I was selected by the Saskatchewan Craft Council along with two other artisans (juried members) with assistance from Creative Saskatchewan to participate in the historic 11-day craft show in Montreal called Salon Des Metiers D’Arts (SMAQ). The two other artisans that participated were talented Sherri Hrycay (a milliner) of Sova Design and Mary Lynn Podiluk of Mary Lynn Podiluk Jewellery.  All three of us are from Saskatoon. We were fortunate to have Alexa Hainsworth,  Membership Services Coordinator from the Craft Council with us as well.  

 

Alexa bringing the blue bins that we filled with our respective wares for the show and were loaded onto a truck from Saskatoon to Montreal two weeks earlier. Here they are - ready for us to unpack and set up. 

Lots to unpack for the three booths.

Set-up of Mary Lynn Podiluk's booth. 

Sherri Hrycay setting up her booth, with mine to the left. 

Here from afar, the video focuses in on the Wear Saskatchewan booth. 
This is my booth with the Saskatchewan Craft Council banner prominently displayed above. People who stopped by our booths and passers-by, warmly welcomed us and were delighted to have us at the show.
Security, sporting a Salon Des Metiers D'arts vest. 

Me in my booth. 
Here is an enthusiastic gal who loved her merino wool scarf, dyed with cutch
This gentleman loved the mauve wool scarf dyed with cochineal and iron salts. He paired it well with his own longer, naturally neutral scarf. 

Most mornings before the show opened at 11:00, my husband and I would visit our favourite bakery; Premiere Moisson, in the tunnel shops. Beautiful French pastries, cakes and breads. 

 

 

   

Cakes and cakes.

Mon Dieu, look at that pie!

 

Oh my word…and the meringues!

And bread!

About day 8 of the show, we took a quick morning trip to the famous Jean Talon market. While in Montreal we saw lots and lots of maple syrup. How wonderful to see it so readily available. We would have loved to stay longer but our booths were calling us back to the Convention Centre. While at the market we spoke to a produce vendor who told us his son plays in the NHL for the Pittsburgh Penguins - Kris Letang. Wow!

 

After a few days of getting settled in to the booth and getting to know the rhythm of the show, I started to briefly venture out to see what other vendors were in attendance, while my husband spelled me off at the booth. I was told earlier by someone that there was a booth that had very nice handmade shoes. I'd seen this booth earlier, in quickly passing by so I knew where it was.

One day I stopped by the booth and spoke with the gentleman. We chatted and he asked what my craft is. I told him I dyed scarves with natural dyes as well as designed clothes. I said I was with the Saskatchewan booth. He told me that he'd gone to Saskatchewan once with a school group many years ago to a small village. I asked him what village he went to. He said, "Allan." I looked at him surprised and said, "Well, I'm from Allan!" "What was the name of the family you stayed with?" I asked. He said the woman's name and I was doubly shocked. I said, "She went to school with my older sister and she lives only a few miles from my brother's farm." What a small world!

 

Handmade shoes.  

    

Jean LaVallee who makes beautiful shoes, holding the style (not the colour) I custom-ordered from him.   

 It wasn't until after I returned home to Saskatoon that I started thinking more about my encounter with Jean LaVallee. It must have been that I had time to process it after returning from the show. Somewhere, and somehow I was able to reach back in time 45 years ago and remember the name of the gal who stayed with us at our farm that summer of 1973. She came in a group of students from Quebec who were billeted at farms in the Allan area. 

I called the woman from Allan whose farm Jean stayed at that summer. She was equally surprised when I related the story of meeting Jean in Montreal at Salon Metier. She said she might still have a photo from that time. Indeed she did and graciously sent me the above photo.There in the photo in the green top is the gal who stayed with us at our farm. And at the bottom, centre front in the blue shirt is Jean LaVallee! 

Well, all good things must come to an end and it's the same with Salon Des Metiers D'Arts. Final blue bins are packed and ready to return to Saskatoon. Alexa, our fearless leader - mission accomplie!

  I came away from the event feeling grateful for the opportunity of attending this incredible and historic craft market of such high calibre. The song running through my mind wasn't Christmas songs - although it easily could have been, but the song "It's a Small World" from Disneyland, and the delightful innocence of a bygone time, playing in my head. Indeed, it's a small world after all. 

 

 

 

January 06, 2019 by Kathleen O'Grady

Comments

Brenda Wolf

Brenda Wolf said:

What an amazing opportunity for all three of you to be chosen! Well deserved!! Your booth looked gorgeous as did that amazing pastry shop!

Congrats!!

Jan C

Jan C said:

It is indeed a small world Kathleen! Thank you for sharing your thought & pictures of the Historic Craft Show!

Elaine Barber

Elaine Barber said:

It looks marvellous! I loved your story, we are all so closely connected. ❤️

Dianne murphy

Dianne murphy said:

Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful experiences and agree it is a small world..you gals were wonderful ambassadors for Saskatchewan

Ginette Benoit

Ginette Benoit said:

Je vous remercie grandement de votre venu au salon. J’adore la tunique que j’ai acheté à votre kiosque.
Au plaisir.

Yonit Yogev

Yonit Yogev said:

Kathleen,
What a truly amazing experience!! Congratulations!! I feel so proud of you and all you have accomplished. I remember so many conversations about your dreams and you are making them come true. Totally spectacular!! Lots of love and hugs to you both!

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