Kwantlen First Nation: Market spotlights native culture

This is the start of a multi-week series on Kwantlen First Nation.

Christmas was the inspiration behind what organizers hope will become an annual summer tradition.

The Kwantlen Night Market is Aug. 20 and will feature an array of unique and hand-crafted items, not unlike the Christmas market when people were suggesting one during the sunnier months.

“We have an annual Christmas market,” explained Jeanne Jamieson, administrator for Coast Salish Arts and Culture Society. “So we decided to try a summer one.”

Vendors will set up outside the lelem Arts and Cultural Cafe in Fort Langley from 7 to 10 p.m.

“We just want it to be simple and fun,” Jamieson said.

Live music from the cafe will provide a backdrop for those checking out this new venture for Kwantlen First Nation.

“For the night market, we want hand crafted things,” she said.

Local artists, artisans, and crafters are booked in for the market, offering native art, soap, jewelry and more.

“Brandon Gabriel will do some fun caricatures,” Jamieson added.

As well, the Coast Salish Arts and Culture Society, which offers local workshops to the public, will have a booth to spotlight its offerings.

She said the market is an opportunity for people to stroll the area and has been set up not to disturb the neighbours.

Based on the success of the Christmas market, she’d like to see the summer market gain a foothold and get bigger while still maintaining the relaxed, family atmosphere and even making use of the waterfront of Bedford Channel.

“I’d like to make it bigger that way, people from other bands, other areas” she said. “My personal vision is to have a lot of lights, and people on the water with boats.”

Organizers would like to have two or three of these markets each summer in addition to the holiday markets. For information, call 604-888-5556.

Jamieson said that as well as creating an event for the community, the market will hopefully provide artists and artisans with exposure for their work.

“That will help them with their future,” she said.

Kwantlen First Nation series:

Sharing the tales, free summer walking tours

Langley-based Kwantlen First Nation big on business

Education comes from more than books

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