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Royal City Gogos' Artisan Craft Sale: One-of-a-kind finds for a humanitarian cause

New West group set to surpass $800,000 fundraising mark for African families by the end of 2023
The Royal City Gogos' popular artisan craft sale returns to New Westminster.

What’s happening?

The Royal City Gogos are hosting their annual Artisan Craft Sale. It’s on Friday, Nov. 17 from 4 to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Unifor hall, 326 12th St.

The Gogos’ dedicated group of crafters and artists work hard to produce unique works that are only available to the public a couple of times a year and can’t be found at any other venues.

“There is always a lot of excitement around this special event,” said Janine Reid, who founded the Royal City Gogos. “Faithful supporters have been following us for years and arrive in the lineup on Friday afternoon for the best selection. People come over from the island and even fly from Edmonton just to attend the sale. People say we have quality crafts like the Granville Island shops but at suburban prices. People say,’I wouldn’t miss this!’”

What will I find at the sale?

The Royal City Gogos will be selling one-of-a-kind seasonal gifts in more than 10 specialty “departments” at their craft sale. This includes: the Home department, which includes soft furnishings and housewares; the Glam department, where you’ll find unique handmade accessories; the Second-Look department, which features quality pre-loved jewelry; and the Christmas department, which features unique holiday decorations.

Other departments include gift items for pets, kids and holiday gift-giving and entertaining. Homemade loaves and cookies and 25 varieties of jam are among the offerings in the Food department.

“In Consumables, you can order a tea-party to go, a homemade Moroccan feast or Nonna’s Tiramisu,” said a news release.

What are the Royal City Gogos?

The Royal City Gogos, founded in New Westminster in 2009, are part of Greater Vancouver Gogos. The groups work to combat the HIV/AIDs pandemic in Africa by assisting African grandmothers who are raising a generation of children orphaned by the pandemic.

The Royal City Gogos are supporters of the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s (SLF) Grandmothers to Grandmothers campaign, founded by Canadian humanitarian Stephen Lewis to work directly with community-based services in 15 African countries. Canadian grandmothers fundraise to support African grandmothers who provide the essentials of life, education and stability to their grandchildren.

According to the Royal City Gogos, the entire proceeds of their sale go the SLF Grandmothers Campaign, which directs over 90 per cent of its revenues toward community-based projects.

“Thanks to our generous community supporters and to Unifor for allowing us to use their building, we will have donated $800,000 to the Stephen Lewis Foundation’s Grandmothers Campaign by the end of 2023,” Reid said. “This is life-changing money. Ninety per cent of funds raised go directly to carefully chosen community-based projects in sub-Saharan Africa.”

Reid said the funds raised by the Gogos pays for things like: increased food security; psycho-social support; school fees; access to health care; income-generating projects; and efforts to raise AIDS awareness and reduce stigma

Shopping tips?

While there will be a wide variety of unique items at great prices, the Gogos suggest shoppers arrive early to the best selection. A preview of some of the items that will be at the sale is available online.