said the first festival was held at the Madawaska Mountain decades ago, and later moved to the grounds behind the Water Tower Lodge.
Now for more than 11 years, the festival has taken place every year at the downtown park. Blake noted that this year, artists from as far away as Kingston and New Brunswick have showed up to sell their handmade products.
“We’ve developed quite a reputation in the crafters’ circuit,” Blake explained.
Artist Joan Deir, of Kingston, Ont., has been returning to the festivals for around three years. She makes beautiful stained glass pieces not in a studio, but inside her home.
It is a labour of love, she said, that keeps her making her products, some of which can take 25 hours and longer to create.
“Some come easy, some don’t,” she admitted.
Deir said she comes to Barry’s Bay because she loves the venue and finds that many people are curious about her work.
Stroy continues in the July 18 issue of The Valley Gazette.