Here’s why River Market in New West is a magical place this summer

A series of magical summer craft fairs are happening at River Market this summer.

The Wylde Wood Faires is an extension of what The Wylde Wood Collective carries in its shop and the community it celebrates and promotes, including fantasy, gothic, steampunk and historic-themed original art, craft and design. The events feature shopping, music, kids’ activities, demonstrations, photo ops and more.

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TobyAnne Stanley, who is producing the fairs, said the idea is to give the public a larger and more experiential taste of what happens in the shop. Many of the Wylde Wood Collective's artists are taking part.

“Shopping is a big part of a craft fair, but we believe these events should move with the times, and become a more immersive and interactive experience. Our faire is celebratory. You can try costumes on, speak to the artists about their work and their processes, join us for a parade, blow bubbles off the balcony outside, take part in our colouring contest, or write a letter to the faeries,” Stanley said. “We had sword-fighting demonstrations at the first fair that were a hit. We also had a model posing as a pirate for our artists to draw and photograph. The faires will be different every time so returning will never get old.”

Upcoming Wylde Wood Faires are being held on July 20, Aug. 3 and 17 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the second floor of River Market.

“The Wylde Wood, like all enchanted realms, shifts visually with the seasons. We have customers who return again and again just to spend time with us and enjoy the ambiance of the Wylde Wood,” said store proprietor Melissa Mary Duncan in a press release. “One of the great things about The Wylde Wood Faires is that they allow for direct contact between those that make the work found at our shop and the general public. You can meet many of our Wylde Wooders, which is how we fondly refer to our creatives, practising their craft. Guests and vendors are encouraged to come in costume. Each faire will continue to be delightful.”

The Wylde Wood Collective’s summer theme loosely celebrates the classic tale, The Wind in the Willows, from which The Wylde Wood gets its name. Visitors can see all of the magical creatures and creations that one might discover in an enchanted wood in high summer.

The shop, which opened in River Market in June 2018, also puts on special events. Fall art classes are in the works and discussions are underway about holding a Faerie Ball, which would be a grand costumed event for the public, and also a Christmas Faire.


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