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The second annual Fall Craft Fair was held at Good Shepherd Church on Oct. 1, bringing together a wide range of creative and unique artisans, eager to share their creations with fall enthusiasts.

This small gathering is part of the city’s many community organized events that help support regional artists and provide a space for their work to be showcased and purchased by attendees.

Despite their size, smaller craft fairs often play a big role in the lives of local artists, opening doors for new business opportunities and creative outlets, especially for new creators. 

Kat McLauglin shows off her pinstriping work. PHOTO: ANJOLIE THERRIEN

Pinstriping artist Kat McLaughlin helped with the event’s social media promotion. She says that the Fall Craft Fair will be the first time she opens her booth to the public and that she’s hoping to get positive feedback from visitors before attending her next fair in December.  

Jeweler and taxidermy artist Aries Padua is no stranger to craft fairs. This event will mark his 17th showcase since the start of the year.

Jeweler and taxidermy artist Aries Padua next to his vendor’s booth at the Fall Craft Fair. PHOTO: ANJOLIE THERRIEN

Padua started making his taxidermy creations seven years ago. For him it’s about finding and understanding the beauty in death. 

“Just because something is dead, doesn’t mean that it’s garbage,” he said. “I want to give the animals a second chance for the people who appreciate and see death as not technically the end.” 

It can be challenging to sell niche products like his, but Padua says that going to craft fairs motivated him to continue growing his business. 

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“I get to meet lots of other artists and get inspired by their work, I also get a lot of support from people who are interested in what I make,” he said. 

Over time, Padua gained regular customers who would often attend his showcases to show support and appreciation for his work. He says that he’s been able to help others by creating meaningful pieces with affordable pricing.  

“I’m always happy to create something special for my customers, especially since it can help me better my work as well,” he said.

Taxidermy creations made by Padua. PHOTO: ANJOLIE THERRIEN

The Fall Craft Fair is set to return next year – McLaughlin hopes to host another craft fair this December, in time for the Christmas season. 

Be sure to check out local craft fairs and help show your support to Calgary’s talented artists.

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