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Arts

DDO Holiday Market Returns

 The Dollard-des-Ormeaux Holiday Market returns to bring holiday cheer after a two-year hiatus


Nov. 12-13 marked the return of DDO’s annual Fine Arts & Craft Holiday Market. After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, local businesses and artisans returned to the DDO Civic Centre’s new Community Centre Building to sell their goods and ring in some holiday spirit. 

The event had live music, countless vendor stalls and the “Craft Café” to take a break from shopping and enjoy some freshly baked goods. The place was packed with families looking to get a head start on holiday shopping and support their community. 

There was a wide range of vendors, selling anything from knitwear to handcrafted jewelry to pottery. There was surely something for everyone, including a Lego building station for kids. No matter your age, there was something to pique your interest and tempt your wallet.

Going from vendor to vendor, there was no lack of smiling faces, as everyone was thrilled to welcome back the annual community event. Here’s to many more years of the DDO Holiday Market!

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News

“Don’t Buy That” gives used items a second life

With the average Quebecer spending approximately $458 over the holidays, as shown through a survey reported by Global News, you can count on people’s wallets being stressed.

Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse (CUCCR) and the Art Hive hosted a workshop titled “Don’t buy that!” on Dec. 4. Teaming up with Sustainability Ambassadors, the workshop offered alternative gift-giving ideas by creating their own holiday presents and decorations.

Arrien Weeks, a coordinator for the CUCCR, explained that wrapping, purchasing and even making gifts can create lots of waste. “we just came together to try and change that,” Weeks said.

The event, hosted downtown at the Hive, included four different stations. Each was curated to a specific need: a card-making station, ornament crafting, knitting help, and their popular beeswax wraps workshop. It also included vegan baked goods made by Devonly Bakes, a student-run catering service.

Materials used at the workshop were all reused or recycled. “I’m hoping it can make people rethink how they approach gift making, gift-giving, and just trying to reduce people’s consumption at the end of the day,” Weeks said.

The Wednesday evening crowd consisted of a mix of Concordia students, alumni and other event-goers who had never even been to the campus before. Abigail Lalonde, an avid knitter who volunteered for the event said, “The skills that we share with each other are useful. It supports a really good state of mind, which is self-sufficiency. I hope that people can come and learn something. That they can feel included. That they can share with someone.”

Kate Evoy, a student at Concordia, brought her friend Lexi Benware along to the event. The pair was eager to try different arts and crafts. When asked about the workshops’ value, Evoy said “Obviously the sustainability is a huge part of it. Mixed with a community atmosphere, I think that’s such a good way to introduce people to sustainability and the effects of consumerism and all that.”

Events like this one help build a culture around sustainability efforts,” said Benware. “It’s not just one person doing it – people are coming together and making it more normal and natural for people to do.”

The two friends believe that presenting alternatives to the materialistic holiday we all love can educate people on the negative effects of consumerism. Evoy said instead of the typical dooms-day rhetoric she’s used to, she was warmly welcomed.

“It’s more like, come to partake in this, and it’s fun, and we’re doing good things,” she said.

Ivan Chamberland, a Concordia alumna, was inspired by the ingenuity of beeswax wraps. In today’s throw-away society, Chamberland finds herself excited to learn new ways of consuming alternatives to disposable items.

 

Photo by Laurence B.D.

 

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News

STITCH & BITCH: CJLO edition

A “stitch and bitch” brings knitters together to produce their craft while talking about life

A Stitch and Bitch session was held at Loyola’s Art Hive on Nov. 21, organized by CJLO station manager Francella Fiallos The event aimed to build a community among CJLO volunteers and Concordia University students.

The term Stitch and Bitch was initially coined in the 1950s. Participants teach newcomers, share tips and tricks on how to improve each others’ skills, and of course, bitch about anything and everything. Even though the event is knitting-oriented, anyone with a craft project, from crocheting to scrap-booking, is welcome to join.

Fiallos said she was inspired to create the event because most volunteers at the station rarely get to meet each other. After their shows, DJs usually leave right away. She wanted to create a sense of community between CJLO members and encourage all university students to come hang out and learn about the station.

“We’ve expanded it to anybody that wants to come because we’re a community radio,” said Fiallos. “We’re open to new volunteers and people learning about the station and just people who want to have a nice time.”

Fiallos came up with the idea following her passion for the art of knitting. “Knitting is one of my pastimes, it’s one of my favourite things to do, so I thought I would start [these events] with something I love doing,” she said.

Fiallos started knitting after her therapist recommended it as an activity that could help cope with the idleness of winter and the negative effects of seasonal blues. Knitting has been Fiallos’s main hobby for two years now. Her knitting achievements include mittens, scarves, and her current project, a long grey blanket requiring advanced knitting techniques.

“I just found it such a very meditative, cathartic, enjoyable activity that makes you feel really productive and really balanced,” said Fiallos. She described how the idea is to keep your hands moving but your mind concentrated and still; the activity has a calming and satisfying effect because you can produce something as you sit down, relax and listen to music, a podcast or, if you’re a pro, watch TV.

Knitters were offered how-to instructions, knitting needles and plenty of different colours of yarn, donated by Concordia University’s Centre for Creative Reuse.

Even though everyone’s eyes were on their knitting needles and yarn,  conversation came effortlessly. Frustrations some were having trying to get their stitches to work turned into rants about school, work, bad choices, their personal lives, childhood memories, and funny habits. Members flowed in and out of topics, as they changed from quiet pauses to focus on their projects to laughter.

Stitch and Bitch seems to work for any personality. For introverts, the knitting project provides a shield and allows you to engage only when you want to. Others fill in when you don’t have much to say. For extroverts, your audience is open for conversation and won’t be moving any time soon. The CJLO volunteers are easy going and helpful, and the event proved to be a good way to engage with and meet other students.

While this event was centred around knitting, Fiallos said the purpose of events like these is about building the community and introducing Concordia students to the CJLO radio. Any future events will feature new activities to promote that end.

“Right now it’s a Stitch and Bitch, maybe next time it will just be like a very good old-fashioned pizza night or movie night,” Fiallos said.

 

Photos by Laurence B.D.

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