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Sep 21, 2021
Last week I had a booth at Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Sale at Riverdale Park West in Toronto, and what a treat it was!
The pandemic had guaranteed the cancellation of almost all art shows last year, and saw some of them try a new format by moving online, with varying degrees of success. Over halfway through this year, in-person shows are slowly starting to reappear, and so are the people.
This was the 32nd year for the Cabbagetown event, but the first for me and it was like a brand new day! I say a brand new day because it felt like a fresh start, full of optimism, and I have to say, it didn’t disappoint.
First of all, I think many of the exhibitors were familiar with the show, and extra keen. Spots were not pre-allocated as would normally be the case, maybe because there were less booths and there was plenty of space. No rush, they said. As a newbie I get there a good few hours early so I can get the lay of the land, only to find most people already setting up. There’s your Saturday morning motivation! I still got a good spot though, and took a while to set everything up to as near to perfect as possible.
The weather was glorious, with sun, a tolerable mid-20s temperature and low humidity both days, so that was enough to bring people out. There were about 145 people exhibiting, food and music and a great location. What more could anyone ask for? So many people and so ready to talk, look and even a few ready to buy. Really, it was an enjoyable and exhausting experience – so much talking!
I really value the appreciation people showed for my work and the time they took to view, and discuss. The interaction itself was invigourating. I’d also forgotten that this was a juried show, so imagine my surprise when a group of people came to my booth with a banner announcing that I’d been awarded an honourable mention! That’s a great way to ease into interactive, in-person life.
It’ll be interesting to see how art shows and galleries fare
in the future. There’s no doubt that many have been negatively impacted by the
pandemic, and while some have been able to pivot, others haven’t. The more long
term impact has yet to be seen. One thing I know, though, is that I’m aiming to
be back for the 33rd Cabbagetown Arts & Crafts Sale. Watch out for
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