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12 Days of Christmas at Casa begins this week online

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It seems too early to be thinking about Christmas, but with snow on the ground and election craziness and Covid all around, anything positive deserves to be highlighted.Karen Romanchuk playing Christmas at Casa last year. She is one of the artists involved in this year's online event. Photo by Richard Amery
 Christmas at Casa is a great way for local artisans to get their work out in the community and for people to get Christmas shopping out of the way.


 Unfortunately with Covid, the popular annual event is forced to go online. This year Christmas at Casa will begin at noon Nov. 21 and run until Dec. 1 at midnight  at www.ChristmasatCasa.ca.
 “With over 3,000 people visiting Casa in two days in 2019, there was just not a safe way to proceed,” explains Tara Gillanders, Allied Arts Council Projects Manager in a press release.


 “By going on-line, we keep artists and customers safe in our community. While we will miss gathering in person there are some definite benefits to being virtual.”


The online market and extended run will allow vendors to restock products online and add new products over the next couple weeks.


“Covid has been hard on artists, really hard, so the Allied Arts Council has worked hard to give artists options, safe options,” said Kelaine Devine, Allied Arts Council Communications Co-ordinator, noting Christmas at Casa has been a Christmas mainstay over the past  eight years.


“But having between 3-5,000 people going through Casa  over a day and a half was never going to be an option,” she said.


“It‘s not like having an event at Exhibition Park where everybody is spread out. Casa is several tiny rooms,” she said, adding there are  more options for patrons as well as artisans.
“Check back often because artists will be adding more stuff. It will be 24-7 for 12 days. I, for one, love pyjama shopping. So if you feel the need for a ceramic cup at three in the morning, you can get one,” she chuckled.
“This has never been about making a buck for the Allied Arts Council, it is about supporting  artists in a safe and secure way,” she said.

The event will be held through Shopify’s secure site, so personal information will be secure.
The Allied Arts Council  will absorb the cost of using Shopify, so patrons should not notice increased prices for their Christmas presents. There will be multiple payment options including PayPal and credit cards
“ There are costs associated to having a live event like table rental so we’ve built it in to our budget,” she said.

 
She is expecting visitors from across the province  to attend the virtual  event according to analytics as well as calls to the Allied Arts Council.
“ A lot of people are interested in this event, she said, noting there will be fewer artists involved in the event.


“We don’t have the guilds involved, but we we have individual members participating,” she continued, adding going online has been challenging.


“ Artists have to be familiar with online shopping or have had to learn how to use the platform. But we’ve done everything we can to help them,” she continued, adding earlier in the year they held online seminars about online marketing, so the event gives the participants a chance to utilize those skills.
The event offers a variety of different items including glass, painting, jewelry, woodworking and more.
“ We have a lot of pottery this year and we have new things like gingerbread kids,” she said.
 Christmas at Casa  begins  Nov. 20 at noon and runs until midnight, Dec 1 at http://www.christmasatcasa.ca

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor
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Last Updated ( Thursday, 19 November 2020 18:10 )  
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